Editor's Note: This is not a paid advertisement. We paid for the food out of our own pocket so we could write this honest review.
RealEats is a prepared meal delivery service operating out of the Fingerlakes region of New York.
They provide a seasonal, sustainable approach to prepared food, with a unique vacuum-sealed packaging style and clean meal options that differentiate them from their competitors.
We took a deep dive into their service and loved every moment.
Let's take a look at what makes their service such a great value.
How Does RealEats Work?
RealEats works like most prepared meal delivery services in the fact that it's subscription-based and delivers each week.
It's simple to skip a week when it's not needed or add additional items when you have a particularly busy week.
There is a wealth of information about each meal, so you can make a truly informed decision when choosing your lineup.
They're unique in many ways, and their clean eating attitude makes them a wholesome option in a sea of choices.
They offer a good array of options that will keep your fridge stocked up for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with add-ons to boot too.
We were very excited to give this service a try, so let's see how it stacked up.
A Review of RealEats
Is It Easy to Place an Order?
One thing that I noticed right away was the fact that it was quite easy to place an order.
I appreciated the fact that it was a simple setup process; sometimes when a company offers too many options and makes the process too lengthy it can be a big turn-off.
It was also simple to choose meals, which is sometimes part of the process that takes the longest.
Their menu is split up nicely, with their 3 featured items at the top (these are the ones that rotate weekly) and the remaining weekly chef's selections below.
Add-ons are on a different screen, and they're organized by type so it's quite efficient to just add whatever else you want without much fuss.
Overall, I'd say their ordering process was one of the most user-friendly that we've seen.
What's the Variety & Is It Easy to Swap?
The RealEats menu variety is a good balance of favorites that stick around to try again and items that rotate weekly.
The featured items seem to change weekly, whereas the remaining items are said to change seasonally.
This is an aspect I truly appreciate personally.
It's nice to see that focus on seasonal agriculture, as that is when ingredients really shine to their full potential.
It's a sustainable approach that's better for the planet as well as our taste buds.
As far as swapping, you can choose all of your own meals, and it's very easy to do so.
You cannot swap any of the sides, but you can add on additional sides in the add-on category.
The cutoff for choosing your items and swapping meals from the RealEats menu is 11:59 pm every Wednesday night for the following week's delivery.
So, how does this service work for those with dietary accommodations?
They do have a focus on clean eating and providing real, wholesome food, so many of their dishes are already free of gluten, dairy, and sugar.
If you're avoiding a different allergen, they do have a wealth of information about each dish that you can easily view before choosing the items for your order.
You can see the description of the dish, the ingredients list, allergen information, health benefits of the dish, calorie count, serving size, meal attributes, and the nutrition facts label.
This makes it simple for anyone avoiding certain ingredients to make an informed decision.
What Options Are There for the Number of Servings?
One big frustration with a lot of meal kits and/or prepared meal delivery services is the lack of options as far as family sizes go.
For example, many only offer meals for 2 or 4 people, so other family sizes are forced into either having too little or too much food.
How does RealEats stack up?
RealEats offers dinner plans as well as plans that combine breakfast and dinner meals.
They offer dinner plans for 4, 6, 8, or 12 meals and the same for their dinner/breakfast combo (4 each, 6 each, etc.) with the price decreasing as the number increases.
This setup is fantastic because you can customize what you need for your particular family.
For example, we have a family of 2 adults and 2 young children. We were able to select a couple of lunches for my husband and me to eat during the workweek, breakfast for the weekend, and 3 full-sized portions for a weeknight dinner.
This type of selection isn't typically possible with most meal delivery services, and whenever we order something like this we usually end up with leftovers or having to supplement with an additional homemade side to make up the difference.
This is one aspect that really sets RealEats apart from their competition and something that I would definitely think about when it comes time to consider ordering again.
Unique Style of Packaging
Their packaging is pretty unique, and I personally love the efficiency of it.
They use sous vide bags (commonly used in restaurants) to vacuum-pack the food to seal in freshness and extend the shelf life without any additional preservatives or artificial additives.
You, as the consumer, then have the option of either boiling the bags for a few minutes to reheat (their recommended method) or transferring the food to a plate and reheating in the microwave.
We followed the reheating instructions exactly, using the boiling method, and didn't have any issues.
There was a small amount of liquid that needed to be drained off with a couple of the items (mainly the vegetables), but that's to be expected with reheating (it's mentioned in the instructions as well) and didn't affect the flavor at all.
