Two months with HelloFresh: A quick look at the cost and quality of HelloFresh recipes

Two months with HelloFresh: A quick look at the cost and quality of HelloFresh recipes

When I published my first HelloFresh review last June, I liked the popular meal-delivery service. Kim's employer had given us a one-week free trial. The three recipes we received were fun and tasty. In the end, we chose not to sign up with HelloFresh but resolved to remember it for the future.

At the end of 2018, as I was evaluating my spending patterns, I was shocked by how much I was spending on food. It's embarrassing to show the following numbers, but facts are facts and truth is truth. I was spending over $1100 per month on food.

2018 food spending

“Something needs to change,” I told Kim. “Maybe we should try HelloFresh again to see if it can help us cut costs.”

“Do you think so?” Kim siad. “Isn't HelloFresh kind of expensive?”

“It's not that bad,” I said. “Besides, if having meals delivered can keep us from dining out so often, and if it can keep me from splurging at the grocery store, it might actually save us money.”

I signed us up.

For two months — January and February — we received three HelloFresh recipes each week. Based on our experience, here's a new, revised review of HelloFresh.

HelloFresh Cost

Because I'm a nerd, I kept stats on our HelloFresh experience. I tracked the recipes we received, how much time it took to prepare them, and whether or not we thought the food was good.

Over these two months (about seven weeks), we tried 21 different HelloFresh recipes. Of these, only two were lousy (both tacos). A few were great. Most were good, and we'd happily eat them again. In fact, we're saving the recipe cards so that we can try to duplicate the recipes on our own (and compare costs buying ingredients from the grocery store).

Here's a complete list of the HelloFresh recipes we tried (with links to the recipes themselves).

  • 09 Jan 2019 — Seared Sirloin Steak and Shallot Demi-Glace with caramelized onion mashed potatoes and green salad (A) — This is one of the expensive meals. It was good.
  • 10 Jan 2019 — Chicken Cutlets with Scallion Sriracha Pesto over cilantro rice with ginger soy carrots (B-) — 20-minute meal. A good idea but didn't come out well.
  • 14 Jan 2019 — Figgy Balsamic Pork with roasted green beans and rosemary potatoes (B+) — Hall of fame. Pretty good, even the green beans (which I don't usually like).
  • 16 Jan 2019 —Lauren Conrad's Chicken Tacos with radish tomato pico de gallo and avocado (D) — The only truly bad recipe of the entire bunch. Neither of us liked this.
  • 17 Jan 2019 — Pasta Parmesan with zucchini, tuscan herbs, and marinara sauce (B) — A good idea but needs meat.
  • 20 Jan 2019 — Sweet ‘n' Smoky Pork Chops with apple carrot slaw, mashed potatoes, and cherry sauce (A-) — Hall of fame. Tasty.
  • 23 Jan 2019 — Pork and Poblano Tacos with kiwi salsa and lime crema (B) — Hall of fame. Not bad but beginning to think Hello Fresh tacos are never going to knock it out of the park.
  • 24 Jan 2019 — Salsa Verde Enchiladas with poblano pepper, black beans, and monterey jack cheese (B+) — 20-minute meal. Not nearly enough cheese. Also added chicken, which helped. Tomato was bad.
  • 25 Jan 2019 — Shrimp Spaghetti with a Kick with garlic herb butter and zucchini (A-) — Great flavor but could have used more veggies.
  • 30 Jan 2019 — Creamy Tuscan Beef and Penne with kale and permesan (A) — Delicious and plentiful. One of the best so far.
  • 31 Jan 2019 — Chicken Pineapple Quesadillas with pico de gallo and southwest spice (A- with caveats) — Did not ship with required tomato. Way too much filling — could have used two more tortillas.
  • 01 Feb 2019 — Pork Bulgogi Meatballs with carrots and zucchini over rice (A-) — Tasty and different.
  • 06 Feb 2019 — Pineapple Poblano Beef Tacos with lime crema and cilantro (A) — 20-minute meal. This is very good and we'd eat it all the time.

