I wasn’t originally going to write a review of this meal delivery service. To be honest, the decision to order from Hello Fresh came from a)too much advertising on social media, b) watching one of my favorite YouTubers make several of their meals over the last few months, and c) a timely rut in my own meal planning process. But my experience has been so interesting that I thought I would share.
So, here are the pros and cons of using Hello Fresh:
- They do what they say they will do. Hello Fresh is a meal delivery service that sends recipes and measured ingredients for three to four dinners straight to your door. The recipes really do take about 30 minutes to make, and they are pretty easy to follow (My cooking experience is that I know how to use basic kitchen tools and I can follow a recipe fairly well). And everything is pretty much to measure for the recipe (if not, it makes it very clear you may have some left over).
- Ordering online for the first time was very easy. They automatically set up the meals to be sent in the first order, although you can go into your account and change your meal preferences. I’m allergic to pork, so I opted for the no pork options. You can manually also choose the meals you want to make, but be careful because you can override your preferences that way.
- The packaging system is very effective. It all came in a box, but each meal’s ingredients were divided into brown paper bags, except for the meats and frozen goods which were at the bottom of the box between two ice packs. The ice packs stayed completely frozen for a few days (not that the food was still in the box).
- The meals were filling and delicious, for the most part. I came upon a snag with the last dish which I will get to in my next point, but my favorite was the Holsin Shrimp and Rice with Green Beans. Second would be the Southwestern Stuffed Peppers. I didn’t get a picture of the third meal, Spinach Ricotta Ravioli with Chicken Sausage because I couldn’t make it as is, which I explain below.
- Their customer service was most impressive. That last meal was last because, unbeknownst to me, the Chicken Sausage was cased in pork casings. When I ordered the meal, I didn’t see anything that would have indicated this, and even though it’s not a common allergy, I didn’t want others to order this and not realize that it did actually have pork in it. I called Hello Fresh, and they recognized the issue and gave me a full one meal credit ($20) towards my next week of meals.
- The price. While I was very impressed with the customer service and quality and packaging, I can’t justify doing this on a weekly basis. For three meals for Michael and me without discounts, it is normally $60. The reason I was able to try this was the amazing $35 discount I received. And I will probably try it again since I did get credit towards another week of meals, but our family budget for a week of groceries is about $100 (usually less) and that includes breakfasts, snacks, and five meals a week. Spending 60% of our budget on these meals, no matter how good they are, is not feasible in the long run.
- The selection of food allergies. There are gluten, dairy, and nut free meals, but not enough in the Classic Box for three entire meals. I don’t know if the Veggie or Family boxes are different. And, as I experienced, you have to be careful with what you order and make sure it doesn’t have anything you aren’t able to eat.
- Keeping up with the weeks. If you don’t skip the week, the food will automatically come to you and you will be charged. I tried to skip as many weeks into the future as I can, but I have a feeling that if I don’t keep up with it, it will eventually charge me.
While there are more pros than cons above, the price point is a huge factor for me. This would be a great option to add more recipes to my collection maybe once a season when I eventually will get into a rut or want to try new recipes (by the way, you get to keep the recipes you try, so I now have at least two recipes I would definitely use again). It’s definitely a treat and not something practical all the time. Although, I will have to put in reminders to make sure I skip the weeks I don’t want.
If you want to try it for yourself, I have a discount code that can get you $40 off your first order by following this link. I’m not sponsored or anything, they offer this kind of discount to anyone using their site.
Have you ever used a meal delivery service like Hello Fresh or Blue Apron? Let me know your experience!