Do you ever feel bad about not cooking for yourself more often? Maybe you go out to eat, grab fast food on the way home, order takeout, or simply toss a packaged meal into the microwave. You don't have to feel guilty - that's the reality for many Americans. Meal planning and prep can get overwhelming, especially if you work a full week.
Meal delivery kits are systems that aim to take some of the challenge out of cooking. Rather than needing to find a recipe and shop for your ingredients, the ingredients and recipe are delivered straight to your door.
Different kits are structured in different ways. Some have gourmet recipes. Others have different skill levels and resources to teach you how to cook. Still others are built with convenience in mind, bringing you fresh meals when you're too busy to do all the steps yourself.
EveryPlate and Dinnerly are two budget-based meal delivery kits. They have some of the lowest per-portion pricing in the industry. Every week, you can choose from a selection of different options. The menus change from week to week, ensuring you always have some variety.
Though both services are very similar in terms of plans, pricing, and delivery structure, they do have a few differences. I've taken a look at both to help you decide which you'd prefer.
Overview of EveryPlate and Dinnerly
Unique EveryPlate Features
Unique Dinnerly Features
Meal Style and Variety
EveryPlate provides five changing options every week for you to choose from. This is a fairly limited menu. By not making a large menu available, the service cuts down on the costs incurred by having too many ingredients on hand at one time.
The goal of an EveryPlate recipe is to give you a classic meal that can be prepared without needing a lot of cookware. You may need basic cooking tools like pans or knives, but the system is optimized for those who don't have a kitchen outfitted with a ton of cooking elements.
You can also upgrade to premium meals. With premium meals, each portion costs an extra dollar. These recipes include more expensive ingredients, most commonly steak or seafood. This can be a good option if you want to feel like you have a luxurious home-cooked meal.
Though Dinnerly has a limited meal selection to cut down on prices, it still has a large list of options. Every week, there are six new options to pick from. You get a good deal of variety regardless of which plan you choose.
One of the big selling points is that you can specify when you sign up that you want your boxes to be vegetarian. This means that you'll be given options with vegetarian proteins. For vegetarians, a drawback of budget meal kits is often that there are limited vegetarian options, so this is a huge plus for those with dietary limitations.
There are also child-friendly and low-carb recipes put onto the menu each week, though you don't have the option to have all of your meal options follow these guidelines. Still, the child-friendly recipes are great for people with kids who don't like more complex meals.
Most meals can be prepared in less than 30 minutes, making this the ideal option for those who don't have a lot of time or patience for cooking.
For such inexpensive meal kits, both of these systems have easily-prepared meals with a surprising variety of options. The EveryPlate premium upgrade is a great feature. But Dinnerly comes out ahead because of the way that you can choose to have all of your meals be vegetarian, a choice that's great for people with dietary restrictions.
The menus change from week to week, so there's no telling exactly what you'll get. The recipes do sometimes repeat. These are some of the most popular items that are sometimes available.
EveryPlate wins because the recipes tend to have a wider variety of cooking techniques applied. In addition, the portions are more like entrees you'd get at a restaurant rather than home-baked meals. But Dinnerly sometimes has seafood options without needing to upgrade, and the meals don't require a lot of cooking knowledge to prepare.
Interface Ease of Use
Registering for EveryPlate is straightforward and simple. All account elements can be managed online. You can pre-select menus, make changes prior to delivery, update your contact and payment info, and view your past orders.
EveryPlate has foods for common diets. The meals include pork, poultry, and other meat. One premium and vegetarian meal are offered every week.
Registering for the service is very straightforward. You can change your meal plan and skip weeks if need be. You can order meals, change meal selections, update contact and payment details, and access your past orders.
One helpful feature is that you can view future menus in advance. This means getting to see all of the nutritional facts, ingredients, and recipes before they're available.
Dinnerly's meal plans all have special markings to designate when a meal meets characteristics like:
Dinnerly's menu has more clearly marked options for different dietary needs. In addition, the ability to look at future menus in advance is a huge help for those who like advance planning.
Pros and Cons of EveryPlate
Pros and Cons of Dinnerly
Final Thoughts: Which Is Better?
Both of these meal kit delivery services provide low-cost meals with similar packaging and meal variety. The pricing per portion is about the same, and the structuring of the plans is similar as well. That means that the right one for you depends mostly on which kinds of foods you prefer.
EveryPlate works best for those who want the option to have more expensive ingredients. For an additional one dollar per person per month, you can get menu options that have seafood and steak. These may make you feel a little more luxurious. The meals all tend to follow classic recipe structures.
Dinnerly is best if you want the most available meal options per week. Every week, you have six new meals to choose from. There are also more readily available vegetarian options every week, and the pricing may be more flexible for those who have larger families to feed.