Are you tired of the same old meals every dinner time and looking for inspiration? Then why not try out a meal kit and have the ideas sent straight to your door? Have a look at this Simply Cook review to see what’s included and whether it really provides good value.
10-second Simply Cook review
The meal kits give you some great ideas for cooking at a reasonable price. If you’re stuck for recipe ideas, then Simply Cook is a great solution. But this is cheaper than other meal subscription services because you receive a stock pot and a handful of extras. You’ll have to find your own fresh ingredients yourself.
Make no bones about it, I am a rubbish cook. However, over the last few months, I have become far more adventurous when destroying my food. This is all thanks to the different recipes provided by meal kit companies. If you’ve never had the pleasure of receiving one, these kits give you ideas and ingredients for different meals each week. You’ll be given recipe cards with step-by-step instructions on creating delicious meals, delivered straight to your door.
Some of the other kits I have reviewed include Gousto and HelloFresh and although they are great for trying new food, they can be a little pricey – you can see my full list of meal kits and subscription boxes here. However, an advert caught my eye for Simply Cook, which seemed far cheaper than other companies I had tried.
What is Simply Cook?
Simply Cook is a meal-based subscription service. But unlike other meal kits, Simply Cook provides you with stock pots, recipe cards and a few extras like garnishes, seasonings and marinades The main ingredients of the meal, such as the meat and vegetables, you will need to buy from your local supermarket or high street shops.
Taken from their website:
At SimplyCook we want to get Britain cooking! Despite our nation’s love of food, recipe programs and celebrity chefs most of us only have 6 meals or less in our repertoire. We aim to change that by making cooking a simple and hassle free process so you can expand your repertoire with ease!
We want to achieve 3 things:
We love flavour – we want your dinners to taste amazing.
We want to save you money – our short shopping lists mean you don’t have to spend on 20 ingredients to cook a tasty new recipe and our meals work out between £3 and £6 per person in total.
Ultimate convenience – you can use our kits when you want, cooking takes around 20mins, and the items you have to add are easily accessible.
Simply Cook Limited is a British company based in London and incorporated in 2014.
How does Simply Cook work?
Just sign-up to Simply Cook using the app or the website, which shouldn’t take more than a few minutes. Then, choose four recipes that take your fancy. If you’re a new customer, you’ll get your first box for free by using this link. You just pay £1 for delivery.
Within a few days, your kit containing your ingredients and step-by-step recipe cards will arrive in the post by Royal Mail. And the good thing is because it comes in such a small box, it should fit straight through your letterbox.
Your recipe card will show you a list of ingredients you need to buy to complete your tasty meals. But these ingredients are also listed on the Simply Cook website, so you can buy them beforehand if you want to prepare.
The plus point of not receiving fresh ingredients is that you can cook your own meals in your own time. With other meal kits, you have a limited time before your food starts to turn, but not with Simply Cook.
Is it simple to cancel?
One of my bugbears when it comes to these types of services is that you can sign up online and then cancel by telephone. But in the case of Simply Cook, you can stop your subscription through your online account. Just:
- Select the profile icon in the top right
- Tap manage subscription
- Then choose cancel
How much does Simply Cook cost?
Once your discounted trial box has finished, other boxes will cost you £9.99 with free delivery. Of course, you need to factor in the cost of ingredients on top of the box. But Simply Cook calculates that meals usually cost between £3 – £6 per person.
Simply Cook blows its competitors out of the water with well over 100 meal kits to choose from. But in defence of the others, this isn’t a surprise as Simply Cook doesn’t have to send you fresh ingredients.
There are plenty of special diet options, with around 40 vegetarian recipes and over a dozen vegan kits. You can set your dietary requirements too (such as gluten-free) to avoid anything that’s likely to make you unwell or you don’t like the taste of it.
Any healthy meals?
I know we often equate home-cooked meals to being healthy, but that’s not often the case. But around a 1/4 of the recipes supplied by Simply Cook are classed as low calorie, usually in the region of 550-600 calories per portion.
In fact, all of the meals listed on the Simply Cook site tell you the calorie content per portion. Good or bad.
My first box
My box arrived in the post within a few days of ordering. Each kit comes in a box split into a further four boxes, each containing three different ingredient pots. Each recipe card had a little tear-off section with the ingredients, which you can take shopping if you wish.
The recipe cards are generally quite easy to follow but could do with a few more images to simplify the cooking process. However, I am a cooking simpleton.
The meal kits I chose were:
- BBQ Tandoori chicken with sweet potato wedges
- Vietnamese Pork
- Masala lamb chops
- Sichuan dan dan noodles
Is Simply Cook any good?
