Dinnerly bills itself as the most affordable meal kit on the market and a quick comparison of prices shows that they’re not making that part 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.
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 site 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 the recipe cards digitally 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 perfect for:
- Parents who need healthy meals 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.
It won’t be a hit with:
- Gourmands, as these are not fancy meals.
- Those who like a lot of variety.
- People who have special dietary requirements.
- Those that don’t like veggies.
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 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 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?
You’ll pay from $4.49 per portion and a flat fee of $8.99 per week for shipping. The minimum order is for three meals, so you’re looking at around $36 a week for three meals for up to two people.
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.
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.
- 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
- The most reasonably priced of the meal kit plans on the market
- Easy-to-prep meals
- Can check the 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
- No lunches or breakfasts
- Not foodie fare
- You’ll have to download the recipes
- Not a lot of specialized meals available
- You can’t opt for only gluten-free or keto meals
Dinnerly Review Final Thoughts
With Dinnerly, you will have everything you need to prepare a simple, basic meal. Overall, the company had to decide to cut costs somewhere to offer affordable meals—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 price leadership over the best meal kit services. The focus is on producing healthy meals that are tasty and easy to make.