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Can You Order Meal Kits Without a Subscription?

Ordering meal kits can save time and bring a lot of convenience into your life. However, sometimes, you may not need weekly or even monthly deliveries, depending on your lifestyle. And because of this, signing up for a subscription may not be the ideal way to get meal kits delivered to your home.

Meal kit services acquire customers through subscriptions. Therefore, most will not deliver orders without a subscription outside of their trial period. However, with subscriptions, you can skip weeks within 5 to 7 days of a scheduled delivery, which gives you more control over when you receive your meal kits.

Subscriptions can often be expensive and provide too many meals for some customers’ preferences. If this sounds like you, keep reading to learn all you need to know about meal kit services and their subscription processes!

How to Order Meal Kits Without a Subscription

The goal of meal kit delivery services is to gain subscriptions, and therefore, they make it hard to order without subscribing. Although this can be frustrating, most services offer a subscription-free trial period where customers can try their meals without buying into a subscription.

This can be an ideal option for those who are just looking to use a meal kit service every once in a while. If meal kits are not a frequent purchase for you, check out which services offer subscription-free trials and use up all of those before deciding if a subscription is right for you!

Alternatively, if you simply get too many meals delivered to you when you’re on a subscription, try skipping weeks or months of deliveries.

This enables you to choose how often you’d like to receive meals so that you aren’t getting more than you can consume.

It also takes some of the stress out of your subscription while still giving you meal kits whenever you want them. You get the best of both worlds in this situation!

How to Skip Weeks on Meal Kit Subscriptions

Since the fine print on skipping weeks can differ between services, be sure to read through your chosen services’ policies to avoid unwanted meals or charges.

If you’re buying Hello Fresh meals, you can skip a few easy steps.

  1. Log into your account and head to your menu
  2. Select which delivery week you want to skip
  3. You’ll see “Edit Delivery”, click that then continue to select “Skip this week”

With these three simple steps, you can skip any weeks you’d like. With Hello Fresh, you simply need to skip within 5 days of your next scheduled delivery to give the company enough time to cancel the order for that week.

While you can cancel a delivery within 5 days, you can also look ahead and cancel any that you know you won’t need in the weeks to come.

However, keep in mind that not all services have the same time window for canceling a week’s delivery.

If you order from Sun Basket, they ask that you make changes to your schedule before their “weekly deadline,” which falls on Wednesday at 12 pm PST/3 pm EST every week.

If you’re unable to cancel by then, Sun Basket will not be able to accommodate a skipped week.

In addition, with Sun Basket, you can only cancel up to 6 weeks in advance. While this may sound like plenty of time, it’s something to make a note of to ensure that you don’t forget to cancel a delivery down the line.

When you log in to your Sun Basket account, you’ll see a list of scheduled deliveries. And to the right, you’ll see a button that says “Skip.” This simple process makes it easy for customers to take a week off their services and even gives them the ability to “Unskip.”

While all meal kit services vary slightly in their skipping process, they follow similar guidelines to ensure customers have as much control over their subscriptions as possible.

This makes it easy for everyone to feel comfortable subscribing to the service, knowing that they will not have to stick to the given schedule every week.   

Meal Kits vs. Grocery Shopping: Which Is Cheaper?

Meal kits are a great way to avoid time-consuming cooking while also learning new recipes. They are also a great way to avoid excessive food waste that can accumulate from grocery shopping. However, these services are not cheaper than grocery shopping, with each meal kit service averaging $8 to $10 a meal.

The average cost of meal kits is significantly cheaper than going to a restaurant but more expensive than cooking from scratch with groceries.

Therefore, if you are someone who is going out to eat several times a week and is instead looking for meal kits, you will likely save money by making the switch!

If you are someone who is usually going to the grocery store to buy all of your items and make your meals from scratch, you will find that you spend more on meal delivery services than you did by simply buying all the ingredients to make these meals yourself.

This is a prime example of why many consumers do not wish to receive these kits weekly, as they can add up cost-wise by the end of the month.

Using the skipping tool on each meal service, you will save money on all of these services and use them as an alternative to going out to eat rather than an alternative to grocery shopping.

Skipping deliveries can also be a great way to use meal kits to maximize convenience and cost-effectiveness.

Final Thoughts

Although meal services like the number one rated Home Chef, the increasingly popular Sun Basket, or the all-in-one grocery and recipe service Hungryroot require subscriptions, there are ways to navigate the subscription to use it to your advantage.

One of the best ways to avoid subscriptions, especially when first testing out meal kit services, is by using the subscription-free trial week that many of the services offer. This gives you a chance to pay the weekly fee once and get meals to test out and see if you’d like to subscribe.

While this is a tactic to get customers to buy into their delicious recipes, you can also use it as a way to avoid subscriptions by cycling through each meal kit company until you’ve run out of trials.

If you find a meal kit service you do like, you should not feel nervous about subscribing, knowing that you can cancel weeks whenever you’d like. This gives you more control over how much you’re spending and how much food you are constantly receiving from your chosen service. It can also decrease food waste and take the stress out of your subscription!

If you’re choosing to skip weeks on your service, be sure you are clear on exactly what your service requires you to skip properly. Since each meal kit company has different rules for the timing of canceling an order, read about their policy before choosing your service, as some may be more convenient than others.

However, as a general rule, most subscription services will require you to cancel within 5 to 7 days of your next delivery to give them ample time to plan their weekly deliveries.

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About the Author

Eril Eti is the founder of He has over a decade of experience in consumer goods and launched many products sold at retailers like Walmart, Costco, Amazon, Target, Kroger, Publix, and more.

Eril loves food, traveling, and trying out new restaurants. Outside of work, you can find him on a hiking trail in New England or playing soccer with his kids.

November 9, 2022