REVIEW: The best meal delivery services in Australia
It's 2018 and there are just so many options when it comes to choosing the best meal delivery service for you.
If you find you're constantly getting take away, then a meal delivery service might be a good way for you to save money, reduce food waste and eat a little healthier.
To help you out, here is my review of the best meal delivery services in Australia.
Dinnerly is the sister company of Marley Spoon and launched in March 2018. Dinnerly is the cheapest meal delivery service by far because they don't spend big on marketing, printing and high-cost ingredients, instead opting for carrots, corn and peas. If you're budget conscious, Dinnerly works out to $6.50 per meal (including delivery), about half the price of the others.
The catch? You'll need to commit to three meals a week and you don't get to choose what you want to eat. Not ideal if you have fussy eaters. Meals are generally around 500-800 calories serving. Tip: Add an extra serve of veg (like a rocket parmesan salad) to make it a little healthier.
Dinnerly Review Rating: 6.5/10
Like Dinnerly, Hello Fresh will send you all the ingredients you need to make a meal from scratch, except for things like eggs, oil, salt and pepper. For HelloFresh, you'll pay around $11-12 per meal (when you're a couple getting three meals a week). It's cheaper if you get more meals a week or get the family option.
Compared with Dinnerly, you get more options including a vegetarian choice. Meals are generally around 500-800 calories serving, and I'd also be adding a serve of leafy greens to up the nutrition.
Hello Fresh Review rating: 7/10
Marley Spoon Review
Compared to all the meal delivery services, I found it the easiest to make a healthy choice with Marley Spoon. With this meal delivery service, you also get more flexibility, customisation so you get to choose what you want to eat each week. This is good for fussy eaters. I also really like that you can do a minimum of two nights worth of meals, whereas Dinnerly and HelloFresh make you commit to three nights a week. Like the others, Marley Spoon meals are generally around 500-800 calories serving.
As with Dinnerly and Hello Fresh, I also wish Marley Spoon gave you more vegetables per serving. If it were me, I'd add an extra serve (or two) of veg (like a leafy green salad) and see if I could stretch the meal to get another serving size.
Marley Spoon Review rating: 8/10
Unlike the other meal delivery services mentioned so far, YouFoodz comes pre-cooked so you only have to warm it up. Compared to the others, it's much lower in calories though that doesn't automatically make it healthier for you.
I wouldn't recommend signing up for a week-long program/meal plan because that's a diet, and diets don't work but you might want to consider getting a couple of meals instead of takeaway. You can order online but you'll now see YouFoodz sold in convenience stores and supermarkets as well. If you're a student, new mum or cooking for one, this might be a good back up to keep handy.
YouFoodz review rating: 7/10
Lite'n'easy is a diet, even if they say it isn't. And so when you get Lite'n'Easy, expect to eat lots of diet food. When I struggled with my weight, I tried Light'n'Easy for a while but I got so sick of eating the average tasting, low-calorie food. While I lost weight, I couldn't keep it off because the program didn't teach me to cook. To keep the weight off, I would have had to keep eating that food for the rest of my life. And I really wasn't willing to do that.
Like YouFoodz, Lite'n'Easy meals come pre-cooked. But as you can see from the below screenshot from their website, the options at Lite'n'easy are not very inspiring.
Lite'n'easy Review Rating: 3/10
Muscle Meals Review
This meal delivery service also comes pre-cooked and is targeted at gym buffs. Muscle Meals provide you with high protein, calorie-controlled meals that hit your macronutrient target but bore your taste buds. Like Lite'n'easy, I think this is diet food so I'm not a fan. I do think it serves a purpose for people who don't have time to cook and train intensely.
If you're ok to eat average tasting food that ticks macronutrients, this might be for you. But to be honest, I wouldn't recommend it to a friend. If you're really into nutrition, you can easily make this food yourself.
Muscle Meals Review Rating: 5/10
Verdict: Which is the BEST meal delivery service in Australia?
What meal delivery service would I choose?
If I had to choose a meal delivery service, I think I'd go with Marley Spoon because it has the most variety and flexibility.
Next best would be HelloFresh. But for all of them, I'd add in a side salad to every main meal and reduce the portion size so that one meal (i.e two servings) stretched to three servings. That way, I'd save money, sneak in more vegetables and naturally make the meals leaner.
Of the pre-cooked meal delivery services, I'd get YouFoods as a last minute back-up because I think it's a much better choice than getting takeaway. I see how it could be really useful if you're a uni student, new mum or older person and simply aren't getting around the cooking.
Meal delivery services can be helpful to teach you how to cook. Once you feel more confident, try to come off the service and cook your own delicious healthy recipes.
Note: I really wish all these companies could find a way to use less plastic to reduce waste!
Disclaimer: This is a 100% independent review. I have not received any money or product from these companies. I haven't taste tested all of the options (except Lite'n'easy many moons ago) though I've spoken with lots of friends who have. This review is based on price, nutrition and convenience.
About the Author: Hey! I'm Lyndi Cohen, a food-loving Australian Dietitian known as The Nude Nutritionist. I share free healthy eating tips on my blog and healthy recipes that are easy and good-for-you.