Ok, Ok. The title may be a bit dramatic but seriously if I never had to step a foot in a grocery store again I would be one happy camper.
K and I tested the waters with out first meal subscription box in January which just happen to be Goodfoods. I’m pretty sure I saw a promo on Facebook or a friend posting about a free box they had to give away and I figured, free groceries for the week why not!
We tried 3 meals from Goodfoods and they were all AMAZING! The whole concept is brilliant, easy and makes cooking fun so its safe to say we were hooked! All of the companies offer promos, referral codes, ect. especially for first time users so we tried the 4 I could find in Canada and then have continued to order from our favourites! I am going to go through each company and tell you the pros and cons of each and then rank them for you but first I’ll just give a quick overview of what meal subscriptions are in general and why I LOVE them!
So what is a meal subscription and why do I love it?
They pretty much all work the same, you create an account, decided what meal plan you want (most have like classic, easy prep, family, healthier and vegetarian categories), you choose how many servings you want 2 or 4. and how many meals you want a week (most offer 2, 3 and 4) You can change any of this at any time.
You then go into the weekly menu section and select which meals you would like delivered for the following week. There are typically like 8-12 options to choose from and some may cost extra $ per serving and will say right on there. These typically have more expensive ingredients or are larger and offer 2 recipes one for dinner and 1 for the leftovers for lunch the next day.
I like to get ours delivered on Monday so I have until Wednesday night to login select the meals for the following week or skip them entirely if I don’t want them. My card is then charged Thursday and they show up on Monday. You can skip weeks as far as 3 months in advance so this is what I do on all of them and then I just go in and unskip the one we want to get that week. Chefsplate use to have a pause your subscription button which I really liked and was very convenient but they seem to have gotten rid of it! If you happen to forget to skip it you will get the meals they choose for you, or if you call in on the Thursday you can normally get it cancelled.
They all come with the ingredients in separate bags for each meals excluding the meat which is kept on ice packs on the bottom. They all come in recyclable insulated boxes so you don’t need to worry about the boxes staying cold.. however in Canada you do need to worry about them freezing. They come with easy step-by-step recipe cards with pictures that make it so easy!
So why do I like this service so much??
Well it completely gets rid of the dreaded “what should we make for supper, I don’t know, what do you want?” routine. We know exactly what we are going to have or at least just have to shuffle up the recipe cards and pick one! I don’t have to worry about whether we have everything or not at home and if I need to stop at the store on the way home cause I know its all there in the box (the only things you need in your cupboard are salt, pepper and oil). It is perfectly portioned and balanced. We were both amazed at how little we are actually suppose to eat and how with all the combined food groups we were actually full. It keeps us from a food rut of eating the same thing every week, also every box included at least 1 ingredient we had never tried before. We were eating so much earlier because we had a plan, we didn’t need to de-thaw anything, we didn’t have to stop at the store and I could get started on dinner as soon as I walked in the door. We also saved money because I wasn’t stopping at the store multiple times a week to grab supper stuff… and a few other items we didn’t actually need and there was no waste because we had exactly what we needed.
Although I don’t think I could 100% do them all the time because I do like making some of my favourite dishes I think the 4 days of meals, 3 days of my own is the perfect balance. We choose to do the meals Monday-Thursday as I find the weekend tends to be when we aren’t home or have more time to cook anyways. This summer we have cut back and aren’t getting them every week as we aren’t home as much and really enjoy BBQing in the summer although a lot of the boxes have grilling options now that its summer. Also yes you do still need to grocery shop for the other 2 meals a day but having supper done really does make the world of a difference.
I am going to go through the 4 companies we tried individually and what we liked and didn’t like about them. I will put them in our preferred order as well but this is all personal preference and I encourage you to try them yourself. I just want to preface this by saying we tried all but one of the boxes more than once and every company did have some hits and some misses in terms of recipes. Although we used coupon codes and referral links to get some discounts on the boxes this post is not sponsored and I was not sent any boxes as part of a trial. They also all had amazing customer service!
