YouFoodz (often misspelt ‘Youfoods’) has been delivering prepared meals across Australia since 2012, growing to become one of the largest meal delivery providers in the country. Their offering centres around fresh, healthy microwaveable meals alongside a variety of snacks, drinks and fruits. Positioning themselves at the budget end of the market, I wanted to see if YouFoodz can deliver a great prepared meals experience.
YouFoodz Prepared Meals Review
YouFoodz Review Summary
YouFoodz provides great value prepared meals, perfect for anyone short on time or cooking skills. They offer a wide range of snacks & drinks along with the meals, though there isn’t much available for anyone with a special diet.
Ordering - Website - 9/10
Food - Quality - 5/10
Ordering - Meal Choice - 8/10
Food - Taste - 5/10
Ordering - Delivery - 9/10
Value For Money - 10/10
- Very good value meals.
- Simple, easy to use website.
- No subscription lock-in.
- Lots of chicken-based meals.
- Loss of texture when reheating.
- Some meals better than others.
If you’ve never tried a prepared meals service before, they can be truly liberating! Your lunches and dinners are cooked within 2 minutes, saving you loads of time every day. No judgement if you want to use that saved time for a quick nap.
I pulled together some of the most common FAQ’s in my guide to prepared meals services.
The main concern I hear from people is that their prepared meals won’t taste very nice. I cover this in detail throughout this YouFoodz review so read ahead to see how the YouFoodz experience stacks up.
- 1 Getting started with YouFoodz
- 2 Meal variety and options
- 3 Delivery options
- 4 How much does YouFoodz cost?
- 5 My YouFoodz Review delivery box
- 6 How’s the food?
- 7 Anything Else?
- 8 My Final Thoughts
Getting started with YouFoodz
There’s no rocket science involved with starting YouFoodz, I found their website incredibly intuitive to use. The first thing that sets them apart is that you’re not signing up for a subscription service. By default, you’re only ordering one box at a time.
This is actually really refreshing to see that there are no sneaky tactics to hook you in with weekly deliveries. For those who want the ease of a subscription service, there is the option to ‘set & forget‘ which repeats your order every week.
Purchasing meals couldn’t be simpler. Simply scroll through their menu, add any meals you want to your ‘cart’ and then pay at the checkout.
If you want to try a YouFoodz meal without making a large order, their meals are also available at various supermarkets across Australia. I’ve found most success in Coles and ALDI but you can see a map of stockists to find out your local options.
Meal variety and options
YouFoodz has a very extensive menu that centres around their ‘Ready Made Meals’ with 45+ different meals available. Example meals include:
- Pad Thai
- Fried Chicken & Gravy
- BBQ Beef Noodles
- Turkey Rissoles
- Mexican Beans & Quinoa
Looking at the variety available, there’s a heavy leaning towards chicken dishes. I counted 45% of their dishes with Chicken as the main protein. Taking away the vegetarian dishes, this makes over 50% of the meat protein meals chicken-based. This is one of the trade-offs with a relatively budget meal offering as Chicken is one of the cheapest sources of protein.
However, the YouFoodz offering doesn’t stop there. There’s also a Large Meals range, Soups, Breakfast, Snacks and Drinks. You really can feed yourself entirely from YouFoodz food alone.
Special diets and food intolerance
I don’t find YouFoodz particularly well catered towards any special diets. Particularly as this is their current stance on the matter:
Our chefs take the highest care to keep allergy-prone ingredients out of certain meals. However, they may still be present, as all of our products are produced in the same kitchen.YouFoodz
Therefore, I advise that anyone with serious allergies exercise extreme caution.
There were only 6 vegetarian options available at the time I was reviewing their menu, which really isn’t enough to keep anyone interested.
One area where YouFoodz does excel is with weight loss. Their meals are naturally low in calories (between 300 – 500) which is perfect portion sizes for anyone trying to lose weight. To make things easier, they have a Clean Eating Plan which helps pick the right foods to eat throughout the week.
If you’re planning to use YouFoodz for your weight loss, I highly recommend using this calorie calculator and using it to understand what you should be eating each day. The basic plan sets your daily intake at 1200 (for women) or 1350 (for men) which could be far too low for your requirements.
I mentioned earlier that YouFoodz operates on a non-subscription basis. One of the huge benefits of this is that (in major cities) you can pick any delivery day you want. I ordered my meals on Thursday and they had arrived at my door by midday on Saturday. By any measure, I think that’s quite impressive!
In more rural areas, you’re limited slightly to 2-3 days each week. To see if they deliver to your area and which days are available, you can use the delivery area checker.
Spend over $89 and your delivery is totally free as well. With many other companies charging up to $10 for delivery costs, this is also a massive plus.
There appears to be a quite extensive delivery network that covers these areas and more:
- Brisbane Metro & Rural
- Gold Coast
- Melbourne Metro, Provincial & Rural
- Perth ($20 standard delivery fee!)
- Sydney Metro, Rural & Blue Mountains
How much does YouFoodz cost?
This is where the YouFoodz service really shines. They’re able to offer meals at a cost point that not many other companies can compete against.
Their standard meals are $9.95 each, which makes dinner for a week $69.65. If you want a larger portion, the large range meals come in at just $10.95 which I think is excellent value.
