Dinnerly claims it is America’s most affordable meal kit service and a quick comparison of prices shows that they’re not making it up.
But we have to wonder how they’re able to charge so little. Are they cutting corners? Are the meals more than edible?
In this review, we’ll look at these questions a lot more closely.
Table of Contents
How Does Dinnerly Work?
Dinnerly is a weekly subscription service offering meal kits; the company selects meals to be made for that week based on locally available, fresh produce. You can log into the Dinnerly website and see what is going into each meal pack.
The rules are simple. All meal packs will have:
- Six ingredients
- A simple preparation method
- Recyclable packaging
The company can offer a much lower per meal rate because they steer clear of exotic ingredients, and they also provide digital recipe cards instead of printing them.
Each week you’ll get a new pack, in which you’ll have everything that you need to make up to five meals. This package includes vegetables, meat, and cheeses.
You will need to provide certain common spice items, like oil, salt, and pepper; the company does send a reminder for you to get these items, however.
You have a few choices here. You can:
- Leave everything up to the company and wait to see what you’ll get.
- Customize some of the meals during the week.
- Suspend the subscription for a week if you don’t like what they’re offering.
- Increase or decrease the number of portions you get; choose meals for two or four.
At the moment, they only have kits for dinner. The company does say that it’s planning on looking into providing lunch options as well.
Why Would You Choose this Plan?
Because it makes things easier. You don’t have to stand in front of the fridge each morning figuring out what to make for dinner. With this plan, you get all the ingredients that you need, and a recipe to use them with.
It’s a good fit for:
- Parents who need healthy home-cooked meals witih simple recipes in a hurry.
- People who don’t enjoy cooking – all you need to do is to follow the instructions.
- Those who are trying to cook healthier meals but don’t know where to start.
- Students on a tighter budget – it is far less expensive than takeout.
- People who are unable to do their own shopping.
- Picky eaters who don’t want a lot of ingredients
It won’t be a hit with:
- Gourmands, as these are not fancy meals.
- Those who like a lot of variety.
- People who have specific dietary needs.
- Those that don’t like veggies.
Dinnerly ships their meal kits in carefully designed packaging to ensure the freshness and quality of the ingredients during transit. While the exact packaging may vary, Dinnerly employs a combination of insulation, ice packs, and sturdy boxes to maintain the appropriate temperature and protect the ingredients.
The ingredients are typically organized and grouped according to each recipe, with perishable items such as meats and dairy products kept separate and positioned closer to the ice packs.
To minimize environmental impact, Dinnerly strives to use recyclable materials for their packaging. This includes using cardboard boxes and insulation made from recycled materials, as well as ice packs that can be reused or disposed of responsibly.
Types of Meals Available
It’s hard to say precisely what you’ll get each week. The company works around the fresh local produce it can buy, and you will typically get a portion of protein, vegetables, and starch with each meal.
As the company does offer some vegetarian options, the protein might be in the form of lentils, quinoa, or something similar. At times, the company does offer gluten-free meals or keto-based meals. This is not always the case, though.
There’s also the chance of cross-contamination between food groups. Peanuts, for example, might be used in a recipe.
That could mean that some of the residue touches another ingredient, so it’s probably better for those who have severe food allergies to prep their food from scratch.
All of the meals are designed to cook in under half an hour and have a total of six high-quality ingredients. If you’re a harried parent with a brood to feed, you’ll love it.
If you’re a serious foodie, however, you might feel that the simple meals are a little bland. Nothing is stopping you from changing things up, though. Why not add in some extra ingredients and spice it up a little?
Dietary Restrictions and Allergies
While Dinnerly’s primary focus is on providing affordable meal options, they understand the importance of addressing the dietary requirements of their customers. Through thoughtful consideration and ingredient selection, Dinnerly strives to ensure that individuals with specific dietary needs can still enjoy their flavorful offerings.
By allowing customers to preview the contents of their meal packs, Dinnerly enables individuals to make informed choices based on their dietary restrictions or allergies. While they may not offer specialized meal plans for specific dietary needs, Dinnerly endeavors to include vegetarian options, and occasionally features gluten-free or keto-based meals.
It is important for individuals with severe food allergies to exercise caution due to the possibility of cross-contamination, as Dinnerly operates in a shared kitchen environment.
