Value-for-money dining options

Meal kits will demand more of your time and energy but they'll also cost a little less per serving. Prepared meals require almost no time and energy, other than what it takes to actually eat the food, but typically run a few bucks more per serving. While most meal delivery services have healthy options, some are much healthier than others.

If you're keen on eating low-calorie, low-carb, plant-based or pescatarian food, certain meal kits and meal delivery services will be better than others. Our list of the healthiest meal delivery services for is a good place to find all the most nutritious options.

Number of meals per week. With almost every service, the more meals or servings your order per delivery, the cheaper it becomes per meal. But you'll want to hone in on exactly how much food makes sent for your household.

If you can't imagine yourself cooking more than twice per week, don't order more than two meal kits because they typically won't last more than a week in the fridge.

Most prepared meals either arrive frozen or can be frozen after unboxing. That means it's less of an issue if you order too many meals on your first go around. Most services allow you to change the number of meals or servings in your plan even after you've started.

Our meal delivery experts have logged more than 5 years of cooking more than 75 meal kits and tasting more than prepared meals from various services to help land on our list of the best healthy meal subscriptions in While everything else has got more expensive, meal kit subscriptions seem to be getting cheaper.

The absolute cheapest meal kit is EveryPlate , and with consistently tasty meals -- we've tested it three times now -- that take as little as 20 minutes to cook, it's an easy pick for the best cheap meal service for Read more: Are Some Meal Kits Cheaper Than Buying Groceries?

I Did the Math. If you're looking for inexpensive vegan meals by mail or an affordable meal kit service that includes steak and seafood in the standard plan, we have picks for those, too. The takeaway? Being budget-friendly certainly doesn't mean the food has to suck.

If you're looking to eliminate a few weekly tasks -- grocery shopping, meal planning, prep, cooking -- without squeezing your budget, we tested more than 10 top wallet-friendly services to find the best cheap meal delivery for The bottom line : EveryPlate's meal kits were all solid and easy to make.

EveryPlate meal kits are easy to prepare and I loved everything I made in multiple rounds of testing. You won't find a lot of foofy, upscale cuisine or complicated recipes, but you will get a lot of satisfying comfort food, such as hoisin meatloaf with mashed potatoes, cheeseburgers, umami pork chops and sweet potato quesadillas.

I tested EveryPlate and was pleasantly surprised with how much I liked the meals. Having tested all of the leading prepared meal delivery service options, Fresh N Lean ran away from the competition, ticking more boxes than any other. The food is healthy, thoughtfully prepared, tastes fantastic, looks appetizing and is fairly affordable, depending on the plan you select.

Fresh N Lean has five meal plans to help keep folks on track with their specific nutrition goals, including low-carb, vegan, paleo and protein-plus options. The food I tried was all made exceptionally well, made from simple, whole ingredients. This is the perfect service for families with picky eaters trying to eat well on a budget.

Much like EveryPlate, Dinnerly has a lot of comfort foods such as ravioli with spinach and parmesan sauce, carne asada tacos and chicken pad thai. Dinnerly has an enormous menu of recipes -- typically more than 60 to choose from in a given week. The bottom line: This plant-based meal delivery service had some of the best, healthy prepared meals of any service we tried.

I sampled about nine of Mosaic Food's plant-based prepared meal offerings and the vegetarian prepared meal delivery service had an astoundingly high hit rate. Mosaic uses bold and interesting global flavors and employs creative use of meat substitutes such as tofu, jackfruit, cauliflower and vegan sausages to create tasty and satisfying vegetarian meals -- even for this omnivore.

There are some vegan meals, but many of them use dairy products, so vegans must choose their Mosaic meals more carefully.

The bottom line: Blue Apron is a classic example of a quality meal delivery service. One of the original providers of this service, it also stands out for eco-friendliness. Blue Apron is one of the original meal kit services and it's also one of the best. In fact, Blue Apron topped our list of best meal delivery services for with a wide range of excellent recipes, all for an affordable price.

It's true, you can order bistro steaks and roasted trout dinners with Blue Apron's standard plan, where many services charge extra for those premium proteins. In addition to solid meal kits, Blue Apron is the most eco-friendly service of the major players, according to a recent study.

The heartier meals are great too, like the cauliflower rice and pesto harvest bowl with cashews and spinach. You won't need more than a saucepan, toaster or blender to prepare most of the meals, and most can be made in as little as 5 minutes.