HelloFresh Recipe Card

  • 07 Feb 2019 — Korean-style Chicken Thighs with sesame cucumber salad and jasmine rice (A) — Another delicious meal we'd never have tried otherwise.
  • 09 Feb 2019 — Sirloin Steak Provençal with truffle cream, roasted carrots, and potatoes (A-) — Deluxe gourmet meal. A little salty but otherwise very good.
  • 13 Feb 2019 — Crispy Southwest Chicken Cutlets with monterey jack, mashed potatoes, and roasted poblano and onion (A+) — Holy cats! This was amazing. We will absolutely be attempting this on our own.
  • 15 Feb 2019 — Balsamic-and-Fig Beef Tenderloin with garlic mashed potatoes and rosemary breadcrumb brussels sprouts (A-) — Deluxe gourmet recipe. Very good.
  • 16 Feb 2019 — Cherry Balsamic Pork Chops with garlic herb couscous and roasted broccoli (B) — Hall of fame. Not bad but the sauce never thickened up.
  • 21 Feb 2019 — Chipotle-Spiced Tilapia Tacos with kiwi pico de gallo and chipotle crema (C-) — Another crappy taco recipe. Not sure why they can't get tacos right.
  • 25 Feb 2019 — Cheesy Chicken Shepherd's Pie with peas and carrot (B) — Not bad but could use more chicken. Also, the single supplied small carrot was rubbery.
  • 26 Feb 2019 — Shake It Up! Pork Cutlets with garlic bread and an apple and sunflower seed salad (B+) — Tasty but not super.

After preparing 21 meals from HelloFresh, Kim and I have some definite opinions about the service.

First — and perhaps most importantly — the food is generally good, if not always great. We've saved the recipe cards and plan to make many of them again on our own.

HelloFresh Finished Meal

Only one of the recipes was truly awful (Lauren Conrad's chicken tacos) and another was meh. We'd eat everything else again. Also: Aside from the pineapple poblano beef tacos, the Hello Fresh taco recipes just aren't very good, which was disappointing. Kim and I like tacos, but not most of these.

Second, the HelloFresh recipes provide clear instructions, even if the prop times are a bit optimistic. In 21 recipes, there were only two or three occasions where the instructions were unclear. That's a good success rate.

Each recipe lists a prep time and a total time. Realistically speaking, you can simply ignore the prep time. Almost all of it is prep time. (Talking with other HelloFresh users, they back me up on this.) So, if it says 10 minutes prep time and 20 minutes total time, just count on working in the kitchen for that entire 20 minutes.

Third, the gourmet meals aren't always worth the extra price. Each week, you can choose to upgrade to certain deluxe meals. Doing so costs an extra $12 to $16. These deluxe meals are good, but from our experience they're no better than the less-expensive normal meals.

The Bottom Line

The real question is: Did signing up for HelloFresh help me meet my goal? Was I able to reduce my monthly food spending? I'm pleased to report that the answer is a resounding YES!

As you can see from the following report, I spent just over $700 per month on food during January and February.

2019 food spending

I find it interesting that if you combine my HelloFresh and grocery expenses for the past couple of months, the total is roughly the same as what I was spending for groceries alone before. Where HelloFresh really helped was with our restaurant spending.

The objective numbers reflect our subjective experience, too.

Because the HelloFresh recipes produce higher-quality food than we usually make on our own, we were far less tempted to dine out. When we did eat out, it's because we were doing something special, not because we were being lazy or unexcited about the food we had at home.

During the past seven weeks, I paid a total of $323.52 to Hello Fresh. This includes three discounted weeks during the trial period, plus three weeks during which I paid extra ($11.98 or $15.98, depending) for special meals.

This averages out to $46.22 per week for six meals (three meals each for two people), or about $7.70 per meal per person. Kim and I feel like this cost was worth it. We like the convenience, the clear instructions, and the general quality of the meals.

Having said that, things weren't perfect. Some recipes were better than others. There were problems with the produce. It sucks to get halfway through a recipe and realize that HelloFresh didn't send you the required tomato. Or that the carrot is made of rubber. Or that there's way too much filling for two quesadillas.

