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SimplyCook review: Good value for money?

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? Let’s take a look at how SimplyCook works and whether it’s good value for money.

SimplyCook review home


SimplyCook summary

Not a full meal kit in the truest sense – you’ll just be sent some stock pots and a handful of extras. But it does give you some great meal ideas and it’s very affordable.

– Pete Chatfield

SimplyCook logo
Choice of meals
Choice for restricted diets
Family-friendly meals
Value for money

Pros and cons:

✅ Plenty of recipes to choose from
✅ As there are no fresh ingredients, cook in your own time
✅ Affordable option

❌ You’ll still need to pick up ingredients


Simply Cook

3.5


SimplyCook

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 SimplyCook, which seemed far cheaper than other companies I had tried.


What is SimplyCook?

SimplyCook is a meal-based subscription service. But unlike other meal kits, SimplyCook 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.

SimplyCook Limited is a British company based in London and incorporated in 2014.


How does SimplyCook work?

Just sign up to SimplyCook 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 pay £1 for delivery.

It is a subscription service and you can choose to have a box delivered every week, every fortnight or every month.

Within a few days, your first kit containing your flavour pots and extras, plus 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 SimplyCook 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 SimplyCook.

How much does is it cost?

A subscription to SimplyCook will cost you £9.99 per box, with free delivery. If you have boxes delivered every fortnight, that will cost you £19.98 per month and delivered weekly, £39.96 per month.

Of course, you need to factor in the cost of ingredients on top of the box. But SimplyCook calculates that meals usually cost between £3 – £6 per person.

Of course, you can try a discounted trial box first.

Is it simple to cancel?

With SimplyCook, you can stop your subscription through your online account.

  • Select the profile icon in the top right
  • Tap manage subscription
  • Then choose cancel

SimplyCook recipes

SimplyCook 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 SimplyCook 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 SimplyCook are classed as low calorie, usually in the region of 550-600 calories per portion.

In fact, all of the meals listed on the SimplyCook 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
simply cook review



Is SimplyCook 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…

simply cook meal


Flavour Boosts

Recently added to the SimplyCook 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 SimplyCook 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.

SimplyCook refer a friend

If you’re a fan of SimplyCook, 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

Why not take a look at some of the best refer a friend schemes in the UK?


My SimplyCook review conclusion

So, is SimplyCook 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 SimplyCook 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 SimplyCook recipes.

SimplyCook discount code

If you’re unsure if SimplyCook is for you, why not order a trial box? Use the button below to order your first box for just £1*.


Simply Cook


*T&Cs:

  • 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 SimplyCook

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 SimplyCook, this is something to consider.

simply cook review


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.


FAQs

How long do SimplyCook 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 SimplyCook 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 SimplyCook have a minimum subscription?

No, you can cancel at any time.

Is there a SimplyCook 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 SimplyCook include meat?

No. Their meal kits only include flavour pots and a recipe card. No fresh ingredients are sent.

Can you freeze SimplyCook 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 SimplyCook monthly subscription for somebody, ranging from 1 to 24 months.

David

Saturday 3rd of February 2024

I've been using Simply Cook for 3 or 4 years now. Basic, cheap ingredients easily available from small supermarkets and excellent quick recipes. Perfect for the time poor who don't like shopping and way more practical and economic than the delivery based offerings.

Victoria

Tuesday 10th of October 2023

Simply Cook has plenty of dishes to choose from but they are VERY high in sugar. Yes, all of them. When I contacted them to ask why, I was told it's for preserving and used in place of chemical preservatives, but everything is really sweet and if you're diabetic one of these meals is going to send your blood sugar through the roof.