Truth time- I hate cooking. I'm a creative gal, so I know I should love it. But, cooking is not really crafting and I seriously hate doing it. I've recently started crock pot cooking, which is awesome because you dump everything in a pot and let it sit for 8 hours and it comes out delicious. But, that doesn't really work when you're at work all day. I'm a lucky lady and my husband cooks for us pretty much everyday, but I wanted to try to cook too. I mean, I'm planning to have kids someday and they have to eat, right?
Through a friend, I got a free trial of HelloFresh and I decided to give it a go. HelloFresh is a meal delivery service, where they send over the ingredients and instructions and you get to cook it. Before I dive into my thoughts, here's a few fun facts about me:
1. I hate cooking. It's confusing, boring, and doesn't taste as good as I expect it to.
2. Cooking takes way too long. Time spent cooking is time I'd rather spend on anything else. Ordering in takes about 10 minutes with zero cleanup.
3. I hate measuring and trying to manage 18 things all at once and not burn them.
Any of these sound like you? Please tell me I'm not alone here! Haha. So, I'll talk about HelloFresh from my perspective as the casual cook.
Each meal comes in its own little box, which is nice for keeping everything organized. Each box came labelled (except the chicken for some reason...) and fit nicely in the fridge. All the ingredients inside are packaged nicely and labelled as well. The meat comes outside the box, which is more of a fun fact about it than anything else.
Monty definitely wanted to try some food!
If you choose their classic plan, you get 6 meal choices. For the vegetarian and family plan, there are 3 handpicked meals but no choices. For the classic plan, they have a variety of meats and fish. to choose from. Personally, I don't really like seafood, and I don't eat beef or pork, so this really limited my options. I wish you could mix up the vegetarian and meat selections, since I don't always want meat. If you're trying to transition to being a vegetarian, I think signing up for this program would be great! You'd get a whole bunch of new and tasty recipes, so you're not just eating mac and cheese everyday. Yea... that's what I did when I tried to be a vegetarian years ago!
Since everything is individually packaged, you can replace or omit any ingredients you don't like. For example, we got a shrimp dish and a beef one that we replaced with chicken and turkey. Also, I HATE onions, so we didn't include them in any of the recipes that called for it.
At first glance, my fiancé said the portions seem really small. He's a big dude, and he eats a lot. He said the chicken seemed like enough just for him. However, once we made it he said that it felt like a good portion. I found that it was just enough food for the both of us without any leftovers, which was perfect for me. I'm not a big fan of leftovers!
I started cooking at 7:30 on the dot, although I preheated the oven while drafting up this blog post. Or at least... I thought I did. I think I turned on a 4 hr timer instead of turning it to 400 degrees. I hate cooking... Anyway, it took about one hour to cook. I did take some occasional notes snd snapped some photos, but most of that time was spent prepping or cooking. I think that an hour to cook isn't the longest time, but I was kinda hoping it would only take about 30 minutes. After 1.5 hours commuting home, I don't really want to cook for an hour too! However, I will say that having everything nicely together and not having to rummage through the cabinets to find things was great, especially since I usually find that I'm missing an ingredient I thought I had. With this, I never have to worry about that!
So I'm not sure if this is done on purpose, but some of the items are just enough for you to have, and others have some extra. Like the pistachios, which were not chopped. Maybe this is to give you that whole "look, I'm on a cooking show! vibe, but I found it to be time consuming. I finished chopping the pistachios just in time for the oven to heat up, but by the time I got the chicken in the oven, the quinoa had just finished cooking. Not the greatest timing, since the chicken needed 20 mins to cook.
Look ma, no hands [were harmed while chopping the pistachios].
Depending on which plan you choose, Hello Fresh is $8.74-$9.99 per person, per meal. If the price is too steep, you have the option to switch to a monthly or bi-weekly delivery. At $10/person, I found that the cost was almost the same as ordering in. While it's definitely healthier than ordering in, it still requires me to cook, which I don't really enjoy. My main reason for not ordering in is the cost, so ordering from here doesn't really help that. However, compared to similar services, HelloFresh is a good deal. It's in the median price range and the food is good quality.
Final Thoughts- Is HelloFresh worth it?
I think this depends. If you're looking for a huge selection to choose from, are a very picky eater (like me) or trying to stay within a budget, then HelloFresh might not be for you.
If you're trying to start cooking, transitioning to being a vegetarian, and not very picky, then YES! HelloFresh is definitely for you. I also think if you don't have the time or desire to go to the supermarket, but still want to cook, this is definitely a great service. If you're trying to stop ordering in so much but need something to break the habit, I think it's a great start!
The long and short of it?
YES- busy professionals, new vegetarians, those learning to cook, non-picky eaters, those trying to explore new recipes
MAYBE NOT- those on a budget, extremely picky eaters,