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Old 08-09-2020, 09:24 AM   #21
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I recently signed up for Every Plate to receive three 2-serving meals per week. I signed up because I am getting bored with my home cooking, but also with COVID, I've been doing curbside pickup of groceries and I hope to be able to wait a week for my next grocery shopping because of the meal delivery.

Every plate allows you to skip a week whenever you want, so I plan to skip every other week. I can pick 3 meals from a set of 13. About 10 of the meal options looked good to me, but I picked meals I don't usually make myself but might order at a restaurant. (Beef Banh Mi Bowls, Greek Chicken Pitas, Ponzu Steak Bowls)

I like that I can see every single ingredient that will be sent to me and the full recipes in advance. (Another service I tried didn't provide that much detail in advance or enough options to pick from.)

Every Plate has fewer ingredients and simpler instructions than other plans, but I think that might make it easier for me to reproduce. Also, Every Plate is cheaper. For 6 meals for the first week, the cost is $26.93 with discounts. After that the cost is $5 per serving plus $9 shipping per week.
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Old 08-09-2020, 10:04 AM   #22
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I also got bored with the recipes I know. Instead of trying meal kits, which seem relatively expensive to me, I looked for new recipes online. There are tons of sites out there; my new favorite is budgetbytes.com.
You can also see and print/download the recipes from the meal kit sites.
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Old 08-09-2020, 10:24 AM   #23
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I got thru my first week w/Hello Fresh and I'm keeping it going for now (I have one of those stacked coupons that runs over several weeks), initial report:

I was able to swap out one of the dishes to about a dozen other choices (including upgrade$, pass).
Of the 3 meals, 2 were fine, 1 was good enough that I'm saving the recipe card.
The portions aren't huge - espec the protein - but they pack a lot of calories with butter and oil, so I'm opting over to their lower cal menu in next week's batch.
They forgot the veggies/accents for one of the meals, but refunded me the entire meal for 2 via a brief help chat. That was good as I was able to just go get a few things, but of course the whole point of this is you don't have to shop.
Their prep time is complete and utter BS, at least for a first-timer. If it says 5 mins that means 20. If it says 10 you had better start an hour before you want to eat.

Overall pretty good, the main benefit for me is the decision-making is done.
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Old 08-09-2020, 01:12 PM   #24
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I got thru my first week w/Hello Fresh and I'm keeping it going for now (I have one of those stacked coupons that runs over several weeks), initial report:

I was able to swap out one of the dishes to about a dozen other choices (including upgrade$, pass).
Of the 3 meals, 2 were fine, 1 was good enough that I'm saving the recipe card.
The portions aren't huge - espec the protein - but they pack a lot of calories with butter and oil, so I'm opting over to their lower cal menu in next week's batch.
They forgot the veggies/accents for one of the meals, but refunded me the entire meal for 2 via a brief help chat. That was good as I was able to just go get a few things, but of course the whole point of this is you don't have to shop.
Their prep time is complete and utter BS, at least for a first-timer. If it says 5 mins that means 20. If it says 10 you had better start an hour before you want to eat.

Overall pretty good, the main benefit for me is the decision-making is done.
Home Chef has many low carb/low fat options.
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Old 08-10-2020, 11:57 AM   #25
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We have friends who regularly use high-end meal kits. They enjoy the food, but they sounded crazy expensive and didn't yield much food. Frankly, for these prices, I wouldn't want to do any cooking, not even Chef Microwave.



We either quick cook, ie meat and veggies on the grill or slow cook in bulk, ie chili or smoked bulk meat. When we get tired of our own cooking we get ethnic takeout. We started get half (small) $45 party trays of Chinese food that we stretch with our own veggies and brown rice or quinoa. We can eat for almost a week for about the price of one dine-in Chinese meal. We love the value and the break from real cooking!
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Old 08-10-2020, 12:07 PM   #26
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We used Hello Fresh for a few weeks while we were in ATL for my DW's surgery. At first, we enjoyed them...then it got old. Most of the recipes were tasty, but we saw a trend, "Add salt. Add salt. Add salt. Add salt." which I think is where most of the flavor came from. We were able to go to Whole Foods across the street and pick up some pretty good pre-made dinners for a similar price and a lot less hassle.

Edit: I also noticed that when they showed up, you best use them sooner than later. If we did a 3 meal pack, we couldn't skip a day or the fresh fruits/veggies for the 3rd meal would be close to no longer usable.

And if you forward to *not* doing dishes, then forget it. I think the recipe KNOWS how many pans/pots we have and has been modified to make sure we use EVERY SINGLE ONE we have.
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Old 08-10-2020, 12:20 PM   #27
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And if you forward to *not* doing dishes, then forget it. I think they recipe KNOWS how many pans/pots we have and has been modified to make sure we use EVERY SINGLE ONE we have.
Yes it does start with a higher-than-expected bar in terms of cooking utensils, bowls, pans, etc. I had to use a peeler and grater in one recipe last week "twirl the carrot to shave ribbons with the peeler" ok no lol...(step 12 of a 10-min-prep recipe). For now it's part of the fun, but unless they have dozens of recipes I can see it getting old.

