As someone who, as a busy working mom, could never plan dinners for my family in advance and got very overwhelmed putting together a shopping list, I had considered trying one of the many meal planning services out there, but never went through with it. Now, as a stay at home mom, I’m struggling to think of new ways to cook things that my family likes and trying to get more confident in the kitchen as that has never been my forte. So I decided to try Hello Fresh when I received a coupon to get $30 off my first order. I checked out their site and signed up.
Here’s how it works: you choose one of their plans and each week a certain number of meals are sent directly to your home. All the ingredients needed to prepare the meal, as well as step-by-step instructions, are all included. There is a choice of three plans; a Classic, Veggie or Family. I chose the Classic as I felt it had good menu options that my family would enjoy and some flexibility in choosing the meals. The website does boast the ability to switch meal plans anytime if you want to try a new one that better suits your needs. It also breaks down the per meal cost of each plan to help you gauge cost into your decision.
I received three different recipes with my order. The first recipe I made was a honey balsamic chicken, followed by a sirloin steak and potatoes, and the final recipe, which was my personal favorite, was a Thai Pork Stir Fry.
- Color card with photos and simple instructions to prepare the recipe, along with time estimates and difficulty level. I was relieved to see that all my first recipes were a Level 1 – not too intimidating for someone who’s time in the kitchen is limited and somewhat foreign. An added plus was my four-year-old eating the roasted broccoli – SCORE! I’ve never prepared it that way for him and he seems to prefer it so I will certainly be repeating this again.
- Ingredients were fresh, and in many instances Hello Fresh provides a higher quantity than the recipe calls for, which is great in case of spills or other mess ups.
- It was hard to find recipes that will have ingredients that all members of family like – the cabbage with the steak meal was not very popular in my household.
- If you want to make changes to any of the meals coming to your home or pause delivery, you must be sure to do it by their deadline, which is 5 days prior to you next scheduled delivery day. In our hectic lives that might be tough to remember.
- Boxes/ clean up. While I like the very organized way the food is shipped and clearly labeled as a PRO, the left over boxes and ice packing that needs to be cleaned up is a CON in my book. With that said, I still believe the convenience of the service and saving me a trip to the supermarket far outweighs this inconvenience.
I feel like this exercise definitely gave me more confidence in the kitchen, and a lot of the ingredients were nothing that would be difficult to pick up in the grocery store. Now I feel more empowered to create healthy meal plans for the week. It’s time to come out of my comfort zone of tried and true recipes I make all the time, and to branch out on my own again with meal planning. I do think the service is good and may use it again here and there, as it is a bit costly in my budget to use every single week.