HelloFresh recipe cards

In the end, Kim and I both agree that we'd like to resume our HelloFresh experiment in the future. Right now, though, Kim is going on a special diet in preparation for knee surgery. I'm going to reduce my calorie intake so that I can get un-fat. We'll have to bring this round of the experiment to a close.

I'm curious to see how my grocery spending will change during the next month or two. For the next month, my food bill should reflect only my consumption. During normal months, there's a lot of cross-over, I think. I buy stuff for both of us, and so does she. But my food numbers for March should reflect me and me alone.

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Kiryn Silverwing
Kiryn Silverwing
1 year ago

This is the kind of review I love to see. It really makes me think about how to potentially cut down my food spending. One of our bigger reasons for going out to eat is when my husband is working from home during the week, and he gets cabin fever badly if he stays in the house for 24 hours straight. Hello Fresh doesn’t really solve that problem, so I’m not sure it’s the best solution right now. That said, in a year or two when I’ve finished my degree and gone back to work (and have less time to… Read more »

Eileen
Eileen
1 year ago

Nice JD. I’ve commented on your food spending and how meal planning makes a difference (to us), but I’d never tried one of the services. I decided to give it a shot! We did 3 weeks of Hello Fresh (discounted period, 3 meals/week) and then decided to try Blue Apron for their discounted period (we did 2 off weeks between) but only 2 meals/week. I have enjoyed almost all of the recipes with a few exceptions — very similar to you. For us, it didn’t reduce our food bill as it hasn’t changed our dining out, but I think I… Read more »

Eileen
Eileen
1 year ago
Reply to  J.D. Roth

Good to know. I stepped thru the “Account Settings” on the app and when it got to “cancel” it gave me a number. So for about 5 weeks I’ve just been “skipping” each week (clearly I hate the phone too). Will give the website a try. Thanks.

Pam
Pam
1 year ago

I have been using Hello Fresh for about 3 months. I have 3 college aged sons living home, so basically 5 adults. This has saved us a ton of $ not eating out. The recipes aren’t rocket science and doing it from scratch might be a but cheaper. BUT…I save a ton of time not meal planning, prepping or going to the grocery store. I don’t throw away leftovers, and my husband or kids will cook because it is so easy. So for us, at this stage of our lives, it is working well. Rarely are 5 of us home… Read more »

Brad
Brad
1 year ago

Just curious, did the food arrive once a week or day by day? Is there a delivery person that you have to tip too?

S.G.
S.G.
1 year ago
Reply to  Brad

They arrive all at once shipped via UPS/Fedex (can’t remember carrier). I found that hard to get used to as they arrive midweek.

Eileen
Eileen
1 year ago
Reply to  S.G.

I think it depends on when/how you set it up. Our Hello Fresh box always arrived on Monday. Our Blue Apron arrives on Wednesday (we only do 2 meals with them, so that’s fine — I’m on autopilot after Tuesday because BA provides Wed/Thu meals and we go out on Friday).

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
1 year ago

Am I odd that I find weird that people budget eating out as “food” and not “entertainment”?

Yes, yes, one “eats,” but nutritionally, it’s an awful bang for the buck, and not even convenient due to the time it takes up. Really should not be a source for macronutrients unless you’re on an expense account. No?

I see eating out more as a spectacle than anything else. Like going to the theater, or a sports game, to be wowed by something. Otherwise, not worth the money.

No?

S.G.
S.G.
1 year ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

In my budget eating out is its own category. It’s not entertainment or food. In fact I have “lunch” and “eating out”. I often eat out for lunch, but it’s just for me as an individual. “Eating out” is when my whole family goes out.

I agree that it’s not the same thing. A restaurant meal is 3-4x the price of raw food. The only place I can see it crossing over is if you’re looking at pre-prepared food. I usually consider a Costco chicken or similar hot food at still groceries.

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
1 year ago
Reply to  S.G.

Right! We cook lunch on the weekend and then brownbag/eat at home, but I keep something like $20 for when caught on the road and need a cheeseburger. Labeled “street food”. Rarely gets used but it’s there. I meant “entertainment” in the general sense that it’s something one does for fun (“the whole family goes out”) rather than to fill the need for nutritious meals, so, in that sense, yes, not a grocery substitute, but a party situation. I actually work restaurant expenses into “travel,” which is when we get away for the weekend and go somewhere we *really* like,… Read more »

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
1 year ago
Reply to  J.D. Roth

It’s a substitution, yes, but to me it’s kind of like going to a hotel for the weekend and counting it as housing expenses.

