Whether you’re returning to work and need quick solutions for dinner, or a new mum juggling a newborn and adjusting to parenthood, meal delivery kits are a good way to save time and money if you’re not keen on eating out every day but have no time to buy groceries.
There are generally three types of food delivery services:
The Takeaway Option – Food Delivery Apps
Apps like Uber Eats, Deliveroo, and Menulog partner with hundreds of restaurants and cafes to bring ready-made food to your doorstep. It’s essentially the same as eating out, except it’s from the comfort of your home.
However, if you’re health-conscious and prefer fresh ingredients used in your meals, you might want to consider the next type of delivery service.
The Packaged Option – Ready-Made Meals Home Delivery
As the name suggests, these are companies that offer ready-made meals delivered to you. Bigger companies like YouFoodz wholesale their meals to major supermarkets like Woolworths, Coles and Aldi, so clearly they don’t make their meals fresh each day. In my opinion, it’s not much different from getting frozen meals at supermarkets.
FreshMeals2u appears to be a healthier alternative as they don’t have stockists and their meal plans are designed for men and women separately for different calorie intake. They are also a registered NDIS provider so their meal options are good for those with diet restrictions too.
The DIY Option – Fresh Food Boxes Delivered
This is the most economical option out of the three if you want fresh, healthy food and also save time. These companies plan your meals for you and source the freshest local ingredients. They pack everything into boxes (cooking instructions included) and deliver them to your doorstep.
Essentially, you still get to cook your own meals, but this service cuts out meal planning and grocery shopping time, which can be extremely time-consuming when you’re running a household.
Which Is The Best? Hello Fresh vs Marley Spoon vs Dinnerly
The most value for money – Dinnerly
Cost per person per meal (for 4 people, 3 meals weekly):
- Hello Fresh: $9.16 (free delivery)
- Marley Spoon: $10.10 (incl. delivery cost divided by 12)
- Dinnerly: $7 (incl. delivery cost divided by 12)
There’s absolutely no contest here, Dinnerly has proven their claim to be the most affordable meal kit in Australia. At just $7 per person, this saves you $37.20 a week compared to Marley Spoon, which totals up to a massive saving of $1,934.40 in a year!
Their website explains how they’re able to keep costs so low and it actually makes a lot of sense to me as a mum:
We send digital recipe cards instead of printed cards, fewer ingredients per dish (less chopping and cleaning!), simple packaging and no fancy marketing. We’re focused on making dinnertime a breeze!
I particularly love that they understand the importance of keeping their recipes and ingredients simple. I’ve tried both Hello Fresh and Marley Spoon in the past and have found their recipes to be too fancy and time-consuming to cook. It’s just not worth the effort especially when my kids are picky and won’t eat anything in the end.
The best menu options – Hello Fresh
Although it is the cheapest meal option, Dinnerly does not make it easy for potential customers to preview and choose their meals. When attempting to find their menu samples, I realised that meal options are only available right at the end, after payment checkout. This is a huge drawback because I definitely do not want to input my credit card details before I even know what I’m getting.
Marley Spoon allows you to preview their weekly menus, four weeks at a time, so you can decide and choose exactly what you want. The meals are tagged with popular options like “spicy”, “vegetarian”, “fish” etc and they even have vegan options.
If you click into the meal that you’re interested in, you’ll see that they have also published the step-by-step cooking instructions, which means you can essentially just download and print the recipes without even ordering their meals.
This is a nifty feature for mums who don’t mind grocery shopping but are racking their brains over meal ideas.
Although they only show you their menu for a week at a time, they do allow you to swap out meals at checkout if you prefer something from their other packages. Their kid-tested recipes include classics like meatballs and tacos, but with a healthy twist.
This definitely has mum’s seal of approval, because we all know how fussy kids can be at dinner time, especially after a long day!
The highest-rated by customers – Dinnerly
According to Trustpilot, both Dinnerly and Marley Spoon have 79% of four and five stars ratings and only 3% of one and two stars ratings. Hello Fresh, however, only has 76% of the former and a dismal 8% of one and two stars ratings.
Consolidating all the ratings across these review sites, Dinnerly is again the clear winner. Here are a few of their most recent five-stars reviews:
Verdict – Dinnerly is the best fresh food meal kit delivery in Australia
Taking into account its affordability, ease of use, and high customer ratings, it’s easy to see why Dinnerly is the top choice for DIY meal box delivery. Although I wasn’t able to verify the variety of their menu, their homepage says that they have kid-friendly recipes, and this claim has also been supported by various customer reviews.
They also point out that their recipes are all completed within 5 steps, so every meal is quick and easy. This is an important and much-underrated feature especially for busy families, because what’s the point of saving time on grocery shopping if you’re spending more time cooking?
Overall, if you’re looking for an ideal balance between saving cost and time, while at the same time maintaining healthy fresh meals, Dinnerly is your best option. They currently ship to most of NSW, VIC, QLD, SA, NT and ACT, with the rest of Australia to follow soon.