As someone who spent more than five years working in a kitchen in a past life, I’m comfortable that I know my way around a stovetop and all the usual utensils, but often don’t find myself wanting to have to think about a recipe or spend time cooking it. Wondering if I had simply lost my inspiration in the kitchen, I thought I’d give the meal subscription service EveryPlate a try to see if I can get myself back on the tools and enjoying cooking again.
Less expensive than its primary competitors and with easy-to-follow recipes covering a number of different world cuisines, there is plenty of variety to discover in each week’s EveryPlate box. But will it suit everybody?
EveryPlate prices and deals
Prices for EveryPlate will differ depending on how many meals per week you order and how many people you’re looking to feed, and the total cost per meal generally goes down the more recipes you opt for each week.
Overall, there are four meal preference plans you can choose from (Classic, Family, Flexitarian and Vegetarian) with pricing starting at AU$57.99 per week for three recipes for two people, with shipping included. This amounts to six meals per week in total, at a cost of AU$9.66 per meal. This is less, for example, than primary competitors HelloFresh (three recipes for two people at AU$79.99 including shipping, or AU$13.33 per meal) and Marley Spoon (three recipes for two people at AU$85.43 including shipping, or AU$14.23 per meal), so EveryPlate definitely comes out ahead on a cost-per-meal basis if you’re only ordering a small number of meals.
On the other end of the spectrum, opting for six recipes per week to feed six people (36 meals in total) comes at a regular cost of AU$169.99 with shipping. That’s AU$4.72 per meal, which certainly manages to stand out from a value perspective for families looking to feed a large number of people.
EveryPlate having the option to provide meals for up to six people is unique, as the likes of HelloFresh and Marley Spoon top out at offering meals for up to four people per week. Even still, the top level of an EveryPlate plan comes in as less expensive than its competitors. As a comparison, a plan of five meals for four people with HelloFresh costs AU$174.99 with shipping (AU$8.74 per meal), while Marley Spoon offers the same plan of five meals for four people at a cost of AU$180.29 with shipping included (AU$9 per meal).
EveryPlate suggests that its plans and prices are “cheaper than the supermarket”, which may or may not be true depending on your shopping habits. But signing up for an EveryPlate plan is definitely cheaper than what it will cost you to sign up with its primary competitors, and similarly less expensive than regularly buying takeout, for those who are looking to kick an Uber Eats habit.
Keen to try out EveryPlate? You can currently save big on your first five boxes by applying our special coupon code FUTURETOM at checkout. This special offer drops the price of the six-meal plan for six people (36 in total) to just AU$92.43 for your first delivery, then $136.80 each for your next four – that's down from the usual AU$169.99, saving you a total of AU$170. Opt for the starter plan of three meals for two people (usually AU$57.99) and you'll save AU$54 over five boxes, with your first box costing just AU$32.13.
Like other similar meal subscription services, EveryPlate offers a rotating menu on a weekly basis designed to ensure you aren’t stuck with the same recipes week after week. As mentioned above, there are four preference plans to choose from, which include flexitarian (or mostly plant-based meals, with a little meat) and vegetarian options.
For each week, you’re given a new menu of anywhere from 15-25 different meals to choose from and build your own custom menu for the week ahead. There’s enough variety that you shouldn’t generally get stuck with things you don’t like (very fussy eaters excepted).
For this review, I opted for the Classic meal preference plan, and was surprised by the diverse number of cuisine choices on offer. In my first week‘s delivery I opted for Sesame Crumbed Chicken, Beef Bolognese Pasta Bake, Asian Pork Schnitzel with Garlic Rice, Pork Steaks and Gravy, and Jamaican Pork with Garlic Rice. That’s a total of four different continents my tastebuds were able to visit in the span of just one week, and that diversity was consistent across my entire time with EveryPlate.
Where the EveryPlate menu does perhaps fall short is with its failure to provide much in the way of options to suit those with food sensitivities or specific dietary requirements beyond those on flexitarian or vegetarian diets. As someone with certain dietary needs, I would have liked to have had the option to replace necessary ingredients through EveryPlate directly or been able to see a wider variety of meal options that are more sensitive to people’s various dietary needs, but I failed to find any sign of this flexibility. This isn’t something specific to EveryPlate as competitors like HelloFresh similarly note that they cannot cater to specific dietary requirements while others such as Marley Spoon offer only limited options in this regard.
If you’re lactose intolerant, for example, the large amount of meals in the Classic plan that feature dairy products will likely not suit you. While you can head down to the supermarket to find lactose-free alternatives for yourself, this is an additional cost on top of what you’ve already paid for your weekly EveryPlate box, and will mean the packaged ingredients go to waste.
Everyplate delivery and ingredients
Logistically, Everyplate’s delivery is a largely seamless process that is as easy as booking delivery for your desired time window and then waiting for the notification telling you that your box has arrived.
