My week with MealPal

When I stop and think about the amount of money I’ve spent on lunches, I get a bit of a sick feeling in my stomach. Sure, that $5.50 Vietnamese roll from that shop around the corner is alright, but the number of times I’ve spent $10-$15 on a lunch that I could have easily made at home is quite high.

I was lucky enough to get a week of MealPal to try out, thanks to the lovely Sydney team. For those who don’t know what MealPal is, it’s a subscription-based lunch app that allows you to score lunch for under $8. Basically, you sign up for a monthly subscription of up to 12 meals ($95.88) or up to 20 meals (149.80), which can be picked up throughout the month. From 5pm the night before until 9:30am the day of, you can reserve your meal. Each place offers one meal per day (no, not one meal per person, silly! One type of meal for the day). The great thing is, most places change the meal each day! Yes, I was very excited about that part, don’t judge me.

I’m sharing the meals I ate, the price each one usually costs, and my thoughts on them.

Day One

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I’m a big fan of Vietnamese food (hey, it’s healthy and fresh!), so I chose a chicken vermicelli salad from Bun Me in the MLC. I wasn’t sure what the protocol was with this, though. There were people standing in a line, and I didn’t know if I had to go to the front ahead of them. So…I waited patiently in line, got to the front, only to be told to go to the pickup area on the side. When I got there, I stated that I was there for my MealPal lunch, said my name, and was given my salad. It was DAMN HUGE. A friend of mine complained that the meal she chose was tiny, but I couldn’t relate at all. My chicken vermicelli salad was so big, I had half at lunch, and the other half as an afternoon snack.
Regular price: $9.60. MealPal price: less than $8

Day Two

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Poke is a Hawaiian-Japanese fusion cuisine, mixing together the best of both. Think seaweed and fresh chopped salmon, mixed with avocado and kale. Drool. I headed to Chifley Square and went to Poku. I got to the front of the line and timidly said “Um, hi, I’m here to pick up my MealPal lunch”, followed by my name. Looking at the meal, I realised that it was much smaller than my previous meal. But hey, that’s pretty standard, each place has different sizes, and the app actually sorts through sizes to make sure you get the serving size you want. I ended up buying an Acai drink from Top Juice next door to have with the salad, because it was quite small. However, once I got back to work and started eating, I realised there was a lot more than I thought there was!
Regular price: $12. MealPal price: less than $8

Day Three

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I had eaten two salads in a row, which was highly unusual for me. So I decided to get something a little more fatty for this lunch. I went to Miss Carter Cafe (a part of Sydney I’m usually never in), and arrived ten minutes early. “Ten minutes early?” you ask. Why yes, the MealPal app lets you reserve your meal for a certain time, meaning the cafe/restaurant/foods place can make sure your meal is made fresh. And so, I waited. And waited. They apologised profusely, but it wasn’t their fault that I had shown up ten minutes early! This meal was pretty tasty, and the haloumi was great, however it was still quite small.
Regular price: $12. MealPal price: less than $8

Day Four

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I wanted a damn steak, okay? I tried to be good and healthy at the start, but ended up salivating over this steak and chips combo from Scruffy Murphy. As I walked in, I heard someone else ask for their MealPal meal. I then said “me too!” and said my name. We were each handed our meal, which was covered with aluminium foil to keep it warm. And by the time I ate it, it was still warm. The thing I loved about this was that it was quite big and filling, and yet it costs less than $8 through the app!
Regular price: $12. MealPal price: less than $8

Day Five

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Have you ever walked through Sydney City at midday with a box of pizza? No? You’re missing out. The looks I got! The stares! The laughs! And just because I decided to order a pizza from Fratelli Famous in Westfield CBD! I wanted to see how big the pizza would be, seeing as MealPal have made it more affordable. Would it be tiny? Would it be regular size? The answer is… regular size! I couldn’t believe it. It was so big, I ended up eating half for lunch, and half for dinner the next night (cold pizza is great).
Regular price: $12. MealPal price: less than $8

Sign up to MealPal today to get cheap lunch, and get three free meals when you sign up through this link!

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