If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen my adventures in cooking with HelloFresh last week. After whipping up three meals with the delivery service, I’m here to report back on my experience, what I learned and how to make the most out of it if you decide to give it a go.
I’ve been wanting to try out a meal delivery service for a LONG time. But for some reason, I never ended up pulling the trigger. There was always a reason to put it off but it boiled down mostly to cost and timing. Often times, we have stuff scheduled throughout the week so making dinner at home can be hit or miss. But lately, we’ve been trying to eat at home more often and actually make the food, not order it in or carry it out. So when I had the chance to try out HelloFresh, the timing was right.
Dinner is one of those things that is a constant struggle. The “what’s for dinner?” question is one of my least favorite, not because I don’t like cooking dinner but because I hate coming up with the game plan. That probably stems from my strong dislike of going to the grocery, mostly because I’m convinced the parking lot around ours is one of the rings of hell, but also because I usually end up buying a bunch of stuff with no clear plan of action. So HelloFresh already had a leg up because it eliminated my need to go to the grocery and narrowed down the dinner options to three options – all of which looked delicious.
After cooking all three meals – to pretty rave reviews all around – I thought I’d share some of my tips for making the most out of the meal delivery experience.
1. Pick the Right Plan
HelloFresh has three meal plan options – Classic, Veggie and Family. We went with the family plan since D3 and Reese usually eat what we’re having for dinner now. It has enough food for 2 adults and 2 children and includes meat, fish and veggie options. The two of them eat about one portion but we didn’t want to end up with too little. Anything extra we just saved for lunch the following day.
If you have kids who aren’t super picky eaters, I’d recommend this one since it allows you to have slightly larger portions and/or leaves you with extra that you can have for lunch or dinner the next day.
2. Pick the Right Delivery Date
At our house, Mondays are for Mexican. It is the ONLY day of the week where I don’t have to come up with a game plan. Plus, it’s the kids favorite so I didn’t want to mess with the one day I don’t have to worry about.
I picked a Wednesday delivery knowing that I’d probably make our three meals Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday. Nothing bums me out more than wasting food, so having this game plan in mind made sure we used all three recipes. The good news is that you could feasible freeze the meat ingredients and save them for another day if you’re afraid you can’t use them all three in a row.
Our kit came with a burger, pizza and teriyaki rice and pork recipe. It worked out well because we did the Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin and Rice on Wednesday, Burgers on Thursday and the pizza for lunch on Sunday.
3. Read the Instructions All the Way Through before Starting
This may seem like a no-brainer but I didn’t do this and it messed me up at first.
Each recipe comes with handy meal cards with full instructions plus tips. I wish I had read the whole thing before starting. I also failed to follow instructions and assemble all my kitchen tools, bowls, pots and pans before starting which bit me in the butt.
When they say the recipes only take 30 or 35 minutes, they aren’t lying but it also assumes you have all your ducks in a row before starting. When I made the teriayki recipe, I made the mistake of just jumping in without looking through everything. This got me in a pickle on a couple steps and made the process a tiny bit more stressful than it should have been. That being said, despite my misteps, it all turned out and ended up being way better than I expected.
When I made the burger and pizza recipes, I was sure to get everything prepared before starting which made the whole cooking process WAY smoother.
4. Recruit an Assistant
All of the recipes are much easier to execute if you have a Sous Chef. Sometimes there are a few things happening at once and it’s helpful to have another set of hands in the kitchen to keep it all together.
That’s not to say that you can’t make it on your own. The recipes are relatively simple and I made two of these all on my own but the whole thing is a lot less to balance if you have a little help. Even having my son to help out made it a lot easier.
5. Save the Recipe Cards
There were some cool tricks that I learned from whipping up these recipes, plus they were all delicious. I’ve saved the recipe cards in my super Mom-ish recipe box so that I can go back to them if I ever want to.
All in all, I really loved HelloFresh. All of the recipes come individually packaged so you can pull out one box at a time. If you had a big freezer, you could even freeze the whole box of ingredients if you wanted to save it for another day.
The food was all fresh and most importantly, it was good. The recipes were things both my husband and I genuinely enjoyed but my kids would still eat (I did leave the zucchini off of their pizza but that was no big deal).
Best part of all, it made making dinner so much simpler. When I got home, we didn’t spend 30 minutes trying to figure out what to have and then have to make a last minute run out to the store. It was all there, ready to go. I’d say it was worth it for that stress-free feeling alone.
If you’re interested in giving it a try – and I definitely think you should – HelloFresh is offering $30 off your first box with code LOUWHAT30
Thanks so much to HelloFresh for sponsoring this post. As always, all thoughts, opinions and random ramblings are my own. I only partner with brands I believe in and am truly interested in sharing with you.