One of my New Year goals is to be better about meal planning and meal organization. I’m the first to admit I’m horribly disorganized when it comes to meal planning and cooking. Sometimes I just can’t be bothered – looking up a meal, trying to organize my grocery list to make sure I get everything. I always forget somethingand I always end up taking an hour to cook. Or there’s also this thing I do: standing in the kitchen at 5:00 having no clue what I’m going to make for dinner before we have to rush off to some after school activity.
Since a whole slew of subscription meal services seemed to have cropped up over the past year, I thought I would try and few out and see what I thought. I’m planning on trying a few different ones and letting you guys know what I think. Last week’s test was with Hello Fresh. There was a Grouponfor 51% off. It automatically signed me up for the Family Plan, which was $59 instead of the normal $105 and 3 meals for a family.
Once I bought it, I realized right away that it didn’t give me an option to customize our preferences. I don’t eat beef. The kids and my husband will but since I don’t eat it, I don’t cook it. There wasn’t anywhere in the settings where I could say no beef. I thought that didn’t seem right; I must be doing something wrong in the preferences. I emailed customer support and it took me a few days to get back to me. (They did apologize that it took so long to respond; I suspect the existence of the Groupon is overwhelming their support staff)
Turns out I was right; there’s no option to customize or choose your meals with a Family plan! What? As luck would have it, the 3 meals they already have set for me happened to not have beef in them so that worked out but very easily could have not worked in my favor.
I was told that I would need to switch to the Classic Plan to have a choice of 5 meals each week (you pick the 3 you want ahead of time). That’s better except the classic box is more money at $129 a week instead of $105.
My box came on a Saturday. It was delivered cold & everything inside seemed very fresh.
Also, I loved how it was packaged. There were 3 smaller boxes inside of my delivery – each labeled as each meal:
I loved this. It certainly makes it easy from an organization perspective!
Here’s photos of all 3 meals. Each meal took roughly around 30-40 minutes to cook. Cole loved helping me so it was nice to have it as a family activity. And nothing was too hard at all – simple chopping & baking.
We made this One-Pot Mexican Quinoa first:
Jon and I liked it a lot. The kids wouldn’t touch it as they claimed it was too spicy (it wasn’t).
Day two I made this Chicken Milanese. Now, “day two” for us was around Wednesday. The arugula had already gone bad but I suppose I certainly had a chance to make it sooner as the delivery had come the Sunday before. That was a bummer but I almost always have arugula in the house so I used some I already had. This meal was a big hit with the entire family – the potatoes were the kids’ favorite but the chicken was great too.
The last day was the family favorite – the Tuscan Sausage Linguine. Funny enough, I thought this would be the least favorite. Which goes to show I need to try different things. It was easy and everyone loved this the best.
So? Final thoughts. I liked it a lot. The convenience is awesome for someone harried like me who isn’t into meal planning but wants to cook a decent meal. The food was fresh (besides the arugula, and I waited too long on that) and the packaging of each meal separately made the entire process seamless. The meals were also hearty & healthy and the portions were sizable – a small amount of leftovers each day but nothing obscene.
Will I do it again? Probably. I’m testing out Blue Apron this week (a competitor) and will post how I like them and may shop around before settling on one but I think that moving forward we may be a family that utilizes one of these services fairly often. Hello Fresh is definitely a forerunner for one we may use again – my only issue being I hope they someday make the family plan more customizable.
If you want to check out Hello Fresh, you can save $40 on your first order with my code BMKTRA at https://www.hellofresh.com/