A while back, I decided to try a home cooking meal prep service. Well, I actually tried two.

Now in the interest of full disclosure, I was not paid to do any of this, and I actually tried two different unaffiliated services, although I only documented one.  I tried Every Plate and Hello Fresh.

I tried Every Plate because they claimed to be the cheapest one in the game. They said that their boxes amounted to a little over three dollars a meal. Which is true, if you sign up and take the discount offer as a new subscriber.  With Hello Fresh, they also offered me a discount rate, but it wasn't as cheap as Every Plate.

However, when it came to the actual food, Hello Fresh was better, overall.  I made a couple of special burgers and a grilling cheese Tikki Masala dish.  With Every Plate, only one meal out of three was good, in my opinion.  Both meals with Hello Fresh were good, so I guess you're getting what you pay for when it comes to the recipes.  You pay a little more, you get a little better variety.

Both boxes were packaged nicely and securely, and both boxes did offer options to choose your meals.  Both boxes did give you the option of "skipping" a week, if you didn't want to get food that often.  And both boxes did have easy to follow instructions. But when it came down to it... it's just not worth it for a single person like me.  Now if I had another person to cook for, or a small family, it might absolutely be good.  For a single person though, it was just too much food. Each meal had leftovers for days, and they just don't keep as well as the initial evening you cook it up.

In the end, I didn't even have the motivation to try a third service, because I knew how it was going to go - you get an initial discount, pick out a few meals, try em up, and have leftovers for AGES.  I still have some of that tikki masala in my fridge.  I think it'll keep til this weekend or so since there's no meat in it.  But the pineapple chicken tacos had leftover chicken meat for probably two weeks, and I was reusing it left right and center.  That's just too much for one person. Considering that recipe was kind of gross, that wasn't pleasant to work through.

And honestly, I wouldn't recommend either service, unless you were a stressed out person who had more than one hungry person to cook for. If you're a person who has a voracious eater and another person who eats a little less, it might work out great.  You'd be able to cook up a night and not have any leftovers to speak of.  And it would take the stress out of "who picks what to have for dinner" if that's a recurring issue.  But if you're like me... no.  Not worth it.  I wanted about half, or even a third as much of the food they provided, and frankly, I could get the ingredients cheaper on my own.

So yeah, if you've got an active family and you wanna just throw something together without shopping every week, maybe try it.  If you're just cooking for one or two people... it's probably not worth it long term.  Maybe good for a try, but it's not something you'd want to do every month.  After all, how can you predict what you'll be in the mood for in three weeks? You may think Steak Frites sounds good now, but you might not be in the mood to chop up thousands of potatoes when the night comes. And then the box/bag is just sitting in your fridge, waiting for you.  Judging you.

Overall, Hello Fresh was better if not a bit pricey, although both weren't really worth it to me.  What do you think? Have you ever tried one of these meal services?

Cookingly yours,

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