Is This Meal Planning Service Any Good?
This review of PlateJoy overlapped with a particularly interesting period for me.
Over the past three weeks, I’ve eased up on some of my dietary restrictions while keeping others in place. If I had to label my current eating persona, I’d have to go with something like “Clean-eating, low-carb, low-fat, gluten-free, vegan who hates cucumber.”
As it turns out, PlateJoy had me covered. Not as much a food delivery service as a highly customizable meal planning service, PlateJoy was heaven-sent.
Sure, I still had to do all my cooking, but the incredible amount of personalization they offer meant that I could eat healthy, delicious, highly creative meals that suited a surprising number of peripheral needs most other services overlook. I absolutely loved using PlateJoy. Read on to find out why.
What is PlateJoy?
First and foremost, PlateJoy is a meal-planning service. Yes, they do partner with grocery delivery services that will get your ingredients to your front door within hours of finalizing your week’s plan, but it’s not their core product.
PlateJoy’s primary goal is to get people with very specific nutritional, dietary, time, and other practical constraints to eating healthier, more creative meals.
If you’re not an avid cook and your knowledge of recipe construction is very limited, PlateJoy will yank you out of whatever dietary rut your restrictions and needs have forced you into.
Using their services, you are guaranteed to eat a wider variety of ingredients and meals than your restrictions have allowed you.
Their target market is nutritionally-aware people who don’t have the sense or the time required to come up with or research interesting recipes matching their dietary needs. And they’re friggin great at it!
Other Home Food Delivery Services:
How Does It Work?
At the highest level, PlateJoy’s process can be broken down like this:
1. Profile Customization
This is where you:
- Customize your dietary needs, restrictions, preferences, and health goals.
- Specify the amount of time you want to spend preparing meals.
- Tell PlateJoy if you want meal plans for each meal of the day or only some of them.
- How well-equipped your kitchen is.
- The level of variety you expect in your meal plans.
2. Overview of the Suggested Custom Meal Plans
Once your profile is set, you can then:
- Check out the recipes PlateJoy recommends based on your profile.
- Remove the meals that don’t work for you. Add additional meals from their menu.
- Repeat the process for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and dessert.
3. Approve and Customize the Grocery List
Since PlateJoy doesn’t pre-prepare the meals themselves, the next step is to look at the shopping list that comprises the upcoming week’s meals. Here you can remove items you may already have in your fridge or pantry.
4. (Optional) Submit Your Grocery List to a Delivery Service
PlateJoy is integrated with both InstaCart and Amazon Fresh, so sending your shopping list to either of these delivery services is a breeze.
4 PlateJoy Benefits
Welcome to the meatiest section of my PlateJoy review. Here’s a bunch of reasons why you should seriously consider this awesome custom meal planning service.
1. Customization Process is Comprehensive and Super Effective
I feel like I can’t write enough about how much I love this part of PlateJoy’s service. Brace yourself for a bit of info “fanboying” because I’m obsessed with what these extraordinary people did here.
No other meal plan service I’ve reviewed offers the level of personalization that PlateJoy does. They claim to reference over 50 data points when compiling your meal, and it shows.
Despite mining a terrific amount of information during your profiling process, it never feels intrusive or too cumbersome. It took me less than 5 minutes to give PlateJoy the information they needed to build my suggested meals and shopping list.
During this process, the questions they ask are all exceptionally relevant – things that just make sense to ask.
For instance, what appliances do you have at your disposal? If you don’t have a blender, you’re not going to get any smoothie suggestions.
Another excellent question is asking how much time you typically want to spend cooking each meal. Or whether there are any ingredients you don’t eat.
The interface is so smartly designed and a pleasure to interact with.
Without a doubt, my favorite of all the PlateJoy considerations is the batch cooking selection. If you specify that you like cooking large evening meals and eat the leftovers for lunch to save time, your meal plans will take this into consideration and not include any lunch dishes.
I highly recommend you go through the personalization process. PlateJoy was smart enough to allow potential customers to do this before signing up. A great feature that many of these services hide behind their pay-wall.
