Meal Planning Made Simple: An Honest PlateJoy Review

Food ruts… I’ve been in one lately, and I know I’m not alone.  Do you ever get SO tired of every single recipe you know how to make?  So frustrating… let’s talk it about and then I’ll share some REALLY good news with you about an awesome, budget-friendly meal planning service I found called PlateJoy.

I know some of you heard the words meal planning service and don’t care what else I have to say.  You just want to go check it out… if that’s you… here’s the link to try it free for ten days and use code GET10 for $10 off!

Miranda Schultz of The Plus Life Blog Reviews PlateJoy Meal Planning Service

Meal Planning Made Simple: An Honest PlateJoy Review

Even many great cooks have a limited arsenal of family favorite recipes that are made on repeat.  I am a Southern woman with grandmas (aka Granny and Mamaw to me) who were INCREDIBLE cooks.  Unfortunately, I have exactly zero of their recipes to share because neither they nor I actually measure anything or write anything down to save it for later.  They cooked by what looked and felt right, and that’s how I usually do it too.

Even these amazingly talented cooks rotated through a lot of the same recipes, so everyday “good but not great” cooks like me can’t be expected to have an endless arsenal of mouthwatering options available.

Food Ruts

I’m a pretty solid cook.  I can figure out flavor combinations that taste well and I can recreate most of my favorite restaurant meals at home.  I still run out of ideas on a regular basis.

As an adult who is responsible for figuring out what’s for breakfast, lunch, and dinner EVERY SINGLE DAY… I get realllyyyyyyy tired of spending so much time thinking about this topic.

I know almost all of my friends and family members feel the same way, so I’m sure there’s a good chance this happens to you sometimes too.

I don’t mind the process of cooking… it relaxes me and I enjoy it.  But figuring out what to make for us and putting together the grocery list each week is something I definitely don’t look forward to.  I tend to fall into a rut and keep making the same things over and over again until absolutely nothing sounds good anymore. That’s been my situation lately.

Pair that with a recent diagnosis which meant I need to modify my diet a bit… and I was feeling lost and overwhelmed.

When I’m feeling simultaneously bored AND overwhelmed with meal prep, the last thing I want to do is spend hours on Google and Pinterest trying to figure it all out.  I wanted an easier solution that would meet my family’s dietary needs and get us out of our rut.  I’m excited to share that I FOUND THE SOLUTION!

Miranda Schultz of The Plus Life Blog Reviews PlateJoy Meal Planning Service

About PlateJoy

I was browsing for meal planning options and came across a service called PlateJoy that piqued my interest. PlateJoy is an online meal planning service that allows you to input details about your dietary needs, ingredient preferences, level of effort you’re OK with putting into meals, and more.  Based on your specific needs, the service creates a fully customized menu along with a shopping list within minutes.  SO EASY!

I wouldn’t call us picky eaters… but I definitely wouldn’t say we’re adventurous either.  Honestly, I’ve tried a lot of the meal delivery services where you get the ingredients sent to you and we never really stuck with them for longer than a week or two.  Most of the time the recipes were too “out there” for our tastes… and I hated that I’d spend time cooking and the meals didn’t include enough ingredients for leftovers.

Anyway, PlateJoy isn’t like those meal delivery services… you’re WAY more in control.  They provide the custom meal plans and grocery lists but don’t ship the actual groceries to you.  This means there are more meal options available and you can pick out your own groceries including the exact meat and produce you want. There’s no shipping/packaging waste either because they’re not shipping ingredients.

Miranda Schultz of The Plus Life Blog Reviews PlateJoy Meal Planning Service

How PlateJoy Works

The PlateJoy process is EXTREMELY simple. I was so pleasantly surprised by how easy it is.

