Around the 15th of last month, I was watching TV and saw an ad for one of the home food delivery places. I have looked at these before, but they have always been too expensive to even think about. I decided to really investigate them since they were still in the back of my mind from Christmas, we were going to get my in-laws one for Christmas, but I was told not to.
I spend all day looking at reviews, suggestions, and every option that I could find. After sifting through the information, I decided there were only two that we could afford EveryPlate and Dinnerly. Both options are about $5 a serving. This may seem a bit high to some but later in this post, you will see why I disagree.
After looking over the menus of both options we decided on EveryPlate. The options on Dinnerly were missing color in my opinion, everything looks beige; I want my plate to be colorful and EveryPlate won on this. Granted Dinnerly is a bit cheaper according to the information on their website.
I had a promotion code that gave me a discount on our first 3 boxes making our first one only $45 or so; given this is less than I would spend for the weeks’ groceries I was happy to say yes to trying it. Before I go on and tell you our experience so far, let me give you the background of how meals were done in my house before EveryPlate.
Every payday (every other week) I sit down with the family and pick what we are going to eat for the next two weeks (not an easy task and normally takes a day or two to get done), after this is decided I spend a whole day shopping online at 3 or 5 different stores to make sure I can get everything for as little as possible. I schedule all these for pickup. Yes, I do online shopping with pickup. Oh, let’s pause and talk about this for a minute since it has been a lifesaver for me.
Four or five years ago our local grocery stores started offering what is known as “Home Shop” where you shop online, they fulfill the order, and you pick it up ready to go in the parking lot. This comes with a convenience fee between $2-$6 but saved me HUNDREDS in just the first year using it. I was no longer taking hungry people to the store, and I wasn’t taking the kids anymore, so no more “can I have” on the spot things. Instead, they sat at the computer and put anything they wanted into the cart first, then I would look it over and talk to them about what we would and would not get.
Ok, now that you know what the is, back to the story. In case you are not doing the math, 3 hours to get everyone to pick and decide dinners, 4-8 hours shopping, 1-2 hours driving around picking up the orders, and an hour putting it all away. Then there is the “sorry we are out of” issues of the home shop; when they are out of something you can choose to have them substitute a different item or refund you. Either way, you may not end up with what you needed. This has led to another 1-2 hours of figuring out what is missing and making another run to some store to try and get the rest of the stuff. That is 10-16 hours every two weeks just to shop for food and put it away.
Then there was the cooking of dinner; only one person in the house really likes to cook but he is going to school for it and doesn’t want to cook on school days since he spends all day those days cooking already. So, each night was a struggle of who was going to cook tonight and what are we going to have out of what we picked. Every meal seemed to take 1-3 hours to make even ones that shouldn’t take that long.
So, as a quick recap, that is 24 to 37 hours every two weeks just spent to feed the family (time cost at min wage $174-$268.25). These are hours I could be doing something I care about, so with each passing payday I get more upset when I hear “awesome thanks but I’m not hungry right now” or “I don’t like that”; why am I doing all this if no one is going to eat?
How has this changed since we got EveryPlate?
We sit down as a family for about 20 minutes looking at the coming week’s menu and selecting what we want. When it arrives on Tuesday, someone brings it in from the delivery bin and I load it into the crisper drawers; takes about 30 minutes. Then each day we look at the recipe sheets and decide which we want that night (about 5 minutes). When it’s time to make dinner, one or more of us will go into the kitchen, get the sheet, pull what we need out of the crisper drawer, and start dinner. Most dinners so far have taken 30-45 minutes from start to eating.
At this point, everyone but J is willing to cook since it is so easy and doesn’t take forever. I don’t think J will ever be happy to cook, he really dislikes it and thinks if it takes more than 10 minutes, it takes too long. So, the time on EveryPlate for two weeks of feeding the family is 10-13 hours (time cost at min wage $72.5 to $94.25).
Let’s, look at the time difference before I tell you all the other things I have noticed in the past three weeks on this service. Before EveryPlate we were spending 24-37 hours every two weeks to feed the family, now we spend 10-13 hours every two weeks; that is a 14–24-hour difference in time alone (time cost at min wage for those hours would be $105-175). That’s a HUGE saving right there but there is more.
Over the past three weeks, not only have I saved a huge amount of time, but we aren’t throwing away food anymore either. In the past we would have to buy more than we needed of something and after we used what little we needed it would sit until it was no longer good (I’m sure you all can think of an example but if you can’t fish sauce and oyster sauce are two, I just threw out recently) or we would have leftovers that no one would eat.
With EveryPlate there is plenty to fill you up but for the most part, we don’t have leftovers, and since they send you exactly what you need you don’t have extra ingredients lying around going bad. You might think, “but I bet you trash, or recycling has increased”; not true. Somehow, we are creating less trash and recycling than we were before. This I can’t explain since all the main packaging is recyclable and it isn’t small but then again, we use to have a lot of paper bags and boxes that we don’t anymore. We used to have large things to throw out but now it’s little trash (think mustard packets).
Overall, I’m so very pleased and don’t ever want to go back to how I was doing this before. I’m in love with EveryPlate which is why I decided to share with all of you. Normally this isn’t something I would put on the blog, but it relates to herbs in the fact that I now have 10-13 hours more to spend on herbal things instead of dinner.
If you are interested in trying EveryPlate, click here; if you sign up through this link we each get $20 credit.