I’ve been using Meal Delivery services for 3 years now and it’s been a life changer.
If you haven’t heard of this yet, basically it saves you meal planning and shopping as you simply select the meals you would like from the available options and the ingredients and recipes are shipped to your door.
I’d been happily using You Plate It for months when Hello Fresh popped up in my Facebook feed with a good deal on frequent flyer points so I thought I’d give them a try.
Since I first wrote this post I have also tried Dinner Twist so thought I’d add a review for them as well.
I noticed a few differences between the services so thought I’d outline my experiences for you here to help you choose which meal delivery service might suit you best.
Delivery of the Food
You Plate It deliver on Sunday and seem to be sticklers for time. I receive an email with the exact time they expect to deliver. They do advise it may be a 30 minute window either side of that. The meals arrive in separate paper bags, labelled with the name of the meal and the meat is vacuum sealed separately and placed directly on ice packs. All the food is packed in polystyrene boxes inside a cardboard box. I love that if I leave the boxes outside, they pick up and reuse them.
Hello Fresh delivery days vary and they give a 7 hour delivery window. The one time I was relying on them for dinner that night it didn’t arrive until near the end of the 1pm-8pm window. Their meals arrive in a cardboard box with the cold foods packed in a separate freezer bag with ice packs. They don’t reuse the boxes so you need to discard the gel in the icepacks, recycle the ice pack bags and box and you can compost the freezer bag if you wish. The meals are usually packed in a couple of paper bags each, marked with a large coloured sticker which corresponds to a colour stripe on the recipe.
Dinner Twist delivery days vary depending on your location. They send a text message on Saturday giving you a 2 hour delivery window.
- North of the Swan River, up to and including Quinns Rocks – Monday afternoon
- South of the Swan river down to and including Mandurah – Tuesday afternoon
- Regional WA – Wednesday
Delivery is free for Perth and surrounds. A small delivery fee applies to regional areas. If you prefer, you can pick up your box from their depots in South Fremantle or Canning Vale on Monday afternoons.
Dinner twist meals arrive in polystyrene boxes with dairy and protein packed in loose ice and all other ingredients loose in a separate box. They also encourage you to return the boxes each week.
As all their produce is separate, you need to fish through the fridge each night to find all the required ingredients. They seem to try and double up on the ingredient uses too e.g. block of feta, used in 2 different meals which I like.
All companies send you a text message to let you know when the food is at your door.
Cost of the Meal Delivery Services
I tried 4 meals per week of Family Box from Hello Fresh, the Family Box from You Plate It and the Family Box from Dinner Twist.
You Plate it has since introduced a 3 serves/night box (equivalent to the old Family Box) and a 4 serves a night box – good for older kids or those with healthy appetites.
You Plate It pantry ingredients seem to be limited to: oil, butter, salt, pepper and eggs.
So far Hello Fresh (with 3 weeks of meals) has expected: oil, butter, salt, pepper, eggs, soy sauce, sesame oil, white wine vinegar, brown sugar, plain flour, cornflour, honey and possibly some more I’ve forgotten!
Dinner Twist also expect similar pantry ingredients to Hello Fresh but send you an email prior to delivery to let you know what you will need which is helpful.
I did have all these ingredients but it does make it a little fiddlier if you’re having to pull out and measure them all separately.
Example of cost comparison:
|You Plate It
|4 meals for 2 Adults and 2-3 children||$155||$139.95||$154.95||$159|
Hello Fresh charge $9.95 + $9.95 to choose a delivery window. There is no option to not choose a delivery window, so delivery is essentially $19.90. You Plate It is free with the box.
All services work on a weekly subscription basis so you either need to pause or skip your delivery for the weeks you don’t want to receive them or cancel altogether. You Plate It offer a one off option to order 2 meals without subscribing. Dinner Twist offer an On Demand option where for an $5 extra per box you can choose weekly if you would like a box. Enter your mobile number and they send you the menu on a weekly basis. You then text back of you want the box that week.
