Have you seen the promotion on Facebook urging you to try 4 gourmet meals and all you have to do is pay $20 shipping and handling? Or maybe you caught their pitch on a recent episode of Shark Tank. If you have no idea what I am talking about, you are still in luck!
I love food. Always have, always will. I cook dinner for the Muscle Man and myself usually six days per week, never make the same thing the same way twice and try not to cook similar dishes in the same month. I was fortunate to grow up with parents who exposed me to a wide array of culinary delights, even if I did consistently order a grilled cheese sandwich at the country club’s lobster buffet. Cheese is the main reason I could never go vegan, but I digress. Simply state, I love food! When a Facebook special popped up for a DIY gourmet experience, I was immediately hooked.
The Logistics: Sign up for a service that lets you choose between 6-8 meals. They send you the majority of the necessary ingredients (you may need to provide your own olive oil, salt or an egg, for example) and a recipe card with step-by-step instructions with photos. The delivery day of the week depends upon your location and you do not necessarily need to be home for the delivery. The items are shipped to you in an insulated box with long-lasting icy gel packs, which is supposed to stay cold up to 6 hours after delivery. Then, you cook away!
The introductory rate for this deliciousness is $20 for 4 plates. If you choose to continue, there is a monthly membership fee in addition to the cost of individual plates, which run $25-30 per pate with a minimum of 4 plates per order. HOWEVER, you can choose to cancel anytime. Yes, anytime. That’s $20 for 4 gourmet meals.
In my opinion, the meal choices they have are absolutely worth $5 per plate. Would I pay $30 for a meal that I prepare myself? Meh, maybe not. So who might like to continue with the service? People who love to cook that don’t have the time to shop, are at a loss for creative recipes or might be hosting a dinner party for picky eaters. You are shipped exactly what you need, which takes out the guesswork and doesn’t leave you with a mess of mismatched leftovers.
The Extra Little Bonus: All shipping materials are 100% recyclable! I’ve saved the little bottles for my camping kit and the ice packs for long road trips. The Muscle Man has saved the foam for some of his projects and Brando loves pushing the boxes around the house.
The Quality: No complaints! The fish in the box stayed fresh, not fishy, the herbs were crisp and green and nothing leaked. I think some of the items were frozen prior to shipping, locking in the freshness as they traveled across the country. Everything tasted wonderful!
The only drawback for me is the price per plate after the introductory rate. It’s comparable to the cost of a restaurant meal, but has less value when you figure in the cost of your time to prepare and clean up after the meal. I absolutely recommend giving Plated a try and let you be the judge!