Hello Fresh Review and Coupons

Meal delivery kits are all the rage. You see them advertised on TV, Facebook and all over the internet.

They target couples that live a busy lifestyle. Or, the hardworking moms and dads who want to come home from work, create a healthy and delicious meal within 30 minutes…and still make it to soccer practice.

The idea behind Hello Fresh, and all meal delivery kits, is that you select your meal plan from their website or app, choose your meals and the company delivers everything you need including the ingredients and recipes. Some meal delivery services come already prepped, so all you have to do is cook it. No peeling or chopping. For this review, I opted for the non-prepped meals.

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How Does Hello Fresh Work?

Hello Fresh has three weekly meal plans: Vegetarian, Family and Pronto. Each plan comes with a different price point and features. A benefit to Hello Fresh is that you can switch your meal plans each week giving you a variety of options to choose from. Want a vegetable-based meal, opt for the Vegetarian. Want meat, switch to the Family or Pronto plan the following week. The choice is yours.

Choosing your HelloFresh meal plan
Three options, three different price points…

Here’s a quick rundown of each plan, the cost and how it works. 

Hello Fresh Family Plan

This plan is created around a family of four. You have the option to choose from 3 or 4 recipes per week and can make some changes to your plan such as removing recipes that contain fish, seafood, beef, etc, etc.

The cost of the Family Plan starts at $10.83 per serving but is reduced to $10.31 if you choose 4 meals per week. The meals in this plan are prepared within 30-35 minutes and include kid-friendly options (think sliders or tacos).

Recipes from the Family menu include:

  • Southwestern-Style Pork Fajitas (with Tomato Lime Salsa and Cheddar Cheese)
  • Pan-Seared Steak (with Dijon-Herb Butter, Roasted Potatoes and Green Beans)
  • BBQ Dry-Rub Chicken (with Charred Corn and DIY Ranch Dressing)

Hello Fresh Pronto Plan

Need something quick? If so, the Pronto Plan might be a better fit for you. This meal plan includes all the prep work. Just follow the instructions and your meal is ready within 20-30 minutes.

This plan is available for 2 people with the option to deliver 3 or 4 meals per week. The cost varies from $13.33 per plate and can go as low as $12.50 if you opt for 4 meals per week.

Recipes from the Pronto menu include:

  • Herby Pork Chops (with Parsley Pesto Sauce and Charred Corn Salsa Farro)
  • Gnocchi Bolognese (with Fresh Tomato Sauce, Carrots and Parmesan)
  • Crispy Chicken Parmigiana (with Baby Spinach and Bell Pepper Italian Salad)

The Veggie Plan

The Veggie Plan is self-explanatory – a vegetarian based meal kit. Again, this plan is only available for 2 people at a cost of $12.33 / plate for 3 meals per week. They don’t have an option to increase the number of people or the number of servings.

Recipes from the Veggie menu include:

  • Homemade Vegetable-Packed Calzone (with Spring Mix and Italian Vinaigrette)
  • Kale and Black Bean Quesadillas (with Fresh Tomato Salsa and Sour Cream)
  • Toasted Brown Rice Bowl (with Sweet Potatoes, Green Beans and Cashews)

Customizing Your Recipes

Something I like about Hello Fresh is that you can customize your recipes. To do this, go to your account plan settings and click on “Meal preferences”. When you choose to remove one of the items, the meals will be replaced with a vegetarian dish. Here you have the option to remove specific types of meals. This includes:

  • No Beef Meals (
  • No Seafood Meals (fish & shellfish)
  • No Fish Meals
  • No Seafood Meals
  • No Pork Meals

Choosing Your Meals

If you plan on receiving a Hello Fresh box every week, you can go ahead and set up your meals in advance. The Hello Fresh app and website have menus ready, up to 6 weeks in advance.

You do have the option to skip meals if you don’t like what’s on the menu in the coming weeks or don’t want a weekly order.

