Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Review: Martha & Marley Spoon

Disclosure: I purchased my own Martha & Marley Spoon deliveries for two weeks, and I was able to use a promo code to get an initial discount.  My opinions and photos are my own!

Like other meal kit services, you go online and decide on your meal plan, based on number of dinners per week and whether they should feed two or more people.  Then, up until just under a week prior to your shipment day, you can select your menu or choose to skip a week.  Depending on what meals you choose, some of the other options might not be available.

You get a box filled with ingredients, color recipe cards, and cool extras (I got a reusable tote bag in my 2nd box!).  I liked that the ingredients were sorted into labeled brown bags by meal, aside from the meats.

We chose the option to have two meals for two people each week, which came to $12 per person.  This price can go down under $9 if you orders more meals and larger sizes.

We cooked:
  • Chicken Paillards with Pickled Peach and Arugula Salad
  • Broiled Beef Stir Fry with Broccoli, Rice & Sweet Onion
  • Gluten Free Pasta with Tomato, Feta and Baby Arugula
  • Sirloin Filet & Potatoes with Spinach & Warm Vinaigrette

If you've read my reviews of Blue Apron and Plated, a lot of this sounds familiar.  Meal kits in general for me give you variety, convenience and time savings, as well as portion control help since I'm cooking two servings for two people.  Martha & Marley Spoon also delivers on these attributes!

Here is what I liked and disliked about my experience with Martha & Marley Spoon...
  • Fast and easy.  Martha & Marley Spoon is faster/simpler to cook than the other meal kits I've tried.  Dan liked that there were fewer dishes (he dislikes that my Plated meals generate a lot of cleanup), and it seemed like there were fewer ingredients.  Each of the estimated cooking times were less than I was used to with other services.
  • FRESH.  Martha & Marley Spoon's produce was fresher than any other meal kit I've tried. You could get a box on Tuesday and stick it in the fridge, then cook it on Sunday and the greens were still fresh and not slimy.  With other kits I rush to cook them within a few days, but Martha & Marley Spoon.
  • Best recyclability.  This kit was the most recyclable, so if you're concerned about meal kits not being green, this is a good one for you.  You can even collect and save your packaging to ship back to Marley Spoon for recycling!  It had less plastic and packaging than other kits.
  • Surprises & delights!  There were great things to read in each box, and gifts like a handwritten note or a tote bag.  It was beautiful, much like a Martha Stewart magazine.
  • There were some mistakes.  I got the wrong recipe card for one of my meals (no sweat though, as the recipes you order are available online).  I also got pasta that was not gluten-free for a meal that was designated gluten-free.  I thought that was strange; we aren't gluten-free, so it wasn't a big deal.  These types of things
  • The flavors/recipes weren't our fav.  Dan didn't enjoy these meals as much as others we've tried.  I felt like the simplicity was nice, but I could throw these together with a quick trip to the store.  I didn't feel like I was making something that would be hard to put together on my own.  Other meal kits have encouraged me to try some new flavor or cooking technique.  There's also no dessert option, like there is with Plated.

I think the ideal Martha & Marley Spoon user is someone who wants simple, unprocessed meals for her family.  She wants to receive help with her meal planning without a lot of packaging waste.  She likes uncomplicated flavor combinations and values freshness in her produce.

We chose not to continue Martha & Marley Spoon.  We will continue to try more meal kit services, while maintaining our subscription to our favorite, which as of this writing is Plated.  (We usually order two meals and a dessert each week.)

Disclosure: I purchased my own Martha & Marley Spoon deliveries for two weeks, and I was able to use a promo code to get an initial discount.  My opinions and photos are my own!

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