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Which meal kits offer the best discounts?

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A smart switching strategy can help you save money

Let's face it – the times they are a changin'. Petrol prices are up, energy bills are up and even the weekly grocery bill is up. So it may be time to cut back. One service that might be on the chopping block is that convenient but ultimately discretionary spend on a weekly meal kit.

Services such as HelloFresh, Marley Spoon and EveryPlate are easy ways to shake up that weekly menu, but when the initial discounts end they can create ongoing expenses that add up quickly over time.

Meal kit service discounts

Just like switching banks or mortgage lenders can save money, switching meal kit services, taking advantage of their reactivation discounts and referral systems is a good way to hack a sequence that saves you money in the long run. To see how this works, let's first take a look at the initial costs of the 5 nationally available meal kit services: Dinnerly, EveryPlate, HelloFresh, Marley Spoon and Pepper Leaf.

It's clear that initially, EveryPlate offers the cheapest service with the lowest average discounted weekly cost and the lowest weekly cost after the initial discount period. HelloFresh has the highest initial discount at 35% compared to EveryPlate's 30% and Marley Spoon's 31%. If this was all there was to account for, the choice would be easy – switching to EveryPlate would be the biggest money-saving option.

However, some meal kit services offer further discounts after a customer suspends their service to entice them to resubscribe. From a brief survey of Finder employees and coupon websites there are, at the time of writing, at least 2 services offering discounts for customers to reactivate their subscriptions.

Switching meal kit services

With these additional discounts in mind we can see how you could save money by switching services for at least 6 months. By doing this you can take advantage of the initial discounts and the repeat discounts for resubscribing or reactivating. Compared to staying with a single service, switching services comes out as the cheapest option with an average weekly cost of $50 over 6 months that adds up to $1,203 cumulatively. This saves $51 compared to paying for EveryPlate across those 6 months, $200 compared to Dinnerly, $811 compared to Pepper Leaf, $532 compared to HelloFresh and $652 compared to Marley Spoon.

The switching sequence shown in the chart below saves you money by initially subscribing to a run of EveryPlate for 4 weeks, switching to HelloFresh for 5 weeks, then Marley Spoon for 4 weeks, switching back to HelloFresh for 4 weeks, then switching back to Marley Spoon for 3 weeks, then finally switching to Dinnerly for 4 weeks. Interestingly, Dinnerly, although being the second most expensive initially, ends up being the second cheapest after 6 months. While HelloFresh is initially the second cheapest, after 6 months the ongoing costs make it the third most expensive.

Switching services can be a useful way to save money and still maintain a meal kit box every week for 6 months. In the current economic climate, services are likely to compete further and keeping an eye out for seasonal discounts could potentially save you even more.

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