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Food & Drink

10 best food subscription boxes 2024

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Recipe boxes bring new and exciting meals to your front door every week, and new subscription services seem to pop up all the time. Here are our top picks, plus the best introductory offers.

delivery box with food subscription company logos

Credit: blackzheep (background) – Shutterstock

We all get bored of our usual repertoire of meals every now and then. But spending time discovering new recipes can be tiring if you're lacking inspiration – especially when you're not blessed with the necessary skills in the kitchen.

Fortunately, recipe boxes and meal delivery services are here to save the day. From presenting you with new culinary delights to try, to giving you the exact quantity you need of each ingredient, it's never been easier to bring some excitement to dinnertime. And giving you the exact quantities should also mean it reduces food waste.

Of course, this convenience comes at a cost and you'll often save more money cooking from scratch yourself. However, as a treat, recipe boxes are generally a healthier alternative to takeaways, and when you use the special offers we've listed below, they might just be cheaper too!

If you can't afford to get a recipe box every week, our weekly meal plan is full of cheap, healthy and delicious ideas to try.

Best meal box delivery services UK

These are the best food subscription box services:

  1. HelloFresh

    hellofresh logo

    • Serves – Two to four
    • Number of meals – Two to five meals a week depending on the number of people
    • Cost – £3.15 – £5.17 per serving
    • Signup offer – £15 off each of your first four boxes.

    HelloFresh is one of the most popular recipe box services in the UK. It's perfect if you're looking to spruce up your arsenal of recipes with something new.

    HelloFresh's recipe boxes contain exactly the right quantity of each ingredient, eliminating the risk of food waste and massively reducing the effort required when cooking. After all, who actually knows how much pasta to cook?

    Each week there are dozens of recipes to choose from. And as with many other recipe boxes, you can also refine the selection based on your own preferences (just select one of 'Mostly Meat', 'Veggie', 'Family', 'Quick Cook', 'Calorie Smart' or 'Pescatarian', 'Flexitarian' or 'Protein Rich' when you sign up).

    What's more, HelloFresh also has an app available on both iPhone and Android, making it even easier to manage your upcoming meal delivery.

    Get your recipe box »


  2. Gousto

    gousto logo

    • Serves – One to five
    • Number of meals – Two to five meals a week depending on the number of people
    • Cost – £2.99 – £9.50 per serving
    • Signup offer – 60% off the first box and 25% off all remaining boxes for two months.

    Alongside HelloFresh, Gousto is arguably the biggest meal delivery service going. With the price per serving starting at less than £3, it's one of the cheapest too.

    Gousto is one of the few meal delivery companies in the UK to offer one-person recipe boxes – perfect if you live alone, or don't fancy cooking with your flatmates. Although it's worth remembering that cooking in bulk, particularly with our meal plan, is one of the best ways to save money on food.

    Gousto boasts over 75 recipes each week and helpfully sorts them into different categories, from '10-Minute Meals' to 'Prepped in 5', and even a collection of favourites picked by the celebrity fitness coach, Joe Wicks.

    Ingredients are, once again, measured to perfection, and you can even filter the recipes and find those that suit your dietary needs, be it plant-based, gluten-free, dairy-free or vegetarian.

    Get your recipe box »


  3. SimplyCook

    simply cook logo

    • Serves – Two to four people depending on portion sizes
    • Number of meals – Four a week, fortnight or month
    • Cost – £9.99 per box
    • Signup offer – Four recipes free with £1 postage.

    SimplyCook is a little different to most meal subscription services, in that rather than getting all of the ingredients in your delivery, you just get the 'flavour pots' instead.

    In SimplyCook's own words, these pots aren't just straight herbs and spices – they're "unique flavour blends" with up to 18 ingredients in each. In theory, you'll be getting a much more intense taste than if you'd just made your own dressing, sauce, or whatever else.

    Of course, the fact that you only get flavour pots, and not every ingredient, makes calculating the true cost of a SimplyCook meal that bit harder. But with the cost of each meal's pots coming in at £2.50, you'll look at around £3 – £6 per person depending on portion sizes and the number of people you're serving.

    Fortunately, you won't need to use much brain power beyond calculating the cost. When you choose the recipes you want to make (there are over 140, most of which have thousands of reviews each), SimplyCook will also tell you exactly how much of the remaining ingredients you need to buy too.

    Get your recipe box »


  4. Mindful Chef

    mindful chef logo

    • Serves – One to four people
    • Number of meals – Two to five a week depending on the number of people
    • Cost – £4.75 – £10+ per portion
    • Signup offer – 25% off your first four boxes.

    As the name suggests, one of Mindful Chef's USPs is how socially and environmentally conscious the company aims to be. As well as using organic and free-range produce, plus having an extensive selection of vegan meal delivery options, this recipe box company will donate one meal to a child in poverty for every one you purchase.

    However, all this comes at a cost. The single-person recipe boxes start at around £10 per portion, which isn't far off what you'd pay for a meal at some restaurants.

    Separate from the recipe boxes, Mindful Chef also offers ready-meal delivery bundles. These can be prepared in the microwave or oven, with some taking as little as eight minutes to cook.

    If you're keen to try Mindful Chef's recipe boxes, use the code AFF25X4 to get 25% off your first four boxes.

    Get your recipe box »


  5. allplants

    allplants logo

    • Serves – One or two people
    • Number of meals – £30 minimum spend (approx six meals) every one to six weeks
    • Cost – £5.75 – £7.50 per portion (single portions), £4.48 – £5.63 per portion (double portions)
    • Signup offer – 30% off your first three boxes.

