I’ve been curious about trying Hello Fresh for a while now. I’ve told y’all before that I am a terrible cook, and usually end up eating the same bland things for lunches and dinner. I also like the idea of having the right amount of ingredients for a meal, without having a ton of waste to throw away. Right now, I find it hard to use up perishable ingredients when I’m just cooking for myself.
The hurdle I have with things like Hello Fresh is the cost. I’m a pretty cost-conscious person and try not to spend extra money where I don’t need to. I looked at what I would spend at Hello Fresh, and know I could get a cart full of groceries for the same cost. So, for 2 weeks, I tried to find my own meal recipes, buy the ingredients, and make them. And guess what? I didn’t. I’m usually starving when I get home from work, and want to make something quick so that I can eat and get my evening run in. So despite having the ingredients to make meals, I didn’t. And I wasted a lot of food that week which was terrible.
After trying that, I decided to try the introductory offer from Hello Fresh. I liked that they have vegetarian options so that I could actually order meals, and the first week was only like $9 for two meals, so it was totally worth a try. When I did my first order, I immediately went in and paused the next few weeks so that I wouldn’t get auto charged until I could test it out. I signed up for 2 servings of 2 meals, which was the smallest amount you could do.
One downside of the service is that they don’t deliver on Sundays or Mondays, which is when I would ideally want the meals to prep for the week. The earliest day it allows is Tuesday. Which means I still need to cover dinner on Monday, and get home Tuesday and start making the meal. On Tuesday, the meals came in a box with ice so it stayed cool. Majority of the packaging is recyclable, which makes me feel a little better about how much waste all the wrapping is.
The meals I got were a Tunisian Stuffed Pepper and Zucchini and Tomato Flatbread. I decided to make the flatbread that night because the cooking time was quicker. The cooking instructions are very clear—they give you a recipe card (that you can keep to remake on your own) and you can follow instructions on their app. I like that it sort of teaches me cooking skills that I don’t have!
The ingredients were mostly fresh, but being in the frozen box wilted the basil and wrinkled the tomatoes. They weren’t inedible, but not exactly “fresh”. They also give you more than enough of each ingredient to make the meal—I got an entire container of basil and 2 garlic cloves that I barely used. The flatbread was really easy to make and tasted pretty good.
I was also happy to see that the portion sides were huge! For something like a flatbread, I would eat half of one of their portions and then add a side salad. I ended up being able to get 4 meals out of the servings. I ended up saving the stuffed peppers to make for the next week, since the first meal was so much. This made me feel better about the service, because I think I can actually do every other week shipments, and just have a salad or other healthy side with the meal. The only downside is that then you are eating the same thing for 4 servings, which I don’t really mind.
I do wish there were more healthier options for meals. There are only 3 vegetarian options each week, so there isn’t a ton to pick from. For regular meals, it looks like there are about 17 options, so if you would have much more to pick from. After my first 2 meals covering 2 weeks, I looked ahead to see the options for the next week and didn’t love any of them. For vegetarian options there are a lot of things like flatbreads and quesadillas, which aren’t really the types of foods that I want to be eating every night. I decided to hold for another week until there were options that were healthier.
After using the service and seeing the offerings, I do think I will stay on Hello Fresh, but maybe just once or twice a month depending on what’s offered. It’s helpful that you can pause whenever without any charges, and just get food on the weeks you want it. The total for a normal week is $39 plus $6.99 shipping. It feels like a lot, but if I’m getting 8 meals that I enjoy out of it, that feels okay. I also like that you can pause and cancel whenever and there are no fees outside of when you order.
I also recently tried Blue Apron and ended up cancelling that subscription—you can read my review of it here!