If you have been around the internet long enough in the last couple of years you may have heard about the meal delivery services that have been popping up all over. There are several nationally known companies and to tell you the truth I am not very familiar or bias to a specific one. Although the basic premise is the same, you choose your meals ahead of time-based on your likes and the number of people you want to serve and how many meals you want that week. You pick your shipping day and then your meals will arrive individually packaged and ready for you to prepare along with detailed instructions for the preparation.
This post deviates from my normal DIY and decor tutorials and this is because I also want to use this platform to share my experiences for the benefit of others.
I really had no intention of ever doing one of these services but I received a package I had ordered from an unrelated company that contained a coupon for HelloFresh for 50% off the first 2 boxes delivered. Now normally in the past I would have recycled the coupon like most I receive in the mail. But this time I was intrigued. You see lately our lives have been more chaotic with extra-curricular activities for the kids, school functions, school volunteer hours, work, general house tasks and trying to work on this side hustle of blogging. To say that some days are stressful is an understatement.
One choice that I wanted to be easier was dinnertime meals. Now our kids are generally picky eaters and usually don’t eat what I cook (they are both starting to branch out though!) Justin usually works late hours, not arriving home until between 6:30-7:00 and with some of the extra-curricular activities I am the one shuttling to and from and meals are the last minute thought. I have tried meal planning in the past and I am just terrible at it. I am sure if I sat down and actually thought out my grocery planning and meals it might work out but I would rather be DIY’ing something or gardening or being creative with my free time.
So enter Hello Fresh. Now as I said above I did not have experience with one company over the other and the only reason I chose Hello Fresh was because of the coupon we received in the mail. This is not a paid sponsorship from Hello Fresh, I bought their plans myself and just thought I would share what I learned for anyone else who may have thought of it as well.
The plan we opted for is the 3 meals a week for 2 people because again I knew the kids wouldn’t eat it. I ordered on a Tuesday and the first day available for delivery to my area was that Friday. I carefully chose 3 meals consisting of Gouda Pork Burgers, Fiesta Chicken Fajitas and Chicken Stir-fry. One thing to note is that they have gourmet meal options and dinner/lunch in the list of meals that week. But in the fine print for those meals, you will pay an extra $5.99 a person. Although those meals sounded great I was trying to pay as little as possible for these meals. And for anyone who has allergies or preferences for meal options they do have a preference list that you can specify that includes such options as pork free, family-friendly, quick, beef-free, etc.
The box arrived on a day that the school was having an event and I was gone all day helping volunteer with this. I was pleasantly pleased to open the box when I arrived home later that afternoon to the 3 meals all tucked inside a well-insulated box with heavy duty ice packs around them. There were 3 paper bags each individually labeled with their meal contents and then the protein meats for each meal were vacuum packed separately from the rest of the ingredients. That late afternoon I also had planned an early DIY gathering with some friends so dinner was the last thing on my mind that night.
I was grateful to know that after everyone left my hosted gathering I could pull out one of the meals and start immediately prepping. We chose to have the pork Gouda burgers with potato wedges. The instructions were easy to follow with pictures to show the steps as we went. By the time I had started Justin was home so he was able to lend a hand and help. And I was appreciative of that and I think he really enjoyed the very thought out instructions. He is usually one who gets overwhelmed in the kitchen trying to manage different tasks at one time but since all the ingredients were mostly prepped this made it a breeze.
Now after we received the first 2 boxes for a total of 6 meals over 2 weeks I did go online to my Hello Fresh account and put our deliveries on hold. This way you don’t get charged but you still have an account in case you want to activate it. If you don’t hold or cancel your account and don’t choose the meals you want they will automatically pick 3 meals for you to send, so the downfall is remembering to do this before it’s too late. (Now I haven’t had an issue with this so I haven’t experienced what would happen if you didn’t hold your week and were sent meals you didn’t want.)
I have chosen to keep my account active and not cancel it altogether. The reason for this is that when my birthday came earlier this year I chose to have a delivery of 3 meals from Hello Fresh that week so that I didn’t have to worry about cooking/planning meals the week of my birthday! This way I can activate a week if I know we are going to be super busy with school, extra-curricular and such and that way we don’t have to go out to eat.
Would I Recommend Hello Fresh?
So the answer to the question of if I would recommend Hello Fresh to someone else is YES! But….only for the reasons, I mentioned above. For our family, it would not be affordable to get meal delivery every single week but for those foreseeable busy weeks, it makes total sense for us.
Like I mentioned, in the beginning, I chose to try Hello Fresh because of a coupon code I received. Most of the coupon offers out there are for your first-time use with Hello Fresh, although they do send emails with occasional special offers. For our plan (3 meals/week for 2 people) without any discounts applied the total is $53.94 (+$6.99 for shipping). So with shipping that breaks down to $20.31 per meal or $10.15 per person. Now if you eat out a lot that is completely reasonable for a meal but since I normally cook most nights that is a little steep to pay every single night of the week.
I can definitely see a meal delivery service being beneficial for some and not others, it is all going to depend on your personal preferences.
Hello Fresh is also run on a referral program, so that means if you refer one or several friends/neighbors/etc and they use your link they will get an offer of $40 off their first order and you will earn $20 off your next order. That being said here is my referral link if you are at all interested.
If you end up trying Hello Fresh or another service I would love to hear your thoughts! Just leave a comment below