EveryPlate Meal Kit Delivery Review
For the past few years, meal kit delivery services have been all the rage. And although I’ve written about them from time to time, I hadn’t actually tried any first-hand — until I joined EveryPlate about 18 months ago.
Like other services, EveryPlate sends you weekly recipes along with pre-portioned ingredients. But, with me being a picky eater, would I like what it had to offer? Plus, what about the cost of the service? To answer all of those questions and more, let’s take a look at the basics of EveryPlate along with my experience and thoughts so far.
What is EveryPlate and How Does it Work?
EveryPlate plans and pricing
Let’s jump straight into the nitty-gritty of EveryPlate: the cost. Currently, customers can choose the number of people (2 or 4) and how many meals you want per week: 3, 4, 5, or 6. Previously, this was actually capped at 5, so it seems the service is now allowing for larger orders. According to EveryPlate, the most popular plan is for two people with four meals per week — which just so happens to be what we initially tried out.
As for price, EveryPlate charges as little $4.99 per serving — although this pricing is only reached once you hit more meals for more people. At this time, a plan for 2 people, 4 times a week comes out to a base of $47.92, which works out to $5.99 per serving. Meanwhile, cutting that to 3 meals per week brings the cost per serving up to $6.49 for a base total of $38.94 before tax. To achieve that $4.99 per serving price, you’ll need to choose a 4 person plan with either 5 or 6 meals per week.
As I alluded to, unlike some other services, shipping is not included in this price. Instead, you’ll pay $9.99 for shipping each week in addition to any applicable taxes. To be fair, a growing number of services are dropping their free shipping offers, so this extra cost isn’t out of line.
Previously, EveryPlate offered a few different types of plans, including a “Classic” option alongside Vegetarian and Family Friendly ones. These days, there’s a bit more flexibility as these plans options are more preferences than anything. As you’ll see, there are several meal options to choose from regardless of what you initially signed up for.
Something else to mention about EveryPlate plans is that you can now choose to have your weekly delivery on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, or Saturday. That lattermost option is seemingly new-ish as, the last time I checked, it wasn’t there. Keep this in mind when setting up your plan — although you can change it later if needed (within a certain amount of time before you planned delivery, of course).
Each week, you’ll have about two dozen different recipe options to select your allotted meals from. Typically, your options will be available to view a few weeks before your box is set to ship. Then, you’ll need to finalize your picks five days before your planned delivery date. If you don’t do this, then the default options that EveryPlate selects for you will be what you get.
When choosing your meals, there are a few upgrade options to be aware of. The first ones are Premium meals. Selecting a Premium meal will currently add $4.99 per serving to your price for that week.
For example, we’ve tried a number of steak options, which are almost always in the Premium section. Elsewhere, I’ve also noticed a weekly “Feel-Good Food” option pop up, such as a salad with a premium protein. These options also come at a $4.99 per serving additional cost from what I’ve seen. That said, I should point out that my pricing as a long-time user may vary from what new users see, but I can’t imagine it being too different.
Beyond the Premium recipes, on some meal options, you can customize your recipe with an upgraded side, protein, or other ingredients. We’ve done this as well, swapping out carrots for asparagus at a cost of $0.49 per serving, while I’ve also encountered the option to go from chicken to shrimp ($2.99 per serving) or add bacon ($1.99 per serving).
Not every meal has an upgrade option — in fact, I’d say the majority don’t — but they may be of interest when they pop up. Also, the pricing on these can vary, so be sure to read carefully before selecting.
What’s also nice is that you can add extra portions or extra meals if you’d like. For example, if you’re having company or the menu just looks particularly good, you can add portions or meal selections for an additional cost per serving (excluding Premium, which will add $4.99 on top of the extra Premium fee).
Alternatively, this means that you can double up on a recipe to fill out your order if other options don’t excite you. Finally, there are also Protein Packs available with items such as chicken breasts, ground beef, etc. The prices for these vary but I’ve seen some for $2.99 per serving or $3.99 per serving.
Finally, EveryPlate has recently rolled out a series of other add-ons. These range from side items to basic meals. We’ll talk more about these in my “experience so far” section, but I’ll say that this section may be worth taking a look at as you’re planning your weekly menu.
Skipping weeks, moving delivery days, or canceling
One of the downsides of a subscription service like EveryPlate is the commitment it brings. To alleviate that, EveryPlate makes it easy to skip a week. Whether you’re going to be out of town or just don’t care for the menu options, you’ll just need to hit the “Skip week” button. Again, you’ll need to do this at least five days before the planned delivery.
Even better, if you just need to move the day of the week your delivery is coming, that’s totally possible — and has been made even easier to do in recent months.
The first time I needed to swap my day, I just temporarily changed my full schedule and then changed it back. However, you can now click the “Manage Delivery” button and edit the day you want that specific box to arrive. Not to sound like a broken record but, once again, you will need to do this with enough time before your box is set to ship.
If you’re looking for a more permanent change, you can also deactivate your EveryPlate account. While I haven’t personally done this, the option is easy to find on the Settings page (just scroll to the bottom). Therefore, I feel fairly confident that it should be a simple process.
