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The Dish on Hello Fresh

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Get the dish on Hello Fresh from a customer who has ordered 44 boxes over the last several years. I’m dishing on the costs, the recipes, the food quality – all of it.

One thing that bothers me about the advertising for Hello Fresh is that they use a paid-blog format to promote their meal service. It is quite effective, but it’s an advertisement posing as a blog. Allow me to assure you that I have never in any way been affiliated with Hello Fresh as anything but a customer. This blog uses google AdSense ads for revenue, and if you happen to see a meal delivery service in those ads, that is just a coincidence based on your browser history. I’m not paid or reimbursed in any way for any Hello Fresh or any other meal delivery service for this post.

In case you don’t know what Hello Fresh is, let me give you a quick refresher. Hello Fresh is a meal delivery service. You sign up for a subscription, choose which meals you want, and pay for them. You choose the day that they are delivered. They come in a box with lots of ice packs (I re-used these in my deep freezer to help it run more efficiently) and the meat is always near frozen and very cold when delivered. Each meal’s ingredients come in a separate paper bag. You cook the food. Voila, delicious. You keep the recipe card and the recipe is stored on the app for you, as well, so you can make it in the future. No meal planning, no grocery shopping. It’s great. I love it.

I opened my Hello Fresh app today, as I thought about writing up a really comprehensive blog about being a Hello Fresh customer. The app has a welcome screen that shows you how much you’ve used their service. I’ll get to the app and its functionality later, but first just to show you that I’m a real, paying customer and have never received free food from Hello Fresh outside of new customer promotions, here is a screen shot to prove that I am the real deal here.

Why I Use Hello Fresh

The reason I started using Hello Fresh is that I make it a priority to introduce my family to a wide variety of fresh, healthy food. Like many Generation X kids, I grew up eating a lot of processed foods and kool-aid. Now, I am not militantly anti-processed foods. Everything has its place – what is a kids birthday party without chicken nuggets or pizza? I do, however, wish that I had access to more fresh foods when I was a child.

I found out that most of the vegetables and foods I did not like as a child taste delicious when prepared from scratch instead of a can. No criticism to my parents here, either – they were a product of their time and they did pretty good with what we had. I never missed a meal, and never wanted for food. They worked hard to provide me with an easier life than they had, and they did so. I’m now trying to improve on the life they gave me for my children.

I also use Hello Fresh because I enjoy food. A lot. I also enjoy cooking. To me, cooking is a way to be creative and relieve stress. I love watching television shows like Chopped, and learn new styles of cooking. It is so appealing to be able to prepare high-quality meals for my family without having to do the meal prepping, shopping, and remembering what to thaw in the morning. There are times when I will thaw out extra meat from my own freezer to make the meal go further, because I buy meals for two people and I have a large family. This works for me because not all of my children are at dinner with us every night of the week, so some nights I make pork tenderloin for two and other nights I need to make it for five.

Hello Fresh is great for people like me that enjoy learning how to cook and try new techniques because you really do all the prep work by yourself. Most of the time, you’re making the sauces and dressings from scratch. You’re chopping the vegetables and mincing the garlic (sometimes I cheat and just use the minced garlic from the fridge, not gonna lie) and you are stirring and simmering and all of that. I love that stuff. If you’re looking for a meal delivery service where you just pop it in the microwave and there is little clean up, Hello Fresh is not for you.

What does Hello Fresh cost?

There are several simple structures to the Hello Fresh pricing, and I will do my best to make it easy to read. These are the prices on the Hello Fresh app as of March 14, 2021, and I cannot guarantee if they’re current. I can tell you that my average cost per box has been $69 for three meals for two people. For a while, when my teenager was eating more at home, I got three meals for four people.

I have a family of five. How do I get away with ordering meals for two?

Hello Fresh is generous with their portions of vegetables and sauces. They are really only stingy when it comes to the meat. If you are interested in using Hello Fresh to lose weight, however, it is great to help control your meat portion sizes while upping your vegetable intake. Just be careful with the olive oil and butter – there is a lot in each recipe. How I’ve always handled this is by thawing extra meat that we buy at Costco. I also keep bulk rice and spices in my pantry, so I use that to “bulk up” the recipe for my family.

If you’re truly just feeding two people, you have more than enough food. In some cases, you can pay a few dollars extra for a meal that yields leftovers for lunch the next day. While there are always options to have gourmet meals at an extra charge, trust me when I say that Hello Fresh’s “regular” meals are already made of ingredients of a higher quality than you can even get from a grocery store. I basically never get add-ons and extras that they offer, and we always enjoy the meals. Out of 44 boxes, there has only been one meal that I didn’t enjoy, and that was because I tried to convince myself that maybe I really could love shrimp, if only it was prepared properly. Spoiler: I didn’t love the shrimp.

To the left is a basic pricing table for Hello Fresh. The price has been within $5-$10 dollars of this for the last several years. Hello Fresh does offer meal upgrades and add-ons for a few dollars each, but this is the basic standard pricing. The cost of Hello Fresh can be reasonable or way out of budget, depending on your needs and wants, basically.

While I will try to keep this updated, I can not guarantee that these prices are good on the day you have come to read this website. Please verify for yourself- just know that this will be your ballpark.

I do not get a box every week, so this is a great way to add some variety, try some new things, and not go too far out of my grocery budget. Let’s be honest, I’d have never tried Butternut Squash Agnolotti (that’s fancy for Ravioli) had I not used Hello Fresh. It’s one of my favorite dishes now.

Butternut Squash Agnolotti March, 2021

Is it Easy to Pause or Cancel my Subscription?

To all of you out there with phone anxiety, let me tell you this: YES. It’s easy to pause the subscription and to cancel it. To pause the subscription, you just open the app, and instead of choosing your food for the next month, you choose “SKIP”. You can do this literally forever if you don’t want to call and cancel. Just set a reminder on your calendar every month to review the meals and to continue to skip them.

If you know that you’re not going to want to ever use it again or you want to cancel for longer than five weeks, you just choose to suspend the subscription on the app. If you do have to call, they have no trouble suspending your subscription, they just tell you that you can reactivate it at any time with the app. I am constantly skipping and cancelling and renewing depending on my life circumstances and it’s super easy to do. This is not like cable or a phone service that wants the blood of your umbilical cord before they’ll cancel you.

The Best Hello Fresh Meals

Each week, there are about a dozen meal choices. You simply open your app or visit the website, check the boxes on the meals you want, and they show up at your door the following week with a big beautiful recipe card. You can store this recipe card in a binder – I have dozens of them – and go back and make the foods again yourself. I do this quite often, actually.

A list of my all-time favorite Hello Fresh Meals:

If you have ever tried and loved my Hot Honey Salmon – the inspiration for this recipe was the hot honey chicken. I’d have never purchased that ingredient and tried it had it not been in my Hello Fresh box.

I’m going to stop the list here, but you get the idea. There is always a huge selection of different foods and they’re always delicious. There are always a lot of lemon recipes and, while I haven’t listed them here, they’re always fresh and delicious and I’ve learned a whole new appreciation for lemon. So, if you choose to sign up for Hello Fresh, go to their website. I may have referral boxes to give out from time to time, just comment if you’d like one and I’ll see if I have any, but I did not make this post for promotional purposes.

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