About a month and a half ago, I ordered some shoes. When they arrived, I was excited to see a coupon for HelloFresh meal service inside the cardboard box. Every time I go on Pinterest I see an advertisement for another meal planning service, but have never tried it because a) it seems expensive and b) we have food allergies/intolerances/preferences/issues up the wazoo. But when I saw this coupon, I got excited. I like to cook, and my re-entry into omnivorism after 15 years as a vegetarian/occasional vegan has me excited to eat meat again, so I went for it.
I’ve been getting requests for more product reviews, so here are my thoughts.
- When signing up on HelloFresh.com, you first select your box preference (classic or vegetarian). Then you choose how many people (2 or 4) and how many meals (3, 4, 5), There is also a family box (if your children eat non-beige food), which is expected to feed 2 children and 2 adults.
- Next, you select your preferred meals-this is not necessary, but since we are a little “choosy” I wanted to know exactly what we were getting. You select three meals from six choices. Options change each week. You can actually even get the recipes for free on HelloFresh.com
- Then select your drop off day. This is the day that you box will arrive (during the time window of 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.) This should have been easy, but I couldn’t figure it out, so here’s more info:
- When selecting your day, you are booking for the following week. So when I tried to select on a Sunday, I thought I was picking meals to come that Wednesday, but I was signing up for the next Wednesday. So I waited all day for my food and was confused when it didn’t arrive. The deadline for selecting meals/setting up the drop off day the Wednesday night the week before your shipment. After 2 online chats and one call to customer service I figured it out. My real disappointment was missing out on the meals I thought I ordered because I preferred them to the next week’s offerings.
- As I understand it, HelloFresh works with local grocers who select the ingredients and pack the boxes. They arrive via UPS and come with a tracking number.
Here’s the review:
- Recipes were good. For our first box (yes, we got two, I’ll explain below) we got a salmon recipe (written by Jamie Oliver, who provides at least one recipe each week) a grilled chicken fajita salad, and a seared pork chop with mushrooms recipe. I chose these over a pasta dish, a shrimp dish, and a breaded chicken dish. The recipes were easy to follow.
- Ability to select meals. In addition to choosing the meals you can set a meal type presence in your profile (Fit, Under 30 mins, Chef’s choice, etc.). This means if you forget to select meals, the ones automatically chosen will follow your profile. Though I will say many of the recipes overlap (e.g. chef’s choice recipes will have 2 of the same as fit recipes).
- Nice to get out of a rut. Maybe you are like us that you have 8-10 staple meals that you rotate through. It was nice to try something new, and not have to find the recipe on Pinterest or shop for the ingredients.
- Packaging was good. Everything was nicely separated and protected. The avocado in one of my boxes was not at all squished. A huge improvement to my own grocery shopping packing which usually involves hauling the food into the bags while trying to prevent my twins from running into the parking lot.
- Portion sizes were good. It felt like enough food for us, even though I had to leave out some ingredients (e.g. cheese) due to allergies. There was even with some extra ingredients such as more basil and garlic than called for in the recipe.
- You can skip weeks. If there is a week you know you will be away, or one where the meal choices don’t excite you, you can skip as many deliveries as you want. I was pleasantly surprised by this feature.
- Allergies-Though allergies are noted, and it is possible to simply leave out ingredients, there will be cross contamination due to the packaging. They also do not have a gluten-free option, which would’ve been great for us.
- Price**-Regular price is $69 for 3 meals for 2 people. But, I had a coupon. If you sign up using the code below, you will get $40 off coupon (even more than I got!), so then it’s only $29. I will gladly pay $29 for 3 meals for my husband and I that I don’t even need to shop for. That’s only $5/person/meal. I also select at least one steak or one seafood option because I feel like I’m getting my money’s worth.
**Use this code to get $40 off your first box: BVVPF4 **
- The deadline to order/cancel. That Wednesday night deadline got me with ordering, and then it got me again with canceling. I missed the Bi Bim Bap steak salad I wanted, and I wound up getting a second box, sadly at full price. Perhaps if you are more organized than me, this won’t be a problem