There’s been an explosion of meal delivery services in the past several years, and people are attracted to these services for a variety of reasons. Many people love to cook but lack the time for planning and shopping. Some are just learning how to cook and they really appreciate how the ingredients are pre-measured. Others want a quick way to impress on date nights.
But one problem has kept many people from trying any of these services: price. At $10 per meal or even more, it’s not always easy to justify becoming a member.
That’s where EveryPlate enters the picture, offering meals at $4.99 apiece, ingredients delivered to your door each week. So how does it stack up to the competition? Are the meals tasty? We thoroughly tested it and will tell you everything you need to know in order to decide whether it’s right for you!
- Low price - $4.99 per meal is MUCH cheaper than competitors.
- Flavor - these meals taste really good.
- Ease of preparation - no recipe longer than 6 simple steps.
- User-friendly member interface makes ordering easy.
- Less waste - EveryPlate does admirably with recyclable materials, less packaging than other services, and no wasted ingredients.
- Student discount makes meals only $2.50 apiece.
- Free shipping and discounts for new subscribers.
- No options for vegan or gluten-free meals, and only one vegetarian meal option per week.
- Works well for 2 or 4 people, but not so well otherwise.
- 4-person groups can only order 3 meals per week.
We can recommend EveryPlate highly for omnivorous people who don’t have dietary restrictions and could use a few tasty home-cooked meals on the cheap each week, without shopping or planning. It’s all delivered to your door and is shockingly affordable. But if you have food allergies or special dietary needs (vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, low carb, etc), it’s just not a good option for you at this time. We will cross our fingers that this changes… because if they can manage to figure out how to accommodate people with dietary needs properly, while still keeping prices this low, then that would be fantastic.
EveryPlate is a meal delivery service that manages to be both affordable and delicious. Recommendable for people with no special dietary needs.
EveryPlate doesn’t have something for everybody, but what they do offer is a solid, tasty and affordable way for omnivorous people to skip the shopping and measuring and just cook yummy meals. You can eat well and cheaply.
Innerbody Research recently celebrated its 20-year anniversary online. Over the past two decades, we have helped tens of millions of readers make more informed decisions involving staying healthy and living healthier lifestyles.
We extensively test, experience and order from each meal service we review. Our review of EveryPlate is no different. We try our best to give you, our readers, an unbiased exploration of at-home services, free of marketing jargon or gimmicks. We evaluate the service based on our adherence to quality, the latest nutritional standards, and a simple question: would we buy the product or service ourselves if it weren’t part of our job, and would we recommend it to family and friends?
If you’ve followed any of the meal delivery developments of the past several years, maybe you have heard of HelloFresh and GreenChef. The people behind HelloFresh (one of the major players, which acquired GreenChef a couple years ago) also own EveryPlate. EveryPlate is essentially their streamlined bargain brand.
That doesn’t make it less tasty, but cheaper price means a few things logistically and philosophically:
- Reduced packaging, which is overall a good thing in my book, though you have to do a bit more of the organizational legwork when your ingredients arrive.
- Simpler ingredient lists and recipes (not a bad thing at all, as long as the food tastes great).
- Fewer meal options (ten per week) and no menus catering to special dietary needs (vegetarian, paleo, gluten-free, vegan, etc).
- No free shipping.
What EveryPlate doesn't offer
EveryPlate isn’t for those who want to eat strictly organic foods; the company only promises that it chooses high-quality regional partners. EveryPlate also isn’t a good fit for anybody with special dietary needs at this time. All of our gluten-free, low-carb, vegetarian and vegan friends can find a better fit with a different company.
The ordering process is simple and we found the interface very intuitive, both on the EveryPlate website and on the app. EveryPlate makes it straightforward to subscribe and make choices. Part of the simplicity is because there are indeed fewer options all-around with EveryPlate, compared to other meal delivery services. Starting up with EveryPlate requires three easy steps:
Sign up and choose your meal plan. From their website, you’ll see the options are based on the number of people in your plan, and the number of days that you want dinners each week.
Choose your actual meals for first week delivery. Each week there are ten meals from which to choose (though one of those options costs a little extra).
Receive your package for the first week. Packages will arrive either Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday or Saturday. You can fine-tune your delivery day for future orders, to suit your schedule.
