Hi friends! If we haven’t met, I’m Tasha – kind of the jack-of-all trades for the I Heart Planners team, although I like to call myself the Business Manager 😉 I’m so excited to share my thoughts on Every Plate with you today!
There are A LOT of meal planning, meal delivery, grocery-shopping-robot services out there. And Google has figured out that I love cooking so I get ads for them all the time. I was stoked to have an excuse to try one out for this review, but I wanted an option that was on the affordable side and provided portions for just one person.
I ended up going with Every Plate which offered an introductory deal of free shipping and $10 off your first box. I got the ingredients for three meals (two servings per meal) for $20 which I found to be a steal. The free shipping offer is only good on the first box and the $10 off lasts for the first three boxes, so if I were to order again right now it would be just shy of $40. Not outrageous, but nothing to write home about. (Side note, if you’re looking to try this out, you can click right here and get $20 off your first box!)
Choosing Your Meals
Choosing which meals you want to eat is a very, very simple process. I chose the 2 person plan with three meals per week. Every Plate gives you 5 options and you pick three. One of the five will be a “premium” option (normally containing shrimp or steak) and it is $3 more per serving. You can skip any week that you would like, so you’re not locked into getting food when you’re vacationing in the Bahamas. I learned when I went to skip my first box that it will offer you different meals if you try to skip. So if you don’t love the meals you’ve been offered, try skipping that week and see if it gives you some options you like better. Every week tends to have some taco/fajita option. Most of the meals also include potatoes…although I love potatoes so I could just be choosing all the options that include those delicious spuds!
I will throw in a quick note of caution here: this meal plan would NOT be good for anyone who has specific dietary needs. The options are too limited to accommodate allergies and intolerances to whole food groups, so if that’s you, I’d suggest going ahead and skipping this one.
I have to hand it to Every Plate when it comes to delivery. I was very impressed with how things were packaged and how cold everything was when it arrived. Your order comes in a cardboard box that is lined with an insulated bubble wrap. The non-perishable items are towards the top: produce, spices, noodles, and tortillas. Every box I have received comes with three giant ice packs and the meat is sandwiched between two of them at the bottom so it is very cold when it arrives. It was really comforting not to have any doubts about food spoilage because everything in the box was cold – there was one box I didn’t unpack until 8 hours after it arrived and everything was still plenty cool.
One of my favorite things about Every Plate is how they give you the correct portion sizes. I personally found the little packages of meat to be kinda cute, and I loved how condiments like jam and BBQ sauce came in itty-bitty packaging.
For those of you concerned about having your food delivered to you in a box, I will admit that on two occasions one piece of produce came a bit smushed. One week it was a tomato that seemed to have gotten pinched to the side of the box and another week a chunk had come out of a potato. But other than that, the produce that I have received is very good quality. I certainly never felt like I was getting the supermarket leftovers.
Preparing the Food
Every Plate sends you a recipe card for each meal and spells out very clearly what ingredients you will be using and what you should do with them. Each recipe Every Plate has sent me has “worked” so to speak, and other than having to dice up an inordinate amount of garlic, I haven’t had to do anything too weird to make any of the meals.
However, these meals take a lot more time to make than the meals I normally plan for myself. I LOVE cooking for a crowd, but spending 45 minutes in the kitchen just to feed myself is not my cup of tea. Every meal I have seen so far is some sort of skillet/oven meal, and I’ve gotta say that my crockpot is getting a little jealous of all the time I’ve been spending with my other kitchen appliances. I would not call these meals “quick and easy”. You will be chopping up a lot of vegetables, making homemade meatballs, and mixing seasoning into your sour cream. The meals have taken me anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour to make plus clean up time.
While the time that every single meal took to prep was starting to get on my nerves, I enjoyed trying my hand at new things. I’d never made homemade meatballs but will probably be trying it again someday, and I learned how to make homemade gravy.
Arguably the most important part of a meal delivery service review is how all the meals taste! I have very few complaints in that department. Even when the chicken fajitas called for lime zest in the sour cream, it came out as a nice blend of flavors (and I’m a picky eater, so that’s saying something!). I had one pasta dish that had an oil based sauce instead of milk or cream based sauce, and if I were to go back and recreate it, I would definitely make some adjustments. I fed some of the meals to my friends and they found them tasty, as well.
The portion sizes are generous. It obviously depends a bit on the meal. I had stuffed pork burgers one week and that only came with 2 buns, but the fajitas came with 5 or 6 tortillas which was plenty to have some leftovers after two people got full (especially if you’re going to supplement with chips and guac!).
Every Plate does offer different meals from week to week, but you will find that they tend to have the same base ingredients. After three weeks, I was ready to move on from yellow potatoes, but they do a good job of mixing up the flavors and seasoning.
Every Plate offers a very affordable introductory rate if you’re looking to give one of these meal delivery services a whirl. You can get $20 off your first box by clicking here. The process is very straightforward and simple, but you will have to set aside time to prepare the meals. The portions are hearty and the food is tasty. Considering the great value of the first box, I would definitely recommend at least giving it a one week trial to see how you like it. You can cancel at any time and you are only charged for the food you order, so there’s very little to lose!