August 8, 2019

I tried HelloFresh for 3 Weeks... here are my thoughts

I'm sure you all have seen the ads on Twitter, deals on Facebook, Influencers sharing it on Instagram Stories, YouTubers doing plugs of it in their Vlogs... everywhere. You know, the "get $80 off your first month!" HelloFresh ads. I'm not going to lie, I kept ignoring them thinking that I don't need to add another subscription service onto my account and plus, is it really worth the hype?

Well, I eventually caved, and here are my thoughts.


Hi friends!

If you read my July Monthly wrap - up post last week then you may know that I have started ordering HelloFresh boxes last month to try out. I have been seeing the ad for this meal delivery service everywhere (props to their marketing team, am I right??) for a while now and decided to cave in and try it out for myself. I've done about three boxes now and thought I'd be helpful to give you all my honest review of the service.

This is by no means sponsored and know it would have been helpful for me to get an unbiased insight on the service beforehand. I hope this helps you all out that may be curious about HelloFresh / on the fence of trying it out!


Pictured: Spiced Dijon Salmon with Couscous and Apple Salad

ABOUT HELLOFRESH

If you are not familiar with HelloFresh, Hellofresh is a meal subscription service that delivers ready to cook recipes to your doorstep. The main selling point for HelloFresh is that each recipe comes with perfectly portioned ingredients so you eliminate the waste of going out to buy one ingredient for a recipe and never using it again.

When you sign up for the service you begin with choosing what type of meal plan you'd like with your preferences such as meat & veggies, vegetarian, family-friendly or calorie smart along with the number of people you are feeding and how many recipes per week you'd like to be delivered. You do have the option to make specific dietary preferences such as recipes that are beef free, gluten-free, etc.

The different plans HelloFresh offer include:

  • Classic plan for two people: three meals for $69, four meals for $84.99, five meals for $99
  • Family plan for four people: two meals for $79.95, three meals for $105 or $8.75 per meal, per person
  • Veggie plan for two people and two meals for $59, four people and three meals for $109

Pictured: Prosciutto-Wrapped Chicken with Truffled Chive Mashed Potatoes and Lemony Green Beans *gourmet meal*

After you make choose your plan, you are able to choose which meals you'd like to be delivered to you. The service automatically chooses your meals for you, but you have the option to go in and select specific recipes as well. The menu changes every week and you are able to skip weeks if you don't like the menu/don't want the service for that week.

I will say, HelloFresh does offer a nice variety of meals to choose from each week. They have a variety of Asian, Mexican and American food options as well as calorie smart meals and gourmet meals for an additional cost. They also offer the option to add on additional items such as cookies and garlic bread for an additional cost as well as an option to add an additional recipe on your plan for that week.

HelloFresh does offer an app and I do recommend downloading it as it makes it easier to navigate through picking your meals and when you are ready to cook, there are timers set to each step which makes it convenient.

Pictured: Chimichurri Pork Tenderloin with Honey-Roasted Carrots and Lime Rice

THE GOODS

Now diving into the actual contents of the box. Each box comes filled with insulation and massive ice packs to ensure your food stays fresh. Not going to lie, having to dispose of all of the packagings is kind of a pain, but the ice packs did come in handy when moving my brother out and transferring his food!

Another thing to keep in mind is that the box does not include the cooking basics such as olive oil, salt, pepper, and oil. I will tell you ahead, you will use all of these in pretty much every recipe. I also recommend making sure you have a zester on hand as well. Most of the recipes we chose require some type of lemon or lime to be zested into our dish. 

Pictured: Southwest Tilapia with Charred Corn Salad and Buttery Lime Rice


THE COOKING PROCESS

As for the cooking process, each meal comes with a recipe card with step by step instructions and pictures. Everything is pretty easy to follow and according to the recipe card, each recipe should take about 30 minutes to make. I wouldn't pay too much attention to the cooking time, especially if you're cooking by yourself. My boyfriend and I usually do the HelloFresh boxes together as a little date night and it still tends to take a little longer than the recipe cards state that it would take even with the both of us cooking.

*Pro Tip: Save all the recipe cards for the future! I keep mine in a binder and pull them out when we want to recreate the recipe or a sauce from it! 

Pictured: Brown Sugar-Glazed Pork Chops with Garlic Herb Couscous and Roasted Zucchini


REVIEW: PROS

Okay, now for the actual review portion of this post!

1. Conveniently portioned + Easy cooking instructions - First off, being someone who wants to try new recipes and get into cooking more, this box is pretty ideal. I love how each recipe is perfectly portioned out with easy cooking instructions and all of the ingredients have been pretty fresh, as advertised. Also, everything we've made has been delicious which is pretty important for a meal service!

