There’s Nothing Fresh About Simply Cook – A Food Subscription Box Review
Simply Cook, another subscription in the long list of foodie ones that have popped up over the last few years.
You’ll probably be aware of Hello Fresh, Gousto or Mindful Chef, but Simply Cook probably goes a little under the radar. The idea behind these boxes is that you are given the recipes and ingredients that you need in order to create meals at home. You may subscribe to these to give you new ideas, to try foods you wouldn’t normally, to save time in the kitchen or save money by reducing what you waste.
Imagine coming home to a huge box, with all your meals for the week planned out, perfectly portioned and ready to cook. This is just what you get with most of these boxes (and frantically have to make space in the fridge for all the ingredients!
Simply Cook is a little different though. You don’t get any fresh ingredients.
So what do you get with a Simply Cook box?
In their words:
Combine a few items from your fridge with our Unique Flavour Ingredients. Delicious flavour blends. Easy-to-follow recipes. The brand new way to cook. Great meals in 20 minutes.
A Simply Cook box contains 4 ingredients kits, for you to add the fresh food to. Each individual meal kit contains 3 blends of herbs & spices or ingredients that have been combined into pastes, rubs or sauces. These 3 little pots are packed full of flavour and are far more than just some herbs that you may find in your kitchen cupboard already.
You choose 4 recipes to go into the box, and as with other subscriptions you receive individual recipe cards so you know exactly what to do and what you need to go shopping for. All the meals are quick and easy to make, and for the privilege of this convenience, a box for 4 meals costs £9.99. You can opt to receive a box weekly, fortnightly or monthly.
What makes Simply Cook so good?
- It fits through your letterbox
The convenience of this just dropping onto your doormat really is a plus point. Having tried other boxes, where you need to be at home, or need to risk the box being left outside, I love how easy this is.
- It has a long shelf life
Again this is a huge positive point, I have been getting this box for over a year now and have only just used some of the kits we received in 2020. The lack of fresh ingredients means that you don’t have to make these meals as soon as they arrive.
- It has a huge choice
Whether you are vegetarian or not, there’s a huge variety. We even adapt some of the meals to suit us, adding mean to some of the veggie ones, or leaving out some ingredients that we may not like. We’ve tried so many things that we might never have done without this box
- It has a great referral scheme for free boxes
If you want to try this out for FREE you can do, You just need to find someone with a referral code – oh, like me! You can click this link and claim your free box. CLICK HERE. (please note that I do get a reward if you sign up, in the form of a free box too. So you could refer friends also and qualify for free boxes using your own link found in your account). You can choose the 4 meals to come in your free box and I believe they even pay the postage. Happy days!
- It all tastes great
Find a meal where you like the ingredients and I can assure you that you’ll love it. They are so flavoursome, we haven’t had a bland dish yet. We have found our favourites, and sometimes receive 4 of the same thing in one box because we love them that much. Sicilian Roast Chicken, Japanese Seared Steak, Vietnamese Pork, Thai Basil Pork and Lamb Koftas are firm favourites here.
Here’s some other photos of some meals we have had:
Are there any downsides?
- The need to go out shopping
Obviously as you do not get given the fresh ingredients, you do need to go and buy what you need to complete the recipe. However I do love that there’s a tear off strip on the recipe card that you can remove and put in your purse with the shopping list on
- Forgetting to cancel and getting random boxes
If you don’t remember to cancel your subscription, or you don’t log in and choose your meals, you will get a box of completely random meals. I believe this would be better if you were sent more of previous meals you have ordered. We now have quite a few boxes of things we probably won’t eat (my husband hates curry and that seems to be what we get … I’m slowly using the individual pots in meals for myself when he’s away). However, this is also the same with other subscription boxes so it isn’t a problem that’s exclusive to Simply Cook.
What’s The Overall Verdict?
Simply Cook is a box for those who want to try new things without having to fill their cupboards full of herbs and spices that they may never use again.
To save you being left with half used jars everywhere, you get the right portions of ingredients that you need to make delicious meals, and they’re quick to do too – perfect for busy people and family dinners. By adding the fresh ingredients yourself, you can choose when you fancy eating these meals and you don’t need to rush based on expiry dates or freshness.
These little pots are full of flavour, and whilst it would be hard to recreate what’s in each blend, you could easily keep the recipe cards and re-make your own versions of these meals.
The referral scheme is great, allowing you to earn free boxes by giving free boxes to friends – I do struggle to see how they make any money (probably from people like me who forget to cancel and end up with additional boxes – these are £9.99 per 4 meals, or £7.99 once you have referred over 5 people)
We have had about 20 free boxes in the last year, which is 80 meals worth of ingredients, incredible value if you ask me, even though I have accidentally paid for a few boxes along the way!
My verdict? Definitely worth trying out, even if you only use a free box and then decide that you prefer getting all the ingredients delivered as with one of the other boxes. For me, I never found those as ‘fresh’ as they implied and I like to choose my own meat from the supermarket.
If you do want to order your free box then you can do so here – there’s so many meals I would recommend so I am sure you would find something you like!
In summary, there really is nothing fresh about Simply Cook, but that’s just how I like it!
Let me know if you try it for yourself, I would love to hear what you have made …