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3 Ways to Save Money on Meal Kits


Young smiling couple cooking together at home.

Image source: Getty Images

There’s a reason so many people like meal kits. Not only do they make it easy to whip up dinner quickly, but they can also be cheaper and healthier than takeout or delivery.

That said, meal kits tend to be more expensive than buying food at the supermarket. So if you’re on a budget or are trying to reduce your credit card bills, they may not be the best solution.

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But there are also steps you can take to save yourself money in the course of using meal kits. Here are a few worth trying.

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1. Try new services

You may have a specific meal kit service you’re happy with. But it pays to branch out to new ones not just for variety, but also to snag savings.

A number of meal kit services offer sign-up bonuses, so to speak, for new customers. You may, for example, be eligible for a certain amount of money off of your first two or three orders if you try a new service out, making it a less expensive prospect than your current go-to meal kit service.

2. Refer new customers

It’s common for meal kit services to offer bonuses for referring new customers. Often, all you’ll need to do is email some people you know a specific referral link. If they sign up through that link, you’ll generally get a credit added to your account that can offset the cost of your next meal kit shipment. Best of all, you can often snag multiple referral bonuses at a time if enough people from your network sign up.

3. Buy more meal servings at a time

Meal kit services tend to charge on a per-meal or per-serving basis. Let’s say you have the option to get a shipment with six meals, 10 meals, or 14 meals. The cost per meal for a bundle of six might be $10.99. But that might shrink to $9.99 for a shipment of 10 meals, and it might drop again to $8.99 for a shipment of 14. And so the more meals or services you order at once, the less each one is likely to cost.

That said, you’ll need to make sure you have the ability to store those extra meals. Let’s say you use a meal kit service that sends frozen meals for you to reheat. You’ll want to make sure you have plenty of freezer space to accommodate a larger delivery. And if your meal kit service sends you fresh food, make sure you can actually consume those extra servings by their expiration date — or otherwise freeze them so they don’t go bad.

Meal kit services can be extremely convenient for people who don’t have a lot of time to cook or don’t enjoy spending time in the kitchen. And if you’re a self-proclaimed failure in that department, they’re a good option to fall back on. But given the cost involved, it pays to look at ways to reduce the expense of meal kits so you can continue using them to make your life easier.

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