I’ve been dying to try a meal kit service for a while now. If you’re not familiar, a meal kit service is where all the ingredients for a meal i.e. produce, meat, condiments, etc. are sent directly to your home along with a recipe on how to create a delicious meal. I initially wanted to try one about 3 years ago but we were trying to sell our previous house and it wasn’t a good time. After we moved into our new home, we were busy remodeling and didn’t have a fully functioning kitchen for about a year. (Click here for our newly renovated kitchen 😍). Recently an opportunity came up for me to try a service for free and I finally took advantage.
The service that I had been eyeing was Hello Fresh. Probably because I see SO MANY social media “influencers” promote it, especially those from the Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise, that I wanted to give it a shot. There are various services these days like Blue Apron, Home Chef, and Fresh Direct but Hello Fresh won me over because I’d seen it advertised frequently over the years.
Now it’s one thing to have people being paid to promote a product tell you how great it is but I thought I’d give you an honest review of my experience with Hello Fresh.
First of all, Hello Fresh has a “Family” option that feeds up to 4 people and supposedly has family-friendly meals. Ali Fedotowsky-Manno is one of my favorite bloggers and has shared that she often uses this for her family. I was always curious if my kiddos (almost 5 and 2.5) would like the meals but I’m getting ahead of myself. Here’s my experience start to finish.
First of all, I was very impressed with the packaging of Hello Fresh. It really does have EVERYTHING you need to make your meal. When you open the box, there is a recipe card as well as all the produce, condiments, and meat (which is packaged in dry ice) for your meal. They also offer vegetarian meals as well.
My 2-and-a-half-year-old daughter and almost 5-year-old son old were so excited when the Hello Fresh box came. (They get excited about anything that’s shipped to our house. My daughter kept saying, “Package Delivery!!!” when it arrived. 😆 ) I told them what was in it and they helped me unpack the box which has been nicknamed “Fresh Box”.
Our first box had two meals for a family of 4. One was Pork Teriyaki Meatballs and the other was Amazing Apricot Chicken. I didn’t choose those for any particular reason other than I was able to get them for free. (A friend of mine emailed me a link where I could try Hello Fresh absolutely free and it cost a dollar. 😊 There are a host of other meals to choose from though.
Each recipe card has step by step instructions along with pictures of what happens during each step. I showed the kiddos pictures of the completed meals to choose from and they chose the Pork Teriyaki Meatballs served with rice, zucchini, and shredded carrots. The recipes also have an estimate of how long it will take not only to cook but also prep the food as well.
My husband got home from work and spent time with the kiddos so I was able to solely focus on cooking. Although I was interrupted by waking the kids up from their naps and changing a diaper, the meatball dinner took about an hour and 45 minutes to prepare which was more than the suggested 60 minute total cook time. This is mainly because the pan that I started cooking it in was too small and I had to split the meatballs up into two sections to cook them. The directions, however, were very straight forward. My biggest piece of advice is if you choose to use this (or any meal-kit service) make sure whatever you are cooking on is big enough to prepare all the food simultaneously.
We really did enjoy this meal and it was something I would eat again. The kids also really liked it as well as my husband. Although my daughter preferred the meatballs best out of everything and my son liked the meatballs and rice. I was a little nervous to make this meal because it was listed as “Spicy” but it came with a couple of packets of Sriracha that my husband and I used. I will also note that this meal did not have ANY leftovers.
The Amazing Apricot Chicken meal was good as well. Our biggest pan had some burnt pieces of food that needed to be scrubbed out so again I had to split up my meat into separate sections instead of cooking it all at once which added to my overall cook time. The meal was served with roasted potatoes and green beans. The kids liked the meat but were not big fans of the veggies. There were very little leftovers.
I’m glad that I tried Hello Fresh but I know this isn’t something I’d want to do all the time in the season of my life with young children. I’ve had two other boxes come to my house which had a Spinach Ravioli with Chicken Sausage, Cherry Pork Chops with Roasted Broccoli and Rice, another chicken dish with cheesy orzo pasta and a fancy burger. The kids were not as big fans of either the Spinach Ravioli or chicken and orzo pasta dish. I forgot to cancel my subscription so if you ever get a free trial with the intent of just trying it make sure you cancel it promptly!
Should YOU buy it???!!!
This is definitely worth trying for free and I’m glad I did because I had the experience. The shipping is $6.99 plus $8.99 per serving. (The per serving cost varies on how many people your meal kit is for). It cost about $75 to prepare two meals for the four of us which my husband reminded me is about the cost of us eating out as a family twice at somewhere with similar types of food. I don’t think I’d recommend this for everyday families because it seemed pricey to me but I am frugal. If you don’t have young kids or kids at all, I’d say give it a go. It is something different but for my everyday life there is NO WAY, I’d do this all the time. I could probably make 4 or 5 meals for that price. Would they be as fancy – no but we would all get full and have some leftovers.
Have you guys ever tried a meal kit service? Does it appeal to you? If so, what was your experience? Comment below!