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Factor Meal Plan Review - Do Pre-Made Meals Really Taste Fresh?

Factor Meal Plan Review

Do Pre-Made Meals Really Taste Fresh?

Factor is a service that prepares and delivers fresh, nutritious meals to your door. They put an emphasis on meals that “give your body and mind the nutrients needed to perform at their peak.” Each comes packed as an individual meal that’s ready to eat after heating for just a few minutes. Nothing is ever frozen and they have a variety of dietary needs and dishes to choose from.

Factor offers pre-made meals that specialize in specialized diets like paleo and keto while controlling portions and using healthy ingredients. In addition t0 an average of 18 meals available each week, you can add-on wellness shots, extra fish or meat, protein packs, granola, and even wellness shots. What’s most unique about Factor is that they also offer monthly Nutrition Coaching Packages that offer expert advice on eating right.

COUPON: Save $40 off your first two boxes ($20 savings each box)! No coupon needed - just use this link.

by Marne Orenich, MSA Content Specialist, Takeout Queen
September 2, 2020| 4 comments

About Factor

Factor Meal Plans Screenshot

Plans & Pricing

Choose from five weekly plans that get cheaper the more you order. Add-ons are available for an extra cost.

  • $60.00 for 4 meals/week ($15.00/meal)
  • $77.00 for 6 meals/week ($12.83/meal)
  • $99.00 for 8 meals/week ($12.83/meal)
  • $138.00 for 12 meals/week ($11.50/meal)
  • $198.00 for 18 meals/week ($11.00/meal)

COUPON: Save $40 off your first two boxes ($20 savings each box)! No coupon needed - just use this link.

My Subscription Addiction paid for this box. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)

Factor delivers to all 48 contiguous states in the US. (You’ll be prompted to check your zip code before ordering to make sure you can receive Factor where you live)

FedEx handles the delivery in my area but your carrier may differ. Here are some things that are good to know:

  • The delivery window for all of our carriers is from 8 AM to 8 PM on delivery day.
  • You do not need to be home to receive your meals. Factor ships meals in insulated boxes with gel packs that will keep the box at refrigerated temperatures for quite a long time which have been thoroughly tested in all seasons across all climates.
  • Keep in mind that it is normal for the gel packs to be melted by the time they arrive. As long as they are cold to the touch, the meals are fresh and ready to be enjoyed!
  • Meals are fresh and delicious for at least 7 days after delivery, and there is an ‘Enjoy By’ date printed on each of the packages.

 

Here’s a quick guide on how to recycle your Factor items:

  • Boxes – Break down the box and place curbside with your recycling.
  • Insulation – The insulation is constructed from pre-consumer paper and is curbside recyclable and repulpable for an easy, eco-friendly disposal. The repulpable paper is contained in food grade kraft paper. This product can be placed in your curbside recycling bin.
  • Gel packs – Gel packs are made of 98% water and 2% Carboxy Methol Cellulose. Carboxy Methol Cellulose is a food thickener often used in food products, such as ice cream and toothpaste, and is non-toxic and non-allergenic. You can empty the gel in the trash and recycle the plastic. By the way, there are a number of organizations that love gel pack donations! Churches, shelters, Meals on Wheels, Girl/Boy Scouts and other such organizations may be able to use them.
  • Food containers – The food containers are BPA-free recyclable plastic #1. Be sure to rinse them thoroughly!

Preferences & Allergens

allergens and diet options Screenshot

Factor has several meals that cater to paleo and keto diets. They also allow you to filter out common allergies like tree nuts and shellfish, and allow you to select meal types and proteins for future deliveries.

My Factor Review

Why Factor?

Since I decided to go pescatarian (vegetarian + fish) this year, I was happy to see that Factor offers vegetarian meals in addition to ones with meat. Although cooking can be fun with another person, it can feel like a chore to me when I’m on my own (which is most nights). Not only do I need to cook everything, but I need to clean it all up and do the dishes too. What a drag! With a meal plan like this one, everything can be heated up in a microwave OR an oven and enjoyed just minutes later with virtually no clean up. That definitely piques my interest.