Dinnerly has set up their pricing so that the larger the number of meals you purchase in a week the less expensive each porition is.
If you order six meals per week for four people, the price drops to $4.99 per portion ($20 per meal). Ordering two meals per week for two people brings the price to $8.04 per portion ($16 per meal). Changing your order to be vegetarian does not affect the pricing.
The shipping fee is a flat $11.99 per weekly order. Making the four-person box with six meals even more affordable when compared to the two meal two-person box.
If you want to change to a different type of box or suspend your delivery, you can do this.
You do need to give the company about six days’ notice before your next delivery date. You can also opt to have food delivered every other week if this would work better for you.
All things considered, Dinnerly really is the most affordable meal delivery service available.
The company is part of the Marley Spoon Inc. group. Marley Spoon Inc. is headquartered in Germany, and started in 2014. It’s the same company that creates Martha Stewart’s meal kits and has a good deal of experience in this industry.
Yes, Dinnerly allows you to skip a week of deliveries. You can easily do this through your account settings or by contacting their customer support.
Yes, Dinnerly offers a variety of meal options that include meat. They provide a range of recipes that cater to different dietary preferences, including meat-based dishes.
Yes, Dinnerly does offer vegetarian options. While they may not have a separate vegan plan, they provide vegetarian-friendly recipes that exclude meat. However, it's important to note that Dinnerly meals may still contain dairy, eggs, or other non-vegan ingredients.
Dinnerly strives to accommodate certain dietary restrictions and allergies. They provide options for vegetarians and offer some flexibility in customizing meals. However, it's essential to review the ingredient lists and potential allergen information for each recipe to ensure they meet your specific needs.
No, Hello Fresh does not own Dinnerly Dinnerly is owned by Martha Steart and her company Marley Spoon.
Yes, Dinnerly does offer meals suitable for families with kids. While they don't have a specific family plan, many of their recipes are designed to serve multiple portions and can be enjoyed by both adults and children.
No, Dinnerly does not have a minimum subscription period. You can subscribe to Dinnerly and enjoy their meal kits without any long-term commitment. This provides flexibility, allowing you to pause or cancel your subscription whenever you need to.
With any of the meal subscription services you are going to get a mixed bag of customer reviews. We are talking about shipping food through the mail service so problems will happen.
We had a situation where a box came and it took much longer than expected, allowing the box to get warm and the meat to potentially be contaminated.
We contacted Dinnerly and they shipped a new box out within 24 hours. We were even able to keep some of the non-perishable items that were in the first box.
Overall, I would say that Dinnerly is competitive in the market with their customer service.
- Gobble: Might work better if you’d like to spend less time in the kitchen, and want lunches.
- Blue Apron: Could be a better choice if you want something a little more exciting.
- Farm Fresh to You: Delivers organic fresh fruit and vegetables.
Pros and Cons
- Low price leader of the meal kit plans on the market
- Easy-to-prep cooking process
- Can check the weekly menu upfront and decide if you’re interested or not
- Can choose up to three of the meals yourself
- Six simple, fresh ingredients per meal; everything you need for a balanced meal
- Cooking time limited to half an hour
- Flexible options
- Good old-fashioned cooking
- Ingredients properly packed for maximum freshness, and packaging is almost all recyclable
- Portion sizes tend to be larger
- You save because you get only enough to prep the meals
- Easy to cancel
- Much more convenient that meal planning and grocery shopping
- Better for you and less expensive than fast food
- No lunches or breakfasts
- Not foodie fare
- You’ll have to download the Dinnerly recipes
- Not a lot of specialized meals available
- You can’t opt for only gluten-free or keto meals
Dinnerly Review Final Thoughts
Dinnerly’s distinguishing feature lies in its commitment to providing economical meals without compromising on quality. By curating weekly recipes that require fewer ingredients, Dinnerly eliminates the need for elaborate and expensive pantry staples.
With their lean approach you will have everything you need to prepare a simple, basic meal. Overall, the company had to decide to cut costs somewhere—but instead of cutting back quality, they’ve cut back on the options.
By providing fewer options, they can manage costs and have been able to maintain their low cost leadership over the best meal delivery services. The focus is on producing healthy meals that are tasty and easy to make.