Hello Fresh have a large range of meals to choose from each week but a number of them come at an additional cost to your basic box, so keep an eye out when choosing if you want to keep costs low.
You Plate It you can choose the from 2, 3 or 4 serves per night. You can order between 2-5 meals/week for all boxes and have 12 different recipes each week to choose from. You can also sort the meals by Gluten Free, Kid Friendly, Vegetarian and Extra Quick options. With You Plate It, you can also opt to add extra serves of the protein for the meal and a fruit box if you like.
Hello Fresh offer family, classic and vegetarian boxes. The Classic and vegetarian boxes are available for 2 or 4 people and the family box for 4 people. You can order 3-5 meals/week with the Classic and family boxes and choose from 10 options for the classic box and 6 for the family box. The vegetarian box only offers a 3 or 4 meals/week option and four recipe choices each week.
All services delivered tasty meals but I still prefer the You Plate It ones overall.
Dinner Twist offer Express, Wholesome, Family and Vegan Boxes. All are available for 2 or 4 people except the Express box which is for 4 people only. They seem to only have the option of 4 meals per week and there is no choice.
You can edit your preferences in the profile section to select Gluten Friendly, No Pork, No Fish, No Lamb, No Beef and they will provide substitutes. Chicken schnitzel seems to be a common substitute for most proteins (it’s actually chicken breast). You can also add a Fruit Box, extra protein or a bread, milk and eggs add on to your order.
Contents and Size of the Meals
You Plate It seems to measure the ingredients more carefully so you can usually just throw everything in without having to double check the recipe every step.
Hello Fresh often provide a little more of some ingredients so you need to check the amount each time to make sure you don’t blow up your taste buds!
Because Dinner Twist pack all their ingredients separately, rather than in meal bags you need to check each ingredient. This is made easier by the fact that the ingredient list and method are both on the same side of the recipe card whereas Hello Fresh and Dinner Twist have method and ingredient lists on opposite sides.
Hello Fresh and Dinner Twist provides more meat for each meal and You Plate It provides more vegetables. For example, when cooking a meal with chicken breasts, Hello Fresh provide 4 whereas You Plate It only send 3. This works for our family as my kids wouldn’t eat a whole one each but if you have older children, you may need the 4 serve box or to top up your protein serves which you can do easily as an order add on.
All services usually send more food than we can eat in one meal. This means we have left overs which will usually serve us for a lunch or dinner for 2.
Oops – we messed up.
Mistakes happen but how does each service deal with it? There have been times I’ve received the wrong ingredient or an ingredient has been missing. Both services have refunded me the cost of the meal when advised of the mix up. However, You Plate It refund the amount to my credit card. Hello Fresh applied a credit to my account which isn’t helpful if you weren’t planning on continuing your subscription.
I also found You Plate It much easier to contact as they provide a mobile number. You can email Hello Fresh or they have a live chat option when you’re logged into your account. Dinner Twist also provide a phone number but it goes to a call centre. The call centre weren’t able to assist me when I mucked up my order but I received a call back within 24 hours from a very helpful and pleasant staff member.
Meal Delivery Services – Extras
You Plate It is a WA based company and uses local suppliers where possible and I love to support local business. Dinner Twist also seems to be Perth based and uses local suppliers.
I do love the Flavour Generator on the Hello Fresh site. You can enter the type of cuisine and flavour you feel like and it brings up some recipe options for you with the ingredients you need.
If you haven’t ordered from the service before and would like a credit, you can use the following.
You Plate It $50 link or use the code EM92
Dinner Twist $50 code: 1956NX4
It’s also handy to know if you use the services then cancel, they will often contact you and offer further discounts of even a free week to get you to use them again!
Let me know if you’ve tried any of these meal delivery services and what you think! I’d love to know which ones you like.
*Disclaimer: I wasn’t paid for these reviews nor did I receive subsidised meals outside of what they would offer to any other customer. I do receive a credit towards my subscriptions if you choose to use the vouchers.