Over the last couple years, I’ve stayed alive primarily because of prepared meal delivery services. Ones that send pre-cooked meals and require zero cooking skills.
Going from hungry to eating in a few minutes and then only having to wash a fork afterward is a literal game changer.
Up until this point, my budget only allowed for six meals every other week. But recently, I added a little more room in the budget and was ready to bump that up to every week.
That single decision may have just increased my life expectancy by a decade.
In an effort not to burn myself out on a single food delivery service, I wanted to add some others to the rotation. I believe using a different company each week will keep my taste buds fresh and keep me from getting tired of any one company.
After doing some research, GoReadyMade was the first one I wanted to try. After six weeks and 36 meals, what’s the verdict—will GoReadyMade make it into my regular rotation?
Here’s what I’ll cover in this review:
- Taste: Do the meals taste good or would I be better off with a frozen pizza?
- Convenience: All prepared meal delivery services tout convenience, but I’ve found varying levels of convenience across them. So how convenient are the meals really?
- Variety: How many different meals and types (e.g. chicken, steak, vegetarian, seafood, etc.) are available? How often are new meals added?
- Value: Factoring taste, convenience, variety, and cost … is the service worth it?
- Customer Service: Is customer service responsive and helpful?
- Website: How easy is it to manage my account, place an order, skip a week, or cancel my subscription?
- Observations: Noteworthy things I noticed along the way.
- Alternatives: If GoReadyMade isn’t a good fit, here are some other options to try.
- Conclusion: Will I keep paying for GoReadyMade meals?
With that said, let’s jump right in!
I continue to be impressed with the quality of pre-cooked food delivery services. GoReadyMade is no exception. While the meals aren’t going to win any culinary awards, they taste good. They’re best described as simple and straightforward.
The average person probably wouldn’t be able to tell the meal came from a microwave if it were plated. And I’m confident they would be impressed with the taste once they learned it was cooked in a microwave.
Some of my favorite meals include:
- Creamy Dill Salmon with Yukon Potatoes and Green Beans
- Korean Style Beef Bowl with Shredded Carrots, Zucchini, and Rice
- Sweet Potato Mac & Cheese
All of those have been superb.
I was especially surprised at the quality of the salmon. For coming out of a microwave, the salmon was tender and yummy. I lucked out that it was the very first meal I tried.
Another surprise was the Korean Beef Bowl. If you’ve had the traditional Korean version of the dish (which ironically my sister and I did a few days before I had GoReadyMade’s) and prefer all the extras mix ins , you probably won’t like GoReadyMade’s version. However, because I don’t like all that stuff and prefer mine “plain,” this was a winner in my book.
GoReadyMade also incorporates a lot of sauces with their meals. Sauces are given to you in a packet that you add after a meal is heated and provides a nice boost of flavor to the protein.
GoReadyMade lets you cook the meals in a microwave (3-4 minutes) or oven (15-20 minutes). The same container also works in the oven. No need to transfer the meal to an oven-safe dish.
One minor niggle I have on the convenience front is it’s not quite as simple as just popping the meal in the microwave. For most dishes, you have to open the film half way to remove a sauce packet before microwaving and then add the sauce after heating.
And some of the dishes (like steak and salmon) put the protein in a separate vacuum-sealed pouch. So you also have to open that pouch. And while those pouches provide a corner that would imply you could peel the pouch open, I think only the Incredible Hulk has the strength to do it.
I have NEVER been able to peel the pouch open with my hands. I’ve always had to cut it open.
Once heated, the meals can be eaten from the container which makes clean up a breeze (just a fork and maybe a knife).
Also, I like stacking empty containers in the freezer (to avoid stinking up my trash) and so they take up less room in the trash later. I’d definitely recommend stacking, otherwise, the trays can take up a lot of unnecessary space in your trash.
I like how GoReadyMade lets you choose a delivery date between Tuesday-Saturday (dates vary depending on delivery location). In Tennessee, my options are Wednesday-Saturday.
Since I travel semi-regularly, it’s nice having that flexibility so I can ensure meals arrive when I’m in town.
A six-meal box comes with two frozen ice packs and two pieces of insulation (a wide and narrow one). If you have curbside recycling, it’s not a huge hassle getting rid of the boxes, insulation, and meal labels (ice packs go in the trash). However, if you don’t have curbside recycling, it becomes more of a hassle as the boxes and insulation can build up.
There’s really nothing that can be done about the amount of packaging as it’s all necessary to keep the meals fresh while shipping. But if you do order regularly, the accumulation of packaging material is something to be aware of.
I’ve dedicated a corner of my apartment just to boxes, insulation, meal labels, and ice packs. 🙂
As of December 2018, they have 28 meals on the menu. Twenty seven lunch/dinner meals and one breakfast meal with a new meal introduced every two weeks it seems.
On the variety front, GoReadyMade ranks near the top of prepared meal delivery services I’ve tried (at least for lunch/dinner meals).
For December 2018’s menu, here’s a count of how many meals are in each category.
|Category||Number of Meals|
|Misc||2 (turkey chili, gumbo)|
Some meals appear in multiple categories (e.g. Teriyaki Chicken Noodles in Chicken and Noodles).
Having that many options lets you get a wide variety of meals each week without feeling like you’re eating the same thing every day. I know some people can eat the same meal every day for years, but I need some variety in my life!