Specify the number of people
Are you a party of 2 or 4? Those are the two options. If you’re ordering as a single person, EveryPlate suggests eating one of your dinners as a lunch. This will work fine for some people, but obviously not everyone.
Choose how many days you'd like meals in a week
Your options are 3, 4 or 5 days per week if you’re a party of two. However, if you’re a party of four people, you only get to order 3 meals per week. Here again is an example of how EveryPlate limits the variability in their plans in order to keep cost low.
The number of meals you choose depends on your selected number of days. And this isn’t a sea of options from which to choose, like with some other competitors. EveryPlate gives you nine standard-priced options per week, with an additional option costing extra. Each meal has its own page where you can see the full recipe, ingredients list and (eventually) nutritional breakdown. A couple notes here, though:
- EveryPlate doesn’t offer special meal menus for dietary needs and restrictions, but the company provides details about common allergens in each recipe. Frankly we consider this to be the least that they can do. If you just have certain dietary allergies and are using EveryPlate, this is where you can find information about meals to avoid.
- The nutritional breakdown isn’t immediately available for meals, but rather becomes available 5 days out from delivery. The meals are generally pretty healthy but for those with the specific health or dietary goal, such as restricting caloric intake or focusing on reducing fat or carbs, the lack of transparency upon ordering is another reason why EveryPlate isn’t going to be the best fit for you unfortunately.
- We recommend that you always check the meal’s page before selecting it for your order - even if you’re in a hurry. This is an important step not only to make sure you like the meal’s nutritional content, but also because you’ll discover that there are ingredients you may need to contribute to the process (things like butter or flour, which isn’t uncommon in meal delivery services) or even kitchen tools that you may not have handy (like a potato masher, for instance).
Here are some examples of available meals, to give you a sense for variety and complexity:
- Creamy Cajun chicken sausage penne.
- Roasted butternut squash risotto.
- Pork and pineapple tacos.
- Loaded baked potato chowder.
- Sweet ponzu beef bowls.
The ingredient list might be streamlined, but we found these recipes are still designed to impress.
At $4.99 per meal, EveryPlate’s meals tend to be close to (or more than) 50% cheaper than competitors. This is perhaps the biggest draw for EveryPlate, and it really is an impressive value. The normal price doesn’t rise or fall based on the frequency of meals delivered, either, which makes pricing feel less gimmicky.
Here are the weekly prices for the four different options in EveryPlate’s service.
- 2-person, 3 meals per week: $38.93 ($29.94 plus $8.99 shipping).
- 2-person, 4 meals per week: $48.91 ($39.92 plus $8.99 shipping).
- 2-person, 5 meals per week: $58.89 ($49.90 plus $8.99 shipping).
- 4-person, 3 meals per week: $68.87 ($59.88 plus $8.99 shipping).
Those are low prices! Your price will increase if you opt for one of the “premium” recipes, which cost an extra $2.99 per serving.
Billing and pausing or canceling service
You can pay with any major credit card or with PayPal. Signing up with EveryPlate means you are signing up for auto-renewal of the meal delivery service each week. So unless you cancel or pause, you will be billed each week and receive delivery.
To change, cancel or pause your service, though, it’s pretty easy: all you have to do is enter your account area and you can make any of those changes anytime up until 11:59pm Pacific Time five days before your next scheduled order.
If you’re a student, or if you know one who likes to cook and has kitchen access, here’s a great deal: 18 meals for $2.50 apiece. For those meals, a student would save $45 on the standard low price of EveryPlate meals. It only works, though, if said student has kitchen access of course. But if they do, we recommend this deal, because it’s tasty, very cheap and bound to be more nutritious than 90% of other meals you can buy for $2.50.
For many, this is the information you’ve been waiting for, and the resident foodies at Innerbody fully understand! Was the food tasty and satisfying? In short, we found that the meals are pretty darn impressive given the goal of keeping prices low and ingredients streamlined. Our testers were very pleased for the most part. Here are our notes about the EveryPlate dining experience.
The meals were yummy! In terms of taste, our testers were pleased by the outcome of each meal. A couple of our testers admitted that the meals they prepared didn’t look precisely the same as advertised, but they assured me that’s not EveryPlate’s fault.
Our testers appreciated that the ingredients were measured out very well, such that there was neither too much nor too little of anything. Note that EveryPlate doesn’t provide every ingredient necessary in preparation for some meals. Often you are responsible for providing ingredients like olive oil or black pepper. This is pretty typical of meal delivery services.