You need to choose your meals by the end of the day on Wednesdays for Tuesdays delivery service. If you’ve selected your meals and decide that you want to change them, you can do this, as long as you do it before Thursday.

My Box….

Now that we’ve gone through the logistics of Hello Fresh, let me walk you through my box.  I’m sure everyone who orders is excited to receive their first box. I certainly was!

I was pretty curious how HelloFresh dinners would stack up, how it was packaged and the complexity of the recipes. I opted for the Tuesday delivery and received my box around 3:30-4pm. (Perfect timing, as I didn’t pull anything out of the freezer.)

The box was delivered in great shape. No damages to the exterior of the box.

Hello Fresh delivery
Box deliver in good shape…

When I opened it, everything was packed neat and tidy.  My biggest pet peeve at the grocery store is when the cashier puts the raw meat in with other items (especially produce – GROSS!), so I was happy to find the meat packed separate from the produce bags.

Inside the Hello Fresh box
Ready, Set, Cook! Super organized box!

Each meal (minus the protein) is packed in its own paper bag (points for recyclable materials). Underneath the paper bags is a cardboard divider where they’ve placed the meat and the ice packs to keep it cool.

What's in the Hello Fresh Box
Contents of my Family Plan box…

We couldn’t wait to try something, so my son chose the Mustard and Herb-Crusted Pork with Roasted Potatoes and Broccoli.

This is where it gets interesting. He’s asked to cook dinner before but has never been this excited to make something. I think because it’s a new recipe.

Hello Fresh - Inside the Bag
This is what dinner for 4 looks like….

The two of us worked together and had delicious meal ready and on the table in 45 minutes (the recipe said 35, but it took us a bit longer to get organized).

My first impression was “Wow, those are pretty small portions”, which is probably the most common complaint I’ve seen with meal delivery kits. So I whipped up a spinach, goat cheese and strawberry salad to serve with it.

Hello Fresh meal photo - strawberry salad, pork tenderloin
Soooo yummy!!!

After thinking about it, the smaller portions are likely what we should be eating and really, this forces us to get more veggies in by having a salad with each meal (something I struggle with).

Dinner was amazing! Seriously amazing! It was such a simple recipe, and yet, I wouldn’t have thought to use pork tenderloin this way. Definitely a 5 out of 5 stars.

Day 2 – I received a text from my son asking if he could cook dinner after school. My reply, “Yeah, you can!”.

Dream kitchen
Dinner tastes extra delicious when someone else does the cooking….

He wanted to cook this one on his own and made the Pan-Seared Steak with Thyme-Onion Gravy (with Roasted Potatoes and Sugar Snap Peas).

He did an excellent job, but the overall dinner itself is not something I would jump on ordering again. The meat was super tender but I felt like it was a bit bland when comparing it to the previous night’s dinner or any steak dinner for that matter. Overall, a 2 out of 5.

Day 3 – I didn’t make it home until 5pm, but when I arrived my son was already prepping dinner.

I’ve had the luxury of staying home with my kids as I run my business out of my home. With that luxury comes the joys of cooking dinner, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. To have someone make dinner for me was the amazing and I was very appreciative.

He made the Crispy Chicken with Honey-Parsley Carrots and Lemon Mayo. The chicken was mouth-watering deliciousness. The rice was good as were the carrots. I wasn’t a fan of the Lemon Mayo. It reminded me of tartar sauce and didn’t really go well with the chicken. Overall, 4 out of 5 stars.

Day 4 was the Classic Beef Pie with Crunchy Phyllo Pastry. My son was away on a fishing trip, so I made this one myself.

Dinner four from Hello Fresh
Produce in the bag….minus the bananas..

I was interested in the Phyllo Pastry and for whatever reason, thought it was more along the lines of puff pastry. I was wrong.

The meat mixture was incredible, the pastry – not so much! It reminded me of eating a flaky with a beef pie. I wasn’t keen on the texture and it tasted pretty yeasty – if that’s a thing!

Not what I was expecting…not a fan of the pastry.

