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.
WANT MORE HEALTHY EATING TIPS?
Are you too hard on yourself? Do you lie in bed at night running through all the ways you’ve failed or aren’t ‘good enough’? It’s essential to learn to be kind to yourself. Here are my go-to strategies when I need to be extra kind to myself.
The hashtag #celeryjuice has amassed over 80,000 photos on Instagram, with everyone from health bloggers to celebs espousing the benefits of the stalk-like vegetable. Read on to learn more about the celery juice trend and whether you should bother trying it.
They say you can never have too much of a good thing, but this isn’t the case for exercising or eating healthy. Here’s how to tell if you’re under eating or over exercising - and the steps to take to help you bring back balance.
Do you feel bloated after finishing a meal? Here’s how to know if it’s actually a health issue for you, and what to do if it is.
While I won’t pretend to know exactly what’s in store for this year, these are the things I’m most excited about in 2019 — in my career, health and life.
Diet new year’s resolutions don’t work, and they’re distracting you from setting goals that actually matter. Here are some inspiring new year’s resolutions you can set instead.
With free-flowing food, swimsuits and tonnes of photos being taken, the holidays can be a hard time to be confident and body positive. Here’s some things to keep in mind to help banish food guilt and feel good about yourself over the holidays.
Feeling guilty for not reaching your 2018 health goals or new years resolutions? If you didn’t smash all your 2018 health goals, have a read of this.
Confused by what foods are actually healthy for you? Here are 5 foods that normally get a bad rep for being unhealthy. Luckily, they’re actually healthy for you.
Looking for a new swimsuit that makes you feel good? Here are some of the best one-piece and bikini swimsuit brands in 2018.
Follow these 3 steps to boost your body image, without deleting Instagram. Transform social media from comparison trap to a confidence booster.
Some Instagram accounts can help you love your body. Here’s the BEST 12 body positive Instagram accounts that can boost body positivity.
There’s a simple reason why you don’t feel full after smoothies + how one small tweak can make the difference.
Here are 6 things you can do to stop feeling fat.
There are few very important things to keep in mind if you want to teach your children how to have a healthy relationship with food.
How many years have you wasted hating your body and wishing you looked like someone else? If you feel unhappy with your body and hate your weight, it’s time for a change.
I'm not sure why it's called the 'health' food aisle...
I used to hate my body (I mean like really hate my body). But now I love my body, something I never thought was possible! So, how do you go from hating your body to loving your body? Here’s 15 ways how I learned to love my body and be body confident.
I travel as much as I can, hopping on a plane about once a month. Here’s how I stay healthy when I travel.
Looking for the best restaurants and places to eat in Prague? I've got you sorted. Here is my list of the best places to eat in Prague in 2018.
Eat healthily, save money and reduce food waste.
Loving your body in a society that tells you not to is a radical act of self-love. I learned that having a supportive partner can help you learn to love your body.
You spent all week eating well but the scales don't reflect it. If you eat healthily and still can't lose weight, read this.
Face lotions and serums have a role to play, but what you put in your mouth really does show on the outside.
It's time to do good by your health. Stop asking for salads with dressing on the side.
With hundreds of yoghurts on display in the cold section of supermarkets, choosing a healthy yoghurt can be a daunting task. Here is a guide to help you choose a healthy yoghurt.
Which is the best meal delivery service in Australia? Read my review of the best meal delivery services in Australia right now - and find out which meal delivery service I'd choose.
Coconut oil is very trendy at the moment but is it really that good for you? Find out which oil I use every day and what I really think about coconut oil (and the superfood claims).
Want to eat healthier, for less? You don't have to eat beans and rice or give up your avocado addiction to eat healthy on the cheap. Here are some truly non-sucky ways to eat well, for less.
If you want to become a nutritionist or a dietitian, this is my honest advice on starting a career in nutrition. Find out how I got my nutrition career started, what I recommend for study and how much nutritionists and dietitians earn. Plus more!
LOOKING FOR HEALTHY RECIPES?
Best. Healthy. Appetiser! Big call - I know - but this healthy appetiser is seriously great to take to a party. It’s got texture and flavour PLUS it’s super easy. My friends loved it. I bet your friends will too… Enjoy making this delicious recipe!
