I apologize that I haven’t written in awhile, but that’s only because I’ve been cooking up something good for you guys. Literally. HA HA get it. Of course you don’t because I haven’t told you what I’ve been working on yet.
I’ve been seeing these ads for Hello Fresh all over my Insta feed for months now. A lot of that definitely has to do with the fact that I follow everyone and their mother who was ever a part of The Bachelor franchise, and it seems like every season there’s a new trend with these people. First it was those dang Sugar Bear Hair gummies (I seriously can’t imagine that these work, but then again what do I know), then it was FabFitFun boxes (honestly, these are pretty cool, if only I had a real person salary to sign up for a monthly subscription), next it was Hello Fresh. Now apparently we’ve moved onto podcasts, with all the “still-relevant” names infiltrating the audio world. I would say I’m concerned for these people’s originality, but I can’t really talk since I recently jumped on the Hello Fresh bandwagon myself.
So no, unlike the Bachelor contestants, I do not get paid to promote Hello Fresh nor do I receive free boxes in the mail. I have never been a contestant on The Bachelor (although I have worked for the franchise, and boy was that a shit show), so frankly, no one cares what I do. Still, I had to check out the fresh-food-by-mail frenzy for myself.
To get started, you’re going to want to visit the Hello Fresh website to choose your initial plan. I had a coupon code from Skimm (which, on a side note, I highly recommend for a daily recap of news if you’re as busy of a person as I am), so I got my first box for $26.97. This was for the “classic plan” for two people, three meals each per week. I’m not sure if they’re still running this particular special, but for awhile there also was a $30 off your first box offer for this plan, which traditionally weighs in at a little under $60. There’s also a veggie plan, and a family plan, which seems to be the greatest deal, feeding four people for $69.92.
Now, these may seem like pretty high prices (trust me, I’m a grad student, I get it), but if you’re like me and eat out several times a week anyway, you might want to start budgeting and paying attention to just how much you’re spending on food on a weekly basis. The meals come super easy to prepare and are relatively healthy, so really I’d say it’s worth it if you know you can stick with it. With that being said, I will be honest, I cancelled my subscription after week one- I found I still ate out just as much, so now I was paying for all the fresh food from my box that was just sitting in the fridge ON TOP OF my Panera & Chick Fil A & Moes. The only added perk I had now was the guilt that I had wasted both food and money. The meals are great for meal-prepping, but with little access to a refrigerator within my hectic schedule, it was a bit of a waste. Basically, just know yourself and your routine before purchasing.
After you’ve chosen your plan, you’ll have the chance to choose your meals from a given list for the week, and schedule your delivery. You can opt out of a particular week if you know you won’t be home or that the recipes won’t be needed, and you can cancel at any time (up to 5 days prior to your next delivery). I will say, the food IS delicious and super easy to whip up (so easy even the girl who cooked her first frozen pizza with the cardboard backing still attached could do it- yes, true story).
I set my package to arrive on a Monday, and lo and behold, when I got home from class Monday evening, there she sat. A sight for sore eyes (and a rumbling stomach.)
After taking my precious package inside, I wasted no time tearing right in (after spending a good half hour trying to take this picture, ah the struggles of using coffee cans as a tripod).
What I opened up to was beautiful. To be frank, Hello Fresh you nailed your packaging. Plus the mini containers of ingredients are ADORABLE.
My three chosen meals this week were: Crispy Crusted Chicken, Sweet Apple Pork Tenderloin and Sesame Beef Tacos. Can you say yum?! As you can see below, after unpackaging all of the goods, my table looked like a bombzone- a beautiful, colorful, nutritionally dense bomb zone.
Roll up your sleeves, from here on out things start to get messy. All together, to make the three meals, I would say it took me a little over two hours, but cleanup was a significant portion of this time, so I would strongly recommend cleaning as you go.
For an idea of what the process looked like, check out this quick video:
One dirty kitchen, one activated smoke detector, and one satisfied cook later, and we have our finished products!
Sesame Beef Tacos
Sweet Apple Pork Tenderloin
Crispy Crusted Chicken
I know there are other ready-to-prepare meal companies out there (Blue Apron, Home Chef, etc.) so I’d love to see how these compare! If you’ve had any experience either bad or good with any of these, comment below and let me know! 🙂