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PlateJoy Review: Is PlateJoy’s meal planning a good deal?

We tested PlateJoy to give you the details on value, flexibility and convenience, plus free trial and discount info

Last Updated: Aug 19, 2020

PlateJoy review

Millions of Americans each year look for ways to improve their health in one of the most fundamental ways – by eating better. But in our busy lives, we need all of the help we can get in order to maintain good, healthy habits. It takes time not only to shop, but especially to research and plan meals that we know will give us the nutritional balance essential for a healthy life.

That’s where PlateJoy aims to make a big contribution to your life. PlateJoy wants to do the meal planning for you so that your busy schedule doesn’t get in the way of your health goals. And PlateJoy has an algorithm to help craft a plan it’s confident that you will enjoy.

Will PlateJoy work for you? Is it a good value? Is its algorithm successful in creating customized meal plans people love? We’ve thoroughly tested PlateJoy – find out the answers in our full review.

Review Summary

Pros

  • PlateJoy’s 10-day free trial allows you to test the product without committing.
  • A great way to quickly and easily plan healthy and time-saving meals.
  • Flexible and adjustable planning responds well to your input.
  • In 80 major metro areas, ingredients can be delivered straight to your door via Instacart or Amazon Fresh.
  • PlateJoy organizes a handy shopping list for you, mindful of what’s already in your pantry.
  • Affordable service can cost less than $10 a month, providing great value.
  • Get $10 off your subscription using our code (INNERBODY10) at checkout

Cons

  • Ingredients list in the recipe interface isn’t editable, so you need to remember your changes if you choose to substitute an ingredient.
  • Ingredient delivery isn’t available everywhere, only where Instacart and Amazon Fresh operate.

Bottom line

Here at Innerbody Research, we think PlateJoy is an excellent tool for busy people who want to improve their health and get more creative in the kitchen. We love the 10-day free trial, which gives curious users a chance to try the service out for themselves with nothing to lose. If you want to eat better or stick to a particular dietary plan, but lack the time to research, create a meal plan and maintain the habit, PlateJoy could be a great solution for you.

Our Top Picks

PlateJoy

PlateJoy brings superb value as a meal planner in today’s hectic world, with an algorithm that listens to your dietary preferences and goals.

Catering to a wide variety of dietary needs and preferences, PlateJoy takes care of all the meal planning for you, so that you can eat healthier. In many locations you can even have Instacart or Amazon Fresh deliver the groceries. Plus, try it for free for 10 days.

Why you should trust us

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 each health service we review. We try our best to give you, our readers, an unbiased exploration of at-home health services, free of marketing jargon or gimmicks. We evaluate the service based on our adherence to quality, the latest medical evidence and health 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?

Additionally this review of PlateJoy, like all health-related content on this website, was thoroughly vetted by one or more members of our Medical Review Board for accuracy.

What does PlateJoy do?

PlateJoy is a San Francisco-based health and nutrition start-up that provides users with custom meal plans for every dietary need, schedule, and food preference. Its service simplifies the process of eating better, providing you and your family with flexible, tailored menus for a week of delicious food.

PlateJoy caters to many dietary needs, including:

  • Clean Eating
  • Low Carb
  • Mediterranean
  • Dairy-free
  • Keto
  • Paleo
  • Kid-friendly
  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan
  • Pescatarian
  • Gluten-free
  • Low FODMAP

In addition to considering dietary needs, PlateJoy also provides plans for picky eaters (especially children) and menus suited for batch cooking. Its plans are all very customizable and flexible, which means you can pick and choose different recipes and ingredients that fit with you and your family.

Based on the generated recipes, PlateJoy will create shopping lists to help you plan your trips to the grocery store and avoid waste. In 2015, PlateJoy entered a partnership with Instacart. If you are located within an Instacart delivery area, you can have all your ingredients sent to you with same-day delivery. PlateJoy also now works with Amazon Fresh.