But… this is why I feel I’m maybe out of step with the population. People are eating out more than ever, so maybe that’s what “food” is for many. I just can’t do it, ha ha ha. I’m old school! (Old man yells at cloud).

olga
olga
1 year ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

I am with you, I always count eating out as an entertainment, and a special occasion/meaning. Between the money spent on it and obscene amount of calories consumed, I am not surprised eating out is “eating into” people’s potential savings and waistlines.

Kingston
Kingston
1 year ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

I also categorize eating out as entertainment rather than food.

Peter
Peter
1 year ago
Reply to  Kingston

Me too. You are comparing apples with oranges. Hello Fresh is for the families Havetoomuch and Muchtoospend as far as I am concerned. If possible take your bike and do your own shopping. That save you even more money.

FoxTesla
FoxTesla
1 year ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

If you are looking exclusively at this in the sense of a sit-down full meal, ok, maybe you could make a “luxury food/dining = entertainment” case, sure. But “McDonalds drive-thru instead of starting cooking at 7 pm because tonight was kids’ gymnastics night” does not fit that definition; should I make a new category of convenience? Seems over the top.

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
1 year ago
Reply to  FoxTesla

Well, the over the top (or not) depends on what you want to control, and therefore measure. How much granularity you want to apply to your budget is up to you. J.D.’s motto here was/is “do what works for you” and that still applies. A street food budget (not “dining out”) was important to me in the past, for three reasons 1) obvious cost control, 2) it’s a marker for chaos (it’s how we coped with being overwhelmed), 3) “health” or whatever Creating a new line item in my budget takes negligible effort. Sending each new transaction to its line… Read more »

Eileen
Eileen
1 year ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

I have categories that are “groceries”, “dining out”, “entertainment”. Entertainment includes our theater, sports, concert tickets. If we buy food or drink/booze AT one of those events, I include that in Entertainment (because it’s ridiculously expensive but becomes part of the “entertainment” event).

I generally record in categories so I can look at any given one and determine if it’s a need or want and quickly see how much we could cut back if we wanted/needed.

Coopersmith
Coopersmith
1 year ago

The one thing that I will forever be thankful for is my mother teaching me how to cook and I do mean cook. I have taken it to the next level in actually pushing the cooking into the chef level as a hobby. My wife loves that I cook as she not so much. I have over the past 25 year hosted Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas dinners for the whole family and one of them was for 24 people. This can be very intimidating to some. If you are not into cooking like I am hello fresh sounds a good… Read more »

Joe
Joe
1 year ago

Good move with Hello Fresh. I think cooking more good food will help improve your cooking skill. Once you have the basics down, then you can just look for recipes on YouTube. That’s a great resource.
Hopefully, you’ll be able to keep the food bill down in March. Good luck!

S.G.
S.G.
1 year ago
Reply to  Joe

After the basics I would recommend a Cooks Illustrated/America’s Test Kitchen cookbook before the internet. The reason I say this is because ATK does A LOT of legwork to develop bullet proof recipes that appeal to the highest number of people. If you read their recipe development you will develop the skills needed to read a recipe and tell if it’s within your skill level and if it’s something you would like to eat. As I was learning to cook one of the most frustrating things I found was how many recipes I just didn’t like. But I didn’t realize… Read more »

S.G.
S.G.
1 year ago

I think what some of us frugality snobs fail to take into account is that many people don’t have the skill or desire to learn to plan out meals or cook. The long term solution is to build these skills just like any other. But Hello Fresh can definitely fill a gap that exists for people willing to put in the time, but unable to for some reason. It actually takes an amazing amount of skill to be able to read a recipe and know if it’s something you (and your family) are likely to find tasty. And if it’s… Read more »

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
1 year ago
Reply to  S.G.

