Hello Fresh! A Meal Subscription Service Review

A review of the Hello Fresh Meal Subscription Service. Read now or pin for later. - Health Happens at Home

Affiliate links are included in this post. Thanks for your support.

Do you ever wish someone would just deliver the ingredients for dinner to your door, so you could skip the grocery shopping? Well, if all you really need is for someone to pick out, bag up and put your groceries in your trunk, then you could try the Kroger ClickList.  But maybe you do not have time to even go to the store let alone plan a meal.  If this is you, then have you tried any of the new meal kit services that have recently become available? I recently tried one such option, Hello Fresh, for the first time and here is my review to help you decide if it right for you...

Hello Fresh is a meal subscription service, or also known as a meal kit service, where fresh, pre-measured ingredients and accompanying recipe are delivered right to your doorstep. It provides everything you need for a home-cooked meal in about 30 minutes. You can follow their set recipe schedule or you can select from alternate recipes.

Hello Fresh offers three types of boxes:

  1. Vegetarian (starting at $9.08 per meal/person; for 2 or 4 adults)
  2. Classic - the most popular box (starting at $9.90 per meal/person; for 2 or 4 adults) 
  3. Family Box, with child friendly recipes (starting at $8.75 per meal/person; for 2 adults and 2 children)

We tried the family box. We have picky eaters in our house and "child friendly recipes" sounded more promising than "new cuisine adventures" offered in the classic box. I also was worried quantities for 2 adults would be insufficient for our 2 adults and 3 small children, but the quantities in meals for 4 adults would be WAY too much. So the family box sounded like a better option for us. Each type of box comes with 2 meals so you can see how it adds up quickly for $8.75+ per person for two meals.  So each box will cost at least $70.00 for two meals.  This might sound reasonable for your family, but it is a stretch for my grocery budget.  Luckily, I signed up and used a discount code I received in the mail (not blogger or dietitian specific, just an ad). I received the regularly scheduled recipes and did not request any changes.

Then you select a specific day of the week for delivery that fits your busy schedule and they deliver it to the door.  Just don't forget!  Our kids had fun anticipating what food might be delivered.  It was kind of a mystery for all of us.


Let's Get Started...

 A look at the packaging...

A look at the packaging...

 All the ingredients for my first Hello Fresh meal: Pan seared chicken with roasted broccoli (not pictured...opps!) and mashed sweet potatoes.

All the ingredients for my first Hello Fresh meal: Pan seared chicken with roasted broccoli (not pictured...opps!) and mashed sweet potatoes.

 We were also getting ready for a camping trip so my counters were full of food to be packed...hence the graham crackers and Ale 8- 1 :)  Caught me!

We were also getting ready for a camping trip so my counters were full of food to be packed...hence the graham crackers and Ale 8- 1 :)  Caught me!

 
 This mini food processor attachment from my immersion blender works awesome for getting the shallots/onions into small enough pieces my kids don't revolt.

This mini food processor attachment from my immersion blender works awesome for getting the shallots/onions into small enough pieces my kids don't revolt.


The Results....

 This meal was delicious, but my kids refused it and opted for the back up food. I wish the dairy had been organic.

This meal was delicious, but my kids refused it and opted for the back up food. I wish the dairy had been organic.

Read more about back up foods in this post.

 This was delicious, too! My kids ate the pasta but not the zucchini. I substituted whole wheat pasta from my own pantry. Preferably the soy and zucchini would have been had been organic.

This was delicious, too! My kids ate the pasta but not the zucchini. I substituted whole wheat pasta from my own pantry. Preferably the soy and zucchini would have been had been organic.

 This was good, but a little too lemony. Probably a result of letting my daughter squeeze the lemon into the sauce.  A bit much maybe? Of course, I wish the pasta was whole wheat and bell peppers organic.

This was good, but a little too lemony. Probably a result of letting my daughter squeeze the lemon into the sauce.  A bit much maybe? Of course, I wish the pasta was whole wheat and bell peppers organic.

 This was just okay. The pork was fatty. Broccoli and mashed potatoes were good. The sauce was mediocre. I'd love to have organic dairy and vegetables on the dirty dozen list. 

This was just okay. The pork was fatty. Broccoli and mashed potatoes were good. The sauce was mediocre. I'd love to have organic dairy and vegetables on the dirty dozen list. 

What I liked:

  • Pre-measured ingredients for a specific recipe
  • Delivered to my door
  • Nothing too crazy, but new recipes mixed things up for us
  • Fresh herbs tasted great
  • Adults really enjoyed each meal
  • I have some new recipes if I ever want to make these again in the furture

What I didn't like:

  • While the adults really enjoyed the recipes, they were not all kid friendly enough for our family.  Kids defaulted to our back up food
  • The recipes were a little more involved than our usuals. It was doable for a few times a month, but I can't cook like this all the time with 3 small kids tearing my house apart while I cook. Let's be real...cooking time was more like an hour instead of 30 minutes (maybe I am just slow).
  • While the fresh herbs added some amazing flavor, they were tedious to work with and I was reminded of why I use dried most of the time
  • I was home for both deliveries and UPS did not ring the door bell or knock so my perishable food sat in the hot sun (temperature danger zone!) for a least an hour each time.  The food comes packed with reusable ice packs (which is nice), but is still a concern that the food could sit outside too long. 
  • I planned to try one delivery (2 meals) and went to cancel my subscription the day of the box's delivery only to find it was too late to cancel for the next week, so we were charged full price for another box (2 meals). 
  • Since we received 2 deliveries I was a bit disappointed in the meal offerings. In each box we received a meat, mashed potato, roasted broccoli meal and then a pasta dish. Again, I didn't request any changes to the scheduled recipes but would have loved more variety. 
  • The dairy, soy, and vegetables on the dirty dozen list were not organic. This isn't a deal breaker, but I try to do organic versions of these foods at home. Also the pasta was not whole wheat. I substituted whole wheat pasta I had on hand for one meal.
  • The pasta dishes felt incomplete compared to the meat, potato, broccoli meal. We added a salad from home so it wasn't a huge deal.
  • The cost. We live on a tight grocery budget. The price with the discount code was doable but the full price box is tough to swing on our budget.
  • When I went to cancel the subscription, Hello Fresh tried to keep me by offering alternate schedules (less frequent). I wish I had seen these options when I signed up, maybe it was just my oversight, but now you know!

The Verdict

If you have the room in your budget, Hello Fresh is a convenient and delicious option! If you don't have a big grocery budget consider trying a box with a discount code (CSVE3X), but don't forget (or wait too long) to cancel to avoid additional charges. And be aware there are alternate (less frequent) delivery schedules if you have limited money (or time for cooking).

Let me know in the comments section below if you have tried these before and your experiences.  What did you like and not like?  Would you do it again?  Or have you tried any of the other competitive brands?  Let me know! I would love to hear from you!

Don't forget that Health Happens at Home,

Erin Marie

 

An image to pin on Pinterest!

A review of the Hello Fresh Meal Kit service. Read now or pin for later. - Health Happens at Home

Affiliate Links were included in this post. Learn more here. For Hello Fresh links you get $40 off your first delivery and I receive a credit to my account.

 
Sweet Little Ones
 

 

 

Posted on June 9, 2016 and filed under Nutrition, Review.