When I tried Daily Harvest , I loved the interesting smoothie combos such as a chocolate blueberry smoothie with greens, banana and almond butter. The bottom line : It doesn't get much easier than HelloFresh. This service has tons of cheap meal kit options, more than 50 per week, and allows you to add proteins or extra servings to keep the whole crew fed and happy.

HelloFresh has as many as 25 dinner meal kits per week, so it is nearly impossible not to find something you'll like. HelloFresh also has five or six plant-based recipes a week, making it the best cheap meal kit service for vegetarians.

Over the past few years, we've tested nearly every meal kit delivery and prepared meal delivery service we could get our oven mitts on, and that includes the best budget meal delivery services. Many of the menu options for the meal delivery services we've listed include nutritious plant-based food or high-protein recipes with lots of veggies and lean meats.

To test each cheap meal delivery service, I tried at least four and sometimes as many as 10 meals from any given service.

I always choose a range of meals from the various menu and meal plan offerings. For instance, if a meal subscription service offers vegan or vegetarian meals I was sure to try at least one.

I also mixed up the cuisine types to include pasta, meat dishes, bowls and other various styles offered by the brand. To test the best cheap meal kits, there was another set of standards and protocols to adhere to. Here's more on how we test meal kits at CNET.

The first big decision you'll make is whether you want meal kits, which require some prep and cooking, or a prepared meal service that sends fully cooked meals ready to heat and eat.

Prepared meals require almost no time and energy, other than what it takes to actually eat the food, but typically run a few dollars more per serving.

If you're keen on eating low-calorie, low-carb, plant-based or pescatarian food, certain meal kits and meal delivery services are better than others. Our list of the healthiest meal delivery services for is a good place to find the most nutritious options. With almost every service, the more meals or servings are in your order per delivery, the cheaper it becomes per meal.

Ideally, you'll want to determine exactly how much food makes sense for your household. That means it's less of an issue if you order too many meals on your first go-around. Services like Daily Harvest and Splendid Spoon have meals for similar prices but are focused more on grain bowls and smoothies and might be better for breakfast or lunch versus dinner.

When it comes to meal kits, your options are many, and most services provide weekly recipes that are low on calories but still filling. HelloFresh has the most recipes per week of any meal kit service, so that might be your best bet for finding consistent meals that keep your diet goals on track.

But all services list the calorie content for each recipe, along with carbs, protein, sugar and sodium. Depending on your weight loss goals, a healthy prepared meal delivery or meal kit service can help. Fresh N Lean, Pete's Real Food and Daily Harvest all have low-calorie meals to choose from.

Some of the services listed here are healthy prepared meal delivery services , sending fully cooked meals -- often frozen or partially frozen -- and ready to eat when you receive them. Others include health-focused meal kits with premeasured ingredients all boxed up and ready for easy weeknight cooking.

There's a stark difference between meal kits and meal delivery, but both make dinnertime easier and can translate into healthier eating choices for you in Plus, we sussed out the best healthy meal services for those on special diets like keto or paleo or for those who wish to eat organic prepared meals and meal kits.

Wellness Nutrition. Written by David Watsky. Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks.

If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement. David lives in Brooklyn where he's spent more than a decade covering all things edible, including meal kit services, food subscriptions, kitchen tools and cooking tips.

Since earning a BA in English from Northeastern in Boston, he's toiled in nearly every aspect of the food business, including as a line cook in Rhode Island where he once made a steak sandwich for Lamar Odom. Right now, he's likely somewhere stress-testing a blender or researching the best way to make bacon.

Anything with sesame is his all-time favorite food this week. Expertise Kitchen tools, appliances, food science, subscriptions and meal kits. See full bio. Houston, TX Operating Hours: Monday — Friday am — pm Saturday am — pm Sunday CLOSED.

These doughy Asian-style sandwiches are packed full of meats, veggies, and delicious condiments. They have two locations- one in Sugar Land and one off of Kirby. Where: Kirby Drive Houston, TX Operating Hours: Monday — Thursday am — pm Friday — Saturday am — pm Sunday pm — pm.

Where: Travis St. Houston, TX Operating Hours: Monday — Wednesday am — pm Thursday am — am Friday — Saturday am — am Sunday am — pm. This casual, counter-serve restaurant offers dressed french fries that will have you dreaming of potatoes.

