It all started on a girls weekend when my friend said she uses Hello Fresh every week and swears by it. Not only swears by it, but can give me a code to get my next box completely free.
Life lesson: Never turn down free food.
PRO: A+ packaging
I’m neurotic about perishables staying cold. The boyfriend can attest, the moment I put something cold into my grocery cart at Publix I instantly rush him through all of the aisle because “WE HAVE PERISHABLES!” But when I picked up my box the first week and dug inside, I was pleasantly surprise their amazing cool packs lining the box, with a double layer around the meats. The rest of the ingredients were divided up into organized bags for each recipe. An organizational freak’s dream!
CON: Cooking times
This is my biggest pet peeve with Hello Fresh. The prep or cook times are not super accurate. Do not get Hello Fresh because you think it will decrease your cook time and make your evening routine faster. Dishes that had a 5 minute prep time took me 15 minutes. Dishes that said a 20 minute cook time took 30 instead. I repeat: Hello Fresh does not make fast meals, but it does make delicious meals.
PRO: Seriously delicious recipes
I don’t want to brag, but I’m a fairly good cook, although Hello Fresh recipes took it to the next level. They give you little packages of all these amazing herbs (sage) and random ingredients (mustard seeds) that I never keep stocked in my fridge on a regular basis. There is no way to buy these ingredients in the perfect serving amount, so you end up with a whole bunch of parsley for $5 when all you needed was a tablespoon which should cost $0.50. Hello Fresh made it simple by supplying just enough of each random ingredient that made these recipes taste so much more flavorful that what I usually cook.
CON: I could not come up with a third “con”
What does that mean? I will still use them! Not having to plan all of the meals in advance and do a huge weekend run to the grocery store is so nice. Instead I walk to our local Publix, grab $20 of the essentials (milk, eggs, and avocados) and carry them home. My plan is to use Hello Fresh about once a month during two occasions; after I travel for a weekend and don’t have time to go to the grocery store or when I know I will have a quiet work week and won’t be stressed by coming home and cooking a more complex recipe.
I will admit, I just squeak by with enough protein for the boyfriend and myself, but I found I always had leftover sides. Whether extra salad, roasted veggies, or shallot orzo. It made it super simple and easy to combine the extras into non-Hello Fresh meals throughout the rest of the week I didn’t have meals for, all I needed to do was add protein. So really, a week of “three meals” is really more like “3 full meals and two half meals”, which is awesome if you are on a budget.
Also (since this is how I got sucked in) click here to get $40 off your first Hello Fresh box!
We got home from vacation late Monday night and my second week of Hello Fresh was waiting for me. Nothing better than having food waiting for you instead of looking into an empty fridge once you land back home starving. Fingers crossed I have another great experience!
Have you ever tried Hello Fresh or Blue Apron? What are your thoughts?