Delivery Time Frames
When it comes to receiving food deliveries, the delivery process is a big deal.
RealEats is based on a subscription model, so your order will arrive on the same day each week.
Deliveries are done on either Tuesday or Wednesday each week, although you can't make the choice yourself.
They state that they will be offering more delivery options soon.
Taste & Creativity
As with most meal kits and prepared meal delivery services, not every single meal is going to be a home run.
That being said, we always taste a variety of items to get a sense of their flavors as a whole to give you an idea of what to expect.
Overall, RealEats is delicious.
Their flavors are balanced and well-seasoned for the most part.
We had one side dish that was somewhat bland, but then again we notice everything as we're avid foodies and I have a culinary background. We were also looking for potential issues as we were purposefully reviewing it. I'm not so sure that a regular consumer would've noticed it.
What We Tried
These are the items we tasted:
- Balsamic glazed steak
- Orange sesame chicken
- Turkey chili
- Blueberry baked oatmeal
- Green juice
Of all of the items, that chili was EPIC.
It's listed as a best seller on their website, and I know why.
Because it's amazing. If you're going to place an order, get at least 2 of those because after you eat the first one, you're going to wish you had another.
The remaining dishes were also fantastic, but what really stood out (besides that amazing chili) was the baked oatmeal.
I have a semi-massive obsession with baked oatmeal ever since trying it in Green Bay once while I was pregnant with our first child. It stuck and I've been crazy about it ever since, so I was really looking forward to this one.
That being said, I was a little hesitant because RealEats makes theirs with cashew milk and other non-dairy ingredients. It also doesn't contain sugar. I've made them like this before, but when ordering from a restaurant or service, it's typically made with milk and sugar.
It was amazing! So. Good. Get 2 of those too. You absolutely won't miss anything and will not believe it's healthy, because it's that good.
I'd be interested to try some of their other main dishes for sure. I'll definitely be ordering more chili & oatmeal!
Freshness, Quality & Sustainability of Ingredients
How Does the Price & Value Stack Up?
As far as price, RealEats is definitely a good value.
It's a little higher priced than most meal kits out there, of course, but that's to be expected as the cooking is already done for you.
Their cost structure is very similar to other prepared meal delivery services out there, actually.
The one gripe we had was that the portion size was a tad on the small side.
The thing is, their ingredients are of very high quality, with organic and local products being used regularly.
The portions are not huge, but they're not crazy small either. Just a little on the small side. They're probably just fine for most people, but you'll have to take your own needs into account and possibly order a couple of extra sides or proteins when creating your order.
With this in mind, their service is absolutely one of high value.
Customer Service Options
Whenever you're talking about a subscription service of any kind, you want them to have good customer service.
No one wants to continually deal with a company that doesn't handle issues well.
I was impressed by the customer service options available with RealEats.
First, it's very easy to handle issues yourself as a customer on their site because they have a thorough and easy-to-navigate FAQ section.
Second, it's simple to handle your account online without assistance, with options to change meals, skip a week (or more), or even cancel clearly visible within your account (many companies hide these options to deter cancellations, which is quite frustrating).
Third, there are plenty of contact options should you need additional assistance.
You can contact their customer service department via email, phone, or chat during normal business hours or through a contact form as well.
What We Liked
RealEats is a great convenient service, and getting food each week that's already cooked and ready to eat within 6 minutes is a game-changer for any busy person.
The aspect that really stood out to me more than anything else is the fact that their ingredient lists are mostly gluten, dairy, and sugar-free.
In our home, we very rarely eat sugar or dairy and have cut back on gluten, so finding a service that encompasses those ideals but at the same time provides food that tastes good is a diamond in the rough for sure.
And that's the thing: the food tastes good.
Watch our RealEats review video to get a better look at the meals.
What We Didn't Like
There were only 2 aspects of the service I found challenging, and they aren't deal-breakers necessarily.
The first is that none of their breakfast options change from week to week.
This might not even matter to some people, but it's worth mentioning because it's something that would be a factor for me personally.
The other thing would be the portion sizing.
This, of course, depends on so many factors, such as your body mass, activity level, etc.
For us, the portion sizes were a touch on the small side for an adult male, a very active female, and 2 young boys.
This could easily be rectified by ordering a couple of extra sides to serve alongside, or if you prefer a more protein-dense diet, they have protein add-ons that would be delicious alongside their regular meals to add a little more to each portion.