My Experience with EveryPlate So Far
The first thing I like about EveryPlate is that the meals manage to nudge me out of my comfort zone while still allowing me to make changes if needed. For example, while I haven’t previously been a fan of onions, I decided to give their French Onion Chicken a try and quite enjoyed it! Actually, I’d say that eating EveryPlate has made me a near fan of onions overall.
Conversely, though, my aversion to mayo led me to just skip one of the sauces featured in our Ponzu Beef Bowls. For the record, I did also give brussels sprouts a try and, while it wasn’t as offensive to me as I would have thought, I wasn’t excited to eat the rest (my wife was obliged to take my portion on that one).
Since we joined EveryPlate, the list of weekly meal options has only grown. And while there are several favorites we get every time they pop up, there are still enough new items to keep things interesting. That’s probably what’s kept us using the service for as long as we have.
My wife and I have enjoyed every meal we’ve had from EveryPlate so far. Naturally, we liked some more than others but we have no big complaints. That said, I will share a single nitpick: while we both think the chicken we’ve had from the service tastes good, we’ve noticed that the texture was slightly rubbery on a couple of bites. Granted, this hasn’t happened in a while, so it may have just been a few off weeks. Other than that, we’ve been impressed — although we may be easily pleased.
Let me say off the bat that I’ve found the portions we get with EveryPlate are just about perfect for us. Sure, I sometimes wish I had a little extra (a testament to their tastiness) but I don’t really need more. On that note, I should point out that my wife does occasionally give me a slightly larger share of sides while the proteins are split evenly. This has worked well and neither of us has any complaints.
As I noted earlier, EveryPlate now offers a number of add-on options. While we’ve indulged in the occasional dessert or side that’s popped up here before, the “bundles” they began offering have been game changing. For example, one of our go-to’s (when it’s available) is a Linguine and Italian Sausage bundle that includes chicken sausage, pasta, sauce, and onion.
With this bundle typically costing around $5 per meal — as opposed to per serving — it’s been a pretty great value, which is why we’ve added it nearly every time it’s been available.
Another example is the pepper jack burger, which just includes the ingredients for the burger itself as opposed to the sides and such.
Basically, after you choose all of your meals, I think it’s worth looking at these extras as well.
Upping our order
Technically, we’re still on a 2 Person, 3 Meals per week plan. This means that, if I don’t select meals myself, we’ll get three chosen by EveryPlate sent to us by default. However, we now regularly order at least 4 meals per week — with this very week setting a record for us of 6 meals plus an add-on. Needless to say, we’ve become big fans.
Opening our first box from EveryPlate, I liked how all of the “dry” ingredients were placed in a removable cardboard tray that I could easily lift in order to start putting the items away.
Closer to where the ice was stored are all of the proteins. Speaking of the packaging, EveryPlate notes that the box and separator are 100% recyclable, while the gel ice packs and box liners can be recycled after a couple of steps are taken (you can find details on their FAQ page).
As for the delivery itself, we have hit a couple of hiccups from time to time. Previously, we had our boxes delivered on Fridays. However, this stopped when, one week, the delivery company delayed the package to Saturday and then failed to deliver it (they say they couldn’t get into our apartment building but made no effort to use the call box and inform us there were here). This meant that the box didn’t arrive until Monday and most of the items were unusable. To their credit, EveryPlate refunded us before I even had to ask and even gave us a future credit.
Following that incident, we moved our delivery day to Thursday and haven’t had a single issue since. Of course, this says more about the access to our apartment on weekends than it does EveryPlate/UPS/FedEx themselves, but it may be worth noting anyway. Luckily, the vast majority of my deliveries over the past 18 months have been perfect, making me happy overall.
I do want to mention some of EveryPlate’s promotions. Not only did I sign up using a “free box” promo from a friend of mine (where all we did was pay shipping) but, soon after becoming members, I was able to activate an offer sent to me in my email presenting us with 20% off our next three orders. On the other end of the equation, EveryPlate also has incentives for referring people. From time to time, you may be able to share free boxes with friends by providing their email. Meanwhile, if you want money off your first box, you can feel free to use my referral link as well. I’m honestly not sure how competitive that offer is but, hey, if it helps…
Has it saved us money?
Here’s the thing… since my wife and I were already fairly frugal in the dining department, adding a meal kit to the mix actually costs us a bit more per week.
However, at a cost of around $50 to $70 a week (depending on how many meals we order), it’s significantly cheaper than eating out. Heck, even at cheaper table service locations like Chili’s, you could easily spend $50 on dinner for two whereas the same $50 gets us four meals for the two of us.
In our case, what I like about the meal kit life is that it adds some variety to our menu. Admittedly, up until now, we’ve really relied on the same few staples. While that’s great for saving money, it’s nice to mix things up.
To that point, this experiment is also giving us some ideas for meals we can add to the mix even if we do end our subscription. Therefore, I’m satisfied to try this out for a while even if it does cost a bit more than buying groceries and making our own meal plans.
Overall, my wife and I have really enjoyed EveryPlate so far. In fact, as I noted, we’ve not only maintained our subscription since my initial review but also regularly order extra meals. While I can’t say how long we’ll be subscribers, what the ultra-long-term experience will be, or how it compares to other meal kit delivery services, I can say that I’d at least recommend giving it a shot.