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      01-18-2022, 01:13 PM   #1
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Prepared Meals

My wife and I both have pretty demanding jobs, and while I think we're both pretty good cooks... Cooking isn't a passion for us. We mostly do it out of necessity to avoid eating out all the time.

So we looked into these prepared meal plans to see if they were any good. They seem convenient enough.... prepared and all you have to do is heat them up in either a microwave or an oven, and they seem to be relatively healthy.

First one we tried was Freshly. Right away we didn't like it. While the meal choices were plentiful and looked good, the actual flavors just weren't there. The meals seemed very bland to us.

Second was Factor. And wow, night and day difference. Still not what I'd call delicious, but way more flavorful than the Freshly ones. I can actually see myself eating these a couple times a week on a regular basis.

Haven't yet looked into trying any others. Any of you tried one of these services and liked it?
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      01-18-2022, 01:17 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wtwo3 View Post
My wife and I both have pretty demanding jobs, and while I think we're both pretty good cooks... Cooking isn't a passion for us. We mostly do it out of necessity to avoid eating out all the time.

So we looked into these prepared meal plans to see if they were any good. They seem convenient enough.... prepared and all you have to do is heat them up in either a microwave or an oven, and they seem to be relatively healthy.

First one we tried was Freshly. Right away we didn't like it. While the meal choices were plentiful and looked good, the actual flavors just weren't there. The meals seemed very bland to us.

Second was Factor. And wow, night and day difference. Still not what I'd call delicious, but way more flavorful than the Freshly ones. I can actually see myself eating these a couple times a week on a regular basis.

Haven't yet looked into trying any others. Any of you tried one of these services and liked it?
Factor here. I'm happy with them. Never had anything bad. Most are very good. For just heating in a microwave, I am satisfied 🤟🏻
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      01-18-2022, 01:17 PM   #3
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It's a little more involved, but we've been doing Dream Dinners for a couple of years now.

What we like is that by doing the preparation ourselves we are able to easily customize things. We had a few times with COVID where they did the prep and we told them our customization preferences. It mostly worked, but we still prefer doing it ourselves.
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      01-18-2022, 01:24 PM   #4
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I have tried both Freshly and Factor. I have diverticulitis and am not supposed to eat things with seeds, skins or cased meats, and I should avoid corn and the like. Both use lots of peas, corn, broccoli (can't have that either) and other things cannot eat. Having to supplement with additional vegetables and fruit, the cost per meal ends up being too high.

Add to that the fact that the meals, overall, are no that tasty and I think I am going to go back to cooking. Some meals are really good, but not that many.
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      01-18-2022, 01:51 PM   #5
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I mean maybe I'm just a cheap ass, but have ya tried meal prepping for the week? I use to do it all the time especially when I was strictly controlling diet. We would pick two combinations and cook in bulk on Sunday - then just package them all up and be ready for the week. We could make 8 meals for like $40 in comparison to over $100. Just my two cents, don't have any other input as I haven't tried the premade meals.
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      01-18-2022, 01:54 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by JP10 View Post
I mean maybe I'm just a cheap ass, but have ya tried meal prepping for the week? I use to do it all the time especially when I was strictly controlling diet. We would pick two combinations and cook in bulk on Sunday - then just package them all up and be ready for the week. We could make 8 meals for like $40 in comparison to over $100. Just my two cents, don't have any other input as I haven't tried the premade meals.
But when you meal prep isn't it just more or less the same meal you eat 8 times throughout the week? Or do you actually make 8 different meals?
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      01-18-2022, 02:40 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by wtwo3 View Post
But when you meal prep isn't it just more or less the same meal you eat 8 times throughout the week? Or do you actually make 8 different meals?
Like mentioned, we would pick two combinations. So you would have two options through the week. For instance, one option (4meals) being steak, diced & roasted red potatoes, and green beans. Other option (4meals) being chicken, rice, and broccoli. So you would end up eating the same meal twice in a 4 day work week in comparison to eating a single meal for each meal through the week. You could do four options, but prep time goes up. We found that two options were relatively easy to execute on a Sunday afternoon. To make things even easier you could utilize the same starch or veggie with different proteins.

