*Disclaimer: The views and opinions in this review are my own. I was not compensated in any way by Hello Fresh. *
Shout-out to all the moms (and dads) who put dinner on the table night after night. That’s seriously some hard work! I mean, first there’s figuring out what meals you’re going to be making that week (and making sure they’re meals everyone will be happy with), then there’s going to the grocery store to get everything for said meals- which let’s face it, can get pretty stressful at times — and finally, there’s the actual cooking of the meal. From start to finish, that seems pretty exhausting. I don’t know how you do it! I know there’s some of you who love meal prepping and planning and absolutely kill at it. That, however, is just not me.
Luckily, my boyfriend does about 90 percent of the cooking in our house. But there’s still days where it’s up to me to make dinner. I manage, but it’s not my favorite thing to do. I’ve recently had a change of heart though, as I was recently introduced to Hello Fresh, one of a handful of meal delivery services out there. I had always been intrigued by Hello Fresh, Blue Apron and the like, but had never gotten around to giving one of them a shot. I finally bit the bullet and signed up for Hello Fresh though after hearing great things about them from a couple of my friends. I’ve been a customer for about two months now and here’s some of the things I love about them!
For me, food quality is a big deal. I was a little nervous about the possibility of wilted produce or broken or damaged packaging. I was also worried about the perishable ingredients going bad while it sat in the box on my porch while I was at work. I’m happy to report I didn’t experience any of the above with my first box- or the ones that followed.
First off, ingredients are packaged separately by meal, either in labeled boxes or bags that fit nicely in your fridge. I thought that was a pretty foolproof way to keep things organized. The only ingredients not in the bags or boxes were the protein for each meal (chicken, pork, beef or fish). That was kept at the bottom of each shipping box, under a couple solid ice packs. The boxes are also insulated, and together with the ice packs, kept all the ingredients cold from delivery up until I was able to unpack them after work.
Also in each box were a set of recipe cards as well as nutritional information for each of the week’s meals. The recipe cards were pretty high quality and sturdy enough to save in case I decided to make that meal again in the future. I was definitely impressed by the quality of both the food and the packaging.
Another thing I love about Hello Fresh is the flexibility they allow in their meal plans. They offer three different plans — classic, vegetarian and family. On the classic and family plans you can choose how many meals you want to receive each week (three or four on the classic plan and two or three on the family plan). With the classic and vegetarian plans you can also decide if you want to receive enough food for two people or four. Also, regardless of your plan, you can log onto Hello Fresh before your next delivery and see what meals are available for that week and customize your box. It’s a nice touch, especially if you have any picky eaters in your family.
I also love the fact that Hello Fresh lets you skip weeks because in our house, we don’t always cook dinner every night. Not only do we love to eat out, but sometimes we’re at our restaurants so late that we just end up eating shift meals before we come home. Even though we signed up for the lowest number of meals each week, I found that if we stuck to a weekly delivery our ingredients would go bad before we got around to using them. And that is no good! So I’m able to put a freeze on our deliveries and only get a box every couple of weeks, which fits our lifestyle a lot better.
Easy to make recipes:
I promise you don’t need any special culinary training to make any of the meals you get from Hello Fresh. There’s minimal work involved in each recipe and the recipe cards walk you through each step (plus there are pictures!). The hardest part usually is prepping the ingredients, but if you know how to use a knife then you’re golden! I loved how easy it was to throw dinner together. Most recipes could be made in 30 minutes or less!
Our first meal we made was pork chops with a pineapple cilantro salsa and jasmine rice and let me tell you, it was seriously amazing! I was surprised at how the meals didn’t just look good, they tasted good too. I loved every meal with the exception of one, and that only because I forgot to log on and choose my meals for that week and received a fish I didn’t really like. But that was pretty much my fault, oops. But kudos to the recipe makers at Hello Fresh! Even my chef boyfriend raved about the meals!
Overall, I think Hello Fresh (or similar service) is worth a shot- especially if you’re like me and either don’t have the time to go grocery shopping, or the energy. Or if you just want to add some variety to your weekly meal rotations! If you’ve used (or currently use) a meal delivery service let me know what you loved or hated about it!