    When they say 'allplants', they're not lying – allplants' dishes are 100% plant-based, with veggie alternatives to all the most popular meat recipes and some vegan originals too.

    Every single one of allplants' meals is prepared by chefs and designed by a nutritionist, which may explain how all of their dishes manage to achieve being low in sugar, a source of protein and containing at least two of your five-a-day.

    Although the price point is a little higher than some of the other recipe box services on this list, allplants only sells frozen ready meals which can be cooked in the microwave or the oven.

    What you spend in cash, you save in time – perfect if you're looking for some brain food to see you through a last-minute revision session and can't afford to spend an hour cooking.

    Right now, you can get 30% off your first three orders using our link below!

    Get allplants discount code »


  6. Pasta Evangelists

    pasta evangelists logo

    • Serves – One to two people
    • Number of meals – Unlimited
    • Cost – £5.85 – £10+ per portion (varies weekly)
    • Signup offer – 35% off your first two orders with our code.

    No prizes for guessing what Pasta Evangelists specialises in. But we must say, having tried this fresh pasta for ourselves, we can attest to it being as delicious as you could hope for.

    Each week Pasta Evangelists offers a dozen or so different dishes for you to choose from, including vegetarian and gluten-free meals, plus some Italian desserts and starters. But, unlike other food subscription boxes, there's no limit to the number of meals you can add to a single order.

    This may seem wasteful, but Pasta Evangelists' meals can be frozen, meaning you can buy several weeks' worth of food at once if you like what's on offer in any given week.

    Cheap and easy to prepare, pasta recipes are an all-time favourite for students. While this food delivery box is far from frugal, the meals are arguably some of the easiest to make of all the subscription services on this list.

    Pasta Evangelists also offers a student discount, getting you £10 off your first two takeaway orders. However, even with the money off, it still works out pretty expensive. It may be best to keep this meal box service in reserve as a cheaper takeaway alternative or a date night treat.

    And right now, you can get 35% off your first two orders by entering the code SAVETHESTUDENT35 at the checkout.

    Get your recipe box »


  7. Riverford Organic Recipe Boxes

    riverford organic farmers logo

    • Serves – Two or four people
    • Number of meals – Unlimited
    • Cost – Approximately £6 – £11 per portion (varies weekly)
    • Signup offer – None.

    The clue is in the name – all of Riverford's recipe boxes contain organic ingredients, with a selection of meals that change every week.

    Riverford's offering caters to a wide range of requirements, with vegan recipe boxes among the categories. You'll receive the exact quantity needed of each ingredient in your Riverford delivery, along with what they describe as "easy step-by-step- instructions" to cook your meal.

    Buying organic is rarely an effective way of saving money on food. The same is true of Riverford's recipe boxes. Although there can be discounts available for buying multiple recipes at once, the starting price of at least £6 per portion is pretty steep. And if you're buying anything other than a family recipe box, you're likely to be paying even more.

    Get your recipe box »


  8. Chefly

    chefly logo

    • Serves – One
    • Number of meals – Between six and 40 a week
    • Cost – Between £7.49 – £8.24 per meal
    • Signup offer – £10 off your first delivery of 6 meals.

    Most of the other recipe boxes on this list will save you time going to the shop, but you'll still have to spend time in the kitchen preparing your meal.

    Chefly takes it a step further. All you have to do is heat their meals in the microwave or oven. And, unlike most microwave meals, they're healthy and delicious.

    Chefly doesn't use any artificial or chemical preservatives and all their packaging is recyclable. The only downside is that the meals aren't as cheap as your regular microwave meal.

    Get your recipe box »


  9. Grubby

    Grubby logo

    • Serves – Two to three people ('Regular box') or four to five people ('Family box')
    • Number of meals – Between two and four a week
    • Cost – Between £5.75 – £6.75 per meal
    • Signup offer – Students get 50% off the first box and 30% off the following three boxes.

    If you're looking for an environmentally friendly food subscription box, Grubby is the way to go. Along with providing 100% plant-based recipes, their packaging is 100% recyclable and compostable – 95% of it is produced in the UK. Free delivery is included to most of the UK, and all deliveries in London are made by bike.

    They even go a step further and donate one meal to vulnerable children for every box sold.

    You can get 50% student discount on your first box, and 30% off the three boxes afterwards.

    Get your recipe box »


  10. Green Chef

    Green Chef logo

    • Serves – Two or four people
    • Number of meals – Two to five meals a week depending on the number of people
    • Cost – Between £5.50 – £8.25 per meal
    • Signup offer – Students get up to 50% off the first box and 25% off the following four boxes.

    For an array of super healthy recipes, Green Chef offers recipe boxes with six different diet options. You can choose between vegan, vegetarian, pescetarian, flexitarian, keto and lower carb.

    You just need to pick which of the diet options you're following and they'll provide you with delicious, healthy meals which are ready within 30 minutes.

    Right now there's an introductory student discount of up to 50% off your first box, then 25% off your next four boxes.

    Get your recipe box »


Once you've learned how to make some new meals, save copies of the recipes and buy the ingredients for less at the cheapest online supermarkets.

Tom Allingham

WRITTEN BY Tom Allingham

Tom joined Save the Student in 2017, initially heading up the editorial team before becoming Communications Director. He has appeared as a Student Finance expert on a range of TV and radio stations including the BBC, ITV and Sky, sharing his top tips for saving money and cutting student bills.
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