There are ads all over about meal preparation services, but you might be reluctant to try one for various reasons, like which one to try, and will you get value for your money.Well, I decided to try HelloFresh to see if it was something that fit into my life, and the life of my family. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that deciding to give HelloFresh a try, and then entering the information into the website was the most difficult part.
HelloFresh and other meal prep services do not make any assumptions about your cooking ability, meaning that even if you have little or no cooking experience, you could receive your box, and prepare a meal everyone will enjoy. Now, after reading about the questions people call and ask each year when calling into the Butterball Hotline, I realize that cooking is probably not in the skill set of some people.
HelloFresh is not one size fits all. You can make choices from three plans, including the Classic Plan, the Veggie Plan, and the Family Plan, and before you get started, check the internet, and Google HelloFresh codes to almost make it free to try it out. A current code takes $40 off, which will make your weeknight meals less than $20.
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You can choose the number of people, and the number of meals a week, and click the sample meals that appeal to you. As with most websites, the more information you give it, the easier it will be to meet your needs. Your first box will show up on a Monday morning with blocks of ice to keep it chilled. A tip here, when you unpack the box, unpack the whole box. The first time I received a box, I thought the ingredients were in the smaller boxes, and didn’t realize that the protein was underneath the ice blocks to keep them extra cool.
Each meal box will be labeled with the name of the dish that corresponds to the recipe in the guide. I cook often, so I always have what I consider staples, like butter, olive oil, and vegetable oil, but if you don’t, those items, and perhaps salt and pepper are the only things that HelloFresh will assume you have at home. Everything else will be in the box. Seriously, everything, even little cartons of milk if milk is involved, or chicken or vegetable stock if that is what you need. Everything that comes in your box, including the herbs, will be fresh.
Each ingredient will be the exact amount you need, and if it’s not, it will tell you in the recipe that you will have some left over. And as your grandmother might have told you, it’s always best to read the recipe all the way through before you start cooking. HelloFresh gives you all of your instructions in order, and if you follow along, your whole meal will truly be ready at the same time, which can be what trips up some some new cooks.
I tried HelloFresh out for two weeks to test the variety of meals that were offered, and I can honestly say that we did not have a bad meal. There was plenty of food, and even though my husband is a big eater, we often had leftovers. If I could make one suggestion, it would be to perhaps offer a package that bumped things up to the next level of cooking for people who do have more experience in the kitchen (though perhaps those people have their kitchen under control enough that they wouldn’t use a meal service).
Consumer Reports gave HelloFresh an overall score of excellent, and said that the taste level of the recipes was very good. Especially for a busy family that doesn’t want to order in food all of the time, you could use HelloFresh and have a meal on the table in less than 25 minutes for almost all recipes.
HelloFresh also got high marks from dietitians, with only two meals being a bit higher in sodium than they would have liked. Consumer Reports said that HelloFresh got the highest ranking for all of the other meal preparation services.
My suggestion is to give HelloFresh a try to see how it works for you.
Have you tried HelloFresh or one of the other meal prep services? What did you think?
[Featured Image by Youtube/HelloFresh]