Sit on their deck and smell the aromas of Philly Steak Fries, Boudin Eggrolls, and more. Where: S Wayside Dr. Houston, TX Operating Hours: Monday — Wednesday pm — pm Thursday pm — pm Saturday pm — pm Sunday CLOSED. Famous for its fried chicken, this Houston institution is a must-visit for anyone on a budget.

Where: Multiple locations all over Houston Operating Hours: Open daily am — pm. They have comfort food, outdoor seating, and a fan base- lunchtime is the busiest. Just make sure to bring cash! Looking for a great spot to get delicious and cheap sushi in Houston?

Sushi and just about everything else is both cheap and delicious at this family-owned, Richmond Avenue eatery.

Where: Richmond Ave. This kitchen has two locations- one near and one in Spring. Where: W 19th St 7, Houston, TX Operating Hours: Open daily am — pm. They have locations on Market Square, McKinney, and Louisiana.

Where: Katy Fwy Suite , Houston, TX Operating Hours: Open daily am — pm. This burger joint is more than American- they offer traditional burgers, bulgogi, hot dogs, fajita burgers, and more. Where: St Joseph Pkwy, Houston, TX Operating Hours: Monday — Friday am — pm Saturday pm — pm Sunday CLOSED.

With multiple locations around Houston, this pizza joint is on fire. Check out their online deals for even more savings. Where: Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX Operating Hours: Sunday — Wednesday am — pm Thursday — Saturday am — pm. This cheap, no-frills restaurant offers breakfasts and burgers.

Where: S Post Oak Rd, Houston, TX Operating Hours: Sunday am — pm Monday am — pm Tuesday am — pm Wednesday — Saturday am — pm. This unassuming burger joint is the home of the Buffalo Burger.

Where: Westpark Dr, Houston, TX Operating Hours: Open daily am — pm. Enjoy cheap Vietnamese food in a quick-serve setting. Their location on Bellaire near the Beltway is a fan-favorite. Where: Bellaire Blvd, Houston, TX Operating Hours: Sunday — Wednesday am — pm Thursday — Saturday am — pm.

This dive-bar restaurant offers sometimes spicy Jamaican foods, cocktails, wine, and beers. Where: West Bellfort, Houston, Texas Operating Hours: Monday — Thursday am — pm Friday — Saturday am — pm Sunday am — pm. Prepare for delicious Persian cuisine.

Traditional plates pair Basmati rice with slow-roasted meats, grilled veg, nuts, and herbs. Where: Hillcroft Ave, Houston, TX Operating Hours: Monday — Friday am — pm Saturday am — pm Sunday am — pm.

This Mexican restaurant serves all the traditional dishes. They have one location right now, just off of and 45 but they have other locations coming soon. Where: Woodridge Dr, Houston, TX Operating Hours: Sunday — Wednesday am — pm Thursday — Saturday am — pm.

This down-home joint serves up huge plates of beef, rice, beans, and potato salad. They also serve burgers, sandwiches, and their own creations. Where: 40 E Crosstimbers Rd. Houston, TX Operating Hours: Monday — Thursday am — pm Friday — Sunday am — pm. This authentic Mexican restaurant has a huge menu and all of its options are inexpensive.

Where: Park Pl Blvd, Houston, TX Operating Hours: Sunday — Thursday am — pm. This communal Japanese restaurant serves up late-night bites, comfort food, and small plates.

Where: Bellaire Blvd STE , Houston, TX Operating Hours: Monday CLOSED Tuesday — Thursday pm — pm Friday — Saturday pm — am Sunday pm — pm. Where: TX-3, Webster, TX Operating Hours: Monday — Friday am — pm Saturday am — pm Sunday CLOSED. Come crawfish season, this cheap Houston restaurant is the place to be.

Their menu is delicious and will satisfy you all year long. Where: Veterans Memorial Dr Suite J, Houston, TX Operating Hours: Monday CLOSED Tuesday — Sunday am — pm. They have some of the best fried okra, mac and cheese, and desserts around.

Where: Northwest Freeway, Cypress, TX Operating Hours: Monday — Saturday am — pm Sunday am — pm. This laid-back eatery in South Houston serves up salads, sandwiches, and comfort food. Plus, you get what you pay for the portions are large!

Where: Katy Fwy Ste P Houston, TX Operating Hours: Monday — Friday am — pm Saturday — Sunday CLOSED. Plus, their Naan is amazing!