  1. Click this link to begin.
  2. Click “Personalize” to create your plan.
  3. Answer the questions about your needs/preferences.
  4. Click “See My Meals”
  5. Review the initial meals being suggested for you (you can pick and choose from these options and more later)
  6. Click “Checkout”
  7. Choose either a six month or 12-month plan, with a 10-day free trial to ensure you love it! Be sure to use code GET10 for $10 off too!
  8. Pick the exact meals you want for the week.
  9. Generate shopping list and either save or print it.
  10. Optional:  log into the integrated grocery delivery service to order your groceries

Miranda is chopping asparagus on a wooden cutting board. Miranda Schultz of The Plus Life Blog Reviews PlateJoy Meal Planning Service

What I love About PlateJoy

  1. You can try the service for free for ten days before committing!  Click here to start your trial. 
  2. It saves SO much time.  Within minutes I was able to fill out the questionnaire, pick out how many meals I planned to cook for the week and generate the grocery list.
  3. It’s affordable… the service costs as little as $8/month and is totally worth it to save time, help stay on top of your nutritional needs and keep everyone happy with a variety of delicious meals.  I also believe this will save me money on groceries as I won’t be buying random things hoping to figure out meals to make with them… everything on my list will serve a specific purpose.
  4. No more food rut – I can pick new recipes every week!
  5. The service includes recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks! So many meal plans I find only focus on dinner… leaving you lost for the rest of the day.
  6. It’s completely flexible… you can pick and choose how many meals you want to make.  If you are craving an old family favorite, just choose one less recipe from the plan and add your own ingredients to your shopping list manually.
  7. There are options for batch cooking that will allow you to cook once and eat multiple times.  This is the main thing I was missing from meal delivery services… I don’t want to cook dinner every night and this allows me to have “planned leftovers” and also helps keep our grocery budget in check.
  8. Plans can be tailored to your specific dietary needs.
  9. Even once a menu is recommended, you have the ability to remove the recommendations and pick recipes that sound more appealing to you!

The Downside of PlateJoy

This list is going to be much shorter than the “what I love” category.  Overall, I’m thrilled with this service.  When I review products and services, I always want to keep things balanced… so here are a couple less than ideal aspects of using the service.

  1. You can’t substitute ingredients in a recipe for your grocery list.  For example, if a recipe is recommended for you that includes tofu and you want to sub chicken, you’ll have to remember to remove the tofu from your list and add the chicken.  There’s no way that I can find to substitute items within the recipe itself.  Even with making a manual change or two to the shopping list once you print it or save it… it’s still a HUGE time saver and not much of an inconvenience at all.
  2. I wouldn’t call us picky eaters but we definitely stick to simple meals… nothing too over the top.  There were a good amount of meals on the site that were recommended for upcoming meals for us that we would never eat.  There are definitely enough recipes that we WOULD love on the site that I’m not concerned but if you’re a super picky eater you might not love some of the recipes.  The good news is if you’re recommended a meal that you never want… you can permanently delete it from your recommendations.

Miranda Schultz of The Plus Life Blog Reviews PlateJoy Meal Planning Service

Miranda Schultz of The Plus Life Blog Reviews PlateJoy Meal Planning Service

Who Would Benefit From PlateJoy

Anyone who is responsible for figuring out what’s for dinner (or breakfast or lunch) would benefit from this service.  With kid-friendly options, it’s perfect for families.  There are meal plans for pretty much every dietary need you can imagine (vegetarian, vegan, low carb, dairy-free, etc.).

The Cost of PlateJoy

PlateJoy costs as little as $8/month and you can start with a 10-day free trial when you click here!  I’m confident that within your first week trying the service, you’ll know whether it’s the right fit for your family.  The first week I tried it, I was hooked.

Miranda Schultz of The Plus Life Blog Reviews PlateJoy Meal Planning Service

My Final Thoughts

I’m still pretty new to using the service but I honestly was so impressed I couldn’t wait to share it with you.  Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with all of the new meals we are trying.  I’ll be sharing them with you there!

You really have nothing to lose by trying this service.  It’s inexpensive and provides so much value.  I think you’re going to love it.

Have any questions that I didn’t answer here? Be sure to drop them in the comments below and I’ll be answering them!  

Disclosure:   Links in this post are affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you purchase items using these links at no cost to you.  Thank you for supporting The Plus Life by using these links when you shop items I recommend!  

Miranda Schultz of The Plus Life Blog Reviews PlateJoy Meal Planning Service

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