Back in September I tried Blue Apron, my first experience with delivery ready-to-cook recipes, and was more impressed with the service than I thought I’d be (Read my full review here!), so when a promo code for Hello Fresh popped up in my inbox, I decided to give them a shot!
Hello Fresh is a meal delivery service that delivers fresh ingredients along with approachable recipes to your doorstep, and all you have to do is cook. There are a number of services like this, so I have been interested to see how they stack up. Here’s what I thought:
I enjoy cooking, and don’t mind going to the grocery so long as there is time (and not a foot of snow since I don’t have a car!), so I like to use these services for those weeks I’m pressed for time and meal planning feels like a stress. The week I chose was the week between Christmas and New Years – a busy time for a lot of people! My husband and I traveled to my in-laws for the holiday, and drove back to Chicago on Christmas day (a Sunday) so I knew I’d be pressed for time and getting back late would leave little time to meal plan.
I originally set my delivery for Tuesday since there were no deliveries the day after Christmas, but that week received an email saying my package was delayed. I was planning on a Hello Fresh meal that night and had to scramble to put something together with what was in the freezer. I was honestly a little put off by this, thinking if this is a regular thing then I cannot depend on it. But, I emailed the customer service and was responded to within the hour that due to the holiday all the deliveries were thrown off and I had been credited $20 towards my next delivery. They got their star back!
Ordering was simple, and “pausing” the next few weeks was easy as I don’t plan on using any service week after week, and when I’m ready for my next delivery I simply un-pause that week. They have the menu up for weeks in advance to you can easily access the options to decide if you want deliveries that week. Brett doesn’t do seafood so I selected the options we would both eat and was good to go!
Later that week my delivery arrived (I also received UPS notices leading up to it so I knew when it was on its way), and I brought one large box inside and opened her up.
Everything was contained in a large silver insulated bag with a large dry ice pack at the bottom. I will say the packaging from Hello Fresh was a bit better than Blue Apron in that each meal was contained within an individual box (aside from the meat) as opposed to sorting through the labels.
We decided to cook the Shawarma Spiced Pork for our first meal, and I was happy to see the instructions had pictures. Again, I like to cook, I know how to cook, and I don’t *need* the pictures, but I like them and think it’s easier to process then just reading the instructions.
The ingredients were well labeled and packaged in the portions you need, all you have to do is chop or slice.
The meal came together easily and was my favorite of the 3!
Over the next week I made the two remaining meals, and was happy that they made nearly 3 meals each even though they were meant for 2. I had a good lunch sized portion left over which was helpful during the week.
The pork stood out of the 3 recipes I made, and I have the recipe card to recreate it whenever I want. The chicken was good and I’d definitely make the glaze again, but the veggies were a bit uninspired and I ended up adding different seasonings to give it more flavor.
The quality of the ingredients were on par with the price, even if I had not had a promo code, and since I didn’t waste any I do see the opportunity for saving. I’m looking ahead on my calendar to schedule my next delivery and use my credit!
Have you used a meal delivery service? What was your experience?