I am a full-time student and my husband has a demanding, stressful job. The funny thing is, though, we are both foodies and I love to cook. Right now, our schedules don't allow us to plan out delicious meals, go shopping for ingredients (that often our grocery store doesn't carry), let alone try new recipes. And we're both on a budget. Plated is not inexpensive, but I guarantee that I spend less money on Plated meals than I do at the grocery store in any given month. Plus, I'm not wasting food that I spent money on (which often happens because I don't always have a realistic meal plan in place. With Plated, they send me all of the ingredients on a day when I or my husband is likely to be home. We pick Saturdays. On Saturday, the FedEx delivery van shows up, the box is delivered to my doorstep, I take it inside and unpack it. The ingredients for each meal are bundled together and the animal proteins are packed at the bottom of the box, nearest the cooler packs. We have never had a problem with any of our ingredients going bad - even if the box is left outside for a bit until we get home. Packaging is frustration free and they use materials that are biodegradable and environmentally friendly.
Now, on to the meals. They are wonderful! I don't think my husband and I have had a mediocre meal since we have subscribed. The portions are just right - I never feel hungry afterwards but nor do I feel stuffed or have leftovers. It's important to note that when food is delicious - as it is with Plated - you feel satisfied! The flavor profiles on all of the meals have really delighted our palates and visually, the meals are stunning. All of the meals come with very detailed instructions with pictures to help. Most use a minimal amount of cookware and gadgets, so cleanup is easy and most are take around 30-40 minutes to make - brilliant!
It is so nice to be able to eat healthy, fresh, delicious food instead of resorting to eating out (which we really can't afford) or making big batches of multi-meals in the slow cooker, which I don't mind and still do, but there's some nutrition value lost in those meals and they get old after a while. Some added bonuses: you can pick from about 10-13 meals every week - some of those meals are "Encore" recipes that are featured for the entire month. Encore recipes are popular favorites and we often find ourselves picking most of them throughout the month. They also have a wide selection of entrees to choose from - vegetarian, gluten-free, paleo, etc. We don't adhere to any special diet but if we ever have friends over that do, it's nice to know that we could pick a meal that they would be able to eat - it's also nice to eat a meatless meal every once in a while, too. Also, we can skip a week, scale up, or scale down, and even add some of their featured desserts (for a minimal extra amount) to our plan. The app is really nice and easy to use as well!
One benefit that my husband keeps mentioning to me is that he no longer feels anxiety and agony about cooking. He actually enjoys it and is learning a lot of new techniques (me too)! When you take out the planning and shopping component, it really makes cooking during a busy week more manageable and fun. I enthusiastically recommend Plated!