Yeah there are definitely barriers to cooking. I can cook, and I like it, but there’s also the time and energy that it takes to plan, shop, prep, cook, clean, etc. Plus there’s the cost of real estate & maintenance, appliances & repairs, utensils, non-edible supplies, utilities, etc. Cooking can be a pain and get out of control and leave you exhausted. For this reason I’ve actually given Soylent a serious look. Drink all your nutrients for the day from a bottle? Yes please! In theory anyway… Unfortunately the formula is not quite there yet, people have experienced negative effects,… Read more »

Eileen
Eileen
1 year ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

I have held off on an Instant Pot, but I suspect that might change at some point. We have just enough space in our pantry for the small appliances we use and I don’t want it sitting on the counter. I’m sure we could figure the storage out though.

One day…

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
1 year ago
Reply to  Eileen

I keep mine next to the microwave. It’s a bit bulky, yes. But it’s the new kitchen star no doubt. Got the Costco version. I waited out the hype too. Now it’s gotten to the point where I could get rid of my stove and oven. I make everything in it. I even made a flan in it the other day (sauteed to make the caramel, then switched to slow cook mode after pouring the custard). Yep, didnt even use a container on the trivet—just BLAM direct low fire. The only shortcoming is I can’t fit a whole picnic roast… Read more »

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
1 year ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

Man. I was googling you an instapot pulled pork recipe and the cooking blogs are so damn… talky. We should do a streamlined, no-bs, macronutriend oriented, money-saving cooking blog. Just barebones text. Calories, macros, and cost per portion. Like a note.

S.G.
S.G.
1 year ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

No! The pressure cooker is nice. But if you’re pulling pork it’s gotta be smoked! (Unless you’re making carne adovada. I might forgive you for carne.)

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
1 year ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

See, this nouveau food hipsterism is why people feel discouraged to cook.

Smoked paprika or liquid smoke will give you great taste without having to sweat over a barbecue pit for hours.or

Get cookin already! No excuses…

https://www.seriouseats.com/2013/11/pantry-essentials-liquid-smoke.html

Eileen
Eileen
1 year ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

Our microwave is under counter (not the fancy drawer kind…maybe one day) but in a specific opening. We renovated our kitchen completely last year due a leaking dishwasher that did some damage. We doubled the budget from the insurance coverage and updated our 1978 kitchen to the one of our dreams. We have FAR more usable counter space now, but I’m really militant when it comes to NOT filling it up. We’ve got a toaster oven on the counter and that’s about it. I think if we got an instant pot, I’d be able to get rid of my rice… Read more »

S.G.
S.G.
1 year ago
Reply to  Eileen

I’m sad for you that you think that.

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
1 year ago
Reply to  S.G.

You pity my love of smoked paprika?? Why??

S.G.
S.G.
1 year ago
Reply to  S.G.

Smoked paprika is fine. The fact that you think smoking a shoulder can be replaced with it is just…I have no words. Poor you.

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
1 year ago
Reply to  S.G.

LOL!

We’re talking about home cooking here, not road trips to Memphis.

Enjoy tending to your barbecue pit this weekend I guess…

S.G.
S.G.
1 year ago
Reply to  S.G.

With the tight equipment it isnt a big deal at all.

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
1 year ago
Reply to  S.G.

Not interested in either new equipment or virtue signals.

Weren’t you just talking about how great America’s Test Kitchen and Cook’s Illustrated are?

Well here you go then:

https://www.cooksillustrated.com/videos/421-indoor-pulled-pork-with-sweet-and-tangy-barbecue-sauce

Feel free to give them your pity.

LOL!

S.G.
S.G.
1 year ago
Reply to  S.G.

What virtue is being signaled?

Smoked pork is infinitely easy for me bc I get a division by zero error: DH does outside cooking.

We also do a lot of smoking in summer bc we dont have AC (in NM). And did I mention I pawn off the labor onto my meat loving husband?

Our smoker is amazing. DH loves experimenting with it and it has saved us money bc it’s so darned easy to use and clean up.