This was our first box and remains our favourite! We find these meals are the most filling even if the serving size may seem small. These are also the fanciest meals and use a lot of ingredients that we have never cooked with or even heard of before which we loved but may not be everyone’s cup of tea. There is a really good selection and we typically have a hard time just choosing 4. I have noticed there have been more vegetarian options in the classic section and they aren’t clearly identified as vegetarian which is great for those who don’t eat meat but we prefer to have meat included in our meal especially since the price is the same. The ingredients were also very fresh and lasted the full week until we need them. We also tried the clean 15 box which is the healthier options and they were good as well but I didn’t find they were worth the extra cost! We get the classic basket 2 servings of 4 meals for the week and it is $78 or $9.74 per serving. This also happens to be the cheapest of the boxes which is a win, win in my books! They also now have a breakfast smoothie option that you can add on which I am interested to try cause they sound awesome! There are also cookie and meat add ons which I haven’t tried. Get $40 off your first box when you use my sign up link. or send me a message as I sometimes have free boxes to give out!
Chefsplate was the second box we tried and although I would say the meals aren’t as flavourful and fancy as Goodfoods they are still really good and also the servings are huge! Most days we end up with supper for both of us and I get left overs for lunch! I do find their meal selection is hit or miss, they normally have like 12 meals but almost 1/2 of them have an extra $ per serving and then of the 6 remaining half tend to be vegetarian even though they are in the classic selection. Our first box we did have an issue with a bad potato and cucumber and before I even had a chance to write to them about it they had responded to my Instagram story and credited that meal, can you say amazing customer service! It was also like -35 out this week so it may have froze at some point during delivery. We get the classic basket 2 servings of 4 meals for the week and it is $79.92 or $9.99 per serving. Get 4 Free Meals when you use my sign up link.
Hello Fresh was the third box we choose and it was good but not always the most flavourful or filling of meals. This is one where we were typically still hungry after and not completely satisfied. We did find the meal selection wasn’t always the best and of the 11 options given in the Pronto Basket 4 of them are vegetarian. This being said some weeks there are really good options but rarely can we find 4 in one week that we want to order and also with the price we only order this one when we have a discount code. We did also get a bad onion and basil one week in our box which they credited us for, once again it was a really cold week so it may have froze in delivery. Also the last time we ordered the meals did not show up on Monday, there was an issue with their carrier in the area so we got it a day late, they did credit our account $25 for this. We get the Pronto Plan 2 servings of 4 meals for the week and it is $99.99 or $12.49 per serving. Get $40 off your first box by ordering here.
Oh where do I start with Miss Fresh… I was picking up lunch in Metro one day and saw a sign advertising their new meal subscription services call Miss Fresh which I also had seen on Facebook but didn’t click on it. I looked it up and decided to give it a try. We only ordered it once and even with the discount on our first box we didn’t feel it was worth the money. The meals were very plain and boring. I don’t have any photos from the box because none of them were even photo worthy. They also forgot one of the main ingredients for one of the recipes which they did give me a $10 credit on my account. Luckily I opted to pick up my box at my local store which gets you a $5 coupon for Metro which I though was really smart.. little did I know I would be using it to buy the ingredient they forgot in my box. They do have the option to add breakfasts and snacks to your box which I thought was neat but I wouldn’t recommend this box. We got the Custom box which was 2 servings of 4 meals for the week and it would have been $78.32 or $9.78 per serving but we luckily had a coupon.
A note on the environment
I am just going to come right out and say it, these are not the most environmentally friendly options. They all come in cardboard boxes with ice packs. Most of them now have the option to put your box and ice packs out for pick up with your next order to be reused. The boxes are recyclable and the ice packs are able to be emptied in the sink, although I keep mine and reuse them a few more times if they aren’t broken. We also save our boxes for camping that way we can fill them up and burn them as fire-starter when we have drank/ate everything in them.
They come with each meals ingredients separated out into bags (plastic or paper) and then the ingredients come in containers mainly, sometimes plastic bags. I keep and reuse these containers they are great for so many things or you can recycle them.