Budget Blueprints Review:

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What is it? HelloFresh hails itself as America’s Most Popular Meal Kit. You go online, choose a plan, pick recipes, and delivery date, and you get a box of meals delivered to your door. The meals are packaged together with every ingredient and instruction on how to prepare the dish at home with minimal prep work, measuring, and chopping. 

Where can I try it? www.hellofresh.com

What’s the price? Varies, but it is advertised as $7.49 per serving, for 4 people. If you choose only 2 people in your plan, your serving size is $8.99. So it really depends on the number of people and recipes per week combo.

Each meal you choose shows the price per serving. If you want a fancier dinner, say lobster; your serving price increases. This number can quickly skyrocket, so be vigilant with your selections. Also, remember that the dollar amount is per serving. If you buy more than one serving (like I did for my husband and me), it is really $7.49 per person for that particular meal. So, basically, $15 per meal total for 2 people if you stick with the base price estimate. 

Don’t forget the shipping costs, either. That’ll cost you $7.99. If you choose more meals per week, the shipping price decreases to $6.99.

For my plan: 3 meals a week for 2 people including shipping put my total at checkout regularly around $60 for each box. 

Bonus: HelloFresh offers discounts for new sign-ups spread across a specific number of boxes. After I canceled my subscription, they frequently sent me a coupon to re-sign up. So, it’s very likely you can try this box on a deal.

My Review:

I first tried HelloFresh about a year ago at the recommendation of a coworker. He said that he uses HelloFresh quite often and had a coupon for a free week of food for me.

A free week of food? Sold.

Sounding too good to be true, I signed up and gave it a try. Sure enough, with his referral code, I got 3 meals free! 

A side note worth mentioning here: Sometimes your friend’s referral code might just do a certain dollar discount. Be sure to read the actual discount. I *think* that the more boxes your friend buys, the better the discount codes. Plus, the more boxes YOU buy, the more codes you generate for your friends. After I had tried a few boxes, I earned some discount codes to share with friends. I did send out a code to my parents and another coworker, and both only received dollar-off discounts to try it. Read the fine print!

Anyway, signing up was pretty easy. I was able to pick my box delivery date, how many meals I wanted that week, and then the meals themselves.

I did find the meal selection screen on the website to be a tad confusing because HelloFresh pre-selects weekly meals for you until you change them. Just be careful while on that screen. 

I tried HelloFresh because I enjoy cooking, but I was limited to my midwestern comfort style of cooking. Once the meals arrived, I was pleased with most recipes! They were easy to follow and fun to try out, as they were dishes I wouldn’t usually pick. I love the show MasterChef but didn’t know a lot of the techniques or ingredients that they showed. I used HelloFresh as an excuse to try new foods (like yummy couscous!) and also try new techniques (heck YEAH, I know how to make an apricot glaze to top my pork chops!)

My Likes:

  • Complete flexibility. HelloFresh is super easy to customize — number of meals, frequency of delivery, and what recipes are coming! I can also skip as many weeks as I want, or click one button to cancel. 
  • Earth friendly and organized. The shipping boxes, ice packs, and packaging is so organized and meant to be recycled. Plus, it really lives up to its name. Every ingredient is incredibly fresh, chilled, and comes perfectly boxed to my doorstep.
  • Variety. HelloFresh offers 20 different recipe selections each week. You can save the recipes so even if you don’t order that meal, you have the recipe to try at home yourself!
  • Health conscious. This really depends on your definition of healthy, but each meal has the nutritional information right there to view and the option to pick meals that are totally vegetarian, carb-smart, calorie smart, etc. Plus, any meal that makes me eat more veggies is a winner in my book. 

My Dislikes:

  • Pricey. I go back and forth on this. Can I meal plan and grocery shop myself for WAY less than $7.49 per serving? Yes. So in that case, I do find it “expensive” for my grocery budget. On the other hand, the meals I normally prepare are yummy, though not chef-quality. For a “chef meal,” $7.49 per serving really isn’t expensive when you consider that a meal at the local fast-food restaurant will cost you the same price. 

For my budget, HelloFresh isn’t a staple. However, for someone who struggles with cooking and meal planning, you may find it to be a great option to utilize instead of eating out most days of the week. 

  • No leftovers. My biggest dislike. There are very few meals that make more than one serving. As a person who likes to cook big meals 3 times a week and munch on leftovers for dinner or lunch the next day, I didn’t like no leftovers of the delicious meal I spent time preparing! I get why the meals are marketed as one serving; HelloFresh wants you to buy more. But still, this was a disappointment. 

Would I do this delivery box again? YES! I think it is so fun. I would not make a habit of using HelloFresh for every meal but I do think trying new foods and recipes from time to time for a reasonable price is an achievement for my health and budget!

For more on grocery shopping on a budget, click here!

Read my original blog post, Are Subscription Boxes Worth It?, as well as my other subscription box reviews:

What do you think?

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1 Comment
  • Bob
    July 29, 2020

    I enjoy Hello Fresh but maybe about 1 week a month. Since there only 2 of us it gives us an easy way to prepare a very nice fresh meal. Eating out in a way but staying home. I have found the Baramundi to be awesome. As a vegetarian some really good options too. I just want to commend your co-worker such a thoughtful person. Probably from Gladstone as that is where all really good people live! 🙂

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