Sometimes, it’s the add-ons where it really starts to get expensive, so here are the costs for the different food options:
- Soups: $4.95
- Breakfast: $4.95 or $8.95
- Snacks: $2.99 – $4.95
- Drinks: $4.95 ($16.95 for 4)
All of these are very reasonable costs and the same cost as in the supermarket.
For anyone struggling with cash flow or on a tight budget, YouFoodz also offers a partnership with AfterPay. Order now, pay in 4 weekly installments.
My YouFoodz Review delivery box
Arriving perfectly on time, my box contained 9 different standard meals plus 2 additional snacks. They came packaged up in a large cardboard box with an insulated lining. I picked the box up straight away but would be confident that the food would stay cold for another 8 – 12 hours. You could definitely get these delivered during the day and pick the box up when you get home.
Unpacking the box took no more than 30 seconds as I chucked them straight into the fridge. Checking the dates on each meal, I knew I had at least 6 days to eat the ‘shortest’ meal whilst others lasted 12 days or more.
Meals can also be frozen if you need them to last longer, though this will have an impact on taste and texture.
Recycling the contents
It’s really important to me that all of the packaging is fully recyclable. Even then, I really want to see as little packaging as possible. In this case, the box was probably too large for the contents.
However, all the material is fully recyclable including the plastic meal containers and the ice packs (drain the gel into the sink). Check out my blog on the environmental impact of food boxes for more information.
How’s the food?
Microwaving your meals to reheat them is always going to come with its limitations, so I want to tackle that upfront.
Getting crispy/buttery textures is very hard. This is why I struggle to understand why companies insist on creating meals like Fried Chicken. Without a crispy, crunchy outside does it really count as fried chicken? This was my least favourite.
I found YouFoodz meals to be really hit & miss overall. I was rarely happy with the textures involved, though I was often happy with the taste. Call me simple, but if it tastes good then it’s a positive review from me. So, I’d call 7 of the 9 meals I tried a real success.
I’d recommend that you spend a few weeks trying all the different meals before zeroing in on your favourites. You’ll definitely find some you’ll love (Slow Cooked BBQ Beef every day for me!).
The snacks were actually very delicious. In particular, I loved the protein choc chip cookie. I don’t think you can go far wrong with these at the prices if you find yourself getting hungry regularly throughout the day.
One massive limitation for me was on portion size. If you generally eat smaller dinners, you’ll be more than happy with YouFoodz meals. For me, my recommended maintenance calorie intake is 2,500. Getting ~300 – 400 from dinner was never going to leave me personally satisfied. If you’re like me, I highly recommend going for the larger portions!
Cooking the prepared meals
Cooking was the simplest process ever, just 2 minutes in the microwave. My microwave is slightly underpowered so I often gave them 2 minutes 30 seconds just to make sure it’s piping hot throughout.
Whilst I didn’t try it myself, you can definitely heat up YouFoodz food in other ways, including pan, hob and oven. They have a superb blog post on cooking your food that details out all the different methods. Alternatively, they can all be eaten cold as well if you’re really in a rush.
Hot Tip: If you want to get your food in the oven (good for crisping things up) then the plastic containers are not oven safe. Use a separate dish.
Expectations vs Reality
There’s no hiding from this fact, none of the YouFoodz meals looked anything like the marketing pictures. In fact, many of them looked quite unappetising really. Thankfully this has no impact on their taste, but it’s important to set your expectations.
It’s clear that the plating/lighting has quite an incredible impact on the way these dishes look!
Dishes I loved
- Chicken & Potato Salad
- Fish Curry
- Lamb Curry
- Slow Cooked Beef & Mash
Dishes I wouldn’t recommend
- American Style Fried Chicken & Chips
- Spaghetti Bolognese
With your order, you’re also able to get a small selection of grocery items. Their offering includes eggs, milk, cheese and various meats.
Amazingly, the prices on offer are very comparable to local supermarket prices. With the added convenience of being delivered with your YouFoodz order, this could be a fantastic option for anyone looking to stock up on their groceries.
In January 2020, YouFoodz partnered with Virgin Australia to allow you to earn Velocity points on every order you make over $49. There’s even an added bonus of 1,000 points when you make your first qualifying purchase. Our calculations reckon that this is worth an extra 2.5% cashback, making YouFoodz even better value.
My Final Thoughts
YouFoodz excels on price and convenience. Their delivery network is one of the best in the country, which makes it very easy to order from them. Whilst you won’t find yourself saving money compared to making your own meals, I think there’s massive value in 2-minute microwave meals. If you’re looking for simple, healthy meals that save you hours of cooking each week, then YouFoodz is for you.
The meals available vary in how good they taste, though there are definitely some fantastic options available. With a clear focus on chicken-based meals, you would need to opt for a more premium delivery service to get a strong range of other meats. It’s also disappointing that YouFoodz hasn’t made any real attempt to meet any dietary needs or expanded its vegetarian offering.
If you want to give YouFoodz a try, click the button below for a special offer and save $20 on your first 9 meals.
I hope you enjoyed this YouFoodz review. Let me know in the comments below if you’ve tried them before, or if you have any questions!