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Compared to the price of shopping for
groceries and cooking at home, meal-kit delivery services aren’t
cheap. Yes, they may be less expensive than going to a restaurant or ordering takeout or delivery meals, but dinner for two still costs somewhere around $25, and that doesn’t include
shipping. EveryPlate trims that price down to about $10. It is by far the
lowest cost meal-kit service we’ve seen.

What do you get to eat with EveryPlate? The
weekly rotating menu resembles American favorites that you’d expect to find at
a family restaurant. If you like your cheeses ooey gooey and your burgers
stacked high, you’ll have fun with this menu. If you have food allergies or are
vegetarian, don’t bother trying to make EveryPlate work.

EveryPlate is a great option if price is your main concern with meal kit delivery. Our Editors’ Choices, however, are Blue Apron for novice cooks, Green Chef for people who like plant-focused meals (vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike), and HelloFresh for people who eat widely. We also recommend Purple Carrot for vegans. One last pick worth pointing out here is Hungryroot, which sends you groceries and recipe suggestions rather than fixed meal kits. It caters well to every diet, from vegans to pescatarians and meat eaters.

EveryPlate Pricing

EveryPlate’s pricing is decidedly
straightforward and the lowest you’ll find among meal kit delivery services.
Every serving costs $4.99 and shipping always costs $8.99. It doesn’t matter
how many meals you order per week.

Some selections from the menu, usually one per
week, are Premium. They cost $2.99 per serving more, so $7.98. Most of these
entrees contain steak, although I did see one with prawns.

As of this writing, EveryPlate has an offer for students to get their
meals for $3.99 per serving for their first 52 boxes. The shipping rate is
still the same.

The minimum number of servings you can get in
a single shipment is six (three dinners for two people). The maximum is 12 servings (three
dinners for four people).

How Much Do Other Meal Kits Cost?

Most meal-kit subscription services cost between $9.99 and $12.99 per serving. EveryPlate’s prices are far lower
than others. Depending on what you like to eat, however, you might find that
paying a little more gives you a better experience.

Blue Apron is among the lower-cost services,
charging between $7.49 and $9.99 per serving; shipping is always free for all
but the smallest plan.

Purple Carrot, the
all-vegan service, also costs a little less than most others when you consider
both the per-serving price ($8.99-$10.99) and shipping rate ($5.99-$11.99).
Shipping is based on the size of the box being delivered. The smaller and
lighter the box, the less you pay.

HelloFresh and Green Chef, two personal
favorites, charge between $9.99 and $12.99 per serving, depending on how much
food you order at once. There’s a $7.99 shipping fee. Many companies waive the
shipping fee on your first order.

Sun Basket costs more at $10.99 to $12.99 per
serving, plus a $7.99 shipping fee.

Hungryroot is a little different. As mentioned, this company sends a selection of groceries based on
your preferences and includes suggested recipes. If you follow the recipes,
they work out to be between $8.49 and $9.99 per serving. But you get snacks and
other foods, too. For a single box, you can expect to pay a minimum of about
$75. Shipping is free if you qualify for ground delivery. Otherwise, it’s an
additional $10 per box.

Most meal services mentioned so far ship a
minimum of two servings per recipe. Single-serve meals are available, though the
companies making them tend to offer ready meals rather than cooking kits.
Freshly, Splendid Spoon, and Daily Harvest are all good examples. Freshly
($7.99-$11.50 per serving) makes meals that look a whole lot like TV dinners.
Splendid Spoon ($9.50-$13 per meal, shipping included) does soups, bowls, and
smoothies, which are premade. Daily Harvest ($6.99-$7.75 per meal) sends you
frozen ingredients for smoothies, soups, and bowls; you add and
heat or blend them before eating.

EveryPlate pork poblano tacos

EveryPlate’s options are what I would call
American comfort food—including some flavors and dishes from other shores that
have become staples of the American palate, like enchiladas and balsamic
vinegar. It’s a lot of burgers, pastas, meaty tacos, and pork chops. If you
have a taste for barbecue chicken and meatballs served over mashed potatoes,
you will do just fine with EveryPlate.

If you have food allergies or are vegetarian,
this is not the right service for you. I looked through EveryPlates menus over
the course of a few weeks, and there were hardly any vegetarian meals at all.
Nothing seemed particularly health-conscious either. From time to time I’d find
a grain bowl, and maybe even a vegetarian one, like harissa-roasted chickpea bowls with
couscous, creamy avocado dressing, and cilantro. But they are rare finds.