Taste-wise, there are no complaints here. The flavourful spice blends made a big difference to the food, much bigger than I expected. And unlike other recipe kit services, I have tried before, the meal times and cooking instructions were accurate. I can’t tell you how much I hate that panic feeling I get when I realise that something on my recipe list will take 10 minutes longer than everything else.
The only thing is, I can never get my food to look like it does on the recipe cards. Although we dodged the salad for the meal below…
Recently added to the Simply Cook menu are Flavour Boosts. These pouches can be added to all kinds of meals to help improve the flavour, such as roasts, pasta, stir fry or curry. There are eight to choose from, and can be bought singularly or in bundles if you want better value.
What other people say
Looking at reviews on Trustpilot, the vast majority of customers enjoy using the service, with Simply Cook scoring 4.4 out of 5. Reviewers praise the taste of the recipe kits, although some people complain about their subscriptions renewing without their knowledge.
Simply Cook refer a friend
If you’re a fan of Simply Cook, why not tell your friends about it? Just share your personal code that you’ll find in your account area and you will receive a free box.
Also worth reading
And save a bit more…
If you bank online, check to see if your account has any retailer offers. Many of the major accounts like Lloyds and Santander do. All you need to do is activate the offer and cashback will automatically be paid into your current account when you make your Simply Cook purchase. From Santander, this was £7.
My Simply Cook review conclusion
So, is Simply Cook worth it? If you’re looking for new meals and interesting recipes on a budget, this is a definite yes. Because you source the ingredients yourself, you can choose where to shop and how much you’re willing to spend, a great way to keep costs down.
But if you’re taking out a recipe kit service because you’re fed up with going to the shops, then Simply Cook won’t be for you. Take a look at my alternatives below.
Personally, I liked it. And I combined it with meat from Muscle Food to give me the best value when using the Simply Cook recipes.
Simply Cook discount code
If you’re unsure if Simply Cook is for you, why not order a trial box? Use the button below to order your first box for just £1*.
- By claiming this free trial with £1 postage, you will be automatically signed up to a rolling £9.99 weekly, fortnightly or monthly subscription to SimplyCook.
- You can change or cancel your subscription in the “Manage Subscription” section of the SimplyCook website.
- You can cancel your subscription seven days after ordering your first box.
- This offer is valid for new customers only.
- One trial box per household.
- Cannot be combined with any other offer.
- Boxes are designed to fit through most standard letterboxes and don’t require a signature.
- UK delivery only, including Northern Ireland, excludes delivery to the Channel Islands.
- Dry ingredients are included — you will be required to provide 4-6 additional ingredients per dish.
- For full terms and conditions, visit https://www.simplycook.com/terms-and-conditions
Alternatives to Simply Cook
Several alternatives are worth considering.
However, these meal kits all include fresh food, so are a little more expensive.
A little tip
When I went to cancel my subscription I was offered 20% off. For life! That meant all my recipe boxes would cost just £7.99 each. Not bad value, but still a little expensive for me. But if you like Simply Cook, this is something to consider.
If you want to try new food, not just meal kits, look at my Degusta Box review. For under £10, you will be sent all kinds of food.
How long do Simply Cook boxes last?
We all get sidetracked from time to time, or things fall to the back of our cupboards. Kits will generally last for 2-3 months and all have an expiry date written on them.
Is Simply Cook healthy?
As I said above, there are plenty of meals to choose from. If you’re looking for a healthier option, you can choose meals from the ‘light range’. These are all under 600 calories per portion. As for the other meals on the regular list, it is unclear how many calories they contain.
Does Simply Cook have a minimum subscription?
No, you can cancel at any time.
Is there a Simply Cook free box or trial?
Currently, there aren’t any freebies on offer. The best you can do is a discounted trial box. This ranges from £1-£3.
Does Simply Cook include meat?
No. Their meal kits only include flavour pots and a recipe card. No fresh ingredients are sent.
Can you freeze Simply Cook meals?
Because you can make the meals whenever you want, you don’t need to freeze your meals. But in most cases, you can.
Can you buy gift cards?
Not quite. But you can buy a Simply Cook monthly subscription for somebody, ranging from 1 to 24 months.
Dr Roy Kenneth Acland
Sunday 20th of December 2020
Do you supply the complete meal or is it just the flavourings in little pots. Please clarify.
Money Saver Pete
Sunday 20th of December 2020
Unfortunately, Simply Cook only provides the flavourings and recipes. You will need to purchase the actual ingredients.