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I had been thinking about trying a meal delivery service for quite a while. Price, being able to cook the meals without an oven (yeah we’ve still not gotten around to replacing ours), and quality were big concerns.
Why did I finally decide to give it a go? The pandemic.
Yeah.. Seeing shelves empty, the lines, masks, and arrows pretty much kept us out of grocery stores but once a month.
These crazy times have had us trying online retailers for things we never had before. We also bought glasses, ordered a custom sectional, and got into loose leaf tea (it’s a weird hobby, I know).
We took to “supporting the economy”. My way of saying we got takeout nearly everyday.
It became the easiest thing to do. But it certainly wasn’t the healthiest nor was it the cheapest.
Comparing Food Delivery Services
There are several choices when it comes to picking out the meal delivery service that works best for you. As I mentioned before price was a big factor for me. Many of the services cost about $10 a serving. That’s pretty much what we were paying for takeout except now I have to do a lot more work.
I was able to find two services that charged less. EveryPlate and Dinnerly. My deciding factor between these was that Dinnerly does not send recipe cards with their food. For a similar price, I wanted the recipe physically sent.
EveryPlate is owned by the same company as Hello Fresh. It appears to be a cheaper alternative to the latter. With EveryPlate you have to self sort your ingredients. To me, this is more than worth the cost saved. I just use little tubs, assign each a recipe, and separate. It makes it very easy to check off each ingredient and make sure everything is there.
We’ve received 3 boxes so far. Here’s how Everyplate is doing.
Meal planning absolutely stresses me out. My husband is no help here. He’ll eat almost anything and does little to help me pick recipes. He basically just prefers a homemade meal over takeout. We have an hour commute from work, so planning what to eat, grocery shopping, and coming home and making it don’t fit great into our schedule. By the time we sit down to eat it’s 7 or 7:30PM and I’m starving.
Having the meals delivered like this helps cut out having to decide what to make as well as the trip to the store. It’s still taking a while to eat once we get home because of all of the vegetable chopping, but the food is good.
We’re eating better. If you’re someone who is already good at planning your meals and eating your vegetables then this probably isn’t for you. But we’re not those kind of people. This is making us actually eat vegetables with our dinner.
We’re trying new things. Some of the recipes they have are a little basic, I can cook pork chops or chicken and some rice or potatoes. But they do have some interesting meals that we have enjoyed exploring. My husband has been loving the Asian inspired rice bowls that we have gotten a few times. We have chicken tagine coming up in a couple weeks that we’re excited to try.
My husband really enjoys the recipe cards. He feels like the service is worth it for them alone.
Every box that has been sent has been shipped out about 24 hours before we receive it and has arrived with the ice packs still frozen and everything inside still cold.
There are complaints. If you’ve been to the comment section of their Facebook ads, you’ve seen enough complaints to make you not want to give them a try at all. It’s not a great first impression.
My first issue with the company came on my first box. Our box is scheduled to arrive on Fridays. All week I was so excited. Finally a track my box button popped up on my account, but when I clicked it there was no tracking number associated with it.
On Friday, I reached out to their customer service team to inquire about the tracking while at work. I was told it had been delivered. I hadn’t been home, but was kind of skeptical of what I was being told. Of course when I got home, there was no box.
I remembered that I had alerts set up with UPS for deliveries to my house, so I checked my account to see if any tracking numbers were listed. I found the label made from EveryPlate, marked delivered to another state 2 months previous. They had used a recycled tracking number and had never gotten further than printing a label for my actual shipment.
Immediately I jumped on live chat with the company and explained what I was seeing on UPS and what I had been told earlier in the day. I received apologies, a refund, and a credit. I would not be receiving my box this week. The refund hit my account as advised, there was no issue with that.
In comparison, my other issue so far is small. One $1 ingredient was missing from our box last week. This was easily resolved. A quick chat on live chat and I was given a $4 credit to make up for the missing ingredient. We had to run to the store unfortunately, but I feel the credit given more than made up for the experience.
Even though we’ve already had two issues with the company in four weeks, I am still enjoying the service. If you are willing and have the flexibility to take the good with the bad, you are getting a decent deal
This set up works great for a family of two, like mine, who doesn’t want to worry about meal planning and grocery shopping stress.
For 2 people, 3 meals a week comes in at about $38 a week. They also offer 2 premium meals a week to choose from for a little extra. We haven’t tried those yet because we have been satisfied with the regular menu options, but it’s a nice option if we wanted to do something special.
The meal portions are enough most of the time, the food is good, and the price is right. Overall I recommend it.
If you’re interested in giving it a try, here’s a link for $20 off your first box.