The only thing lacking on the variety front would be the number of breakfast meals. Right now they only have one comprising of eggs, sausage, peppers, and potatoes.
But in general, I’m not a fan of breakfast meals for any food delivery service. Mainly because it never feels like enough food to be worth it. And most are egg based and eggs are just “meh” to me.
GoReadyMade definitely provides a lot of value when you factor in taste, convenience, variety, and cost. Especially since it’s one of the cheaper prepared meal delivery services out there.
I break down how much each meal costs (including shipping) below:
|Meal Plan||Cost Per Meal|
It’s also nice seeing a significant discount the more meals you order. Not all services I’ve tried provide that big a discount from the smallest to largest box.
If I’m paying for a service regularly, I want to be confident support will be there if I run into any issues which is why I intentionally tried to contact GoReadyMade’s customer service as much as possible.
Overall, I was pleased with my interactions.
They were always prompt to respond and helpful. Of the five times I reached out, I was extremely happy with four of the interactions.
The fourth required more back and forth than I felt was necessary. Namely because the agent’s responses were unclear and didn’t seem accurate. One of my boxes was delivered a day later than normal, so I reached out to see if the meals were still safe to eat. I was told the ice packs would keep the box safe for two days. In my case, the meals shipped on Wednesday and arrived Saturday (when they normally arrive on Friday). The agent was trying to tell me Saturday was still safe which clearly is more than two days from the ship date. The back and forth and seemingly inaccurate “math” wasn’t a great experience, but I’m happy a credit was issued for the entire box.
To the agent’s benefit, he/she did offer the credit in their initial response. The confusing replies came after that.
Regardless, I have no qualms about GoReadyMade’s customer service. I’m confident if I have any problems, they’ll get addressed.
I really dig the design and flow of the GoReadyMade website. Their process for picking meals, managing your subscription, and skipping weeks is really intuitive.
Nutrition facts and cooking instructions are all easily available.
The biggest downside is they require you call in to cancel your account. Grrrr. I hate it when companies don’t let you cancel a service from their website.
Adding the ability to cancel directly from the website would be my main feedback to them.
On a more minor note, I wish they had a way you could view previous meal ratings. After rating a meal, you’re not able to go back and see your rating. I like doing this when I can’t remember if a particular meal was good or not.
I also wish there was a way to pause your subscription indefinitely as opposed to cancelling (which requires calling in) or remembering to skip weeks.
My gut first impression is that GoReadyMade is a worthy player in the space but still working out some kinks.
For example, when I first ordered with GoReadyMade, I was under the assumption every meal could be microwaved or baked. Little did I know, about half the dishes required cooking the main entree in a skillet and then microwaving the side. You’d have to pan fry the chicken, microwave the vegetables, and then combine the two.
There is a reason most of my dinners come from pre-cooked meal delivery services—I am not good in the kitchen.
Clearly, I’m not good in the kitchen. This is why I need someone else to cook the meals for me. 😉
It was a royal pain in the butt to need a skillet for various meals. I don’t like the cooking or the cleaning that goes with it. And GoReadyMade was asking me to do both.
The good news is … they changed their ways.
On my second or third week’s order, I noticed a banner on their website saying all dishes could now be cooked entirely in a microwave or oven. So the Chicken Teriyaki dish that ruined my skillet before would never again ruin another skillet of mine!
That was a really welcomed change.
Another area I’ve seen some improvement has been on the meal labels. On my first couple of orders, the meal names were not written on the side. This made it so that you couldn’t quickly grab the meal you wanted. You had to flip through the meals like they were vinyl records to find what you’re looking for.
Luckily, that changed and eventually most of the labels had the names written on the side. Some still didn’t, but I’m hoping that’s because they had old labels they were trying to use up before switching to the new ones.
Along with putting names on the side, they’ve also started used more water-resistant ink. It used to be any moisture in the box would smudge the ink, making cooking instructions or nutrition facts hard to read. That’s no longer an issue with the new labels.
For awhile there, companies like Blue Apron, Plated, and HelloFresh dominated the market with their meal delivery kits. Over the last year or so, I feel like I’m starting to see more services like GoReadyMade offering pre-cooked meals. It’s a great time to be alive if you just want to heat and eat. 🙂
In addition to GoReadyMade, here are some alternatives you can check out:
The biggest question I had with GoReadyMade was whether or not it would be good enough to make it into my regular rotation. Based on the quality of the meals and the cost, will I order meals from them regularly?
The answer to that is, “Definitely!”
Up until this point in time, I had been using Freshly every other week. But I knew using them every week would lead me to get sick of their meals.
So I’m glad I stumbled upon GoReadyMade for added variety (especially for seafood dishes since Freshly doesn’t excel there).
There are two things that make GoReadyMade stand out:
- The variety. With 25+ meals to choose from spanning multiple different protein types, there’s a lot to choose from.
- The value. You can’t beat the combination of being one of the cheaper food delivery services while also having good tasting meals to boot.
The only downside to GoReadyMade is that it’s delivery area is limited. Right now they deliver to all states on the East Coast and Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Illinois, Indiana, Arkansas, Georgia, and Pennsylvania. Also, not all zip codes are served in those states. To know for sure, you’ll have to enter your zip code on the GoReadyMade website.
If you find yourself outside GoReadyMade’s delivery area, then Freshly is a great alternative as they delivery anywhere in the 48 contiguous United States.