One of the best features of PlateJoy is the flexibility of the platform and the way it minimizes food waste. Does your partner skip breakfast some days? You can account for that in your plan. Have a friend coming over for dinner this week? Bump up the portion sizes to ensure you have enough to feed them. Going out for a meal this week? Drop your dinners down to six meals instead of seven. Need to use up those greens in the back of the fridge? Tell PlateJoy, and they will be in one of your next recipes!

How does the service work?

PlateJoy’s platform is based around its personalization algorithm. First, you take a quiz to tell it all about your dietary preferences, how much time you have, your health/wellness goals, and how many people your menu should feed. Your answers give PlateJoy a picture of how you want to eat.

Based on all of the information you provide (which you can update and change at any time), PlateJoy creates a menu full of recipes from its recipe library. These recipes are designed with your health goals, taste, and lifestyle in mind. PlateJoy also calculates all the nutritional information, so you can easily incorporate this data into a fitness tracker such as MyFitnessPal or Fitbit.

The recipes that PlateJoy suggests for you from week to week are not set in stone. Instead, the platform is very flexible. If you don’t like the look of some of the meals it has planned for you, just remove them, and they will be replaced. The goal should be to do this sparingly, though, as the menus are designed to link together to minimize grocery costs for the week.

You can add your favorites from past menus, and even add your own recipes to your repertoire. You can also search for specific ingredients, dishes, cuisines, and even kitchen appliances in the recipe list to curate your menu. (Time to dust off the slow cooker.)

Having set your menu, you can see your personalized shopping list. Before this is finalized, you can check if there are any other items you need. PlateJoy keeps track of your pantry, so you can update whether you need staples such as oil, salt, butter, and spices. You don’t even have to decide on which day to eat your meals, because PlateJoy automatically schedules your meals for you based on how perishable various items are.

How much does PlateJoy cost?

PlateJoy offers a 10-day free trial, where you can try out the entire service before committing to a subscription. The cost of the plan (after the free trial) is $69 for six months or $99 for 12 months. This means, if you enjoyed the trial and want to subscribe for a year, you’d pay under $9 per month for this planning service.

But when you add in the fact that PlateJoy gives our readers $10 off of your subscription (use our code: INNERBODY10), this drives the price down and the value even higher, making the price of a yearlong subscription only $7.42 per month.

The cost is for the creation of your tailored menu and organization of your shopping lists. It does not include any of your ingredients or delivery costs. Based on our testing and the true benefits of this kind of meal planning to improve health, we consider PlateJoy to be a significant value indeed.

HSA, FSA and health insurance

If you are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, several health insurance plans will cover the cost of PlateJoy. PlateJoy offers meal plans that are diabetes-friendly, designed to lower blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity.

Getting started

Getting started with PlateJoy is very easy. Simply take the quiz and start your meal planning journey free-of-charge with their 10-day trial. Play around with your preferences, search their recipe library, and be inspired.

If you decide that you like the service, don’t cancel within the free trial period. When it ends, you will be automatically charged for your six- or twelve-month package, whatever you selected when signing up for your trial.

Does PlateJoy protect my privacy?

PlateJoy respects your privacy and its policies are pretty standard. The information you give to PlateJoy is used to provide you with its services, contact you, and improve the platform. This information includes personal details you provide or those collected through automated data collection. PlateJoy will not share your data with third parties (for example, a health insurance company) without your authorization.

How we evaluate health products and services

At Innerbody Research, we customize our evaluation criteria depending on the type and nature of the health-related service. For health-related products and services, we have five areas that we use for our evaluations, including:

Quality: How well does the company deliver its core service(s) and product(s) to the customer? For testing services, does the company adhere to the latest and most advanced testing technologies and achieve a very high degree of accuracy? For non-testing telehealth services, is the quality of the service and/or product high enough that we would recommend it to loved ones without hesitation? If not, why not?

User-friendly: How intuitive and user-friendly is the service? Does the device/program/app/website achieve a good degree of user-friendliness for its customers?

Value: Are you getting your money’s worth? Are there any hidden costs or charges? Does the company offer discounts?

Privacy: If health data is stored, will your data be stored securely? Are payments secure?

Customer support: Particularly in situations where ‘one size fits all’ doesn’t make sense, how well does the company help to make the service ideal for you?

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