Boxed meal kits are more popular than ever. We just finished a month long subscription of Plated and here is my unsolicited and unsponsored review.
I love to cook and pride myself on being a pretty skilled and decent cook, but life is busy. After a busy April and even busier May, I took advantage of a promotion offered by Plated. For one month, they offered 25 percent of every box.
The Logistics: We are a family of five and our two youngest do not like to eat things they do not recognize. Knowing this, I opted for a meal package for two adults and two kids. The cost after the discount for three meals a week was $67.
I am gluten free, so we chose all gluten free meals and Plated offered three to four options a week. The gluten free meals offered side options of potatoes, rice, quinoa and zucchini noodles. The recipes were easy to follow and easy to prepare. Preparation times varied but averaged about 40 minutes.
The Advantages: It reduced my stress in a busy month. Because our box provided three meals a week, there was little to no meal planning for four weeks. Grocery shopping was a breeze because I only had to purchase basic items. Because our meals were planned ahead and our grocery shopping only included basic items, we were able to stay within our grocery budget.
My oldest child, who is seven, is turning the corner and becoming more willing to try new foods. After the first week of meals, she became very excited to see the Plated box on our front door step every week. She asked to help prepare the meals and consumed foods that she would not normally eat such as bok choy, zucchini noodles, lamb bolognaise, salad and feta cheese.
The Disadvantage: Some meals were too yummy leaving no leftovers. Normally if we love a meal, I prepare extra for a second night for an easy quick dinner, but the Plated meals were mainly enough for one meal and one person’s lunch the next day.
As with our experience with Hello Fresh, the required packaging for delivery feels wasteful. The meals come in a card board box with a few ice packs and insulating material to keep food cold during delivery. The ice packs can be reused, but our extra freezer is starting to fill up with ice packs. I have not yet determined how to handle the insulating material.
Writer Bio: Summer Bolte
I spend most of my time and days with my three kids, husband and dog. My kids frequently play near me as I garden, cook, DIY and volunteer. My most unusual paying job has to be feeding fruit flies in a research lab, and my most fulfilling job was being an oncology nurse for seven years.