By Sage Lazzaro
Finally, a meal kit that won’t break the bank.
If the price of subscription meal services is the only thing keeping you from living your best life of convenient home cooked meals, you’re in luck. A new player called Dinnerly is serving up meal kits at half the price of Blue Apron, Hello Fresh and their competitors without skimping on taste or quality. I received the company’s first box for a trial last week, and I’m giving it a big thumbs up. The tacos were delicious, the spaghetti and meatballs were a classic, and the flatbread was a completely new dish for me to cook that I would definitely make again. Over the past two years, I’ve tried and reviewed 10 different services of this type and have never ordered any of them beyond my experiments. But at this price, cheap ol’ me would actually maybe pay money for this.
The whole premise behind Dinnerly is that it’s meant to be a budget-friendly alternative to what’s already out there. While all the other meal kits charge at least $10 per serving, every dish from Dinnerly—which is a new branch of Marley Spoon—will run you only $5 per serving. But a cheap price doesn’t mean a cheap product—the company is serving only high quality ingredients like grass-fed beef and antibiotic-free chicken.
So how is this possible? Dinnerly is keeping is costs down in three main ways.
The quick cost-saver is that the Dinnerly minimized its packaging and provides online recipe cards rather than printing them for you. This also reduces wastefulness, so that’s a win-win in my book!
Second, the menu is fixed, meaning there are three meals offered by the company each week and that’s what you get. This is the only major difference between Dinnerly and most of the other subscription meal plans that let you choose from a selection of eight to as many as several dozen meals. Some people may want to pay the $10 or more and go with a company that lets you choose, but if you don’t care, enjoy the surprise, can’t be bothered to choose or are willing to get past the lack of flexibility to save a few bucks, Dinnerly will do just fine.
The third cost-saver is that the meals are also relatively simple and feature only a handful of ingredients—six or fewer per dish, only one or two of which require chopping. The total preparation time for each dish is 30 minutes or less. Not all, but many, of the meals offered by other companies are more in-depth with a lot of ingredients, steps and some sophisticated cooking techniques. Some take almost an hour to prepare. I’ve cooked roughly 40 meals from these services, but I was probably exhausted of the concept by only the 7th or 8th. These meal kits are supposed to simplify our lives, but the truth is that after a long day of work, it takes a lot of energy to follow a complicated recipe. It’s funny that what was supposed to be just a cost saver ended up being one of the things I liked most about Dinnerly.
The three meals I tried were grass-fed beef tacos, spaghetti with meatballs and a Veggie flatbread pizza with ricotta, spinach and peppers. It was all tasty, and I’m even wishing I had another flatbread now while typing this. In addition to delivering flavor, each recipe was quick and simple. Everything was packaged nicely and labeled for easy use. I can’t think of a single complaint.
In conclusion, Dinnerly is 100 percent ZoomRoom approved.
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