It’s a no brainer that cooking and “adulting” go hand in hand. Gone are the days of microwaved ramen, frozen meals, and regular take-out dinners. Unless you want to weigh 200 pounds and go broke, something has to change. And rightfully so! As we get older, our food palette changes too. Over the year’s we’ve tried different foods and flavors that we’ve grown to love, but how do we recreate them in our own, millennial budget kitchen? Insert HelloFresh.
What is HelloFresh? HelloFresh is a meal delivery system that brings fresh ingredients and easy to follow meal instructions right to your front door. The company offers a variety of different meals that suite your needs – whether you’re feeding a family of 4 or more, looking for vegetarian options or if it’s just for yourself. Each pre-packaged meal includes everything you need to make that specific recipe, often down to the herbs and seasons so you don’t have to purchase anything. Plus, each bag of ingredients has a shelf life of 5-7 days in your fridge so you don’t have to question when to throw that chicken or pork in the freezer before it spoils.
Before I get into the nitty gritty of this meal delivery system, I know what everyone is thinking – Is it honestly worth it? If you want to learn how to cook or live a very busy lifestyle and don’t have time for traditional grocery shopping, my answer is 100% yes. Even if you feel comfortable in the kitchen, I think HelloFresh can get you out of a cooking funk and add convenience to your busy schedule. Take Nick and I for example. I LOVE to cook and am pretty adventurous in the kitchen. Nick on the other hand is a newbie in the culinary world and is just starting to experiment with new foods and flavors. We both work full-time jobs, and Nick’s job has him working nights and weekends during the summer. Having three 30-minute meals delivered to our house every Monday causes less stress during the week and allows us to spend more time together. Because there are easy to read instructions, Nick is able to help me in the kitchen rather than ask me questions about the recipe I’m whipping together in my head. And what do I get out of it? I get to try new flavors and sauces that I wouldn’t normally make for myself.
If you’re anything like me, you have a bunch of questions regarding HelloFresh. This post is in no way sponsored. I’m hoping my answers give you an honest, transparent view of this meal delivery system and help you decide if it’s right for you!
How much does it cost and is it worth the cost?
The base HelloFresh package that provides three meals for two people costs $60 a week. That is $20 a meal, or $10 a person. That includes all ingredients needed to make the recipe, from the main protein and fresh vegetables to the stocks, creams and spices required. Nick and I tried HelloFresh after getting a offer code for $80 off the first month – $20 each week for 4 weeks. Some of you may still be saying that is too pricey, but hear my reasoning.
Nick and I were paying upwards of $200 a week at the grocery, buying chicken in bulk for the week, steaks, vegetables and fruits and specialty ingredients such as sesame oil or heavy cream that we would only use once and forget about in our fridge a month later. I swear our meat and fish purchases alone were over $40 each week. And we wasted a lot of ingredients due to lack of use.
Since using HelloFresh, our grocery bills have gone down tremendously. I’ll purchase a few key ingredients for lunch salads and healthy snacks like apple sauce, yogurt, and fresh fruit. Nick still purchases his favorite frozen meals and snacks for game days like Belvita breakfast bars, chips and cheese puffs and cookies. We’ll buy some staples for meals in between our HelloFresh meals such as taco ingredients, sausage and pasta or breakfast for dinner (all fairly inexpensive meals.) Since adding HelloFresh to our routine, we’re saving $50 on total grocery bills, and we’re eating out less since we always have a healthy, ready to cook meal in the fridge that costs less than take out dinner.
Are the instructions as easy as they look?
Yes. Yes, yes, yes. The instructions spells everything out for you, from chopping prep to how to make a gourmet sauce in minutes. The instructions let you know the temperature details, cook time, and the types of cooking utensils you’ll need. As I mentioned earlier, Nick isn’t the savviest in the kitchen but he’ll even try his hand at making a HelloFresh meal as my sous chef with these easy to follow instructions.
Are the portions a good size?
This is the hardest question to answer because everyone’s eating habits are different. When it is just myself, the portion sizes are perfect for dinner and lunch the following day. When Nick is sharing the meals with me, he always wishes the protein portion is a little larger than what it is, but we don’t see value in getting the 4-person meal package. I think it depends on how much you eat. These are the recommended portion sizes that we should be eating, not America’s super-sized version. If we feel the portion size isn’t large enough, we’ll pick up a loaf of bread or I’ll make a side salad to curb any hunger. But this rarely happens.
Something else to note is that all recipes are adaptable. Just because the recipe calls for a mushroom sauce over the chicken DOES NOT MEAN you need to add mushrooms to the recipe if you aren’t the biggest fan. While I do promote people trying new foods, there are just some flavors and ingredients that aren’t for everyone. Don’t let that scare you away and feel free to make each recipe your own once you get comfortable in the kitchen.
Are there enough meal options each week?
For the classic meal plan, each week has 17 meal options for you to chose from, ranging in classic dinner entrees (protein, vegetable, and starch) to pastas, tacos, burgers, flatbreads etc. The entrees even include labels noting if they are vegetarian, calorie smart, gourmet (for an additional fee!) or a hall of fame recipe! More times than not, we have trouble selecting just three of the entrees. I often pick recipes I know I wouldn’t try making myself or ones I don’t have the ingredients for. For example, I rarely pick a pasta dish because pasta dish ingredients are inexpensive and I can easily make that on one of my non-Hello Fresh nights.
Some of my favorites include Cranberry Apple Pork Chops, Presto Pesto Panko Chicken, and Oven Baked Apricot Chicken Legs (all pictured below.)
Our HelloFresh meals are delivered every Monday, giving us plenty of options during the week in case we go out on the weekends. I pick my meals via the HelloFresh app the Wednesday before delivery to guarantee my order. It really is that simple.
Can you cancel at anytime?
Yes, you can cancel with 7 days notice, for zero cancellation fee. Another option unique to HelloFresh- they let you pause or skip meals each week at no cost. So if you want to keep your HelloFresh meal delivery subscription but only want to purchase it two weeks out of the month, you can distinguish that on the app and skip the weeks you aren’t interested in. This becomes handy when you realize you may be traveling or not home due to work functions, holidays etc. It allows you to save money without wasting food or saying goodbye to your subscription. When pausing or skipping weeks, just be sure to notify at least 5 days before your scheduled delivery date. Subscriptions can be cancelled 7 days in advance to delivery date.
I hope I’ve answered all your questions regarding HelloFresh! If you have any additional questions, please leave them in the comments below and I will do my best to give you my honest opinion. For those interested in trying HelloFresh, follow this link to unlock $80 off your first month like we did, plus free shipping on your first box! That’s $20 off each week, bringing your total to $40 a week for the first month. Happy cooking!