2. Very Little Food Waste
One thing that PlateJoy nails is eliminating food waste – something that many other “grocery-list” style services aren’t excellent at.
How do they do this? Easy, once you’ve decided on the meals that you want to include in your upcoming order, you’ll be taken to an interactive digital grocery list that the order is composed of.
Here you can check each item against what you have in your pantry or fridge and remove items you’ve got, or reduce the order amount to reflect only what you need.
3. Generous 10 Day Free Trial Period
PlateJoy offers first-time customers a free trial period with zero obligation to continue. This is more than enough time to determine whether their service is worth the expense.
This is something very few meal delivery services offer their customers, which made me love them even more.
4. Vast Amount of Delicious Recipes
I’m not kidding when I say this. Despite the number of restrictions I captured when building my profile, the meals I was shown as options for my suggested order looked and tasted amazing.
A lot of time and effort went into building these recipes.
Feel free to get as specific as you want when you build your requirements and restrictions – it’s very unlikely that you’ll be faced with a dull, repetitive list of meals.
3 PlateJoy Shortfalls
The other side of the PlateJoy review coin. Let’s see where these guys can improve.
1. You Still Gotta Cook it Yourself
This is a very personal issue, I know. As most of you know by now (if you’ve read my other reviews), I’m all about super-convenience.
I appreciate that many, if not most, of my readers love spending time in the kitchen; this was a minor issue for me.
If I’m going to be paying x amount of cash per month for a meal planning/delivery service, I don’t want to spend any time in the kitchen. However, I wholeheartedly admit that I may be in the minority here.
2. It’s Kinda Pricey for What You’re Getting
As stated above, you’re not getting pre-cooked meals delivered to your home. For a set payment per month, all you’re getting is an (admittedly excellent) meal suggestion platform that’s tailored to your very granular needs and restrictions.
Sure, it saves you a ton of time when you compare it to the alternative of trawling the internet or your mom’s recipe books looking for creative meals that suit the nuances of your diet and cooking preferences, but is that worth the monthly payment?
Some may not think so. The jury’s out on this issue for me.
3. Cancellation Is a Pain (Apparently)
I didn’t have any issues with cancellation, but online complaints about cancellation abound. Do some research into this before signing up since it’s clearly a risk.
Apart from what I already mentioned, here are some feedback from other users who have tried PlateJoy.
“I paid $69 for six months and saved more than that in groceries my first week! Virtually no food waste in our house anymore. I’m very happy with Platejoy.”
“I haven’t gotten a recipe I don’t like yet, and I’ve been doing PlateJoy for several months now. I am losing weight and my lab tests say I’m getting healthier!”
“I signed up for 10 day trial. Cancelled on June 24, 2020 but this was not actioned.”
“PlateJoy charged me $69 for an account that still shows inactive on their site.”
– Nina Askew
Is PlateJoy a Meal Delivery Service?
Does It Cater For Specific Diets or Food Allergies?
Are PlateJoy Recipes Delicious?
Would I Keep Using PlateJoy?
I end every review with this question, and I have to say that this was the hardest one for me to answer.
Ultimately, because of the amount of time I still have to spend in the kitchen using this service, I’d still choose Trifecta Nutrition as my go-to meal delivery service.
Sure, PlateJoy makes planning healthy meals super easy, and if you’re not keen to go to the grocery store, their delivery option is very convenient.
Still, nothing beats the ultra-convenience that Trifecta offers someone like me who is too busy (or lazy) to spend close to 45 minutes in the kitchen every day.
Trifecta takes nutrition and dietary requirements very seriously. They cover almost all the major eating plans in their menu, and they also deliver for free to each state in the US. Their meals are delicious, 100% organic, and perfectly portioned.
I loved PlateJoy. Honestly. Their service is better than almost every other I’ve reviewed recently, but Trifecta is still my number one choice.
Trifecta Nutrition Meal Delivery
Our #1 Recommendation
- Offers large meal plan varieties – Keto, Paleo, Vegetarian, Vegan, and Classic
- Organic ingredients
- Utilizes low carbon footprint
- Delivers fully-cooked meals at your doorstep
- Get the BEST PRICE until the end of May