The allergens for each recipe are available
only after you open the full recipe card. There’s no way to filter your options
by allergens or easily see them while comparing options for the week’s meals.
Sun Basket adds tags like dairy-free and soy-free that you can see while
perusing the week’s menu. Green Chef lets you opt into a plan in advance so
that you only see options that meet your requirements, and these include
vegetarian, keto, and paleo. You still have to dive into the full recipe card
to get the list of allergens, however.

Hungryroot has an option for vegans (which is
by default also dairy-free), although it does offer meat, fish, and dairy if
you want it. Daily Harvest and Splendid Spoon are entirely vegan.

EveryPlate package unboxing

Packaging

The amount of packaging that goes into
shipping a meal kit box is a major concern. So far, I have yet to see any
company offer packaging that’s remarkably lean and eco-friendly. The
limitations of putting together a box of fresh food that will stay cold and
fresh during transport, and which is packaged in a way so that ingredients
don’t contaminate one another, is a challenge.

That said, some kits do better than others.

EveryPlate did a surprisingly good job of
reducing plastic waste. Ingredients that didn’t need to be wrapped, such as
sweet potatoes, peppers, onions, tomatoes, were nestled into one open-topped
cardboard box. That box also held a package of pasta, spice packets, a little
plastic pouch of grated cheese, and Brussels sprouts (in a plastic bag).

Beneath that box were individually wrapped
meats, which were sandwiched between two cold packs. The whole kit and caboodle
came in a silver bubble wrap cooler bag, which I kept and plan to reuse.

EveryPlate unboxing spread

Cooking and Eating

To test EveryPlate, I chose three meals that
my partner and I could make together. They were:

I asked my partner to cook the linguine recipe
on his own to see how he’d handle it. He’s a competent cook and can follow a
recipe, but isn’t as experienced in the kitchen as I am. I cooked the other
two.

EveryPlate chicken sprouts meal

We both enjoyed the linguine a fair amount.
Compared to the marketing photos, our dish didn’t have bright green peppers.
They got lost in the sauce. The recipe recommended we top our pasta with fresh
basil or parsley if we had some, which we didn’t. I am surprised none was
included.

The portions were very large. In general, I’ve
been surprised at the ample portion sizes of most meal kit dinners. If I were
making linguine without a meal kit, I would have cut the portions by at least
25% and supplemented it with a salad or more vegetables. One pepper for two
people isn’t much.

For the chicken dish, the chicken released a
lot of liquid when cooked. The Brussels sprouts were huge. I had to cut them in
quarters rather than halves to help them cook faster. I like that EveryPlate
included a recipe and ingredients for a sauce, rather than sending a prepared
sauce. HelloFresh’s meal kits are similar (HelloFresh owns EveryPlate). There
are a few benefits to preparing sauces and dressings yourself. First, you know
exactly what’s in it, and it’s unlikely to have unnecessary stabilizers and
preservatives added. Second, you can make them to taste, adjusting spiciness,
creaminess, saltiness, and so forth. Third, you learn how easy it is to make
sauces, which is an important cooking skill.

The taco dish came out alright, and my
partner liked the blend of poblano and ground pork cooked together. A roma
tomato included to make pico de gallo was mealy. We did like that none of the
ingredients were pre-chopped. That allows EveryPlate to reduce the amount of
packaging, while also giving us some freedom in deciding how to prep the
ingredients. For example, when dicing a jalapeno, we left some of the rib and
seeds in for added heat. If the ingredients had been pre-chopped, we wouldn’t
have had that choice.

Would You Eat It Again?

EveryPlate’s meals lean very much toward
American comfort food. It’s a meat-and-potatoes kind of plan, not
quinoa-and-kale. If you enjoy cheesy quesadillas and chicken with gravy, you’ll
probably like the menu options. The meals don’t suit my taste, but
because of the low cost, I could see myself ordering a kit or two if I had
friends or family visiting. It’s a nice way to pick and cook a few
crowd-pleasing dishes without having to plan a menu, make a trip to the grocery
store, and figure out what to do with a half-empty tub of sour cream a week
later. It’s hard to argue with the cost, and the student discount should makes it even more appealing for that customarily cash-strapped demographic. It won’t do much for students who are trying to follow a healthy diet, however. 

If you prefer more vegetables and fewer
carbohydrates, Green Chef is a better option. HelloFresh is somewhere between
Green Chef and EveryPlate, with some vegetarian meals and slightly healthier entrees
but no options for people who stick to eating a paleo or keto diet. If you’re
really new to cooking, Blue Apron is another top choice.

EveryPlate Meal Delivery Service Specs

Starting Price Per Meal $4.99
Vegetarian Options Yes
Vegan Options No
No Extra Delivery Charges No

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