Signing up

partial meal options Screenshot

Once you put in your email address, zip code, and choose a plan, you’ll be able to choose your meals. Simply add the amount of each meal you’d like below the photo.

*It’s good to note that as it gets closer to the delivery date, some meals can sell out and that will be noted here. It’s best to choose your meals ahead of time to avoid this happening.

filter Screenshot

There’s also a filter at the top left that allows you to choose your dietary needs.

When you hover over a meal, you can click to check out the ingredients & nutritional information.

Once you click in, you’ll see all the pertinent information like ingredients, nutrition facts, and serving size, as well as a description of the meal.

Since I am pescatarian, I chose the only 5 vegetarian options for the week, plus a salmon meal. One happened to be breakfast food, which I’m ok with. Those who eat meat or have fewer restrictions will have a larger selection to choose from (next week there are 18 total options).

Once you’ve chosen your meals you’ll see the add-on page. Here, you can grab extra fish, meat, granola, keto or protein “power packs”, and even wellness shots.

I decided to add a 6 pack of wellness shots to my order for $23.99 which makes them $3.99/each.

Skipping weeks is easy. You’ll find it under your account settings as “future deliveries.”

My First Delivery and Meals

 

I’ll start with my wellness shot variety pack which includes three of each of the two flavors they currently offer: Cayenne Cleanse and Live Greens. They come in cute little 2-ounce plastic bottles inside a box.

 

Cayenne Cleanse

If you’ve ever done a cleanse and made a concoction like this, you’ll have an idea of how it tastes. I love spicy things so this shot made with apple juice, ginger, lemon, and cayenne is right up my alley. The ingredients inside this little bottle of goodness aim to help my skin and immune system and give my tastebuds a little jolt of sour spice. Yum!

 

Live Greens

Oooh- I love this! The lemon is super tart and really cuts through the yummy greens. I really enjoy the flavor of a dark green kale or celery smoothie even though it can have a really earthy vibe to it. It also contains E3Live which is an organic & wild-grown blue-green algae with 65+ vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. I’d love to start every day with a little shot like this. As for now, I’ll have to be happy with just three.

 

The meals come in microwave/oven safe trays (sort of like TV dinners) with a cardboard sleeve. I had a jolt of panic when these arrived since I was fixing to use the microwave at work to cook these and we are all currently working from home (where I don’t have one). But then I read the directions to see that these are also fine to prepare in the oven and didn’t require much more time! Yay!

 

Meatless Walnut Cauliflower Bolognese (Paleo, Plant-Based, Vegetarian)

Although it was quite wet after I took it out of the oven, I thoroughly enjoyed this walnut cauliflower bolognese over zucchini noodles. At first glance, I thought the zucchini wouldn’t be enough, but after plating, it ended up being plenty. I found this meal to be quite filling to the extent that I was satisfied but not bursting at the seams. The walnut in the sauce provided a wonderful crunch that I’d never think to add on my own. The flavor of the sauce was wonderful and these really did give me pasta feelings.

 

Quinoa Breakfast Skillet (Vegetarian)

My boyfriend Kurt and I split this one morning for a light breakfast even though it is a serving for one. I was actually impressed with the size of this meal since I probably wouldn’t make this amount of scrambled eggs for myself. It’s nice to know that they’re also cage-free! I never thought to make quinoa for breakfast but it was super good with the black beans, zucchini, and red bell peppers that were added. This has inspired new breakfast ideas in me! While I did like this, I think $12.83 is simply too much for this since breakfast is so easy to make.

 

Moroccan Vegetable Stew (Plant-Based, Vegetarian)

Unfortunately for me, a lot of the vegetarian meals from Factor use sweet potatoes, which I’m not super fond of. I had Kurt help me out and eat this one although I did try it as well. I personally didn’t think it looks like enough food for a meal (maybe because I put it into a bowl?) but Kurt insisted that it was filling. He prefers lighter fare though, so that does make sense. I could taste the Moroccan spices immediately and even though they weren’t too spicy, they produced a bit of zing. The quinoa was cooked well with the perfect amount of texture that wasn’t too hard or too mushy.