Expect delicious quick bites from this locally-owned Russian eatery. They have sophisticated, simple decor for a romantic date night or a relaxing lunch. Enjoy coffee and sweet and savory crepes- but be sure to try the Pirozhki! Where: Mason Rd Suite , Cypress, TX Operating Hours: Monday CLOSED Tuesday — Thursday am — pm Friday — Saturday am — pm Sunday am — pm.

This empanada house in Katy, Texas makes their empanadas filled- to order. Where: Westheimer Rd, Ste Houston, TX Operating Hours: Monday — Thursday am — pm Friday — Saturday am — pm Sunday CLOSED.

This Vietnamese restaurant is priced competitively.

All the cities you list are among the most expensive in the country. Its hard to recommend good eating options on a student budget in places balla.info › Yelp › Restaurants › Affordable Restaurants Top 10 Best Affordable Restaurants in Houston, TX - February - Yelp - Traveler's Table, Bosscat Kitchen & Libations, Casa Do Brasil, Pinstripes

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How To Start A Cloud Kitchen In 20 Mins - Ghost Kitchen \u0026 Virtual Kitchen 2022 Value-for-moneg was delicious. Pros Vlue-for-money Value-for-money dining options of Value-for-money dining options Recipes are Low-cost travel food storage. Head to this strip-mall spot for Taiwanese cuisine that does Valur-for-money break the bank. So, if you're craving a budget-friendly culinary escapade, you've come to the right place! They lean on low-cost ingredients, such as canned fish and ground beefas well as pantry staples like flour, butter, and basic vegetables.

Value-for-money dining options - Ambiance and Service: While value for money primarily focuses on the quality and price of the food, it's worth considering the ambiance and All the cities you list are among the most expensive in the country. Its hard to recommend good eating options on a student budget in places balla.info › Yelp › Restaurants › Affordable Restaurants Top 10 Best Affordable Restaurants in Houston, TX - February - Yelp - Traveler's Table, Bosscat Kitchen & Libations, Casa Do Brasil, Pinstripes

But if you know the deal and you're good with how the numbers shake out, a Rodeo Burger at BK is A-OK. If you plan on making a run for the border, you can do it with the spare change in your pocket and come through with a range of filling selections. It's a thoughtful way to honor the tradition started by the chain with the original Taco Bell dollar menu.

Out of everything we could have chosen on the list, we found that the Chipotle Ranch Grilled Chicken Burrito was by far the biggest item we came across in the discount bin.

There's no shrinkflation affecting this full-sized burrito. This bountiful bite is a full-sized entree loaded with strips of grilled chicken, spicy-creamy chipotle sauce, and a sweet selection of toppings. What you get in the bag is the fullest extent of what two singles can get you in a world where everything seems to cost five dollars or more.

It's a savory surprise of a dining experience that leaves room for adding another item or two to affordably round out your meal. The inclusion of fun and frosty sips and the possibility of a creamy dessert makes this selection one of the best-priced deals in the fast food sphere.

You can grab a cheeseburger and fries, a chili dog and a sundae, or a soft drink and a few pretzel sticks. Not that many menus offer soft pretzels with dipping sauce these days. So when we saw these salty bad boys as an option, we doubled up the order and didn't feel bad about it for a second.

Our five bones bought us six sticks the size and shape of hot dogs, swirled in butter like the best pretzels are and served with a side of spicy cheese sauce. The pleasure that this quiet yet confident combo brought our famished souls can't be overstated.

If you're looking for a snack that's different from the pack, DQ is going to treat your right without taking advantage of your financial state. Anything with the word "California" in the name is bound to feel breezy and fun, like a spin through Hollywood by way of Disneyland with a beachside stop-off added for good measure.

While the California Classic Double Cheeseburger from Carl's Jr. doesn't quite inspire so much starstruck awe, it does provide a high-quality burger at a modest enough price that you can spend a five-spot and get a fair amount of change back.

This smoky, cheesy double stack sits on the menu among burgers that cost twice and three times as much, even when not part of a combo meal. It's a savory standout that can't help but catch the eye of frugal diners looking for the deal of the day.

The CCDC, as we abbreviate this mouthful of a name, brings the famous Carl's Jr. quality to a simplified burger, which means you get exactly the same level of deliciousness as you would in the chain's pricier items.

