We've all heard about how marvelous meal kits are by now.
They send the ingredients pre-portioned to your house, so it's foolproof and super easy, yadda, yadda, yadda. It always seemed like a ripoff to me - I didn't understand how it could save money or time because it all seemed so complicated.
A friend of mine kept sending me photos of her Chefs Plate meals, and, sure, they looked delicious, but I made fun of her for falling for a meal kit - they were a ripoff, right? She told me she'd been using it for months and was obsessed, and I should actually check it out before making assumptions.
Okay, you got me! I took a look at their page, and the nice photos enticed me to sign up for at least a week.
Here's what I was surprised to find.
There's A Huge Variety Of Meals
I'd never get bored. They offer plenty of standard fare like Chicken Parmesan and Meatloaf, but I also noticed Three Cheese and Spinach Stuffed Calzones, Spicy Korean Beef Tacos, and Za'atar Pork Burgers. There are 15 different options every week spanning lots of cuisines.
It's Super Affordable
The People's Meal Kit: It starts at just $8.99 a meal. Sooo much cheaper than takeout, and with the different spices, meats, and vegetables they supply, some meal options end up being far less expensive than buying everything individually at a grocery store.
15 Minutes Means 15 Minutes
I was most skeptical about the timeframe - they promise meals are ready in 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the recipe, but that doesn't take into account my glacially slow prep time, possible mess-ups, and toddlers pulling on your pant legs.
Guess what? Even with distractions, my 15 minute meal was ready in jussssst about exactly 15 minutes. This is so time-saving, I can literally change my schedule, it's opened up so much of my time on some nights.
The Quality Is Prime
We had one funky-looking onion, but it smelled okay, so right into the pan it went. Otherwise, we've only seen high quality ingredients that are truly fresh, thanks to their packaging. Everything arrives with ice packs, so it stays cool even if it's on the porch for a bit.
But Is It Really More Convenient?
Oh my goodness, yes. It was so quick-and-easy to sign up, and we can skip or cancel our subscription service at any time. Our orders arrive just when they say they will, and all the meals are ready in just a few, very clearly explained steps on the recipe cards and in the proposed time frame.
I really, genuinely thought meal kits were gimmicky, but now I only wish I'd signed up earlier. I have so much time back and far less stress thinking about what to cook!
Chefs Plate has a wide range of options, and offers plenty of vegetarian options (we do Meatless Mondays!), so we're going to stick with them.