I am a fan of cheap food, but I am also a fan of EASY -pull it out of the freezer-ready in 10 minutes- yummyness.
For that reason, I have decided to share with you my review of 3 bagged, frozen meals.
I'm not really sure about the prices I am listing here. I know how much I pay, but I'm not sure about the "average" price.
First: Birds Eye Voila meals.
I have only ever tried Alfredo Chicken style, but there are tons of varieties.
Amount of food: It says 3 servings of 1 1/2 cups each. I would say it would feed John and I for one meal, if we each had a piece of bread on the side:)
How it is made: Dump the contents (except the sauce which is in its own compartment) in a pan. Directions say to put the frozen sauce (which is in a sealed bag) in hot water until the pasta and veggies are mostly done. I dump them all in the pan, and stir once in a while.
Taste: DELICIOUS! This is the best tasting one for me overall. The veggies are not soggy, and the chicken is moist.
Price: This one is between $4-5 dollars normal price. I usually find it for #3.50-3.99 on sale, and use a coupon. It says you can print a coupon at the website HERE. Mine didn't work, but it was probably because I already printed it earlier this year sometime:)
Variations: I like to cook regular penne pasta in another pan, and Green Giant Steamers (broccoli cuts) in the microwave to add to the meal. My favorite is to cook 2 bags, add the stuff mentioned above, and have lots of leftovers!
-tastey Alfredo and chicken
-easy to add other ingredients too
-each bag contains 2.5 servings of vegetables
-there isn't a huge helping of it
-the amount of chicken in the bag is a little skimpy
Bertolli Classic Dinners
I have tried a few, but we currently like Chicken Florentine and Farfalle.
Amount of food: There is definitely enough for a meal for two.
How it is made: Dump the contents in the pan. Turn on low heat. Stir once or twice. The sauce in this one is in lots of little frozen pieces, so it melts with the rest of the food. Very easy!
Taste: The chicken is "grilled" which makes it taste great. The spinach makes it a little more soggy, but it adds a unique and rich flavor to the pasta and sauce.
Price: This one is a little more spendy. It is probably between $6.50-$8.00. I buy it on sale for 5.99 or a little less (Usually combined with store deals or coupons). I heard Target sells them for 5.99 normal price.
Variations: I have added more bow tie pasta too it before, and there seemed to be plenty of sauce. I have tried adding more vegetables, but it doesn't quite taste the same. Side note about Bertolli: Many people seem to LOVE their sauce in a pouch.
Bertolli website has a coupon for their "oven baked" meals HERE. I tried one, and thought it was OK, but who wants to wait for it to bake in the OVEN?
-a good amount of food
-awesome tasting chicken
-very easy to cook
-"The sauces have a degree of sophistication not usually present in your supermarket freezer."*
-a little more expensive
-only veggie is spinach
*Read more about one persons opinion of Bertolli Complete Skillet Meals Vs. Birds Eye Voila HERE.
She goes into detail about the healthiness of those two.
Third: Birds Eye Steamfresh Meals for Two
I got the Grilled Chicken Marinara
I tried this one for the first time last night. All you do is pop it in the microwave for 10 min. (The picture is not the flavor we tried).
Amount of Food: Decent. It will feed John and I (with a slice of bread:).
How it is made: Tap on counter top a few times, and pop in the microwave for 10 min. Let sit in microwave for 2 min when it is done, and then pour into a bowl/plate.
Taste: The mixture of sauce, tomatoes, yellow peppers, spinach and pasta was delicious. The chicken was kind of crusty on the edges. I couldn't decide if this was because the bag was in the freezer for 2 months before I ate it, or because the chicken in this meal just isn't that great.
Price: The bag I got was $5.50 at Walmart. (I used a $2.00 manufactures coupon and I got a free bag of frozen veggies) I think it is probably normally between $5.50-$7. Sometimes the Sunday paper has coupons for them.
Variations: This food is amazingly good cold. Like I said earlier, the mixture of sauce and tomatoes, yellow peppers, and spinach is amazing (even cold) I tried adding some asparagus I cooked to it, but the crunchy veggie did not mix with the sauciness of the other.
-Very easy to make
-good sauce mixture
-not a lot of food
-no printable coupons.
Conclusion: Although the Steamfresh meal is the easiest to make, the chicken wasn't tastey enough for me. I plan on trying another variety (that hasn't been in the freezer for 2 months) next week. Bertolli has delicious chicken, and has the most amount of food in the bag, but is pretty expensive. Birds Eye Voila has tons of varieties, is the most delicious overall, has lots of veggies, and is the cheapest...but it doesn't contain a lot of food.
Have you tried any of these meals? Did you like them? Do you agree are disagree with my statements?