 

Paleo BBQ Salmon (Paleo)

This was the only recipe I chose that is marked as two servings. I will say that I find that shocking since I easily ate it all myself and I don’t think a tray of prepared food like this should ever contain more than one serving. Who would eat half of this and save the rest for later? Not me. That aside, I loved this dish. The salmon tasted fresh, the green beans were great, and even though I don’t love sweet potato, the mash was smooth and tasty. What I liked the most though was the BBQ sauce on the salmon. Honestly, some of the best I’ve ever had! If someone put this in front of me and told me they just made it, I’d believe it. This meal is close to worth the $12.83 cost for me since salmon can be pricy and it would take me about 30 minutes to make the whole thing.

 

Spiced Lentils with Sweet Potato Mash (Plant-Based, Vegetarian)

I love Brussels sprouts, so this was an easy win for me even if there is mashed sweet potato involved. I also love lentils and eat them as much as possible. The three main ingredients make up quite a bouquet of textures. The sprouts are halved and still crisp instead of soggy. The lentils bring some solid bits into the creamy mashed sweet potato. I think the flavor hit well here and even though I added some salt and pepper to the sprouts, they tasted fresh.

 

Sweet and Sour Cauliflower

This meal looks so good to me but I just am not the right person for it. I’m not a fan of sweet and sour flavors at all and this cauliflower is just slathered in it. There are chunks of pineapple and green pepper with coconut sugar mingling with the crunchy cauliflower to make up the main portion of this dish. The brown rice was cooked really well and tasted as I had just prepared it. Sadly I had to pass this beauty on to my roommate Tony who seemed to enjoy it.

Nutrition Coaching

When you subscribe to Factor, you receive a free 20-minute consultation with one of their dietitians that can help you create a personalized nutrition plan.

As a subscriber, you have the option to purchase a month-to-month plan of coaching sessions including your own wellness coach, a digital diet dashboard, and a virtual food log for $139/month. You can also purchase a 3-month option for $99/month.

My Verdict

Part of me wonders “who the Factor meal plan for?” since $12.83 is quite a ticket price for each meal and I could easily spend that on a meal out. The other part of me is realizing that if I ate meat, these meals would most likely be much more worth it, especially during the current state of events when we’re home-bound and can no longer enjoy a meal at a restaurant. I hate to say it, but this week especially I haven’t been feeling much up to the task to cook nice meals for myself and being able to pop a fresh-made meal into the oven or microwave for less than 5 minutes and have a complete dinner is kinda nice. I think the bottom line is that I found these meals to be delicious and I was pleasantly surprised by the quality. I’m really bad at nutrition as well and these are portion-controlled and seem generally quite healthy, especially if you’re following a diet like keto or paleo. If you have the money, but not the time or energy for meal prepping, I think Factor is a great option.

 

COUPON: Save $40 off your first two boxes ($20 savings each box)! No coupon needed - just use this link.

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Written by Marne Orenich

Marne Orenich

Marne is a lipstick connoisseur, record collector, and twice over cat mom. She loves discovering new clean beauty brands and has quite the collection of beautifully packaged serums and moisturizers.

Comments (4)

  1. Lentils + mashed sweet potatoes does not look appetizing at all. I’m sure it tasted fine but.. yuck!

    It’s hard to see the value in the vegetarian offerings. Just too pricey for what you get but I do appreciate ready-made vs. the meal plans that send ingredients that need full preparation, cooking, and clean-up.

    Thank you for such a comprehensive review, Marne!

    • My pleasure, Maddie!

  2. I am looking to sign up, the deal on their website is $20 off first 4 boxes

  3. Some of these have OK calories but like a 250 calorie meal would never be enough for me and I’d have to eat more. I am eating at least 2100 calories a day lately (I keep track and exercise appropriately and maintain about the same weight week-to-week). I get not wanting to go to the store right now (I am dreading it myself) but I don’t think something like this would work for me, and this is keeping in mind that my husband and I spend quite a lot of money on food compared to the average couple (there is a USDA chart somewhere).

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