This quick and easy healthy dinner recipe is going to spice up your midweek meals. With a few basic, everyday ingredients and one-pan - you’ll pull together a delicious and healthy dinner the whole family will enjoy.
Here’s a quick and easy midweek dinner option. I’ve snuck vegetables into these delicious patties so they’re a fabulous for lowering your grocery bill and boosting your health by eating less meat.
This soup is seriously delicious and simple recipe. Perfect for meal prep or mid-week dinners.
This is comfort food made healthy! It's rich, it's creamy and also loaded with six sneaky serves of vegetables - making it ideal for kids and adults alike.
Warning: You're going to want to eat the entire tray of these crispy sweet potato curly fries. Good thing they’re healthy and easy to make!
Mornings just got a whole lot more cosy and tasty with this 5-minute breakfast. Perfect breakfast for cold mornings.
Finally! A delicious smoothie recipe that easy to make AND keeps me full for hours. I’ve been waiting for you a long time…
No time to cook? Make dinner great again with this 20 minute super-simple recipe. Faster and more convenient than takeaway. But the best bit? Minimal cleaning up.
Want a simple, yet healthier lasagne without the fuss? This healthy lasagne is the best comfort food. It’ll help you eat healthily on a budget and it’s vegetarian, so it’s perfect for meat-free Monday.
My mum makes the BEST Thai Corn Soup. I turned it into a healthy version that doesn’t compromise on flavour. This healthy recipe is great for meal prep, if you’re on a budget or love meat-free Mondays.
A surprisingly quick and easy breakfast idea for a seriously healthy start to your day.
This super simple one tray salmon bake is a game-changer for mid-week meals.
This one-tray balsamic chicken is a perfectly balanced meal to make for a mid-week dinner (or meal prep)!
This Loaded Greek Salad is one of my favourite recipes. It uses everyday ingredients to create something really special... in a matter of minutes.
One pot and just a few key ingredients, this easy (and cheap!) recipe will create a delicious meal. Make it for Meat-free Monday and you'll have plenty of leftovers to enjoy throughout the week.
A delicious 4-ingredient treat. I pretty much just took the yummiest ingredients and blitzed them up into a recipe. How could it not be good?
This is an easy, classic and oh-so-delicious salad recipe to add to your repertoire. It's perfect for meal prep...!
With only four ingredients, this simple salad is perfect for mid-week meals (or entertaining).
The perfect Summer BBQ salad to impress friends and family. Add this healthy recipe to your repertoire when you're next entertaining.
You're busy? Me too! So here is an easy and healthy mid-week Eggplant Parmigiana. You pretty much throw all the ingredients into a tray so it's kinda hard to mess up. Enjoy!
You'll want oodles of these zoodles with this delicious creamy avocado dressing. Topped with flakey almonds, bright cherry tomatoes and crumbled feta cheese, I know you're going to love this healthy recipe.
When you make your own muesli or granola, it's often a lot healthier because you know exactly what goes into it. Try my homemade toasted muesli (granola) recipe for a healthier breakfast cereal.
This soup is so filling and healthy. I'll meal prep this recipe ahead of a busy week. It's a great way to get through veggies in the fridge and feed the family a really nourishing meal for less.
Tomatoes are at their best during Spring and Summer and this simple 4-ingredient Tomato and Feta Salad is a winner, especially for BBQ season. Swap the boring same-same salad for this simply wonderful dish.
This quick and easy overnight oats is wonderful for busy mornings. You can meal prep them on the weekend ahead of a busy week.
I'm so excited about this recipe. You should know up front that I can’t bake very well. I’m quite impatient, particularly when chocolate is involved. But even I could make this delicious Chocolate Banana Bread Recipe easily. It's so good!!!
Chocolate and Hazelnuts... two flavours that are meant for each other! This healthier version of a choc-hazelnut spread has only 4 ingredients, is super easy to make and did I mention it tastes amazing too?
Introducing Cauliflower Steaks - A healthier alternative to the BBQ grill. You've probably eaten cauliflower as rice, mashed, boiled and baked - but have you ever tried grilling it on the BBQ?
This is my favourite baked sweet potato recipe. It's a classic. I keep coming back to it because it's really that good. The sweet potatoes caramelises. It's the perfect recipe for batch cooking or meal prep.