Keith2.0
Keith2.0
1 year ago

Food remains as one of my biggest frustrations with respect to how much of our budget it consumes. For two of us we spend on average $1,700 a month on groceries and meals out. When I see the fire community feeding families of 5 or 6 on less than $500 a month I’m left scratching my head. We live in the Dallas Texas area so one of the more expensive locations. We shop at Tom Thumb and Kroger which are not cheap. I took over the grocery shopping when I retired just to see if I could lower our spend… Read more »

Eileen
Eileen
1 year ago
Reply to  Keith2.0

It seems like you really need to separate the dining out and groceries and decide which one is the one you want to reduce. If you are spending $500 plus on dining out, then it’s no shock that your total “food” bill is over $1000 if you’ve got children. If you are doing takeout/dining out once a week with just your family, then adding 2 add’l dining out with family+ and that totals $500 — you are talking about $500 for 6-8 meals. You are feeding your entire family for 22-24 days for nearly the same amount of money! If… Read more »

Keith2.0
Keith2.0
1 year ago
Reply to  Eileen

We do have separate budget categories for Food, Food-out and Entertainment. Agree with an early comment in that we too budget food/drink while at movies, concerts, sporting events as entertainment but food purchase when the primary purpose of the outing was lunch or diner as “food-out”. Our kids are all in their mid to late 20s so we have eaten a life time of pizzas. We will still eat pizza from time to time – eating out, home delivery and even home made but the kids are more into the adult meals these days. This part of my budget is… Read more »

S.G.
S.G.
1 year ago
Reply to  Keith2.0

What is your food waste like? When my husband cooks I find we get a lot of food waste because he isn’t sizing the meals appropriately and he doesn’t have a plan for leftovers.

I have some ideas of what your possible issues could be. But if you could be more specific with your numbers people around here would be willing to help. I bet J.D. would be willing to turn it into an “ask the reader” post. We just need more details.

Keith2.0
Keith2.0
1 year ago
Reply to  S.G.

One area that I think we are doing much better in the past year is food waste – in two ways. We make much less and we do a better job of eating the left overs. I will also eat things that are older than my DW will. The day the “best buy” date hits the DW has no interest in eating it where I have no issue with 5 days past in most instances. I do appreciate your and Eileen’s comments. If this was life-or-death I’m sure we could get it under control or reduce it below what I… Read more »

S.G.
S.G.
1 year ago
Reply to  Keith2.0

I am in the same camp of spending more than I want to on food. But really the question comes down to if you could eat just as well as you do now if you adjusted your system. My DH isn’t as into money and FI as I am, so a lot of my tradeoffs have to be straight across trades for him with no reduction in perceived quality. That’s especially true of food. So I am very conscious of the frustration you are facing. And I found that even the things I couldn’t change, once I knew where they… Read more »

Keith Landau
Keith Landau
1 year ago
Reply to  S.G.

Amen S.G….It reminds me of a conversation I have often with my 84 year old mother who doesn’t like to pay taxes (hey-who does 🙂 ). She says “I don’t understand” and my reply is “you understand, you just don’t like it”. Now I have to look in the mirror and tell myself – you DO understand it…you just don’t LIKE it. lol

Eileen
Eileen
1 year ago
Reply to  Keith2.0

I hear you. Dining out has been more “spend too much” from the time I got a job. We NEVER ate out in my childhood (literally never), so it’s always been a thing I’ve enjoyed (in addition to the not cooking and not cleaning up). Our kids (also in 20s) would not go for pizza all the time either (didn’t realize they were older). That DOES make for a more expensive outing. One of ours lives out of state and the other has JUST moved out on his own, so we’re not feeding them very often these days. Once our… Read more »

Marcia
Marcia
1 year ago

You did wonderfully in January and February! Using your new system really saved you some money!
I rarely go over $100 in dining out for the month and that’s how I’d like to keep it. That gives me more money to spend elsewhere (or save).