Portions are sometimes on the smaller side. If you are extremely active and count on a high-calorie meal, then it’s safe to say that your $4.99 EveryPlate meal will not always suffice. This was a problem for one of our testers with a couple meals, but for the rest of us there was no issue with portion size.
If you require high-calorie meals, you might discover that you need to supplement your EveryPlate dining. Our unusually voracious tester actually cooked up two servings for one meal and then had some of the leftovers as a snack the next day. That obviously changes the economics of EveryPlate for you, though, making each meal more expensive.
Special meal options each week
EveryPlate does offer one vegetarian meal option each week. This lack of selection is woefully inadequate for vegetarians, but it pleases omnivores who want a healthy vegetarian option for a meal each week.
Another special option each week is the “premium” meal. There’s one per week and it offers to elevate your meal to something more splurgy - think butter steak, for instance, or spicy Thai shrimp - for an added $2.99 per serving.
Just to reiterate: if you’re ordering your meals for a future week and are really attracted to a particular meal, do yourself a quick favor before ordering: click to read the recipe itself first, to familiarize yourself with what is involved in the making of it. Sometimes these recipes require kitchen tools that not everybody owns, and it’s better to know in advance rather than find out when your food and recipes arrive.
EveryPlate packages their ingredients in order to last safely for 48 hours inside the box. And aside from the gel within ice packs and the cotton within the liners, all packaging is curbside recyclable.
Shipping isn’t free. It costs $8.99 each week, regardless of the amount you order, so that a 2-person 5-day package is the same rate as a 4-person package. Even with the flat shipping fee, your overall cost is still much lower than other meal delivery services.
Are you serviced?
EveryPlate delivers to most places in the contiguous United States, though you will need to enter your zip code to make sure they serve your area.
Your delivery date and time
Delivery days are always going to be Tuesday-Saturday. And in terms of time, most of the time deliveries will happen between 8am and 8pm.
However, we found - and have also found this from other meal service providers - the delivery carrier does not always make your delivery within the 8am-8pm window. Sometimes the delivery arrives later in the evening… Again, not something unique to EveryPlate, but something for you to consider logistically.
Flexibility in terms of delivery days
It’s pretty straightforward to change the delivery day for future weeks, if a particular day would work better. You need to do this at least five days before your next delivery, though, in order for it to take effect.
You can make this change within your account, either on the website or in the app. But the steps for doing so are different from website to app.
If you’re on the website:
Go to Settings and then Plan Settings.
Find “Delivery window” and click to Edit.
There you will be able to pick a better delivery date and then click to save that change.
On the app:
You start in Settings and then click to “Edit my account”.
That takes you to the website, actually, where you will find and click “Delivery day”.
Click to Edit that delivery day, and then save your change.
If you are trying to change your delivery day for the very first week, that’s not quite as easy, though it is possible. You’re required to contact EveryPlate in order to change it.
What's in the box
Your shipment comes with the necessary ingredients and recipe cards for your meals for the week. If you’ve never tried a meal delivery service, these recipe cards are wonderful for reference in the future, once you find a meal you really love.
EveryPlate offers a service that, for many people, will be excellent. Whether you’re one of those people really depends on a few things:
- Do you have special dietary restrictions or needs? If so, unfortunately at this time it’s not for you.
- Do you fit well within the 2-person or 4-person framework? If not, then once again it’s likely not ideal.
If you have no dietary restrictions and you are ordering on behalf of either 2 or 4 people, then we can confidently recommend you try EveryPlate for its impressive value - convenient delivery for yummy meals at a fraction of the cost of competitors’ meals.
At Innerbody, we customize our evaluation criteria depending on the type and nature of the service. For EveryPlate and other meal services, we have five areas that we use for our evaluations:
Variety of meal options: How well does the meal service accommodate people with different dietary goals and tastes? It’s important that we can eat what we like to eat.
Nutritional value: Does the meal service operate with a firm grasp of nutritional needs of its customers?
Flavor: Do the meals taste good? Simple question, but if the answer is no, then nothing else matters!
Value: Are you getting your money’s worth? Are there any hidden costs or charges? Does the company offer discounts?
Customer support: How well does the company help you make the service ideal for you, with your unique dietary needs and lifestyle/routine considerations? How easy is it to plan and receive the meals delivered to your home?