Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Marley Spoon Meal Delivery Review - Is It Worth It?

     
      I have had this post sitting in my drafts for like FOUR months now, and I am finally getting around to posting it! As someone who loves cooking and trying new recipes, I was excited when my wonderful mother-in-law gifted me with three free meals of Marley Spoon, Martha Stewarts' meal delivery service. This was before Christmas, and I hadn't gotten my hands on any cookbooks recently, so I was really excited to receive my box in the mail and try some new recipes!


     The popularity of meal delivery services has really picked up within the last couple of years. Truthfully, I don't know who the first successful company in this niche was, but since their debut many have followed suit. Now there are over a dozen different services that let you - in one way or another - choose your meals and/or meal plan through an online system, then they send you the recipes and/or ingredients, and voila, you get cooking. When Jack first moved into our apartment before we were married, his mom gifted him with a weeks worth of Hello Fresh meals - Hello Fresh is another meal delivery service - and I came over a few days that week and we cooked the meals together. It was a fun way to spend time together and get dinner on the table at the same time! For Hello Fresh, Marley Spoon, and other meal delivery services, a "weeks" worth of meals usually looks like 2-4 meals, and there is usually an option to select family size as well. The meal plan I selected was 3 meals/week to serve 2 people. When I registered through the website, it gave me the option to sift through their recipes and select whichever three I wanted. However, they offer a default selection, and I did not make any changes, I stuck to their recommendations. 



HOW DOES IT WORK?

        Upon signing up, you are prompted to choose your number of meals per week, and your family size. Once selected, you then give your delivery details, and then (after finishing the online sign up) you are able to choose your meals. Marley Spoon then packages the ingredients, which are pre-portioned and packaged according to each recipe, provides a recipe card with instructions and images, and sends it all right to your doorstep, arriving on the delivery date you determined through the online process. You can schedule up to 7 weeks in advance.




HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

         Currently, pricing ranges from $48.00-$131.80 per week, based on the number of meals you select and your family size. Two meals/week for 2 people comes to $48 ($12.00 per serving), and is the cheapest option, while four meals/week for a family of 3-4 people comes to $131.20 ($8.20 per serving). Shipping is free, and you can skip a week at any time - just be sure to do so at least 5 days before the scheduled delivery.



WHAT ARE THE RECIPES LIKE?

       One thing I love about Marley Spoon is that you can view many of the recipes on the website under the "current recipes" tab, before you commit to anything. Recipes that are complicated and/or require obscure ingredients, while fun to attempt every once in a while, are not the most practical choice for me, as a working mom. All of the recipes are designed to be simple, yet filling and delicious, and the instructions on the recipe cards are clear, easy to follow, and accompanied by photos to guide you through each step. The three recipes that came in our first box were Sesame-Ginger Steak, Shrimp & Snow Peas, and Spicy Chicken Tortilla soup. Like I said, pretty simple! Another great thing about Marley Spoon, is their dedication to providing high quality ingredients, such as seasonal produce and sustainably raised meats and seafood. Everything that came in our box truly seemed to be at the peak of freshness.





YOU SHOULD TRY IT IF:

         Are you a student on a budget, with not much time to dedicate to cooking, but you want to guarantee yourself at least 2 good meals per week? The 2 meals/week option for $48 might be the perfect fit for you - think about it, you're going to spend close to $12 on your Chipotle burrito + chips & guacamole anyway, and with the 2 meals/week plan for a family of 2, your $12 per serving will even get you leftovers! Busy families, families with grown children at home, or people just looking to switch up their weekly menu without too much effort could all benefit from one of these plans, in my opinion. Marley Spoon offers a variety of simple meals that are easy enough for even inexperienced cooks to replicate, and if you ever want to recreate one of the recipes for a future meal, the ingredients can all be found at your local supermarket.

IT MIGHT NOT BE A GOOD FIT IF:

       If you have a large family, a family with a lot of children, or are on a strict grocery budget, I would recommend holding off on this type of meal delivery service for now. This is the category that Jack and I found ourselves in. As much as we loved the meals that came in our box, I just couldn't justify spending $61.50 on only three meals for the two of us every week. When I go grocery shopping, I try to keep our grocery bill under $100, which includes meats, fruits, vegetables, and all other ingredients needed for 7 dinners with leftovers, lunch for Jack, breakfast, and pantry staples like bread, eggs and milk.

THE VERDICT:

       I enjoyed the overall experience with Marley Spoon, but in the end it just didn't work best for us financially. I would totally recommend this to a friend, if they could fit this sort of thing into their budget, or their lifestyle was one where three or four wholesome meals were just enough for them for the week! I love trying new recipes, and it's always fun to do something out of the ordinary, like trying a meal delivery service. There are so many different options that exist now, so if you've been wanting to try something like this, what better time than now? Most services offer a discount or a lower price for your first order, so even if you end up discontinuing your subscription, you still get to try something new for a week. Give Marley Spoon a try and be sure to come back here and let me know what you think!





Have you ever tried a meal delivery service, and if so, which one? Would you recommend it to others?


2 comments:

  1. Those meals look yummy! We've tried HomeChef a few times and love it! We skip some weeks if it doesn't fit our budget but we like the option of choosing meals and getting the ingredients delivered. Meal delivery services are so fun!

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    1. Totally agree - it's so fun to try out different things! Being able to skip a week is definitely a good feature for these sort of things.

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