• Elizabeth Richardson

HelloFresh: Week 1

Updated: Jan 27

The first meal service on the plate is HelloFresh! First, if you use the link below, you can get $40 off your first box, and I'll get a $20 credit if you use my referral code.

https://www.hellofresh.com?c=HS-JMQHBWDRM&utm_source=raf-share&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=clipboard


I also have four free boxes available to give out. If you would like a free box, email me and I will email you the link for this.


Alrighty, let's get this show on the road!


For my first week of meals, I ordered the following meals:


Packaging

The meals are packed in a cardboard box with bio-degradable and recyclable cooling packs on top of the food and at the bottom of the box. The non-meat ingredients are packed in their own separately labeled bags. The meat is packed in vacuum-sealed packs below the other ingredients.



Along with the the meal, the package includes marketing materials and nice instruction cards for each meal.



Rating: 4.5/5





Cost

Without discounts and coupons, the meals are about $9.99/serving with the smallest option being 2 servings. Ten bucks per person for a dinner is comparable to a meal at a restaurant for two people, but how does it compare to buying the ingredients yourself to make the same meal?


In my area, Wal-Mart is probably the cheapest place to get all of the groceries at once. I've looked up prices for the exact items sent with the HelloFresh meal; the price can be higher or lower, of course, if you already have some ingredients on hand or find a cheaper option.


Meal 1: Cheesy Beef Tostadas


So, in looking at buying everything needed for this meal, it would be close to the same: cheaper if you already have some ingredients or, of course, find things on sale. However, I think you would be able to get 3 or 4 servings out of the ingredients purchased yourself.


Meal 2: Parmesan-Crusted Chicken



Just like with the cheesy beef tostadas, in looking at buying everything needed for this meal, it would be close to the same: cheaper if you already have some ingredients or, of course, find things on sale. However, I think you would be able to get 3 or 4 servings out of the ingredients purchased yourself.


Meal 3: Spicy Maple Chicken




As with the other meals, in looking at buying everything needed for this meal, it would be close to the same: cheaper if you already have some ingredients or, of course, find things on sale. However, I think you would be able to get 3 or 4 servings out of the ingredients purchased yourself.


Overall, it seems the cost of the meals is pretty comparable to buying the ingredients yourself if you needed to buy everything. However, you could get more out of the ingredients bought yourself.


Rating: 3.5/5





Meal Variety

There is a pretty good mix of meals available for selection with pork, chicken, beef, or vegetarian as options—about 20 meals available.


There are also add-ons available to add to your delivery each week for varying costs: quick lunches, sides like bread, desserts, or extra protein items.


If you want a specific diet, though, like low carb or keto, you're out of luck. Lots of the meals seem to be high in calories, too.


Rating: 3/5





Taste

Meal 1: Cheesy Beef Tostadas

The tostadas were actually really good. The sour cream and hot sauce mix was quite tasty as a sauce for them. The beef with the seasoning was really good and not greasy at all. It was quite oniony, though, and I would have preferred more tomato to onion. I got the tostada shells a little crispy, but they were still good.


Meal 2: Parmesan-Crusted Chicken

The chicken was really tender and the Parmesan/panko topping was good with the fry seasoning on the chicken. The noodles were ok: the tomatoes kind of overpowered the flavor of anything else.


Meal 3: Spicy Maple Chicken

The chicken in this meal also came out really tender and the panko topping was good. I'm not a fan of maple syrup, but the maple syrup and chili flakes are really good together as a drizzle for the chicken. The mashed sweet potatoes were pretty tasty even though I didn't mash them completely. The maple syrup and sour cream mixed in give them a sweeter flavor. The green beans were...well, green beans. They were fine.


Rating: 4/5




Ease of Prep

Meal 1: Cheesy Beef Tostadas

The prep of this one was probably the second easiest. All of the ingredients are provided:

But first things first...

...putting cilantro where it belongs.

The card lists 10 minutes as the prep time. I think it took me about 15 minutes just to chop everything:



Then you cook the meat, make the toppings for the tostadas, and toast the tortilla shells.


The directions say to "gently" prick the tortilla shells with a fork in several places, but you really need to make sure the fork goes all the way through the shells all over. Otherwise you end up with football shells. They were still usable if you kind of poke out the top and make a sort of bowl...


The prep for this one overall wasn't too bad. The total time on the card was listed as 40 minutes; it took me about 55 minutes total.



Meal 2: Parmesan-Crusted Chicken

The prep of this one was probably the easiest. All of the ingredients are provided:


The card lists the prep time as 5 minutes; it took me probably 10 minutes to cut the tomatoes in half, grate the garlic, and quarter the lemon.


This one was probably the easiest of the three meals to prepare. The total time on the card was listed as 35 minutes; it took me about 45 minutes total.



Meal 3: Spicy Maple Chicken

Ugh. This one was the worst one. Prep time of 10 minutes my ass...

Anyway, the ingredients are all included:

I think it took me 15 minutes just to peel and dice the oddly shaped sweet potatoes. After boiling them, mashing them took a while, too. Using a mixer would have been the faster way and would have actually made them a smooth consistency.


The total time on the card was listed as 35 minutes. Pfffttt, right. This one took me a little over an hour.


These meals still require you to chop and prep everything, so I wouldn't say HelloFresh is the easiest when it comes to prep work.


Rating: 2/5



Overall Rating

Overall, the only thing that the HelloFresh kits really saved me was the time at the grocery store and picking up the ingredients. The food tasted good and I got two meals out of each of them with the 2 servings plan. The cost wasn't too bad compared to the cost of the ingredients at the grocery store. However, looking at prep time and the only thing really being saved is going to the store, I wouldn't continue using HelloFresh past my initial orders.


Week 1 Overall Rating: 3/5




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