Hello Fresh – reshaping our weekly habits

I love cooking. I’ve always preferred to get fresh ingredients and rustle up meals from scratch than buy ready meals. Sometimes I cheat and get a fajita kit or some frozen dumplings I can quickly steam, but largely we use fresh meat and vegetables and (usually!) cook something fairly healthy and delicious. Sometimes it can be really hard to think of meal ideas or even put the effort into cooking though, especially if you don’t get home from work until very late at night. For weeks I got into the expensive habit of ordering takeout food instead of preparing meals at home and it really started racking up beyond my means! It’s apparent that life isn’t getting any less busy, so we wanted to break the habit and try a new service aiming to help with these challenges.

Our friends referred us to Hello Fresh after they had signed up, so we got our first box for £10 (and they got £20 credit for the referral). Signing up was easy and we chose a classic box of 3 meals a week for 2 people which at full price is £30 a week. That puts the price of each meal at £5 per person. This is probably my only complaint about Hello Fresh – it’s definitely not cheaper than just going to the supermarket and sourcing the ingredients yourself. However, it’s so easy and convenient – we were really excited to try our first box. That was a few weeks ago. Fast forward to now, and we’ve since had a dozen meals and I wanted to share our Hello Fresh experience.

You can choose what type of box you want (family friendly meals, quick recipes only or a ‘classic’ box), how many people you are feeding and how many recipes a week you require. There are lots of vegetarian options and we get 8-12 meals offered a week, so a huge amount of choice!

The Delivery

So there isn’t a delivery charge for this, which is a great start. We are offered any day of the week, between 9am and 7pm, and have always opted for Sunday as we’re never doing much then! You can’t specify morning or afternoon but we do get a text alert at the start of the day to confirm an hour window in which the box will be delivered, and you can let them know of a safe place to leave the box if you’d prefer. Our delivery has always been on time and within the stated hour window, so that’s great. You can change your delivery day at any time until midnight on the Wednesday before which is super handy if you’ve made weekend plans!

The Box

The ingredients come in a large box which contains a brown paper bag of ‘dry’ ingredients with a number stuck on each to denote which recipe they belong to and a large, thick, refrigerated bag of fresh ingredients. The way they have designed this bag ensures that the products stay really cold – it’s really clever and means that if your box is left in your designated safe space, everything stays refrigerated. The ingredients provided are exactly the amount you need for your recipe (whether it be a meal for 2 or 4) which is one of the key advantages to this service – absolutely no waste! Also in the box is a recipe card for each dish (which includes ingredient requirements for 2, 3 or 4 people!) which you can keep and use later on. We have tried this a couple of times but have realised they don’t have measurements – instead, the recipe calls for “1 pot” of spices or “1 pouch” of sour cream, so there is a little bit of guesstimation involved with cooking these with store-bought ingredients.

The Recipes

We’ve now tried about 16 recipes from Hello Fresh. We tried a mix of Asian rice dishes, roasted vegetable Mediterranean dishes and a couple of ‘meat and 2 veg’ European dishes. There is a ‘rating’ system on the Hello Fresh app, and you can also handily save any favourites. The instructions are always really clear and easy to follow. We’ve never had to add our own ingredients save for oil and water and so far we’ve had all the requisite utensils except for a pestle and mortar (we ground the peppercorns by putting them in a sealed sandwich bag and bashing them)! I’ve listed below every meal we’ve tried and what we thought of them:

The Meals

Most of the dishes have been really tasty. There have only been a couple that haven’t been that nice. The flavours are fresh and it always tastes better when you’ve made it from scratch! The portions are probably exactly right but I’m used to massive portions so I find I can get a little hungry after eating. That said, they’re all low calorie and made with fresh. healthy ingredients. I’d be really interested to see what a 4-person meal looks like – if you have tried it, let me know! In the first couple of boxes they provided cans of lager and popcorn as a treat which was a really nice touch, though we haven’t had any extras for a while so I’m not sure if this is just offered to new customers. If I could change anything, I would love to be offered little puddings for a small extra charge per week to satisfy my sweet tooth.

Verdict – ★★★★☆

I really love Hello Fresh, it’s just a little too expensive. Sometimes the portions are a bit small, but the food is healthy, fresh and delicious. Without Hello Fresh, I definitely wouldn’t have thought of or tried most of the meals we’ve had (felt pretty pleased with myself after not burning lentils and also making my own hummus!), so I would recommend this. We have a referral code – HARRIS41 – which will get you £20 off your first box. That would give two people a tasty dinner 3 days a week for £10, so just under £3.50 a meal! If you try Hello Fresh please let me know what you think – we love it and I hope you do too!

This post is not sponsored and all existing customers of Hello Fresh are given referral codes to share.

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