I received a $40-off coupon in my October Pop Sugar Must Have box to try out a pretty cool-looking food subscription service called Hello Fresh. Since I am addicted to subscription boxes I naturally jumped on the opportunity to try it out. I also thought it was pretty unique, and definitely unique to me personally because I’m not currently subscribed to any food subscription boxes. I figured there was no harm in trying it out and the $40-off coupon made it cheap enough that I wouldn’t care about the money lost if I ended up hating it (I spent $29 total).
So, basically, Hello Fresh is a weekly subscription service that sends out three different fresh, nutritious meals each week with all of the ingredients necessary to make each meal. They also send you a step-by-step recipe/instruction book which is super easy to follow, complete with photos of each step.
Each week you get to choose which three meals you would like out of five meal options that Hello Fresh reveals on its website. There is also an option for a vegetarian box that includes just three meal choices every week — so if you sign up for that box you don’t have the option of choosing your meals. The “Classic” meal box costs $69/week for three meals that feed two people and $129/week for three meals for four people. The “Veggie” box is a little cheaper at $59/week for three meals for two people and $109/week for three meals for four people.
I went with the Classic box for two, so with my $40-off coupon I spent $29 total (which includes delivery charges). Based on the price alone, this isn’t the kind of subscription service that I would sign up for regularly. However, those who do sign up are able to skip weeks whenever they want without being charged. I cancelled my subscription after the one box because I really don’t think I’m going to get another box anytime soon, although I might order one every once in awhile because I did think it was a super cool service.
The food was incredibly fresh, so the service does live up to its name, and the recipes usually look really yummy. I wasn’t that crazy about the three meals I chose for the week I subscribed, but I looked through the recipe section on Hello Fresh’s website and it looks like there were much better options (IMO) for past weeks. What’s really cool is that all of the Hello Fresh recipes are posted on their website whether or not you’re a subscriber, so you really can try out any of the recipes any time you want — without the luxury and convenience of having everything shipped to your doorstep, of course.
I was getting a little worried because my order was supposed to arrive on the Monday after I signed up (I think it was the first week of November) but it never showed. That particular week Hello Fresh had an issue with some of the vegetables in the Classic box and said that they weren’t as fresh as they should have been, so they delayed the shipment one day. As a gift for the delay, Hello Fresh sent out this cute green cutting board, which I thought was really cool.
Hello Fresh has their very own delivery trucks that stop at your house to deliver your box, which I also thought was pretty cool. Each box is insulated so that the ingredients stay fresh while they’re being transported to your house, and the delivery guy rang the doorbell to let me know it was there so I was able to immediately take everything out and put it in the fridge. The box was HUGE — I was totally not expecting it to be that big and heavy — they put large water bottles at the bottom of the box to keep everything cold (so you also get some water bottles for free!).
All of the ingredients are packaged together by recipe in plastic bags with labels on them to let you know which meal they belong to and the meat is packaged individually and separately. Besides the super fresh vegetables, I was really surprised to see every last ingredient that I needed in my box in perfect proportions for each meal — like tiny little bottles of Colavita vinegar, individual packets of soy sauce, dijon mustard, herbs, etc. Now that I think about it, I kinda wish I took photos of the smaller ingredients from the box since they were so cute and perfectly sized. The only ingredients that Hello Fresh assumes you have in your kitchen are butter, oil, salt and pepper.
The Fall Pasta Primavera was one of the three meals I chose for the week. This is actually the only photo I took that I really liked.
This was a no-meat meal, and it was interesting. Like I said, I wasn’t too excited about the food options for the week I subscribed, but there were a lot of great options for previous weeks and even for the weeks after I subscribed (and all recipes are on HelloFresh.com). I loved the fall vegetables in this dish and it really did taste very fresh, I just felt like it was missing something.
I’m honestly not that crazy about pasta in general … growing up in an Italian household, having pasta every which way multiple times a week has just made the whole pasta thing kind of boring to me. But I do think this was a unique recipe and I love fall veggies, so I definitely didn’t hate it.
The next recipe for the week was this dish, Teriyaki Meatballs with Snow Pea Slaw. This recipe was very simple and fun to make (all three of them were very simple, actually) — I just left the meatballs in the oven a litttttle too long, so they were kind of crispy. I also threw out the scallions by accident and I really think they would have rounded out the flavor a lot better.
The dish was good, I don’t have any real complaints, I just think the snow pea slaw was either missing something or had too much of a bite … you marinate them in white wine vinegar while you prepare the rest of the meal and you add fresh ginger to the mix, which I probably could have done without. I think I would have liked the slaw a lot better, actually, if I used less ginger or no ginger at all. Either way, it really wasn’t bad, it just wouldn’t be my first choice to make for the next time.
The last meal for my week was Dijon Pork Chops with Roasted Apples, Fennel and Sweet Potato. I should have taken more photos for this post but I wasn’t really thinking at the time and I was way more focused on finishing the meal. This dish was good, it has like all of my favorite things in it, but I think if I make it again I will use a pork loin instead of pork chops.
Subscription Box Breakdown:
I think Hello Fresh is a great, convenient, unique subscription service with fresh and nutritious meal options. I want to keep stressing that even though I wasn’t crazy about the three meals I tried, the service offers really good-looking recipes and I think that if I had subscribed any other week I would have liked my meals a lot better.
I can’t really justify spending $70 every single week on a subscription like this … it is a lot more expensive than going to the food store, but you get the convenience of having every single ingredient you need, plus a recipe book, delivered to your door. I will probably try this out again at some point because I love food and I love cooking and Hello Fresh comes up with some great, healthy (and fresh!) recipes. Also, I just thought the whole thing was super cool and very different from all of the other subscription boxes I receive.
Pricing & Availability:
Hello Fresh is a weekly food/cooking subscription service that starts at $59 per week for the Veggie Box and $69 per week for the Classic Box option. You can skip any week you don’t want and you can cancel at any time. To subscribe or for more information visit HelloFresh.com.