‘We tried out M&S’ new £15 family meal deal but some of us were left hungry’


Any family feast you pick up at the supermarket usually provokes one question – will it be enough to feed everyone? M&S’ new ‘classic comfort family dine in’ meal deal comes under the taste test

Marks & Spencer’s new meal deal allows you to pick two mains and four sides for £15

Marks & Spencer have released a new ‘classic comfort family dine in’ meal deal – feeding a table full of us for just £15.

We’re all trying to look after the pennies right now, but if you want something special for good value it could be right up your street.

The supermarket giant allow you to choose two meals and four sides at a great price.

But the big question is how does the family feast stack up – and is there enough to satisfy everyone?

Rebecca Astill, the Reviews & Affiliates Writer at Birmingham Live, decided to test taste their offer for herself.

Here’s what she made of it, and if she thinks you’re getting value for money.







Marks & Spencer’s new meal deal comes under the taste test – but that’s not all
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“Two meals and four sides all for £15. Sounds pretty nifty on the tin, no? I thought so too at first,” she penned.

“There was one problem right off the bat, being I live with a family of five. Every single family deal is always targeted at families of four, will nobody think of the bigger families?

“I decided to give the deal a go anyway, and bought the sausages in onion gravy and Scottish breaded scampi as mains, with halloumi fries, stonebaked garlic bread, crispy breaded mushrooms and mighty peas as sides. I have two slightly awkward allergies in my family to take into account, being fish and lactose so I had to ensure everyone had enough to eat.

“I thought the choices were quite limited in all honesty, it was a lot of breadcrumbed this, breadcrumbed that, which one might suggest was to cut down on quality and volume of products underneath. For one of your sides you could opt for a dessert , but with the only vegan option of cookies and cream sundaes sold out, I stuck to savory.

“Also, the burgers were sold in twos, so if three people wanted burgers they would have to be split. The burgers were also not sold with their buns which needed buying separately, which I thought a bit cheeky.”

The cooking was chaotic







It wasn’t easy to cook with six dishes to serve up
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Cooking the meal was a nightmare. No two dishes of the whole six items could be put into the oven at the same time, according to package instructions, and I found the whole experience quite stressful despite a plan in the notes app on my phone of when to put what in.

Eventually 7pm rolled around and I pulled everything out of the oven, and the peas out of the microwave. It all looked appetizing although the garlic bread needed a touch longer.

I loaded each plate up and we were good to go. My first impression was that everything looked a bit beige. Were it not for the peas, everything was pretty much the same colour.

The eating was much more fun







The food itself certainly got the thumbs up
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The actual meal was very tasty, with the highlight being the halloumi fries. They tasted like posh mozzarella sticks from McDonald’s.

The peas were seasoned well, but could have been done with a stronger hint of chilli to my taste, and the sausages were hearty and juicy, with a good helping of gravy. I also enjoyed the scampi, although it did not quite crispen up.

The garlic bread and breaded mushrooms fell slightly short. The garlic bread was in the form of a thick, stodgy flatbread which I found a bit filling to have alongside a main meal.

The breaded mushrooms lacked any real flavour. The breadcrumbs did not add anything and tasted bland, I would have liked there to be more of a herby crust.

What my family thought







But was there enough food to go round?
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My mum, who is lactose intolerant, had been left with just a sausage, scampi, peas and the crispy bread mushrooms, which left her hungry. She noted M&S might do well to consider allergens next time they produce a meal deal.

Although there were a few dairy-free products, most had sold out by the time I went to buy the deal, which was only around 2pm. Most options were also breadcrumbed or involved pasta or bread, which would make it hard for anyone with a gluten intolerance to find a good selection.

My brother, who is allergic to fish, was also left hungry having missed out on a main. (Although, he is a 20-something-year-old boy, I think they are constantly hungry).

My dad and sister who are the least fussy of the bunch ate the entire meal but agreed the portion sizes could have been bigger. My dad made the point that although he was full, it was because everything was breadcrumbed.

He would have much preferred the mushrooms, at least, in their raw form, and said it would also have brought some much needed color to the plate. I have to agree.

final verdict

I thought although the meal deal was overall tasty and filling, it lacked any feeling of luxury I would expect from it. Plus, M&S need to hugely expand the options and consider that between four people, you might have a range of allergies.

Having one or two dairy-free options, particularly, will not cut it and someone will be left hungry. There also needs to be less breadcrumbs and more colour.

Having said that, I think £15 to feed four is a good deal from Marks and I imagine it will save many a parent on a day when they just cannot quite bring themselves to cook. Although it is missing any feeling of luxury, it would cost you a fortune more to take four out to eat at a restaurant.

The full range on offer includes:

Mains

  • Seasoned Half Chicken
  • 2 British Chicken Kievs
  • 2 British Steak Burgers
  • Beef Lasagne
  • Puff Pastry Steak Pie
  • Sausages in Onion Gravy
  • Scottish Breaded Scampi
  • PK No Chicken Kiev

sides

  • Fries (Go)
  • Traditional Coleslaw
  • Chunky Chips
  • Halloumi Fries
  • Stonebaked Garlic Bread Fingers
  • Crispy Breaded Mushrooms
  • Mac & Cheese
  • Mighty Peas
  • buttery mash
  • Trio of Cheesecakes
  • Triple Chocolate Brownies
  • PK Cookies & Cream Sundaes

You can buy the M&S family dine in meal in-stores or online now.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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