Dinner meal boxes are a fairly popular trend at the moment. New ones keep coming out all the time. And they sound appealing – no grocery shopping, no meal planning. Just pick the ones you want, wait for them to arrive, and use the pre-portioned ingredients to make dinner.
Every mom’s dream, right? An ad for Hello Fresh to get a free Lauren Conrad tote when you sign up made me take the plunge. (I know, I’m a sucker. They knew how to win me over.)
All of that leads to this, my official, unsponsored Hello Fresh review. You’ll notice this page doesn’t have affiliate links. Here’s why. (Please remember this is all my opinion and experience. Some of these experiences – like delivery schedules – vary depending on where you live.)
First of all, there are a lot of great things about Hello Fresh.
- Their customer service representatives are very helpful and can make necessary changes in meal plans and delivery.
- The food is packaged well, and our food arrived fresh. No problems with spoiled food here. They also appear to try to use a lot of recyclable material.
- The meals are delicious, and it’s food I probably wouldn’t have tried to make on my own. We tried the Korean chicken and brown butter truffle risotto (both were great), and the beef tacos (which I’m making tonight).
- Their marketing is appealing and definitely drew me in.
- The four-meal plan makes for plenty of food, enough for the two of us plus leftovers.
- Cost. I wouldn’t say we were saving money necessarily, but I also don’t think the cost was unreasonable. We found a discount code, so we got 3 meals (made for four people, so basically 6 meals for us including leftovers) for about $70. Unfortunately I chose a meal that has an additional charge, something I didn’t realize at the time. So it ended up being about $90.
- The delivery schedule where we live just doesn’t work for us. The first day in the week they deliver is Wednesday, so two days of meals still need to be planned, unless you can work it out another way. Also, it delivers past 5pm, which again, doesn’t work for our eating schedule.
- Although customer service was helpful, I had a difficult time connecting through chat. I had to open and close windows a few times before I could get through and finish the conversation. Perhaps the phone line is the better way to go.
- While the marketing was great, there were a lot of key details I didn’t get by just browsing the page, things like dates for ordering, meal plans, and up charges for meals. We ended up getting a “surprise” charge (surprise for me, because I didn’t read the fine print). Just know ahead of time that some meals have an extra charge.
- Finally, our recipes seemed to involve a lot of steps, and dishes, which made for extra clean-up.
Again, all of this is just my experience. Sadly, the whole subscription box plan does not work well for our family, based on where we live, and how we operate with our meals typically.
I would say, however, if you’re a young professional, a couple that doesn’t have kids, or empty nesters, and you want to shake up your meal routine a bit, or learn to cook something new, meal boxes are something fun to try out. Again, the Hello Fresh food was tasty, and the risotto in particular was something I’d never think to make.
If you choose to sign up, here are some things to make note of:
- When deliveries are made, and if that works for your schedule
- If the meal you choose has an extra charge (which is totally fine, but just so you know!)
- Look up coupon codes – there’s a few out there!
- Try the phone rather than online chat if connectivity is an issue
My goal is to help families make good decisions for their homes. So I hope this comes across the right way. I’ll conclude with this: we ended our Hello Fresh subscription, because it’s just not a good fit for us right now. If we choose to try again, I’ll keep you updated.
Have you tried any meal box subscription plans? If so, how was your experience?