I’ve been using Meal Delivery services this year 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.
I noticed a few differences between the 2 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 plastic 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 deliver on Tuesday and 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.
Both 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 and the Family Box from You Plate It.
You Plate It was slightly more expensive however they also expect a lot less “pantry ingredients”.
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!
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||Hello Fresh
|4 meals for 2 Adults and 2-3 children.||$155||$139.95||$154.95|
Both 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.
You Plate It you can choose the from classic or family boxes. The classic box is designed for 2 or 4 adults (you choose) and the family box for 2 adults and 2-3 children. You can order between 2-5 meals/week for both boxes. They have recently increased their meal selections per week so you can choose from 12 recipes per week. This allows more options for vegetarians now as there used to be only 1 vegetarian meal per week. 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. You can order up to 5 meals/week with the Classic box and choose from 5 options. (In other words, if you choose the 5 meal option, you get what they select for that week. If you choose the 3 or 4 meal options you can select which meals you prefer. The vegetarian box only offers a 3 meals/week option and the family box only 4 meals/week.
Both services delivered tasty meals but I prefer the You Plate It ones.
Contents and Size of the Meals
You Plate It seem 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!
Hello Fresh 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 to top up your protein serves with the You Plate It meals which you can do easily as an order add on.
Both 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.
Meal Delivery Services – Extras
You Plate It is a WA based company and I love to support local business.
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 $50 credit, you can use the following.
You Plate It $50 code EM92
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.