Well, I finally caved…
After seeing all the endless ads on social media, I finally bought a Hello Fresh box. I’m not gonna lie, I kept ignoring them thinking that I don’t need to add another subscription service to my monthly expenses as I secretly wondered if it was really worth the hype.
Real talk: it’s completely worth the hype and I’m on box number 8! 🙃
If you’re not familiar with HelloFresh, it’s a meal subscription service that delivers ready-to-cook recipes right 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.
HOW IT WORKS
When you first sign up for the service, you begin with choosing what type of meal plan you’d like then queue up your preferences. Currently, there are 6 meal plans options which include:
- Meat and Veggies
- Calorie Smart
- Quick and Easy
- Pescatarian (fish but no meat dishes)
To note, you don’t see the Quick and Easy or Pescatarian options until after you pick your meal plan
After selecting your meal preference, you select the number of people you’ll be preparing meals for (the options for the number of people are 2 or 4). Then you’re off to decide how many recipes per week you’d like to be delivered (the choices range from 2 meals per week to 6 meals per week).
Once you’ve picked your plan, the service will automatically choose your menu or, you can opt to choose your own from a vast selection of options. As far as menu/meal choices, they change weekly so there’s always something new and exciting to pick from plus you’re also able to skip weeks if you don’t like the menu/don’t want the service for that week.
On to the good stuff, here comes the actual contents of the box.
Each one gets delivered to your door filled with insulation and massive ice packs to ensure your food stays fresh. And as a big fan of packaging, I have to give it a 9/10 (great job, just would like waterproof wrapping because items can get damp against the ice pack).
While your box will include the ingredients to make your dishes sing, it does not come with basic kitchen staples like olive oil, salt, and pepper, so I’d make sure to have them on hand before you get started.
THE COOKING PROCESS
As for the cooking process, each meal comes with a large recipe card with step-by-step instructions and pictures. They’re pretty easy to follow plus you can save them for future reference if you’d like to recreate a dish or even improvise!
- Easy to follow — HelloFresh makes it really simple to cook up delicious meals even if you don’t have much kitchen experience. Heck, they even categorize their meals by the level of difficulty.
- Accommodates dietary restrictions — You can customize certain ingredients (add or omit your preferences ) or even request diet-friendly meals like low-carb or vegetarian options—whatever fits your needs.
- Meal variety — With so many choices of a week, you’re bound to find something that gets your taste buds dancing. Lots of great photos will surely inspire you to create a great meal
- Share the Experience – Through an algorithm I’m still trying to suss out, when you start your own subscription to Hello Fresh, you receive free gift box subscriptions sometime down the line you can give to others; all they pay is shipping and handling which runs around $10! They can either continue getting regular priced boxes after they receive the first free box or they can cancel within 30 days with no further obligation.
- Minimal freebies – Freebies are only given every 3rd box and they aren’t as substantial as the meals and usually only one item regardless of the amount of people you’re preparing meals for.
- Some preparation required — Not a major con, but some recipes will require some light prep work like chopping vegetables`
Every time my HelloFresh Box appears at the door, it’s like Christmas no matter the time of year. My delivery day excitement means I don’t have to think about meal ideas, making repeated runs to crowded grocery stores, and I can stick to a budget because I know exactly what my food cost will be. Best of all, I love stepping out of my comfort zone and trying new recipes and cooking skills with ingredients I normally wouldn’t have tried (who knew I’d love couscous or toasted panko crumbs on ravioli would be a fav)!
My biggest con with the service, however, is the usability of the site. While things start to make a bit more sense, the more you use it, it can be difficult to navigate when you first start out.
All in all, if you can get past a little trial and error, the deliciously tasty, healthy, Instagram-worthy dishes that you’ll create with this cost-effective, time-saving subscription are worth it. And a non-sponsored plug: if you want to try HelloFresh, you can use my personal code for $100 off.