While looking after a newborn, tidying the house, washing up, getting showered and dressed and tackling my to-do list each day, eating healthy meals can sometimes feel like a chore in itself. In collaboration with HelloFresh, a pre-planned meal box arrived at my door earlier this month for me to trial. The question is – is it really worth the hype?
Please note, this is a paid collaboration with HelloFresh
We live in an age of fast consumerism and instant gratification. From impulsive buying at the swipe of a button; to ordering online delivery packages that arrive within the hour, no doubt we’re all completely consumed with wanting things NOW! Thankfully for recipe box companies like HelloFresh, this growing appetite from our digital generation now reflects in our spending habits, especially when it comes down to ordering pre-planned meal boxes alongside eating decent, hearty food.
Who Are HelloFresh?
One of the biggest problems with living such hectic lifestyles is that many of us would prefer to order in a takeaway rather than cook. After a long day, cooking healthy meals from scratch at home is not always a top priority. So when HelloFresh, an international recipe box company got in touch with me, I was eager to jump at the chance to review one of their meal plans.
Designed to take the stress and hassle out of food shopping, the convenience of having pre-planned meal boxes and recipes sent directly to your door is a genius idea. Handed over in a recyclable box, the message on the box is clear: we can all help to reduce food waste together. As a new mom and a huge lover of hearty food, I still want to find time to eat healthy without compromising on time with my family. But for people who work long hours – or for those who simply don’t have time to plan ahead (it happens!) HelloFresh want to make it easier for absolutely anyone to cook fresh meals in their own homes, especially when time is tight. The clue is in the name: HelloFresh vows to deliver fresh food produce directly to your front door, all for a set price each month while promoting their own specific set of recipe cards.
With various boxes available to choose from, you can take a look at the options via their website and pick the one that suits your needs. You might have noticed friends and family offering you their own codes because HelloFresh are always promoting their 50% Off 1st + 35% Off Next 3 boxes. This works out at around £2.50 per meal instead of £5.
HelloFresh Mid-week dinner solutions
I want to be completely transparent and note that when signing up to work with HelloFresh on my blog, the first thing I wanted to know was: How is this actually beneficial to people who read my content? Is it genuinely worth the price? Is it actually worth the hype? In my honest opinion: yes, it is.
With the HelloFresh recipe box, there is no faffing around with shopping lists. Gone are the days of rushed, tasteless meals and throwing things aimlessly into your trolley on your lunch break., The best bit? You don’t even have to wander around the supermarket at all. However, before ordering a box for yourself you should take into consideration that food boxes like HelloFresh means you are not only paying for the set meals – but you are paying more for the convenience of the delivery. With simple recipe cards and all pre-measured ingredients – there is very little waste afterwards. Of course, ordering a box every single week for a year could work out to be more than your average shop. But – and a huge but – if you have a busy week coming up, or know you’re not going to have time to pop to the shops at a certain time, then HelloFresh would honestly be a perfect substitute.
How does HelloFresh work?
Without completely giving away the recipes and cooking methods (that would obviously defeat the point of ordering one for yourself) those who are interested can simply visit the HelloFresh website. Enter your details, and pick your preferred recipes and number of meals for the week ahead. It’s that simple. You can view the menu for that week beforehand (located on the main menu page) before you do anything, so there are no sneaky surprises here! For this post, I was gifted the 3-meal plan for 2 people and I scheduled the delivery for a Monday afternoon. What’s more, HelloFresh is a rolling weekly delivery service with no minimum term or commitment, so if you want to skip a week, cancel or change anything, you can do so without fuss.
HelloFresh Recipes & Meal Plan
For this collab, I specifically asked for a random box to be delivered so I didn’t know what I would receive until it arrived. I was pleasantly surprised as I was given three meals: Cheeseburger with Wedges & Slaw, the Sicilian-Style Penne Caponata with Sausage Meat and Aubergine and my favourite meal of them all: Sticky Hoisin Chicken Thighs with Roasted Broccoli and Red Onion. The great thing about HelloFresh is that I wouldn’t necessarily cook all of these recipes at home so it was lovely to try out some new meals. I personally think the best part about the delivery box is that there is minimum food waste. The recipes come with the pre-measured ingredients (unless it’s things like garlic, or onions) so the portions are exact. The recipe cards are simplistic, easy to follow and have a photograph on the front so you can also see what your end goal is.
Not only has HelloFresh enabled me to cook from fresh in under an hour, but it gives absolutely anyone – even young people wanting to cook more – the chance to learn and cook ‘gourmet’ style meals in their own kitchen. I wish I had known recipes boxes like these existed when I was at university, it would have saved so many car journeys and heavy bag carrying up the hill. Here are a few snaps I took when the delivery arrived.
3 Meals, 3 Recipes
Each dish took under one hour from start to finish, including prep time. The first one we tried was the Hoisin Chicken and it was by far our favourite meal. A healthy alternative to a takeaway, I would certainly order this one again. The chicken was extremely tender and the overall dish was so easy to make. I managed to cook it while a baby slept in the next room, so it’s convenient to have the step-by-step recipe on the back (with photos) to refer back to if someone else needs to jump in and help. The cheeseburger and pasta dishes were also great lunch time options and we didn’t feel too full afterwards.
What Would I Do Differently?
Understandably so, at £2.50 per portion it’s quite pricey for a bowl of pasta. But I’d like to point out again that you’re paying extra for HelloFresh to think, plan ahead and provide everything for you. Although the recipes require a little bit of work (chopping veggies and washing up afterwards is so boring) – each recipe comes with an estimated prep and cook time so you can get an idea of how long it’s going to take. Perhaps in time, HelloFresh might find alternative ways to support those who can’t easily prep, cut and chop food. Ideally suited for the elderly, or even those who may have certain health conditions, it would be great to introduce even more food options to suit other needs but still minimising on product packaging.
One of my biggest peeves is unnecessary plastic on food and delivery services. Thankfully, HelloFresh is delivered in a simple, reusable cardboard box. And although there are still items that are wrapped in plastic (for example the broccoli, the bread and condiments) this has been carefully considered with cross-contamination in mind. Soon, HelloFresh will be rolling out a brand new box design that will not contain excess packaging or brown paper bags , so I’m interested to see what the next phase will be.
Final Thoughts on HelloFresh
I feel the overall convenience of pre-planned recipes, coinciding with fresh ingredients and tasty meals outweighs any negatives surrounding the food delivery service. I was surprised by the burger mince and chicken portions especially, as they were tastier than anything I’ve tried in the supermarkets. Even though I wouldn’t order a HelloFresh box every single week, it’s most certainly something I’ll keep on my radar for the next time I can’t just ‘pop to the shops’. I can now understand why HelloFresh is a game changer in the food delivery world and why so many people using it as an alternative to a weekly food shop. Fresh certainly is best.
Please note, this is a paid collaboration with HelloFresh. I was gifted a box to try and asked for honest feedback. My collaboration with them does not alter my opinion on the recipes or overall experience in any way.