About a month ago, I saw a Facebook Ad for Plated - a new subscription service that delivers ingredients and recipes right to your doorstep each week. (As you know, I am a sucker for subscription services. I've been a loyal Birchbox subscriber for over a year now. Facebook Ads know how to target people, that's for sure.) Anyway, I decided to check it out. The ad had a code for 4 free plates, so I thought what the heck.
Here's the deal - Plated puts up a new menu every week. You select which meals you'd like to try, and how many plates you'll need of each. You can select in quantities of 2, 4 or 6 plates - but be warned, you have to order 4 plates for them to ship to you. Each week, Plated delivers a box of ingredients to your house and the recipes for each. The recipes have lots of pictures and tips to make it super easy.
Meals without a membership are $15/plate ; meals with the membership are $12/plate. Membership is $10/month. You can skip weeks at no cost (or at least, not that I'm aware).
To be honest, they really got me with the food photography. It.All.Looks.Amazing. Before I ordered, I checked out #platedpics on Twitter and Instagram to see if real people's food looked as good as the professionally made/photographed, and what do you know… it did. Their tagline is to 'release your inner chef' - so if you're a super picky eater, this probably isn't for you. Although, you can create a profile indicating allergies, gluten-free, vegetarian, aversion to spicy food etc.
I typically order 2 different meals, 2 plates of each. The portion sizes are legit. I know I tend to eat smaller meals, but I have gotten 2-4 meals out of each '2 plates' I cook.
I look for ingredients I typically wouldn't choose or meals I wouldn't think to cook on my own. For example, I steer clear of stir fries, as rice + veggies + meat is pretty much the only thing I know how to cook. The meals I've chosen include sweet potato ravioli, eggplant rollatini, shrimp with garlic and white beans, and steak with onions and swiss chard. (I'm working on recaps/tips of each of those meals… Stay tuned.)
A tip if you decide to sign up - in your Membership settings, turn OFF Auto Delivery. If auto delivery is on, it will charge you for and ship 4 plates to you every week - even if you forget to indicate which ones you want from the weekly menu. I'd rather absorb the $10 membership price than pay $48 for meals I maybe wouldn't have picked.
The important thing to know is that the food is GOOD. I'm serious. I'm still shocked every time I cook and it turns out well. Out of the 5 Plated meals I've made, there is only one that I didn't love. And even that one introduced me to some new ingredients/techniques that I've used since. (Who knew roasted cherry tomatoes were so good?!)
The big question I get is, "Is it worth it?" In terms of price… we're looking at (in a four week month) $202 on meals if you don't skip any weeks. That's probably more than I typically spend on groceries… but it is also WAY better food than I'd cook if left to my own devices. In fact, I haven't gone grocery shopping aside from milk/bread/dog food in a month.
Learn more and sign up for Plated here, and if you have any questions feel free to ask me! I'm not being paid/reimbursed/coaxed into writing this post either. I seriously just really like Plated.