My fiance and I have been using Hello Fresh for about a year and a half now and I figured it was time to do at least some sort of a review on their service. And I know you’re probably thinking, This is a tech blog, what do meal kits have to do with anything? Well, in my opinion they fall under the home automation category and it fits in well with all the other changes I’ve made in my life in order to make things easier when you have a busy life. Much like my roombas, or all of my alexa enabled devices, Hello Fresh just makes our lives a little easier by saving the stress of figuring out what’s for dinner.
I’ll admit, when, my fiance initially suggested trying Hello Fresh I wasn’t really too keen on the idea as it seemed like it would be an expensive way to feed ourselves and I didn’t think we’d like half the recipes anyways. It turns out I was wrong on both of those points. I also didn’t think it would save us much time, while I think that it has I still am trying to find a solution to all of the dishes we generate 🙂
At that point we were living in another town and I had over an hour and a half commute each day. I also did not have as much flexibility for working at home at that time, and often found myself working again when I got home. In addition to that she works retail and often worked in the evenings and wasn’t alwasy able to help with dinner. So dinner was always a mess for us, either we’d go and grab a few groceries after we were both done work and end up making a very later dinner, or far too often we’d order out. Often our shopping trips were full of frustration because we didn’t know what we wanted to eat or just weren’t in the mood to shop after a long day at work. And most notably we’d always seem to end up spending at the very least $50-60 if not more just to get us through the night. This was even if we had grabbed groceries earlier in the week. Enter Hello Fresh.
Initially we were very impressed with the packaging. The food came in a big insulated cardboard box with ice packets in the bottom. The meat was always frozen and the produce was always packaged up in paper bags that were labeled so all you had to do each day was grab the right meat and the right paper bag out of the fridge and the corresponding meal card off the side of the fridge and get started. The only frustration is picking which meal to cook and often we were too lazy to do the dishes the night before so that can still be a bit of an issue.
The ice packs can be disposed of by cutting them open and running the goop down the drain with hot water. I’m pretty sure it’s just corn starch and water or something like that. You can also stock pile them and call for a pickup every now and then if you really want to be green. Personally I save a lot of them and keep them for camping and road trips. You’ll always find 4 or 5 of them in my freezer.
The meals are all easy to make. In addition to a large card with pictures and instructions on it I eventually discovered the joy of using their app to cook. It has all of the timers pre-programmed for you and they’re easy to run concurrently (which is more than I can say for the timer on our stove). It is also voice activated, which sounds like a gimmick at first but as it turns out it’s really handy when your hands are covered in garlic and onion juice and you don’t want to touch your screen.
A few cons:
- The meat portions are smaller than we’d like (though I’m sure they are a properly sized portion for non glutons)
- Occasionally some of the food isn’t as fresh as their name would imply. Though to their credit they’ve offered to refund those items when called. Usually we’re too lazy
- The recipes become repetitive after a while, eventually driving us to try out some competitors
- They’ve started to cut some corners. Garlic used to come peeled and in it’s own bag, now it comes unpeeled and is just tossed in the meal’s paper bag. The garlic is also quite small, probably imported from China (who I’m trying to avoid buying from due to things like them blocking the import of canola oil)
- Some of the packaging is plastic and I don’t think it’s PET or anything biodegradeable like that
- We still have to clean our own dishes 🙁
And a quick summary of the pros:
- Dinner is always quick and easy to prepare
- Less trips to the grocery = less impulse buys that we didn’t need
- Most of the packaging is recycleable or reusable
- No more fighting over what’s for dinner!
Of course what review would be complete without a few pictures? Here’s a bunch of random dinner photos from the last year that were all Hello Fresh meals. I warn you though, I am not the best at plating 🙂
So if you’re tired of figuring out what’s for dinner, head on down to HelloFresh.ca and order a box!