My husband and I are both avid cooks. We love to do it, and are always creating recipes of our own (I think we rarely actually follow a recipe- it’s always kind of a suggestion), plus it is a common hobby, so a great way to get a couple minutes to spend together in our busy lives. But when my husband had an hour commute to and from work daily, and we had 5 kids to feed- cooking an elaborate meal wasn’t always feasible. By the time we would get home at night, the kids would need to do homework and eat dinner, shower and bed. So when a friend started posting her amazing looking HelloFresh meals- we decided to try it (our first order we used her buddy code and got 3 meals free!).
The first one was a bit rocky though. I was almost discouraged. I didn’t have time to customize my order prior to it coming, and we got stuck with a shrimp meal- did I mention I’m deathly allergic to shrimp? Beyond that, each box is supposed to come with three proteins, and then a box that has all the “additional ingredients”- we got two of the same boxes- for the shrimp and grits- rendering only one meal edible. However, when I called HelloFresh customer support they were AMAZING. They immediately credited a meal to my account, and that money came off my next order!
We kept ordering for several weeks, and once I discovered the app was much easier to customize, things went much more smoothly. You can easily switch up your meals or skip a week whenever you want. The meals come in a very heavy-duty cardboard box (which we saved as moving boxes) with a nice thermal liner, and large ice packs! We saved all of these for future use, however HelloFresh says the inside of the ice packs are water soluble and environmentally safe to cut a corner once they are defrosted and pour down the sink. Everything else can be recycled.
- Delivered to your door! No more stopping at the grocery store a hundred times for ingredients while the kids hang off the cart complaining they want cookies for dinner.
- It took a lot of the “what do you want for dinner” argument out of the week. It was more “we have these 3 meals at home- which sounds best?”
- Portion control! We were in the midst of going to the gym and trying to get into shape, so having these already portioned out meals really helped with portion control.
- Cost effective!- though $60 a week might sound expensive- that boils down to $9.99 a person (we got the classic 2 person meal– which was enough for us on days the older girls were at their dads, as the 2 person fed us, Bug, and the baby perfectly fine)- that is way less than the cost of even eating out! We typically spend $20- $40 on just one dinner if we eat out, and hello fresh is a much healthier option.
- It helped us try new things.- my husband and I both have a pretty decent pallet and are willing to try things, however you don’t always want to buy a lot of something to try it at home (especially a seasoning or something that may take several different ingredients that you need to buy way more than you need for one use). For instance- we tried the Dukkah crusted cod– not something that was our favorite, but we were glad we tried it, having never heard of Dukkah before.
- You can customize your delivery day to what works best for you- since my custody agreement had me with all the kids Monday, Tuesday- we had our delivery Wednesdays when it was just the 4 of us- this worked our better as we often could get them all eaten before the next delivery.
- For our personal pallet, we found it to be a bit under seasoned. We added salt, pepper, and garlic to pretty much every meal they sent.
- It auto renews weekly- so if you want to skip a week, make sure you cancel it!
- Due to the auto renew, if you don’t pick your meals (I forgot from time to time) you get stuck with their first 3 options- in my case, it was sometimes inedible if it contained shell fish.
- You cannot customize your preferences due to allergies- I could select NO SEAFOOD but then I wouldn’t get any fish at all- when we signed up in the middle of lent, I didn’t necessarily not want fish. There are other options, such as vegetarian, gluten free, etc- and you see the list of ingredients when choosing your meal, so as long as you remember to change them, you can customize to your needs.
- If you got busy and didn’t eat a week- it kinda just hung out in the fridge. We had this problem in the middle of our house search, when we were spending late nights with our realtor- we had several items that ended up thrown away and it kind of hurt.
We just recently cancelled our subscription (literally this weekend)- but not because we were dissatisfied with the service, but rather, with the older girls moving in full time next week, it just no longer fit our lifestyle.
In conclusion- I would definitely refer a friend (I have given out my coupon code to several), but with the suggestion you download the app for better customization. Its best for busy couples who need something simple, or those who are learning to cook, and needs something already put together for them.
Oh! One more pro I forgot to mention! I LOVED all the cute, little bottles the oils and vinegars came in as they were individual sized! I kept them all (but I’m kind of a hoarder like that), and even added some of the little boxes (after they were empty) or tiny egg cartons to the girls’ play kitchen.