Did I say in my last post I was done talking about food?
But, I think it’s important to clarify that I’m done talking about food in that light and will only approach it from the foodie persona that still resides somewhere deep within me.
As many of you know, I came across an awesome offer to try Hello Fresh from Ibotta (there will be links at the end of this so y’all can get offers too). This offer allowed me to place my first order and receive $49 cash back – making my selection for 3 meals a week for two people come out to only be $12!
Kind of a no brainer…
And so, I placed the order and couldn’t wait for last Monday to arrive. Now that I’ve almost finished up all my meals it’s time to let y’all in on the good and the bad and how this delivery service is the answer I’ve been looking for.
So what did I get?
My first meal were these scrumptious Hoisin-Glazed Meatballs served over jasmine rice and green beans.
Let me just say, this meal comes close to the top of the list of foods I’ve eaten in my lifetime. The flavors were perfect, the balance of rice to meatballs to green beans was just right.
It was super easy to prepare – each menu card comes with six sections that are step by step and really easy to follow.
This meal also reheated really well.
This meal gets 5/5 stars for taste, ease to prepare, reheating, and use of ingredients.
My second meal was a Creamy Chive Chicken with a side salad. This was served over jasmine rice and the sauce for the chicken was very similar to the salad dressing so it paired quite well.
I will say, the instructions really made this meal perfect. I’ve never been good at cooking chicken breast and these instructions were specific and had proper timings so I actually had a perfectly cooked breast.
The dijon apple side salad was my favorite part of this meal. The flavors were absolutely incredible and I was able to make the salad and store it all mixed up and it was still fresh and delicious on the second day ~ I’m sure having lemon zest and some lemon juice in the dressing helped with this.
The chicken was alright, but a little blah compared to the salad.
The chicken also lasted for three servings, while the salad only lasted for two.
Overall, this recipe gets 4/5 stars as it was really yummy and easy to prepare. I’ll be saving the recipe so I can make the salad again, but the chicken wasn’t fully to my taste.
My third meal was an Apricot Glazed Chicken with green beans and fingerling potatoes.
Overall this meal was really good. I was absolutely in love with the how mini everything was. The perfect portions for this had me in awe – I mean look at that tiny container of apricot jam.
I will say, the apricot glaze was amazing, especially with the fresh thyme but I wish the amount of glaze was doubled. The meal tastes best with the chicken, potatoes, and green beans all mixed together but the glaze is only enough for the chicken.
This recipe had me bake the potatoes and green beans. The beans turned out alright, but the potatoes were rather boring. In the future I’ll substitute a different starch and used the potatoes for another recipe or even just make mashed potatoes.
This recipe gets a 4/5 stars because it was easy to make and very flavorful, but not all the ingredients get used fully and more glaze would’ve been better. It also didn’t reheat very well – probably something additional glaze would fix.
Hello Fresh Overall
My entire experience was a really great one, but I do want to put together the pros and cons.
- Generous portion sizes – it’s advertised as a 2-person meal but each meal stretched to three meals that were all generous helpings.
- The price is right – At the $60 rate, which is 3 meals for 2 people, each meal comes out to be $6.67 since I had no problem stretching it to be three servings. At the deal I got, my meals for the last week and a half were $1.33!
- The menu cards: Everything about this I could rave about. The picture shows exactly what the meal will look like and it’s spot on. The back of the card has three sections: ingredients you’ll need to pull out, the measurements, and then a 6-step easy to follow set of instructions for preparing it. The best part is the measurements because it breaks down what you’ve received so in the future you can go to the store and get these ingredients again without buying too much.
- The properly portioned ingredients ~ This is really great as I’m still learning how to cook and how long food lasts. Not having leftover ingredients in the fridge that may go bad before I have a meal that needs them again is great and saves money in the long run.
- The ingredients held up ~ since I did stretch how far each meal could go, what was intended to last a week wasn’t even touched for a bit longer. None of the fresh veggies or herbs appeared to suffer during this time. I’ll note that the premixed salad did have a few pieces that needed to be tossed, but in hindsight I should have chosen to make that meal first because salad fixings never last long.
- Prep time wasn’t too much too handle ~ each meal took less than an hour. Since I’m not a seasoned cook it took longer than the “estimated time” on the recipe but that’s okay.
- Delivery ~ It comes to you in a freezer box and the delivery fee is about $6-$8. I included that in my calculations previously so this isn’t some surprise extra.
- There are a variety of meals to choose from ranging from calorie smart, to vegetarian, or family friendly. There’s a variety of meats in each weeks menu and gourmet options. The same meals don’t repeat every week.
- If you’re a super picky eater, picking out meals for the week could be a challenge. I’m not very picky but a few options are at an added fee so they sound delicious but added costs are added costs. Although there is a wide variety, if your diet is restricted by various things you may have a harder time.
- I had a crime scene in my kitchen upon opening the box. The ground beef had bled out, so I had to carefully wash about half of the contents – the meat was close to the bottom. This also made discarding the box difficult because I couldn’t break it down without getting more blood everywhere.
- There aren’t options to substitute. Two of the meals I got came with jasmine rice, given the option I would much prefer brown rice. This could also go for the veggies – some meals coming up look really great but if they’re paired with asparagus I’m probably not going to order them because I won’t want to spend money on alternative veggies and let the asparagus go to waste.
All in all, the pros definitely win out.
There’s a few minor things that aren’t quite pros/cons but rather a personal issue such as the delivery schedule. Mine is currently set to come on Monday’s and I’m planning to get the service about three times a month. If each delivery provides food for nine days, I’ve got an in-between meal or an overlap so I’ll have to toy around with that.
Not being good at meal planning or having much experience with cooking, Hello Fresh will really benefit me. It also allows me to not grocery shop as often and removes the stress of coming up with meals on my own.
Hello Fresh currently has a $40 off offer when you use my invite link: Click Here! (Reminder my 3 recipes were $60 so you could spend as little as $20!) Using my link also gives me $10 in HelloFresh credit of my own.
If you want to also be saving money on your groceries and earn cash back – the way I got my awesome Hello Fresh offer, you can sign up for Ibotta. You can sign up online or download the app – just make sure you either click the link or use my code: aoicatk
I’ve had the Ibotta app since August of 2018 and in the last almost three years I’ve gotten about $240 in cash back using the app rather casually. There is now also a browser extension that makes cash back on online purchases easier. edit 4/24/21