Tons of options out there, and the fitness community has been doing this for decades. They have gotten pretty creative and there are plenty of tips and tricks out there to minimize the prep time.
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      01-18-2022, 02:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JP10 View Post
Like mentioned, we would pick two combinations. So you would have two options through the week. For instance, one option (4meals) being steak, diced & roasted red potatoes, and green beans. Other option (4meals) being chicken, rice, and broccoli. So you would end up eating the same meal twice in a 4 day work week in comparison to eating a single meal for each meal through the week. You could do four options, but prep time goes up. We found that two options were relatively easy to execute on a Sunday afternoon. To make things even easier you could utilize the same starch or veggie with different proteins.

Tons of options out there, and the fitness community has been doing this for decades. They have gotten pretty creative and there are plenty of tips and tricks out there to minimize the prep time.
You might be a cheap-ass but I'm a lazy-ass

But appreciate the feedback, I'll look into this option as well.
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      01-18-2022, 02:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wtwo3 View Post
You might be a cheap-ass but I'm a lazy-ass

But appreciate the feedback, I'll look into this option as well.
Hahah, I hear ya. It was the way to go in my college days. $20 could make almost 10 meals. Family pack of chicken breast, couple cups of rice, and numerous heads of broccoli. Could have it all cooked up in about an hour. This was back before I really knew how to season too, so they were the blandest meals in the world. Like eating cardboard, but it got the job done!
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      01-18-2022, 03:30 PM   #10
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OOOOOH, in for this....been toying with the idea for a while
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      01-18-2022, 04:24 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JP10 View Post
Like mentioned, we would pick two combinations. So you would have two options through the week. For instance, one option (4meals) being steak, diced & roasted red potatoes, and green beans. Other option (4meals) being chicken, rice, and broccoli. So you would end up eating the same meal twice in a 4 day work week in comparison to eating a single meal for each meal through the week. You could do four options, but prep time goes up. We found that two options were relatively easy to execute on a Sunday afternoon. To make things even easier you could utilize the same starch or veggie with different proteins.

Tons of options out there, and the fitness community has been doing this for decades. They have gotten pretty creative and there are plenty of tips and tricks out there to minimize the prep time.
Yup, that's what we do - we make 2-3 meals ahead of time on the Saturday or Sunday, freeze the ones we aren't eating right away and leave one out for the Monday. Each meal usually lasts 2-3 nights, then defrost another one.

You get good healthy meals for less, but it does involve a sacrifice of time on your part.
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      01-18-2022, 04:29 PM   #12
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I don't get it, you still need to prep and cook it. I just don't get it. People are separated from their money so easily these days.
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      01-18-2022, 04:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JP10 View Post
I mean maybe I'm just a cheap ass, but have ya tried meal prepping for the week? I use to do it all the time especially when I was strictly controlling diet. We would pick two combinations and cook in bulk on Sunday - then just package them all up and be ready for the week. We could make 8 meals for like $40 in comparison to over $100. Just my two cents, don't have any other input as I haven't tried the premade meals.
This.

https://www.reddit.com/r/MealPrepSunday/

Meal prep is great. You save money and eat healthier. I could care less about what I eat for breakfast and lunch. The only 'good' meal I care about is dinner. Meal prep the other 2. This is also perfect if you want to count calories or grams of protein etc. Super easy and consistent.

Last edited by Torgus; 01-18-2022 at 04:49 PM..
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      01-18-2022, 05:01 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Alfisti View Post
I don't get it, you still need to prep and cook it. I just don't get it. People are separated from their money so easily these days.
It's the equivalent of reheating takeout and eating it, except significantly healthier and cheaper. There's no prep work involved whatsoever. Unless you count opening the fridge and popping it into the microwave/oven as prep work.... then in that case there's a miniscule amount of prep involved.
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      01-18-2022, 05:49 PM   #15
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I think I tried one of those that sends you the ingredients and recipe but you have to cook it. I think it was a free trial or something. It’s alright if you can’t cook but want to pretend. The food was pretty good. As for the microwave meals… yeah naw… hard pass on that one.

