If you're like me when you get home from work, the last thing on your mind is preparing a 5-star meal. In fact, you're probably rummaging through your fridge trying to mix and match whatever's in there.
Which is exactly how I found myself clicking on an ad for HelloFresh.
HelloFresh is a meal kit delivery service that delivers recipes and their ingredients to your door every week. The service offers flexible plans based on dietary preferences, delivery schedule, and household size. The S.O. and I decided to give it a try for a month to see if A - we enjoyed the food, and B - if we stopped eating out so much. Here's what to expect:
How it Works
HelloFresh is based around a flexible plan system, which allows you to build your subscription based on dietary preferences and family size. The service offers three plans:
1. Classic Plan: Meat, fish, and veggie recipes. Serves 2-4 adults and features 8 recipes to choose from each week. Offers the most flexibility in terms of order volume (can receive 3-5 meals per week). Cost: $9.99 per meal per person
Note: We chose this plan since it's just the two of us and it provided recipes to choose from.
2. Veggie Plan: Meat-free recipes only. Serves 2-4 adults and includes 3 recipes. Can receive 3 meals per week. Cost: $9.99 per meal per person
3. Family Plan: Meat, fish, and veggie recipes that are kid-friendly. Serves 2 adults and 2 kids and includes 3 recipes. Can receive 3 meals per week. Cost: $8.74 per meal per person
Once you choose your plan, you're all set! You'll receive a shipment once a week containing all of your meals. You also have the ability to skip a week, pause your subscription, or cancel at anytime.
When you receive your box, each recipe is individually packaged into boxes (with the meat stored below in the coldest area of the box), keeping all of the ingredients together. You'll also receive recipe cards and nutritional information for each meal.
HelloFresh also offers an app where you can see their different recipes to make on your own, read their blogs, or watch their videos.
If you choose the classic meal plan, you have the opportunity to select the recipes you'd like to receive the following week in the interface as well. You can use the HelloFresh app to browse through the options, edit your menu for the week, or skip the week's shipment. If you don't select your meals, the service will automatically choose them for you — so don't worry if you forget!
The Verdict: Pros & Cons of Hello Fresh
After several weeks using HelloFresh, here's what I liked and didn't like about the service:
- The meals are delicious. While there were a few instances where we looked at the recipe and said, "What?", every single meal we've made has turned out amazing.
- Getting to choose recipes is the bomb. Giving someone total control over what we were eating for the week made me nervous. What if I didn't like anything? Would I just be wasting money? Luckily, the classic plan gives us more than enough choices.
- They're easy to cook. Most take 3o minutes (or less if you're cooking with someone). There's a bit of prep involved, like chopping and mincing, but it's very straightforward.
- The price is right. We pay about $60 for three meals a week. That's $30 per person, $10 per meal for a delicious, home-cooked recipe. Not bad!
- So many icepacks. The ginormous box that keeps all your recipes fresh during shipping also contains some ginormous icepacks. When I received the first shipment, I had no idea what to do with them. There weren't any instructions in the box about disposing the materials. However, HelloFresh does have a section of their site that speaks to it — you just have to do some research.
- No leftovers. Having just enough ingredients for the recipes is great (and saves money), but that also means no leftovers, which I tend to depend on for lunch throughout the week. I adjusted, but this could be a deal breaker for some.
- Limited flexibility on other plans. This wasn't a big deal for us, since we went with the Classic Plan, but if you're going Veggie or Family, you're limited to 3 meals per week and you don't get to choose from a list of recipes.
If you're looking for some easy, delicious meals to cook during the week without the hassle of research recipes and going grocery shopping, you'll love HelloFresh! It's saved us time, money, and stress.
The Box Babe Ranking: 4.5/5