Thinking about trying a meal kit delivery service? Well, this HelloFresh Review may or may not change your mind. Please know, this HelloFresh Review has opinions that are all my own and I am not affiliated in any way with HelloFresh. This was definitely something different and new from my normal MO. So much so, a couple of friends called me out on it. L 🙂 L
Subscribing to the service, picking the meals and setting up delivery was fairly easy. Notifications of when the box was shipped were provided as well. I must admit, I had slight anxiety about food, specifically meat, getting shipped through the mail. Lots of questions were running through my head: what time would it get delivered? would it still be cold? would it come while I was home? When the box arrived, all 14 lbs. of it, after having been on the UPS truck since 6:00 a.m., the box was well packed and the food was still cold, despite traveling for two days.
For the sake of this review, I followed the directions to a “T” and this was truly a challenge for me. I wanted the true experience not only for myself, but also to provide my readers with a firm foundation of what to expect in the event you too are looking at trying HelloFresh, or some other food delivery service. Without further anticipation, here’s The Good, The Bad, The Ugly and last, but certainly not least, The Meals.
- Convenience. With HelloFresh, you do not have to step foot in anybody’s Kroger, Harris Teeter, Food Lion, Publix, Whole Foods, Target, and my least favorite, Wal-Mart. With the exception of oils, salt and pepper, everything you need to cook these meals comes in separately labeled boxes with ingredients specific to each meal.
- Portion Sizes. HelloFresh will not allow you or anyone in your household to go hungry. All ingredients were pre-measured and the servings were hearty. Most times, I was unable to eat the serving in one setting. The portion size could be a catch-22 because the minimum servings you can buy is two; however, if you’re a single person home, packaging a meal up for lunch or dinner could make it a win-win.
- Cooking Experience Not Required. Not able to boil water? No problem, because HelloFresh provides full color, step by step, recipe card for each meal. Absent burning someone or something, it would be hard to mess these meals up. Each meal I tried involved some form of chopping, mincing, searing or sautéing, but even a novice could handle it.
- Variety. From the meals I ordered, to what I saw available, no two meals were alike. They might have utilized the same meats or vegetables, but they all had a spin of their own.
- Fresh. HelloFresh lived up to every ounce of it’s name when it comes to the freshness of ingredients. I only noticed a few imperfections with some of the vegetables due to moisture after getting sealed loosely in a bag.
- Basic. Don’t expect pizzazz with Hello Fresh – if your goal is to get food on the table for your family, great, but if it’s anything more, like trying to impress the date of your dreams and you told them you could cook, don’t count on HelloFresh to come thru. Some, not all (e.g., DIY Dumplings), of the meals are good for quick meals. However, they all take a little bit of preparation and if you’re not into chopping vegetables or mincing garlic and herbs, or willing to for that matter, HelloFresh may not be for you.
- Price. HelloFresh is not nice on the pocket book, and it will definitely feel lighter if you sign up for weekly deliveries; however, if you’re willing to forego some of your hard earned coins for convenience, as mentioned in number one of “The Good,” HelloFresh will be your best friend. The regular price of 3 meals for 2 persons per week is $59.95, which breaks down to $10.00 per serving. THAT. IS. HIGH. HelloFresh offered options for meals that were considered premium, which added an additional $5.00 per serving. The premium option for the week I ordered was Lobster Ravioli. If it makes you, or your pocket book, feel better, delivery is free and I’m certain you can find a coupon for your first box, but just make sure to cancel so the service does not continue at regular price.
- Price. Please. See. Above. L 🙂 L
Meal # 1 – Blackened Catfish with Roasted Potatoes and Blistered Vegetables
This meal was an almost hit. The first day. The fish was fresh and the size of the serving was hearty. I also enjoyed the flavor pairings they used, such as, adding cilantro to the vegetables, which were green beans, onions and red bell pepper. Not something I thought of before. I simply tossed the potatoes in olive oil, salt and pepper, but I struggled and fought myself to not add rosemary and thyme to the potatoes. I was unable to eat the entire serving, so I packaged and refrigerated it. Upon reheating the dish to eat, I was only able to fully enjoy the roasted potatoes. This meal was best eaten in one setting on the day it’s made, especially the portion of fish.
Meal # 2 – DIY Pork Dumplings with Quick Pickled Slaw and Soy Dipping Sauce
This meal was a miss. It was time consuming and would not work well for someone who was in a hurry on a week night. Although all of the ingredients stayed true to the brand of HelloFresh, I was a little taken aback when I originally opened the box and saw a package of pork. The slaw was good and allowed me to try something new, but as the old folks say, it was nothing to write home about. Also, dumplings, slaw or not, are more of an appetizer than a meal, but this “meal” was a whopping 800 calories. I will say by the time I was done playing DIY with this meal, I unexpectedly worked for those calories.
Meal # 3 – Lean Green Steak Machine with Mint Chive Dressing and Veggie Succotash
This meal was a hit. It was perfect for the season and a nice breath of fresh air from the typical vegetables I eat day in and day out. It combined asparagus, peas and zucchini seasoned with salt, pepper, lemon juice and zest. The steak was a tri-tip, not a cut I usually buy, but after topping it with a mint chive dressing, it became palatable for my tastebuds.
Overall, the meals were good. I would re-create the meals, but purchase my own ingredients and more than likely add some of my own flair. Although it takes the guess work out of the age old question, “what’s for dinner?” there was nothing in the 14lb box that I could not go to the grocery store and purchase for double the food and half the price.
For someone like myself, that is used to (and loves) going to the grocery store, creating food pairings and developing meals from scratch, I would not fully rely on this service. HelloFresh would work well for people who don’t have time to go to the grocery store, or don’t like going for that matter. It would also work well for someone who is looking for variety or is just learning to cook. HelloFresh has a great variety of recipes available for delivery and a database through their app with full color, step by step, recipe cards that are beautiful and easy to follow. The recipe cards are also great for adding to your recipe arsenal, but still don’t make the service worth the price.
It appears from my HelloFresh Review that the good outweighs the bad and the ugly; however, it’s all personal preference and you have to decide what’s truly more important. The price alone, is a huge turn off for me, so much so, I had to mention it twice. Additionally, customer service is lacking, and the cancellation timelines are BSC, which made cancelling a no brainer. I must also mention that not getting to use my love of grocery shopping and creativity in the kitchen was a buzz kill.
Have you already tried HelloFresh or still thinking about it and have questions about my experience? Leave a comment, we love hearing from you!
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