Apart from grilling and smoking shit, I can’t cook worth shit and don’t like cooking either so I subscribe to a plan called my girlfriend. Whatever she makes that’s what I’m eating.
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      01-18-2022, 06:23 PM   #16
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I found it was not in my budget of what I allow myself. 2020 knocked me back so I have become a penny pincher when it suits me. And meals tend to be that way.
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      01-18-2022, 06:27 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JP10 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by wtwo3 View Post
You might be a cheap-ass but I'm a lazy-ass

But appreciate the feedback, I'll look into this option as well.
Hahah, I hear ya. It was the way to go in my college days. $20 could make almost 10 meals. Family pack of chicken breast, couple cups of rice, and numerous heads of broccoli. Could have it all cooked up in about an hour. This was back before I really knew how to season too, so they were the blandest meals in the world. Like eating cardboard, but it got the job done!
Work out meal preps are so different from family life meal preps though lol.

Literally can eat the same shit every day, when my brain knows it's fuel for training. It's weird like that. When I'm not training? Not happening , give me variety and flavor.
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      01-18-2022, 07:08 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamingat30fps View Post
I subscribe to a plan called my girlfriend. Whatever she makes thatís what Iím eating.
I would subscribe to this plan too but don't think my wife would be on board with it
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      01-18-2022, 07:12 PM   #19
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Factor is definitely worth trying. I ate them for a while then suddenly just got tired of them. Then I tried Clean Eatz, but I got tired of those even faster. I've been off and on using a local Paleo meal prep service with those two mixed in between for the past three years. I keep coming back to the Paleo one, as the quality of the ingredients is just above and beyond the other two. I don't particularly follow anything Paleo; it's just good, clean food.
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      01-18-2022, 07:29 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wtwo3 View Post
My wife and I both have pretty demanding jobs, and while I think we're both pretty good cooks... Cooking isn't a passion for us. We mostly do it out of necessity to avoid eating out all the time.

So we looked into these prepared meal plans to see if they were any good. They seem convenient enough.... prepared and all you have to do is heat them up in either a microwave or an oven, and they seem to be relatively healthy.

First one we tried was Freshly. Right away we didn't like it. While the meal choices were plentiful and looked good, the actual flavors just weren't there. The meals seemed very bland to us.

Second was Factor. And wow, night and day difference. Still not what I'd call delicious, but way more flavorful than the Freshly ones. I can actually see myself eating these a couple times a week on a regular basis.

Haven't yet looked into trying any others. Any of you tried one of these services and liked it?
Have a look at calorie count and sugar, salt and fat content. If youíre happy with the data, proceed.
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      01-18-2022, 07:51 PM   #21
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Don't sign up for these meal services.

Just figure out how to make meals that don't take long to prepare. There are a dizzying amount of recipes available that take less than 30 minutes to make.
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      01-18-2022, 08:07 PM   #22
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We do Green Chef or Purple Carrot a couple times a month. Both are cook-by-number plans. Green Chef does more prep ahead of time, so it's usually quicker. But some Green Chef meals have seriously high sodium, so we check what we want to order beforehand to make sure we're not getting some meal with 2000mg of sodium.

Purple Carrot is all plant based stuff and they usually send you whole vegetables instead of precut stuff.

I do the cooking during the week now that I'm retired. Wifey will do it on weekends. I've pushed back about getting a box from one vendor or the other every week because 1) I get sick of cooking, and 2) sometimes I just want simple comfort food like pasta or chicken and potatoes, or maybe take-out. So we're getting a box every other week now. Tonight we had a Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Gnocchi dish from Purple Carrot. Wifey liked it. I thought it was ok, but wouldn't get it again.

These plans do cut down on cooking time and they do save you from having extra ingredients hanging around. The Purple Carrot ones at least are lower in calories, so they're good for watching your weight if needed.
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