It may not be loaded up with toppings or feature bacon or onion rings sandwiched between the patties. But if a quick bite at a cool price is what you're after, Carl's Jr. The broiled patties, Classic Sauce, and grilled onions are a savory combination that's well worth the modest outlay of cash for this burger.

Adding a Little Caesars value menu item to the list may seem like a cheat. This is the home of the Pizza! Deal after all, where ten bucks would get you two pizzas in one go. That was a lot of food for a moderate amount of dough, and though neither the slogan nor the promotion are still around, Little Caesars remains one of the most respectably priced pizza chains in the fast food realm.

But even for makers of cheap pizza, prices are creeping up bit by gooey bit. The only entry on our value menu list that's perfect for price-conscious pizza lovers is Little Caesars' Italian Cheese Bread.

This hefty bite comes so close to qualifying as a personal pan cheese pizza that it almost feels wrong to call it a bargain buy. Still, it's the most moderately priced pizza-like item on the menu, so it's a keeper.

Fuller-sized pizzas add two dollars to the price, which isn't the worst sacrifice to make when the hunger pangs start kicking. But if you're working with a budget and a fiver is all you're looking to spend, the satisfaction of this savory squared-off pie is bound to make your hungry heart happy.

It satisfies in a way that the slightly cheaper Crazy Bread sticks simply can't. The name does not exaggerate: KFC's Chicken Little Sandwich is a pipsqueak of a dish.

It can be finished in two bites. This may be what value dining has come to: Food that takes up half the space of its more expensive brethren.

While not knowing how to get the best bang for a buck is just one of the mistakes people make when ordering from KFC , opting for the smaller bites may require picking up a couple of your favorites to make sure your belly is full.

But what KFC's best value meal item lacks in size it more than makes up for in delicious fried chicken flavor. KFC tweaks its formula by adding dill pickle slices between the chicken strip and the bun.

The countrified touch brings to mind Chick-fil-A's iconic sandwich, but in a miniature size that's better described as a slider. Knowing you can pick up a little treat at a low price helps you make better choices when money is tight but hunger won't wait.

The drive-in hop for the modern era, Sonic brings burgers, dogs, and tots directly to your car, not to mention some of the most creative frozen drinks the world has ever known.

To stay in line with the nostalgic drive-in vibe, this happening chain also offers several items at lower prices to tempt guests who might be keeping their purse strings pulled pretty tight.

Though there's a list of things you should never order at Sonic , allowances can be made when price is the main consideration. To switch things up a bit in our quest for lesser-priced fare, we opted for a breakfast wrap: the Jr.

Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Breakfast Burrito. This diminutive wrap is one of the smaller options on the list, but it delivers big taste that's fresh and satisfying. Its humble price means you can order two if you're extra-hungry and still have a buck or two left for a cup of coffee to go with it.

The value menu at Wendy's comes and goes with the wind, appearing just long enough to delight those faithful people who believe in menu magic. For the rest of us, there's the Biggie Bag, a do-it-yourself combo that cuts the cost without killing the quality.

You get a full meal at around half the price of the other combos on the menu. I can't tell you what they do differently than any other donut shop, but whatever it is, they should never change it. Their classic glazed donuts are too good to pass up. I'm already walking to my car. Torchy's Tacos are a Houston favorite that everyone and their mother raves about.

Add a side order of their mind-bogglingly is that a word? delicious queso to complete your order. Side note: the queso has guac mixed inside. Dude, go. If you couldn't already tell, Texas has a serious taco problem. But so do we. For the broke cheese lovers everywhere.

I have never respected a person, place, or thing more than I respect a restaurant dedicated to feeding me cheese and carbs at a budget-friendly price. Bubba's changed the game with their buffalo burgers. I know a good dog when I see one. For big portions and Cajun-style cooking, Treebeards Restaurant has you covered.

Oishii never ceases to amaze me. Applause please. El Rey Taqueria is a Houston favorite that fulfills your heart's desire with every bite. Head on over to try this local favorite for a fantastic price. Then pat yourself on the back because you've never spent this little on sushi.

For major bang for your buck, stop by Paulie's Restaurant to get heavy pasta portions that will keep your wallet and your stomach happy. Houston gifted our hungry stomachs with Frenchy's Chicken.

These babies are made with love and you can taste it in every grease-filled bite. If chicken and waffles make your heart melt, then look no further. Gyro King knows what the people want, and they deliver every time.

The Absolute Best Affordable Restaurant in Houston [Updated 2024]

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