Before I go away for an extended period (as in more than a weekend), I try to empty the house of all food that could spoil and wreck havoc. That means there are slim pickings the day before we leave and even less upon return. I’ve always thought about making a batch of chili or other freezer meal that I could thaw when I get back, but um, that hasn’t worked out thus far. It’s the thought that counts, right?
This time, though, I was proactive and started researching a few delivery services that specialize in pre-made meals. Because as much as I love my Plated boxes, I knew I wasn’t going to be in any shape to whip up a fancy dinner after 20 hours in the car. Unfortunately, 95% of said services don’t deliver to my area.
With persistence, I stumbled upon GoReadyMade, a company that lets you choose the meals you want while leaving them the dirty work. And, lucky for me – there was a Groupon* that came with a significant discount. This first box included eight meals for $35 (regular price $79.92).
What I Loved
The Plan – There are several options to fit every need – anywhere from 4-10 meals per delivery.
The Schedule – Pick the delivery days that are best for you and skip the ones that aren’t.
The Options – Select different recipes or all of the same – there are so many choices. Dishes include yummy concoctions like cauliflower mac & cheese, smoky chicken fajitas (pictured below), and sirloin steak with peppercorn sauce.
The Ease – Many of the meals take less than 5 minutes to heat in the microwave. Just dig in!
The Taste – The dishes were wonderfully seasoned and bursting with flavor. Also, not salty.
The Rewards – You can earn credits when you invite friends to join the service.
What I Didn’t Love
The Calories – Many of the meals are upwards of 700 calories. I try to keep my meals (especially dinner) around 400 calories, so I ended up splitting up several of the meals into two portions and adding a side salad or extra veggie to my plate.
The Size – The meals are advertised as enough for one adult or 1-2 children. The tortellini with tomato sauce was barely enough to keep a toddler full (even my husband remarked on this!), yet had a whopping 750 calories.
The Inconsistency – I ordered two portions of the cauliflower mac & cheese, and while one container was nearly full, the other one was only half full. It was disappointing that they weren’t evenly distributed.
The Price – Understandably, you’re going to pay more for convenience, but at this rate, I could pick up burgers and fries for around the same nutritional value and a lot less cash.
Bottom Line: I think there is huge potential for this service, but it just wasn’t for me. While I did like a lot of the features, the calories and price weighed heavily in my stomach. This purchase served as a trial for a long-term solution of incorporating healthy, cost-effective pre-made meals into a weekly rotation. Unfortunately, this service will not be “the one” and the search to give myself a cooking break continues.
*Groupon may not be available in all areas and may be subject to change after this posting. Check your local deals for more info!