Inside you will discover all of your week’s ingredients neatly packed within. Cold items like meat, vegetables and dairy products come in an insulated package alongside some ice packs to ensure the ingredients stay cool until you get them into the fridge.
Unfortunately, my own experience with EveryPlate did see some issues with items missing from the box. For my first delivery, I found that I was missing some recipe cards and a few ingredients. Having ordered five meals for two people, my box came with only four recipe cards, including one duplicate – meaning that two of the recipes I had ordered came without the instructions included.
Tracking down the recipe on EveryPlate's website wasn’t especially difficult – it's as easy as backtracking to your order schedule and clicking through to the desired recipe – but having the card mix-up did lead to some confusion and using an online resource wasn’t as easy as having printed instructions on hand.
In terms of the quality of ingredients, results during my experience were also mixed. In my first week I found that the carrots had arrived soggy, while tomatoes in my second week arrived unripened. Given you don’t have the option of control over being able to see the quality of ingredients before buying them, like you would in a supermarket, having some ingredients arrive in poor condition was disappointing.
Recipe cards for EveryPlate are simple to read and follow, with the various preparation steps neatly and clearly outlined, alongside portion requirements and cooking times. One thing worth noting is that each recipe includes certain ingredients that it expects you to already have and aren’t included in your box – some of which are (arguably) more reasonable than others.
While you can check what these ‘extra’ ingredients are when first selecting your recipes, this requires clicking through into each recipe’s detailed instructions – and the fact that you can do this isn’t made very clear when you’re placing your order. For example, one recipe required a single egg, which I didn’t have in my fridge, and I had to quickly duck out to buy some eggs.
Elsewhere, as mentioned above, those with food sensitivities who need to find appropriate replacement ingredients will also have to take a trip to the local supermarket. In both cases this is an extra cash spent that can add to the cost per serve and might result in you having extra ingredients you’ll need to figure out a way to use up – five eggs in our above example.
In regards to the meals themselves, the end result for each recipe can depend on your capabilities in the kitchen during the preparation process, which is where the recipe cards being so easy to follow comes most in handy.
Something I noticed during my time with EveryPlate was an inconsistency of the provided ingredient portions corresponding appropriately to the desired serving sizes.
With the Beef Bolognese Pasta Bake for example, comfortably my favourite of all the recipes I tried, the portion sizes that were included in the box didn’t end up suiting the desired serving amounts. For a recipe designed to suit and feed two people, both my partner and I felt the amount of beef mince supplied for the bolognese wasn’t quite enough for two, with the meal ending up having quite a skewed ratio of pasta to bolognese.
On the flip side, the recipe and recommended portion sizes for the Cheesy Roast Tomato Risotto ended up providing quite a lot more than the two serving sizes, with plenty of leftovers – enough to even make for a second serving for each person. Having more is certainly better than not having enough, but it does speak to the inconsistency of the recommended portion and ingredient amounts provided.
There are also some inconsistencies with the suggested preparation times on each recipe card. The majority of recipe cards will come with an estimated preparation time of 30-40 minutes, but in my experience this ballooned closer to a full hour on multiple occasions due to some meals being easier than others to prepare (garlic cloves, for example, aren’t an especially quick-prep-friendly ingredient).
As mentioned above, one of the best qualities of the EveryPlate experience is the diversity of cuisines it offers, and it really is a joy to be able to experience foods from various corners of the world that you might otherwise never have found yourself cooking. As an example, I can honestly say I’d never considered trying Jamaican Pork before, let alone cooking it for myself, but having the opportunity and the process of cooking it made easy was something I really enjoyed from my time with EveryPlate.
Without a doubt, the highlight of my time with EveryPlate’s meal subscription service was the variety and inspiration that each box offered – a kick up the bum with each box, that in turn encouraged me to often step out of my comfort zone and experience foods I might otherwise have never considered cooking.
But the experience isn’t without some challenges, as preparation is time-consuming and won’t suit those who are especially time poor or looking to limit how long they spend in the kitchen. Similarly, while EveryPlate suggests that its subscription plans are cheaper than buying from the supermarket, whether this is actually true depends perhaps a little too much on each individual person and their dietary needs – but certainly on a per meal basis the highest per-meal cost (three meals for two) is roughly about as much as a frozen meal will cost you. If you have food sensitivities or other dietary requirements, you might ultimately be disappointed by how often you will have to seek out and buy alternative ingredients on top of what you’ve already paid for.
EveryPlate is definitely less expensive (and healthier) than regularly buying takeout, though, and it also manages to blow its competitors out of the water with its pricing and overall value. The inspiration that the subscription offers to help encourage you to explore new cuisines and experiences in the kitchen are also a handy way to spice things up for those whose diets might have become a bit stale. If you’ve got the time, who knows what new family favourites you might discover, and this inspiration and variety is where EveryPlate is at its best.