I would definitely use the seasoning again for another meal (Worcestershire, soy sauce, garlic, flour and mustard), but I would never use Phyllo pastry as a topping. A sweet potato mash would be a better replacement. Overall, 2 out of 5 stars.

Will I Order Again?

Yes. But, I want to try some of the other meal delivery kits and compare Hello Fresh vs Blue Apron, Miss Fresh or even their own subsidiary company, Good Food.

I found the meals to be pretty tasty, convenient and filling. But I think what shocked me the most was how interested my son was in making dinner. It was a total parent winbecause I got to spend a good 30 minutes of quality time / day cooking and chatting with my teenager.

The Freshness Test

Impressed is an understatement. Everything in the box was in perfect condition, had labels for best before dates and looked and tasted like Grade A vegetables. I didn’t have any issues with any of the produce. The zucchini was still crunchy by day 4.

Who is Hello Fresh Good For?

  • Active families: Our youngest figure skates three times a week and between hockey and figure skating season, we’re in and out a lot. Hello Fresh would be ideal during the winter months when you want to get away from the same old boring meals.  Because of our hectic schedules, we tend to order in or eat out a lot in the winter. With HelloFresh, you’ll end up making a healthy meal from start to finish in less time than it would take you to sit down, order and wait for your food at a restaurant. The cost of 4 meals is the same price as eating at a restaurant once for 4 people.
  • Adapt a healthier lifestyle: Hello Fresh can help you make better choices when it comes to developing better eating habits. These are home cooked meals with real whole foods and an emphasis on vegetables.
  • You work late: If you work until 5, have to run and pick up the kids at the daycare and then make your commute home, you know that dinner is the last thing you want to worry about. With Hello Fresh, you can literally prep, cook and serve in 30 minutes. Plus, a lot of the recipes can be prepared in advance, say Sunday Meal Prep.
  • You want to try new foods: Hello Fresh has an abundance of recipes. If you want to try new recipes OR you’re tired of cooking the same old meals, this will definitely add some variety to your dinners.
  • Stop eating out: If you’re like us and have a busy schedule, you tend to order out more or frequent restaurants assuming you don’t have time to cook at home. Or, maybe you’re like me and you forget to take something out of the freezer. Either way, the Hello Fresh meals are significantly more cost effective than eating at a restaurant once a week. The average restaurant plate costs $18 and if you’re having steak of chicken parm, you’re looking at $25 per person. Hello Fresh — $10.83.
  • Cooking for 1 or 2 people: Cooking for yourself or yourself +1 can be a bit tricky. You always end up cooking way more than necessary and depending on how you store your leftovers, a lot of it ends up in the garbage. Hello Fresh comes perfectly portioned for 2. If you’re cooking for you only, you can freeze the other half for a future dinner.

Who Should Skip HelloFresh:

  • You have a picky eater: If you have someone in your family that loathes vegetables or prefers plain foods, you should skip this service entirely.
  • Dietary restrictions: If you’re gluten intolerant or have other dietary restrictions / allergies, you shouldn’t order Hello Fresh. You don’t want to risk your health over accidental cross contamination with nuts or seafood.
  • You hate to cook:  If you hate cooking because of the prep work, you can still give them a try but opt for the pronto box. This box already has the produce cut and ready to go. But if you have zero interest in cooking, you’ll have zero interesting in cooking a Hello Fresh box.
  • Finances: If you price match or you’re on a strict budget, this service might not work for you. You will pay more money than shopping at a grocery store.

How to Use the Hello Fresh App

Hello Fresh App
Choosing your meals on the app…

If you intend on ordering on a regular basis, I encourage you to download the HelloFresh app.

The app is available for both Android and iOS devices and comes equipped with everything you need to select your meals, view the upcoming menu , track shipment and adjust your account (including skipping meals).

The biggest benefit to the app is that you can view the nutritional information for each recipe including calories. Unfortunately, Hello Fresh does not provide that information on the recipe card (they should!)

