Is Meal Delivery a Bargain? We Compared Prices (Here's What We Found)

Is Meal Delivery a Bargain? We Compared Prices (Here's What We Found)

Eating healthy can be a constant challenge, especially when busy schedules leave little time for meal prep or grocery shopping. Thankfully, meal delivery services offer a convenient solution, delivering pre-portioned or pre-cooked meals right to your door! But with so many options available, how do you choose the right one for your budget? 

This post dives into the pricing comparison of five popular meal delivery services: Sakara, Thistle, Factor, Daily Harvest, and Gardencup. We'll compare the pricing, customization options, and unique features of popular meal delivery services to find the most cost-effective options for you. 

Meal delivery services typically follow two main pricing structures:

  • Per-meal pricing: This model charges a set price for each meal, offering flexibility but potentially higher overall costs.
  • Plan-based pricing: Services offer set meal plans with a set number of meals per week at a discounted price per serving. This is generally a more cost-effective option, especially for those who order frequently.

Comparing Meal Delivery Services: 

Let's take a closer look at each meal delivery service and analyze their pricing, customization options, and unique features:

Sakara Life 

Sakara Life focuses on providing organic, chef-crafted meals centered around clean, whole foods. They offer a per-meal pricing structure, with individual entrees ranging from $12.99 to $16.99. While convenient, costs can add up, especially for multiple people. Additionally, Sakara offers a limited selection of breakfast and lunch options, which may require additional grocery shopping to supplement.


Thistle is a meal delivery service that prioritizes healthy, prepared meals. They specialize in plant-based options using fresh ingredients, locally sourced from both the East and West Coasts. While their focus is mainly on vegetarian dishes, they also offer some meals with animal protein such as chicken and pork. Thistle's lunches start at $12.50, making them a competitive option for those seeking nutritious meals without a hefty price. 


Factor, also known as Factor75 and Factor_, is a meal delivery service specializing in health and wellness. They offer a rotating menu of fresh, single-serving meals designed by registered dietitians and prepared by culinary experts. They target individuals with active lifestyles, specific dietary requirements, or those seeking conveniently portioned, pre-made meals for one on busy days. Meals start at $11 per portion. 

Daily Harvest 

Daily Harvest is a plant-based meal delivery service known for its variety of frozen options. Initially offering smoothies, their menu has expanded to include over 100 choices such as breakfast bowls, savory bowls, flatbreads, soups, vegan "mylk," and raw energy balls called Bites. Additionally, they provide packaged plant-based pasta and grain-and-legume mixes. All Daily Harvest items are vegan, gluten-free, and free from additives or preservatives. Their items start at $7.99, however, their meals may not be filling for everyone. 


Gardencup offers a meal service featuring a variety of delicious, protein-packed meals including salads, soups, grain bowls, and snacks delivered in a cold-insulated box, ready to eat upon arrival. With dressings and toppings included, customers can customize their own pack of ready-to-eat meals to accommodate various dietary needs. Each Gardencup is prepared to order on the same day it ships out, ensuring freshness. The meals typically remain fresh for about a week after delivery, with optimal taste within 5-6 days. Gardencup meals start at $8.99. 

Now that we've explored the pricing structures and offerings of these popular meal delivery services, it's time to make a choice!

Gardencup: A Closer Look at a Budget-Friendly Choice 

While all these services offer healthy and convenient options, Gardencup is the "pear-fect" fit! It stands out for several reasons: 

Cost-Effectiveness: With meals starting at $8.99, Gardencup offers competitive pricing within the market. While Daily Harvest boasts lower starting prices, their portion sizes might not be as satisfying for everyone.

Customization: Gardencup allows you to personalize your meals to fit your dietary preferences, unlike services like Sakara with a limited selection.

Variety: Gardencup offers a diverse menu including salads, soups, grain bowls, and snacks, catering to a wider range of cravings compared to services like Thistle with primarily vegetarian options.

Freshness: Meals are prepared the day they ship, ensuring peak freshness, unlike frozen options from Daily Harvest.

Gardencup Offers Flexibility, Convenience, and Healthy Options

But Gardencup isn't just about affordability and variety. It's about empowering you to make healthy choices that fit your lifestyle. Here's how:

No Commitment: Gardencup allows you to order exactly what you need, when you need it, reducing food waste and saving money. You can skip, pause, or cancel your orders. You are in control!

Dietary Flexibility: With a range of protein options and customizable toppings, Gardencup caters to a variety of dietary needs, making it a great option for individuals or families with diverse preferences.

Quick and Easy: Meals arrive ready to eat, eliminating the need for cooking or grocery shopping, and freeing up valuable time in your busy schedule.

While all the services explored offer convenient and healthy options, Gardencup stands out for its budget-friendly pricing, customization options, diverse menu, and emphasis on fresh, high-quality ingredients. Whether you’re a picky eater, have a large family to feed, or a busy professional on the go, Gardencup caters to your needs.


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