I think I’m going to an all fruits & vegetables for one meal per day (Less calories and effort). I use a walker and everything takes effort.

dh
dh
1 year ago

I just own one saucepan, but I can cook white rice and frozen veggies all together in the same pot in about 20 minutes, to which I then add some refrigerated kimchi to cool it all down, as it’s too hot to eat when it’s first done cooking. A person could use quinoa instead of rice if they want a whole grain that cooks as quickly as white rice. This is a good post:

http://tynan.com/cook-a-super-healthy-meal-in-one-pot-in-twenty-minutes

And then there’s one-pot spaghetti too:

https://www.familyfoodonthetable.com/one-pot-vegetarian-spaghetti/

C N
C N
1 year ago

What kind of container does this ship in & do you find it hard to dispose of? Curious because another family member is using a diet food service and the frozen stuff is shipped in large styrofoam containers that are VERY hard to responsibly get rid of! I’ve been able to give most away but unfortunately have had to trash a couple. No recycling here for styrofoam. 🙁

Donna Crane
Donna Crane
5 months ago
Reply to  C N

I have a neighbor who uses her HelloFresh styrofoam containers to make outdoor houses for stray/outdoor cats. She gives them to others who have an interest in animal welfare. I agree though that styrofoam is a problem to dispose of satisfactorily. I cook most of the time, from scratch, and have found that I can make “almost” everything in my Instant Pot. I plan for left-overs, use reusable trays with lids to freeze stuff & have erasable labels to name & date the frozen meals to reheat later. We rarely eat out, and if we do it is definitely entertainment.… Read more »

RH
RH
1 year ago

What are your thoughts about the packaging and waste with these subscription food services? Each week we had multiple ice packs to toss, a fluffy insulating blanket to toss, and numerous plastic clam shells to toss. Have they improved on this since last time you tried Hello Fresh? Also, what do you use to keep track of your costs? Mint?

Eileen
Eileen
1 year ago
Reply to  RH

I think JD uses Quicken? For Hello Fresh, they come as JD describes and inside there is a “brown bag” that holds the specific items for each meal (the meat is separate at the bottom in plastic packaging that would be similar to if you’d purchased it from the store). The items in the brown bag are lose (like potatoes) or in smaller containers (like a small vial of vinegar). I never got any plastic clam shells. For Blue Apron, also no plastic clam shells, but items in clear plastic bags. Small items for each mean (like sauces and seasoning)… Read more »

Frances
Frances
1 year ago

Years ago. somebody wrote an article, or maybe a book Cook For a Day, Eat For a Month. Google it. Lots of ideas for cooking and freezing. You can do main dish, then add a veggie side and/or salad.

If you like Hello Fresh, you might want to check into Blue Apron. They’ve teamed up with WW ( Weight Watchers ) to provide healthy, well-balanced meals. I haven’t tried it yet, but several people in the meetings I go to have tried and, and have been happy.

Daren
Daren
1 year ago

Have used Hello Fresh, Blue Apron, Home Chef and Plated at various times in the last 5 years. All cost about the same. For us, 3 portions from Plated feeds our family of 4 comfortably, and my kids are 18 & 14 yo girls. For us, Plated gives the best value, balancing food quality, cost, cooking time, etc. Plated is now owned by Albertsons, so they have strong backing. One big plus is reduced waste, especially of infrequently used ingredients. The smallest cans of “chili in adobo sauce” are about 1/2 cup, but the most a recipe calls for is… Read more »

Adam
Adam
1 year ago

I appreciate the work that went into this, particularly the week-by-week breakdown and grading of the meals. I’m curious how the cost came out the way it did, as I also have been using Hello Fresh for a little over 2 months and I’m getting an average of about 42.95 per meal, using the 2×2 meal per week plan, factoring in the first 3 discounted weeks. Wondering how the 3×2 meal plan can only average 46.22. That means my meals are on average 10.74, but to add 2 more meals would only cost about 1.64 each. Can that be right?… Read more »

Adam
Adam
1 year ago
Reply to  Adam

Correction, 42.95 per week, not per meal.

Connie
Connie
4 months ago

Hi, I have been using Hello fresh for just one moth so far. For me, the convenice of pulling out a brown bag and meat from the fridge to cook 3 nights a week after work is saving my sanity. My 12 year old son even did the whole boss burger meal the other night. Win, win for me. I can do dinner on auto pilot after a long day and my son can learn to follow recipes. Saves us a lot on food shopping, take out and energy.

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