Katy writes honest reviews of the latest services with an eye for budget and practicality.
HelloFresh Meal Kit Delivery Service Review
There are a lot of meal kits out there, how do you know what’s right for you?
Learn about HelloFresh in my review, including what it costs, what the selection is like, and how good the food is. It’ll help you decide whether they’re right for you before you spend your money.
Meal Kits: How It Works
HelloFresh is a meal kit delivery service. It’s a weekly subscription that delivers all the ingredients you need to make a recipe at home. If you haven’t had a subscription to a meal kit service before, you’ll want to know how it works.
You start an account with HelloFresh and give your delivery address and payment information. There’s always a sign-up discount available, so make sure to use a coupon code here. More on that in the section about coupon codes below.
Next, you’ll choose a meal plan. HelloFresh has a Classic plan, a Vegetarian option, and a Family plan. You can read more about each option on their website.
At this point, you also pick the number of recipes you want per week and the number of people eating. That determines the cost of your plan. Usually, more recipes and people mean a cheaper cost per meal, but that’s not always the case. See more about pricing below in the section "Is HelloFresh a Good Deal?"
You can change the number of recipes and people later in your subscription if you change your mind. So start off with fewer recipes per week if you’re not sure.
You select the day of the week the food gets delivered. Whatever works for you, maybe it’s a Tuesday.
Then, you’ll get an email when the recipes for the next delivery are available for you to choose from. For your first box, those will be ready for selection right away.
You tell HelloFresh which recipes you want, and then they’re shipped. Your insulated box will arrive at your front door on your designated day.
We eat meat regularly, but we did switch to the Veggie plan for one week to try their recipes. Obviously, you get more vegetables to make up for no meat, so I liked that. The produce they sent us was very fresh. It was a good introduction for me in making some vegetarian meals I wouldn't have tried otherwise.
If you stick to a vegetarian diet, HelloFresh would be a great meal kit for you.
Vegan Alternatives to HelloFresh
HelloFresh does not have a strictly vegan option. Some of their vegetarian recipes are also vegan, but that’s not always the case.
If you are a vegan looking for a meal delivery plan, HelloFresh won’t be it for you. But there are alternatives. Purple Carrot offers a vegan-only plan.
HelloFresh Meal Selection
Every week you can choose which meals you want in your next shipment. There are usually a dozen available recipes, and you pick the two, three, or four you want (depending on your meal plan) that week.
I was pleasantly surprised by their meal selection. I never felt like I was choosing things I didn’t really want to make and eat. I went outside of my comfort zone with at least one recipe per week to learn something new.
Is HelloFresh a Good Deal?
So, is HelloFresh a good idea if you’re trying to stick to a food budget? Can it help you save money on groceries in the long-run?
Let’s look at how much a typical HelloFresh meal costs to answer this question. And for reference, I like to compare it to other meals we typically do like pizza delivery or home-cooked meals. This will give you an idea of how much you’re paying for the luxury of pre-picked and delivered ingredients.
|Source||Meal||Servings||Total Cost||Cost Per Serving|
Sit Down Restaurant
2 Meals, 2 Drinks, Tip
Classic Plan (2 people, 3 recipes)
Family Plan (4 people, 3 recipes)
Large Pizza, Delivery Fee
Spaghetti w/ Ground Beef
HelloFresh and Blue Apron advertise a startup deal for your first few boxes. Usually, it’s a certain dollar amount off your first three or four boxes. This is automatically added.
Other coupons show up in the mail, or you might get them from your friends for $60 off your first box. Jump on those when you find them, it's a deep discount. But using those precludes you from the automatic discount, which right now is $80 off the total.
Who Should Try HelloFresh?
Now that I’ve cooked with HelloFresh and Blue Apron and talked about different food delivery with my friends and coworkers, I have a better idea of who these services are really great for.
HelloFresh could be a great idea for these situations:
- Anyone looking to expand their recipes and try new styles of cooking
- People new to a diet (vegetarian, gluten-free, etc.) looking for help and inspiration
- Families wanting to focus on meal-time and preparing fresh food
- Retired couples that want to cook together but want the convenience of delivered food
A meal kit service can be a catalyst to get you or your family interested in cooking healthy meals.
Why We Cancelled HelloFresh
Okay, to round out my review, I want to share how long we stuck with HelloFresh and why we don’t use them anymore.
We used HelloFresh for six weeks, with a total of four orders (we skipped two weeks). Then I canceled it because for us after we used up the discount, it was more than we want to spend on food regularly.
For how much they cost, they took more work than I was expecting. The pre-portioned ingredients didn't seem to cut out much time compared to working with something at the grocery store.
I'm definitely glad I tried them because I learned new recipes and got to use new foods. Of the eight recipes we got from them, three of them I still make regularly in larger batches and with much cheaper ingredients.
Share Your Review
Once you've tried HelloFresh, please help the community by posting a review in the comments below.
What did you like and wasn't so great? Will you continue your subscription?
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