I plan to rotate with the starter coupons through several plans and then see who offers the biggest "come back we miss you" discount and go from there.
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Old 08-10-2020, 12:24 PM   #28
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Yes it does start with a higher-than-expected bar in terms of cooking utensils, bowls, pans, etc. I had to use a peeler and grater in one recipe last week "twirl the carrot to shave ribbons with the peeler" ok no lol...(step 12 of a 10-min-prep recipe). For now it's part of the fun, but unless they have dozens of recipes I can see it getting old.

I plan to rotate with the starter coupons through several plans and then see who offers the biggest "come back we miss you" discount and go from there.
Ha! I had forgotten the multiple (sometimes MULTIPLE!) steps. Granted, the DW is the primary cook around here...I can still find my way around the kitchen but still found myself getting frustrated at the many, MANY steps for an "easy" recipe.
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Old 10-16-2020, 02:26 AM   #29
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Anyone try Tovala?

Saw a commercial for them, then looked up reviews.

Little to no prep or cleanup. But you have to buy a piece of hardware, a smart oven which seems to mostly steam and then broil.

Portions look small to me though and the meal kits are $12 with free shipping for 4 a week.
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Old 10-16-2020, 05:41 AM   #30
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We are funny about these services. Basically the day we need to have meals prepared for us (We enjoy cooking together in retirement), is the day we will check out an independent living adult facility. Sorry but, we do not need to save time or have meal suggestions at this time.
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Old 10-16-2020, 06:32 AM   #31
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We are funny about these services. Basically the day we need to have meals prepared for us (We enjoy cooking together in retirement), is the day we will check out an independent living adult facility. Sorry but, we do not need to save time or have meal suggestions at this time.
Having done Hello Fresh for a few weeks, I can very plainly say there is no real "prep" in that service - it's a bag of food, just portioned for one meal (2 servings). I spent significantly more time in the kitchen to complete each dish than I do for any of my typical recipes. More time than I'd spend popping to the store and back and cooking myself. Not infrequently it was an hour from getting out the recipe card to serving dinner, with no "right it's in the oven" breaks.

These were multi step, now do the side dish, now do the sauce and put that aside, while that's going twirl ribbon shavings from the zucchini and zest another lemon. Like, are you mad it's Tuesday from crying out loud.

I just needed a jump start on some new ideas after burning through my personal roll-p-dex of recipes too many times, especially being home more lately.
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Old 10-16-2020, 11:41 AM   #32
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I tried the meal delivery services quite a while ago, and while I learned some new techniques, it all was a LOT of effort to make the meals.

I have not gotten one since, as besides the work they are expensive.

As for the no-work meal delivery, I'd rather just get TV dinners, they have improved a LOT over the years, some are even healthy and taste good.
Basically the no-prep ones are really just TV dinners, so I evaluate them that way.

If you are old, and can't cook anymore, meals on wheels is a GREAT option.
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Old 10-16-2020, 12:44 PM   #33
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Lazy Dog, a regional restaurant chain, have these3 $10 TV dinners.

You just pop the tin in the oven but the one I tried didn't really turn out that great, in terms of the texture of the chicken.

The lime grass Vietnamese style rice was kinda soggy too.

That is why Tovala is kinda intriguing. The cooking process is automated and it seems to mostly use steam cooking and then finish off with broiling.

Portions seem small though and it's mostly chicken and pork, one beef choice, one salmon.

I could probably make it work but people who prefer beef might not be able to eat beef several times a week.
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Old 10-16-2020, 01:40 PM   #34
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We use Home Chef. Sometimes we get meals where most of the prep is completed and we pop it in the oven. Other times it is around 40 minutes.
We enjoy it and it cuts down much of the normal food shopping.
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Old 10-16-2020, 07:08 PM   #35
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I had a free week of Hello Fresh. Three meals and having made two of them, weíre not impressed. It was more work than expected and I didnít feel like the quality of ingredients was that great. The meals were only average. Itís very much hereís a bag of ingredients and start cooking. Years ago we tried Blue Apron and I seem to recall it was similar, even though I seem to recall they had more packaging.

I donít find that meal kits provide good value. Most of the ingredients I already have or can easily buy in the store. Iíd also buy better quality for less cost. I understand the appeal, but so far it hasnít worked for me.
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Old 10-16-2020, 07:43 PM   #36
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I had a free week of Hello Fresh. Three meals and having made two of them, weíre not impressed. It was more work than expected and I didnít feel like the quality of ingredients was that great. The meals were only average. Itís very much hereís a bag of ingredients and start cooking. Years ago we tried Blue Apron and I seem to recall it was similar, even though I seem to recall they had more packaging.

I donít find that meal kits provide good value. Most of the ingredients I already have or can easily buy in the store. Iíd also buy better quality for less cost. I understand the appeal, but so far it hasnít worked for me.

Itís possible to have more packaging than Hello Fresh? My daughter warned me about the packaging waste but I thought ďhow bad could it be?Ē Basically itís a lot of work but if you really hate going into the grocery store and you like exposure to slightly different choices (I donít) like cous cous instead of rice maybe youíll like it. Also it gets overpriced when you run out of introductory offers. Next time Iíll try Freshly which is heat and eat. Too bad the expansive food bars of prepared and semi-prepared meals at our local grocery are all shut down.
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