I grew up with a mom who LOVES to cook. We sat down for dinner together almost every night (until those crazy-busy high school years!) and she always had an incredible meal prepared. Cooking is most definitely my mom’s passion and something that she really, really loves doing.
Caleb and I on the other hand … cooking, well, it just isn’t our forte! We love going out for a great meal and trying new foods, but we are not “naturals” when it comes to cooking in our own kitchen at home. Caleb does make delicious dinners for us a few nights a week, but I would be lying to say we are always scouting out new recipes, cooking unique dishes, or spending lots of time on dinners.
My mom knows this about us and so from Christmas this year, she gifted us a subscription to Hello Fresh — a meal planning service. She wanted us to at least have the opportunity and give an honest shot at learning how to cook better for ourselves at home. We received the gift a couple of months before Christmas and so have been Hello Fresh users for the past couple of months! Since we know there is a lot of interest in Hello Fresh and there are a lot of questions around this service and product, we thought we would chime in with our own personal experience today on the blog!
An Honest Review of our Hello Fresh Experience
- We LOVE that Hello Fresh has introduced us to new food combinations, new flavors, and new meals that we would have never made on our own if we weren’t users of their service.
- It’s super nice to have fresh ingredients in your refrigerator at all times (and the exact amounts of those ingredients that you need for each meal so there isn’t a ton of waste!).
- The experience has been super FUN and it’s exciting to see what we would be getting in our boxes each week.
- You don’t have to “plan” for as many of your weekly meals, which saves time in the long run!
- Everything is packaged and organized super well — we actually tried Blue Apron for one week and then Hello Fresh for the second week and continued with Hello Fresh because the packaging was SO much better!!
- You are only able to choose from a very limited number of meal options per week which for us, was a bit of a bummer given the higher cost of the product.
- The meal guides suggest anywhere from 30-45 minutes to make the meal, however it always took Caleb at least an hour to make the meal each night (but maybe that’s because we’re not as experienced in the kitchen?!), and that is without cleanup time.
- The ingredients are not organic ingredients.
- Just to quick counter a point above, a secret that my mom shared with us once about buying certain fresh ingredients and not having them go to waste — buy from the salad bar at your grocery store! If you need just a few onion pieces, or a cup of lettuce, etc., you can buy exactly what you need from the salad bar and not waste an entire onion or head of lettuce!
Whether or not the investment of a service like Hello Fresh is “worth it” for your given family is definitely up to interpretation and, of course, will vary from family to family. It could definitely be a great resource for people who want to learn how to cook differently and healthily. We, however, have chosen to not continue our subscription, mostly because of the cost of the service. Eating organically is extremely important to us and we have found that we can cook organically on our own for the same price (or even a bit cheaper!). At the end of the day, we really enjoyed the cooking experience and getting to work with some ingredients we normally wouldn’t use! Hello Fresh also offers great promotional offers to first time users so we recommend at least giving it a try if you’re at all intrigued!
Hope this was helpful! Feel free to ask us any questions in the comment section below and we will be more than happy to answer them for you!
The ingredients are delivered to your front door and packaged in individual boxes for each meal. For the box shown here, we received three dinners that each game in their own box — Shepherd’s Pie, Cod, and Pistachio Covered Chicken.
In the image below on the left, you will see that below a flat piece of cardboard that is underneath the ingredient boxes, Hello Fresh packages the meat separately in between two large freezer ice packs.
To the top right, I have laid out the ingredients given for the Pistachio Crusted Chicken dinner, and below you will see the ingredients for the Cod Dinner. Each dinner typically has a main dish as well as a side dish! Like I mentioned above, you will also see that they send the exact ingredients needed for each meal (so, two scallions or a small bundle of dill, for example!).
We wanted to cook an entire meal for you to see the before and after, so here you have the (delicious!) Shepherd’s Pie! Each meal also has step-by-step instructions with pictures : )
And the finished product! Cheers!
In case you’re curious about a few other meal delivery services, our friend Jacqueline did an awesome review on the options that can be found here!