Tuesday, March 15, 2016

HelloFresh Review

As promised, today I am reviewing my experience with HelloFresh.

What It Is
HelloFresh is a food delivery service that sends you all the ingredients and spices you need to cook a fresh, healthy meal. Only salt, pepper, olive oil, and butter are excluded from the delivery (they assume you already have these at home).

Package Options & Pricing
You can choose the meal package you want based on your family size. I tried the 3 meals per week plan for two people, which costs $69. The two people plans are priced is priced as follows:

3 meals per week for 2 people = $69.00
4 meals per week for 2 people = $84.90
5 meals per week for 2 people = $99.00

There's also a family sized plan. You then choose either the classic box (which includes things like beef, poultry, fish, etc) or the veggie box.

Substitutions & Exclusions
I'm allergic to shellfish, so I was concerned about what meals I would get. While you can't make substitutions and omissions, you can review your order after it's placed and choose the three meals you want for week. I was lucky in that there were enough meal options for the week that I was able to choose one meal with beef, and two meals with chicken. So while you can't necessarily exclude certain foods due to allergies or preference, you can choose the meals you receive.

Shipping & Packaging
Shipping costs are included in the prices listed above. My box arrived as scheduled on a Monday (in the evening a little late, so I couldn't use it that day, as I had already made dinner). It came with frozen ice packs to keep all ingredients cold. The meats were vacuum-packed separately from the other ingredients. The other ingredients were separated by meal in their own individual boxes and labeled. Also included was a recipe card for each meal, which had pictures showing step by step directions on what do to. The recipe cards also included the nutrition information (the nutrition information was also on the outside of the main box), which is convenient for those watching their weight or on a diet.

Shipping box:

Nutrition label on the outside of the shipping box:

Frozen ice packs to keep the meat cold:

Ingredients for the individual meals are in boxes:

Pausing or Deactivating Subscription
Both are easily doable on the website after you sign up. You can pause service for a while if you will be out of town, etc., and you can deactivate your account at any time.

Making the Meals
Making meals was relatively easy. I think the most time I spent on any one meal was about 45 minutes, which wasn't too bad. I enjoyed learning how to make a new recipe. The recipes were easy to follow.

Portion Size & Taste
These are the two things I was most worried about, because I've heard that with some other meal services such as this one, portions are tiny and taste is lacking. With this, however, I felt like the portion sizes were perfect-- not too little and not too much. And the taste for all three of my meals was very good.

The Verdict
Here's a comparison of what the recipe meals looked like vs. my meals. Not too shabby, eh? All three were very tasty too. I will definitely be making some of these again.

In terms of using the service again, I'm on the fence. I initially decided to try it because I had a coupon for $35 off my first order, bringing my order total to $34 for 6 meals, which is not bad. But paying $69 instead is too high, in my opinion--I can easily make the same meals at home for much less. You're paying more for the convenience of the service than anything else, since everything comes to your door and you don't have to worry about going to the supermarket or hunting around for certain ingredients. And as previously mentioned, another drawback to the service is that you can't make substitutions, and they don't offer a plan for singles. The boxes are either for 2 people or for families. I'd probably use this service again (but sparingly) for weeks where I don't have time to go to the supermarket.

For those interested in trying the service, you can get $40 off your first order by using code 3TXBP3 at checkout.

Happy cooking!


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