(Updated January 2021 to include accurate packaging information and a new $45 discount code.)
Looking for a Dinnerly coupon code? Get $45 off!
Dinnerly is a meal kit service like Blue Apron or Hello Fresh, except it costs about half as much.
Where does Dinnerly deliver?
Dinnerly now delivers to most of the contiguous 48 United States!
So, odds are good that you can now get Dinnerly where you live.
Looking for a Dinnerly coupon code? Get $45 off ($15 off each of your first three boxes)
How is Dinnerly different from other meal services?
In case you missed my post last year, a quick recap: Dinnerly offers meals starting at just $4.69/person, as opposed to the usual $9.99 price point for other similar services.
Dinnerly keeps costs down by:
- designing meals with 6 ingredients per dish (simpler to cook, plus less packaging is required)
- sending digital recipes cards instead of printed cards
- keeping packaging simple
- spending less money on marketing.
By cutting costs in these ways, they can still offer high quality ingredients, like grass-fed beef and American-caught shrimp. I’ve also had a number of organic items in the boxes I’ve tried.
You do have to pay $8.99 for shipping, but the total price of a Dinnerly box is still far lower than the competitors.
Can you customize a Dinnerly box?
Dinnerly now offers six recipes per week, and you can choose three of them.
There are often vegetarian options available, and some meals don’t have gluten, but if you have serious food sensitivities, Dinnerly is probably not for you.
How much is Dinnerly shipping?
Dinnerly charges $8.99/box for shipping.
Am I obligated to get a box each week?
Nope! Dinnerly is a subscription service, but you can skip weeks whenever you want. So, if you’re out of town or you just don’t like any of the recipes for an upcoming week, you can do a skip.
Will Dinnerly save me money?
Compared to other meal kit services, yes! A three-meal box for two people costs $29.94 plus $8.99 shipping, for a total of $38.93.
A typical meal kit, even with free shipping, will cost $59.94, which is $21 more.
Compared to takeout, Dinnerly may save you money. With shipping, each meal is $6.48, which would definitely only buy you a fast food meal. And Dinnerly meals alway include vegetables, which is not necessarily true of fast food meals!
Compared to buying ingredients at the store, no, Dinnerly will not save you money. Buying ingredients and cooking them at home will pretty much always be the cheapest way to feed yourself.
However, if you are a single person and you struggle with grocery shopping because you only need small amounts of ingredients, Dinnerly could save you money.
You receive only the amount of fresh produce, cheese, and meat you need for your meals, which could help reduce food waste and overbuying.
One other cost consideration is that in my experience, the Dinnerly meals feed more people than promised.
So if your family has appetites on the smaller side of things like mine, you will probably be paying less than $6.48/serving, and you may have leftovers for lunch.
What about the packaging?
Dinnerly does not send their meals in styrofoam. Yay!
Instead, they come with recycled cotton insulation, which is covered in a thin plastic bag.
Here’s what’s inside that bag.
Then there is the ice pack.
You can dump the filling into the trash and then recycle the outer plastic, but it is a bummer to dump the filling in the trash.
Of course, you can reuse the ice pack, but how many ice packs would one person need?
(I typically offer mine free on a local Facebook giveaway group.)
Dinnerly’s small portions of ingredients also produce more waste than typical grocery products would. But since Dinnerly has fewer ingredients, there’s less packaging waste than you’d get with Hello Fresh or Blue Apron.
To give you an idea, the next two photos show all of the ingredients in one three-meal Dinnerly box.
Anyway, a Dinnerly box produces more trash than a bag of groceries would, but less than typical meal kits would.
Are Dinnerly meals tasty?
So, I think I generally prefer the meals I make on my own, because they’re usually a little more complicated and interesting.
Dinnerly’s meals tend to be more basic than what I’d choose to make.
But, the upside of this is that the meals aren’t hard to make!
Presumably you’d be ordering from Dinnerly in order to simplify your mealtimes, so I think simple is good.
And the meals from Dinnerly do sometimes have interesting components…for instance, the spaghetti dish called for making Parmesan crisps, which I will definitely do again.
The sauce was just mascarpone cheese (which I’d never tried before) and it made a great easy sauce.
Should you try Dinnerly?
I don’t think I’d recommend it if:
- you have a medium to large household
- you already know how to cook
- you are good at picking out recipes
On the other hand, if:
- you are a cooking newbie and need some help
- you want something easy for your kids to cook
- you have a small household
- you are in the midst of a crazy season and need help avoiding takeout
…then I think Dinnerly could be very helpful.
And if you are a cooking newbie, Dinnerly could help you gain some skills which will help you become independent in the kitchen to the point where you might not need a meal kit service so much.
And that’ll definitely save you money.