The app also lets you view other recipes, including those you haven’t purchased.  If you do like a recipe, you can rate and save it in your favorites folder.

4 Things Hello Fresh Could Improve On

  • Increase family size: Not everyone comes from a 2, 3 or 4 person family. I know plenty of families of 5 and in our case, we’ve billeted hockey players, which increases our family size to 8.
  • More dinners per week: I wouldn’t mind being able to choose 5 or 6 dinners on super busy weeks.
  • Increase vegetarian plan: This one is a bummer. I’d like to test the veggie plan, but since the only option I have is for two people, I’ve skipped it entirely. I don’t want to order two separate plans just to get a vegetarian meal.
  • Calorie counts: this should be displayed on the same screen as the dinner options. Make it easy for us to decide which meal we want. We shouldn’t have to go looking for the calories for each meal.

The Hello Fresh Wine Club

Wine drinker? Hello Fresh now offers a Wine Club in combination with their meal deliver kits. The Wine Club delivers 6 bottles each and every month (assuming you don’t skip a delivery date).  Unfortunately, this service is not available in Canada … yet.

Hello Fresh FAQ

Is Hello Fresh in Canada?

Yes! HelloFresh delivers to Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, Newfoundland, and the Maritimes. Ontario shipments are based out of Toronto. Delivery is Sunday – Thursday, depending on the province.

What time does Hello Fresh arrive?

Delivery is between 8am to 8pm.

Is Hello Fresh good for weight loss?

First, let me start by saying I’m not a nutritionist, or a dietician, but I can say that the meal portions are more in line with what we should be eating.

If you eat a lot of processed foods or order out a lot, then yes, you could lose weight with Hello Fresh, assuming you choose meals that fit within your caloric requirements.

If you have concerns about weight loss and Hello Fresh, we suggest you reach out to a registered dietician.

How much does Hello Fresh really cost?

Hello Fresh plans range from $10.31 per serving up to $13.33. If you use our Hello Fresh promo code, you’ll receive your first week at xxx.

Is HelloFresh expensive?

That depends on what you call expensive. Is Hello Fresh cheaper than the grocery store? No! Is it cheaper than a restaurant? Yes!

You’re paying for the convenience of having your meals planned for you, packaged and shipped. There’s way more overhead to running a meal delivery service than the grocery store, which is why it costs more. But, if you order out at least once a week, a week’s box will save you money.

How long does HelloFresh last in the fridge?

Your meals will come with best before dates printed on the paper bag as well as the meat label. The meat is vacuum packaged so it does have a longer shelf life than the vegetables.

Where do they source their meats from?

The Hello Fresh website states that the source varies from one week to the other but suppliers are all national and certified. The chicken and pork are hormone free and the chicken is also antibiotic free. There’s no mention of beef.

How do I skip a week?

In the app, go to your calendar and click the “Skip Week” button. On desktop, log into your HelloFresh account, view your delivers and click the “Skip Week” button.

Is the packaging recyclable?

I was surprised at how little waste there was. They used paper bags, corrugated cardboard and ice packs. The only material we had to throw out was the plastic used for the ice packs. Everything else went into the recycle bin. Of course, this depends entirely on your municipalities recycling rules. You can reuse the ice packs by placing them in the freezer.

Can you freeze meat from Hello Fresh?

Yes.

How do I change my Hello Fresh meals?

Log into the HelloFresh app or website and review your weekly menu. From there, click the “Select Meals” button and individually select your meals.

Can I cancel my Hello Fresh account after receiving the free box?

Yes, but the real question is, why would you want to?

Can I choose my own meals?

Sort of. Hello Fresh creates their own menu and lets you choose between one of six meals. If you don’t like the current menu, click the Skip button.

How many calories are in Hello Fresh meals?

Like everything, this varies. The Hello Fresh meal calories can range from 500 to 1,000. You have to pay attention to what you order. Unfortunately, the only way to see the calories for each recipe is by clicking through to review the recipe card online. The card they send you in your box does not contain this information

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