I like cooking and I like the food I make. I always say that no matter how bad my day is going, I always know that my dinner is going to be delicious. Even though I like cooking, there are some nights when I just have no idea what I’m going to make for dinner. I don’t meal prep or plan our menu a week ahead of time. So when Pete suggested we try HelloFresh, it sounded like a good idea. And then I decided it would be a good blog post. We tried HelloFresh so you don’t have to.
But, if you do want to try it, you can head over to this link and enter the code MARVINROT for $40 off your first order.
In fact, a discount code is why we tried it in the first place. Pete’s friend gave him a code for $40 off, so our total for three meals for two people came to just over $20 after shipping. That’s more than I typically pay for groceries because I coupon for a living, but it seemed like a reasonable price to try HelloFresh.
We Tried HelloFresh So You Don’t Have To
How does HelloFresh work?
HelloFresh is, in the simplest definition, a subscription box. Each week, you can order ingredients for a meal and those ingredients come in a box to your doorstep. You can choose meals with two to four servings, and you can choose up to four recipes per week.
You can pause your subscription at any time (if you’re going out of town or just feel like cooking your own food).
If you don’t pause it, you will be charged and the box will come in the mail.
How much does HelloFresh cost?
Typically, meals are about $9 a serving, plus $7 for shipping, so three meals for two people would typically run you $65.
That’s if you get the standard meals. Some of the meals (like ones with scallops) are an extra $5.99 per serving.
There are advertisements on Facebook for $80 off, but that’s actually $20 off your first four shipments. The code MARVINROT will get you $40 off your first shipment.
Do you get to choose the meals?
This is the best part. There are a dozen or so meals to choose from. They do default some options, but you can change any (or all) of the defaults as long as you choose the Classic or Family meal plans.
For me, I made sure that we were choosing meals I wouldn’t cook otherwise. We picked a sausage risotto because watching episodes of Hell’s Kitchen has completely scared me off from ever trying to cook risotto.
We picked a burger recipe because I actually don’t make burgers. Pete will grill them when it’s warm out, but I never do.
And our third recipe was Swedish meatloaves because I like the concept of meatloaf, but I hate the idea of it, so I never make it. These were super cute and portioned for one, so it felt less like a meatloaf and more like a large meatball. And I’m okay with that.
Is HelloFresh allergy friendly?
HelloFresh does have some gluten-free, dairy-free, and nut-free options. Those are labeled as such. So look for these when you are choosing your recipes for the week, if you do have certain dietary restrictions.
Keep in mind, though, that HelloFresh’s policy is basically that it is up to the consumer to choose meals that fit into their dietary restrictions and lifestyle. So, if you are dairy-free but choose a meal that requires butter, the onus is on you, not the company.
How long does it take it come?
That really depends on when you order. We ordered on the last day of the week, so our order came pretty quickly. But if you order on the first day of the week, it may take a little longer.
How does it come?
A large cooler box is shipped to you with all your meals for the week. It’s insulated and has ice packs in it. Each meal is packed separately in its own paper bag, and then any meats are packaged touching the ice packs (so be sure to check under them to assure you don’t miss any ingredients).
Also included in the package are step by step recipes.
Do you get all the ingredients?
No, you don’t. You get the majority of them, including seasonings. What you don’t get (or at least, what we never got) was butter or oil. We have those always, but if you don’t always have those handy, you might be missing those. So be sure to check the recipe before you start cooking, in case you need to run out to the store.
Sometimes, though, you get more ingredients than you need. Two of our recipes called for a half onion, but they sent a full onion. I used half for one recipe, then put the other half in the fridge. I used that leftover half for the following meal, and that actually left us a full onion for another recipe.
Are the ingredients ready to go?
Nope. You have to do all the peeling, chopping, and dicing yourself. For the burgers and meatloaves, HelloFresh sent a 9oz. square of meat that I had to shape myself.
Do you need to know how to cook if you order HelloFresh?
Not really, but it helps. The recipes give you photos for every step, so you know what everything should look like.
I actually try to write all of Drugstore Divas’ recipes in that manner. I really like that visual, so I loved that HelloFresh does the same thing. It really helps you to understand what your ingredients should look like, just in case you’re not so sure.
Being able to cook does help, though. If you’re making burgers, for example, you need to know what a raw burger looks like versus an overcooked one. Yes, you have likely eaten a burger and know how you like them. But cooking them is completely different. And the HelloFresh recipe says 3 to 5 minutes on each side. That’s a good guideline, but that all varies based on the thickness of your burger and the amount you want it cooked. Having at least a little knowledge of cooking will help.
Who is HelloFresh good for?
It’s fantastic for people who want to learn how to cook. Before I really understood spices and what went together, this would have been amazing for me. I remember trying to learn to cook and being super intimidated by ingredients like shrimp. The first time I made Shrimp Parmesan for my parents’ surprise birthday party, I called my dad’s BFF to ask him what to do.
HelloFresh is perfect for when you don’t have someone to call to ask for help. The recipes are printed with pictures, and that’s a huge help. And the food, for the most part, tastes good.
Is HelloFresh convenient?
So convenient. You have to eat dinner every night (unless you’re on some crazy cleanse or hunger fast) and sometimes, you just get tired of thinking of things to cook. A lot of people get stuck in a rut of making the same things every week, so HelloFresh is a really easy way to vary your menu.
It also is a good way to get ideas on other dinners to cook.
When you are selecting your meals for the week, you are able to look at all of the other meals for the week. So even if you don’t choose them, you still can see them and figure out how to make it yourself.
Is HelloFresh good for weight loss?
No. The company prides itself on “delicious” meals (they use this word specifically). It also calls them “healthy meals” when you open the site, but HelloFresh never claims that the meals diet friendly. Some are marked as calorie smart, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they will help you lose weight.
Is HelloFresh easy to cancel?
Kind of. You can disable or pause your account by simply logging in and choosing that option. But it doesn’t actually cancel your account. It just puts you in a permanently state of suspension.
What’s the best part about HelloFresh?
Definitely the fact that you don’t have to think of what to cook for dinner. Dinner is already in the fridge waiting for you to cook it.
What’s the worst part about HelloFresh?
The waste. Everything is packaged individually. For our meatloaves, we needed one slice of bread and it was packaged in its own plastic bag. As was the teaspoon of ground nutmeg, tablespoon of meatloaf mix seasoning, beef stock, tablespoon of flour, 1/4 ounce of parsley, six ounces of milk, 1.5 ounces of jam, and the meat. To me, that’s excessive. There isn’t another way to package everything in portions without excess packaging, unfortunately, but I really try to conserve and produce as little waste as possible, so this was hard on me.
Are meal subscriptions worth it?
That’s entirely dependent on the person. If you’re someone who struggles with meal planning and purchases too many ingredients at the grocery store, often letting them rot, then they are. If you’re someone who works 80 hours a week and doesn’t have time to shop, they are great for you too. In those cases, they’re a lot better than ordering food every night.
But if you’re someone who likes to cook — or heck, if you’re someone who hates to cook — then it’s not really worth it.
Have you tried HelloFresh before? Comment below and let us know what you think of it.