So, this week I tried HelloFresh, the delivery grocery/meal plan service that is available in Canada and the USA. As such, I thought I’d review that experience.
(Also, this isn’t an ad. I would totally take a sponsorship if it was available though 😉 ).
But, seriously, as an introduction, let me first set the scene. I’m a single person whose cooking level is probably best described as “moderately experienced amateur.” I’ve got a few signature dishes, and have mostly mastered the basics, but I’m no expert by any definition. I mention being single because I live alone, and so grocery shopping for one is always an annoying experience. I might have a dish I want to make that needs carrots, and thus I then have to resign myself to eating carrots with every meal for the next week so as not to waste the giant bag I had to buy. And, ultimately, with changing cravings and the occasional eating out, despite trying to be good, I do end up probably wasting at least 10-15% of the food I buy.
Thus, my main goals in trying a service like HelloFresh were to:
- Expand my cooking repertoire
- Cook healthy meals with real ingredients and try new ways to get more veggies into my diet
- Waste less food
I’ll say, right off the bat that HelloFresh definitely accomplished all of those goals. Honestly, those 3 goals might have been their mission statement, so that did sort of perfectly line up, but in the interest of a real review, I’ll go over the whole experience step-by-step.
- Sign up and pick your plan. HelloFresh offers three plans: Family, Pronto and Veggie. Each features 3 meals a week for either 2-4 people. The Pronto plan, the one I selected, was $40 CAD for the first week, and $80 CAD for the following weeks.
- Pick your three meals. Each week, and for 2 weeks in advance, the service puts out 5 meal recipes and you are able to pick three that you’d like. For example, this week I selected the Pork Medallions, Chicken and Ramen Stir Fry and Teriyaki salmon, and did not select the Dark chocolate chilli or tomato penne.
- Get them delivered. This part is super easy: the site offers you a choice of days and times to have them delivered, and the shipment is tracked by Purolator. It arrived on time and in good condition.
- Open up your box. The box comes with your three recipes in their own paper bag, with ice packs in the bottom (separate from the meat so no freezer burn) to keep the meat cold.
- Cook them! All the meats and veggies come in individual plastic wrap or vacuum sealed. All of the veggies were crisp, and the meat was good quality, no fatty gristle and nothing was even a little bit spoiled. The box comes with recipes for all five dishes that week, which have nice informative picture are simple and easy to follow. They also have helpful allergy information on them, which is a great feature for anyone with food allergies.
- The best step…Eat them! Honestly, these recipes were amazing. The chicken and ramen stir-fry was the stand out: I will eat that thing any time, and quite possibly cried a little because it was just so good. The pork medallions with shredded brussel sprouts and potatoes with a tarragon cream sauce was also excellent (though I can’t still say I love brussel sprouts) and although the salmon and ginger jasmine rice was probably the lesser of the three choices, it was still excellent.
Mostly, I’d highly recommend HelloFresh for a wide variety of people and life situations. If you live alone or with another person and are looking for convienence and less food waste, then this is a great service. If you live with a small family with small children, then this is a fast and easy way to make recipes the whole family should love, and get some veggies into your kids in a way that doesn’t scream THIS IS A VEGGIE EAT IT. I’ve not tried the vegetarian box, but a resident I worked with highly recommended it as an easy way to try out excellent new vegetarian recipes. All the recipes took at max 45 min to make, and as a working medical professional the value of fast, nutritious recipes that are delivered to my door but still let me enjoying cooking cannot be understated. This service is a really great way to expand your palate, and also work on some of your cooking skills: that was the first time I’d ever cooked brussel sprouts, or used tarragon, or toasted rice, and this was a safe and easy way to do that. If you’re an experienced chef or a professional cook then this service probably isn’t for you, but honestly, you’re probably not looking for a service like this in that case.
The cost would likely be the main stumbling point for most people, being $80 a week, but honestly, I spend about $100 dollars a week on groceries trying to eat healthily anyways (I do live on an island, but the cost of healthy food is nuts) and I rarely make things as amazing as this stuff. For me, that price for 6 good meals that I didn’t have to take the time to shop for is definitely worth it. And, if you decide you want to take a week off, all you have to do is hit the “skip a week” button on their site to do so, which is handy. I think, at least for me, I’m going to use the service at least twice a month, and possibly three if there are menu items I’m just dying to try.
So, finally verdict…5/5 for me, and I highly recommend it!