2. Easy to cancel/skip each week - I also love how you can easily skip each week that you're not feeling any of the meals or if you just simply don't want to pay for the service that week. Also, if you realize the service just isn't you or if you want to just put a pause on the service for a while you can easily cancel the membership with a click of a button, unlike many subscription services where you have to call customer service. To reactive it's just as easy, you just have to click a button.

3. Good gateway to try new recipes - We've been there, we pin all of these recipes on Pinterest in hopes that one day we'll recreate them. I tent o get sucked into this recipe rut because I'm always hesitant on trying new recipes that require me to buy an ingredient that I'm not sure if I would ever use it again. I will say from this there are several things I would definitely recreate again in the future.


Pictured: Parmesan-Crusted Chicken with Creamy Tomato Spaghetti

REVIEW: CONS

1. The price - first and foremost, my biggest con with this service is the price. At a little over $60 for three meals for two people, it seems a bit much for me, personally. I guess it's at which perspective you look at it though.  My boyfriend and I use HelloFresh as a date night activity where we get to spend time cooking together and share a bottle of wine. At that perspective then $20 a meal isn't that bad of a deal considering we'd spend more if we were to do date night out at a restaurant. On the flip side, with $60 I'm able to do grocery shopping for a whole week with breakfast, lunch, and dinner plus snacks. Considering I tried HelloFresh with a coupon and was able to get the boxes for about $30 each making it roughly $10/meal it seemed more worth it for me.

2. There's a lot of packaging - I've mentioned earlier that the box comes with a lot of packaging with the ice packs, insulation, individually wrapped ingredients, etc that there's a lot of *stuff* to dispose of. I do understand the purpose of all the packaging, but it is a bit annoying having to dispose of all of it.

3. No option for a single meal plan - The smallest meal plan that HelloFresh offers is two meals for two people. Depending on what meals you pick, this could work out if you wanted to order the service for yourself and have leftovers. This isn't that big of a con, only if you're not into leftover meals!

4. Having to plan time for delivery - for the service, you do have an option to pick which day you'd like your HelloFresh box to be delivered. I work your typical 9 - 5, Monday - Friday and opt for a Saturday delivery since I'm more likely to be at home to bring the box inside. I will say it can be a little inconvenient having to wait around for the box to be delivered since it doesn't give you a time frame of when it will be dropped off, and even though with the ice packs and insulation it could potentially sit out on your doorstep for a little, the idea of food sitting outside for a period of time doesn't sit well with me. 


Pictured: Amazing Apricot Chicken with Fingerling Potatoes and Green Beans


FINAL VERDICT:

I think it is clear to say that I'm a fan of HelloFresh. I love the convenience of not having to fight the Sunday night grocery crowd trying to figure out what meals I'm going to make for the week and having to lug arm fulls of groceries up three flights of stairs (#truth). I also think it's super fun to step out of your comfort zone and try new recipes and ingredients that you would normally not gravitate towards (who knew that I would like pork chops?!).

My biggest con with the service is the price. From a business standpoint, I get why it costs so much, but I'm not at the point to be comfortable spending $60+ on a box every week for dinner. I did mention that I did do the service on a first-timer $80 off coupon which is why I've been able to do as many boxes as I did. I may consider ordering a box once a month or a special occasion to switch things up for date night or if I especially love the recipe for the week, but definitely don't see this as a regular occurrence, at least for now.  


Gourmet meals, is it worth it? 

Out of all our meals, we did try one gourmet meal, the Prosciutto-Wrapped Chicken with Truffled Chive Mashed Potatoes and Lemony Green Beans (second photo). What made this a *gourmet meal* was the truffle powder included in the mashed potatoes. This was an additional $5.99/person and to be honest, I don't think it was quite worth it. We've yet to try another gourmet meal, but so far none of the recipes that are marked as gourmet seemed to interest me / worth it to me. 


Pictured: Pulled Pork Fiesta Bowls with Tomato Salsa, Bell Pepper, and Monterey Jack Cheese

So, now I'm throwing it to you guys! What do you think? Have you tried HelloFresh or any similar meal delievery service? If so let me know your thoughts down below! I think it is a cool concept and a fun way to learn new recipies, but I am interested in trying out the other meal services to compare. Leave me your suggestions down below and as always, thank you for reading!

*Non-sponsored plug: if you want to try HelloFresh, you can use my code: AMYLIM6 for $40 off your first box! 
xoxo,
Amy

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