HelloFresh is a meal kit delivery service that sends recipes and the corresponding ingredients right to your door. I won’t go too much into the concept, as I’m sure most of you are familiar with how these services work, but will share my experience with HelloFresh over the past couple months.If you are new to this concept, you can read on their website here. There is also an opportunity to try the service for a discount at the end!
We’ve received eight boxes for a total of 24 meals from HelloFresh. Overall, we have thoroughly enjoyed this service and are continuing to use it 2-3 weeks a month. It is working well for us in our current life stage, and we’ve been really impressed with the meals we’ve been able to make!
To give you a little context:
I’d consider myself pretty average in the kitchen. I have a well-stocked kitchen in terms of tools and gadgets, and I am decent at following a recipe. However I’m not someone who can just whip together a five-star meal with what I have in the fridge. I definitely prefer to plan out my meals in advance and tend to shop with my weekly dinners in mind. Another thing to note, when it comes to food, I also have a very easy to please husband (bless him). This also makes cooking and trying new things more enjoyable since I’m 100% sure I’m going to get an “atta girl” when I put in the effort.
I want to be completely honest on who I think would really love this service and who it might not be ideal for. Here’s what I’ve come up with!
Meal kits might be PERFECT for:
- Someone who is looking to add variety into the meals they serve at home. I have used this service as a way for us to try new things. I always try to get three different types of proteins and choose recipes that I wouldn’t normally gravitate toward. I’m almost always pleasantly surprised. If you are in a rut with your normal rotation of meals, this could be for you!
- Someone who isn’t crazy about meal prepping/finding recipes/grocery shopping. I’m sure for some people, scouring Pinterest looking for recipes, making a list and going grocery shopping is life giving. Unfortunately for me, that is not the case. I like being able to look at a few different options, choose which ones I think we will like best and have the perfectly portioned ingredients show up at my doorstep!
- Someone who wants to put balanced (impressive) meals on the table. It brings me joy to make a healthy dinner for Marcus and me. Not so much the chopping part at the beginning or the cleaning up at the end, but that moment when we sit down to eat and are excited about what’s in front of us. This service has helped me do that more often than I was doing in the past.
- Someone who wants to become more comfortable in the kitchen. Deep down I really want to be someone who loves being in the kitchen and can whip things up without even needing a recipe. I’m not there yet. Using a service like this keeps me trying new techniques and is inching me closer to that goal of mine.
- Someone who HATES throwing away food. One thing I really appreciate about these meal kits is they send you the exact amount of the ingredients you need. Whenever I shop for recipes I find online I seem to always have to buy way more of certain ingredients than needed, which inevitably end up going bad in my fridge and then I end up throwing away the next week while feeling guilty about being wasteful.
- Someone who isn’t crazy about leftovers. No more making a casserole you have to eat on for the next five days. Our meals meant for two people either feed us just that evening or there is a little leftover for lunch the next day. If you aren’t big on leftovers, this could be great for you!
- Newlyweds, new parents who can’t go out to restaurants as easily (but have time to cook together as soon as their little ones go to sleep), parents of children interested in helping cook (since the recipe card and pre-portioned ingredients help simplify the process) and empty nesters.
- Who is on a really tight food budget. It comes out to around $10/serving (if you don’t have a coupon code). It is absolutely possible to make meals for your family for less than $10/serving. You just have to put in the meal prep work on the front end.
- My honest opinion – For the kind of high-quality meal you are getting I think this is reasonable. You get a protein (unless of course you choose a veggie option) like steak, pork, chicken, seafood, and two well thought out sides. You could pay way more for these kind of meals going out to eat, even before tax and tip.
- Who really does not have a couple nights a week at the house when they can spend time cooking. The meals are surprisingly easy to put together. Most take around 30 minutes (some as little as 20 minutes), but add in time for eating and clean up and it is probably a 45 minute to an hour activity. If you are in a season of life that this seems undoable, you will most likely end up letting the ingredients go bad in your fridge.
- Who is only cooking for themselves. I’ll use myself as an example. On the rare occasion that Marcus is traveling for work, I will usually skip my meals that week. It’s fun to put together a nice meal when you have someone else that can enjoy it too, but for just me it feels like a bit too much work.
- I had a few times where something in my bag of ingredients had gone bad or a container exploded in transit. I used the “live chat” feature on HelloFresh’s website and was helped quickly. They gave out a credit (of varying amounts based on the complaint) to compensate me for the trouble.
- The recipe cards have pictures and are easy to follow. You also get a card with the nutrition facts for all the meals that week. This is great if you are trying to track what you are eating.
- You can easily skip weeks, which I do regularly based on what we have going on that week. Examples include travel plans, dinners out, company coming in, etc.
Compared to Blue Apron and Plated
We have also tried Blue Apron and Plated, which are similar meal kit services. There are a lot of similarities, but my biggest takeaway is that HelloFresh is the easiest.
- Blue Apron seemed to be the most gourmet of the services I’ve tried, and it required the most skill in the kitchen. Disclaimer – it has been years since I tried it, though, so it is harder for me to remember the details (and I was even less comfortable in the kitchen then)!
- We were using Plated right before we started HelloFresh. Their offerings were just as delicious, but a little bit fancier and a tad bit more involved. What I really did like about Plated, though, was you could get 2, 3 or 4 servings for each meal instead of just 2 or 4, which is the case with HelloFresh. When my mom was staying with us last year helping with Adeline it was nice to be able to cook specifically for three people. Customer service was also top notch with Plated. They were quick to give credit on our account if anything went wrong.
Want to give HelloFresh a go? If so, you can use this link to get $40 off your first order. If you try it, come back and let me know what you think!