Before we went to Peru, we were given a promo code for one week FREE of HelloFresh, a meal subscription service. Being the practical and future-thinkers we were, we placed an order for the week we came back from Peru–because no one wants to cook when they get back from vacation. So for one week, we said goodbye to our usual mega meal preparations and embraced the spontaneity of three new meals provided for us in a box delivered to our doorstep.
Most are at least somewhat familiar with meal subscription boxes. There’s a ton of them! From Blue Apron to Plated, the concept is the same: you pay and they send you a box full of recipes and exactly the amount of ingredients you need. With Hello Fresh, they let you pick your menu before they ship it. However, the opportunity window to do so was while we were WIFI-less in the Andes mountains. So, Hello Fresh picked out three meals for us.
Ideally, we wanted the meals to be delivered Monday, so we could start eating. But the earliest Hello Fresh will deliver is Tuesday, so that’s what happened. Wrapped in copious amounts of ice packs and insulation, our food was carefully and promptly delivered to our doorstep.
Tuesday night, we made our first meal: Honey Mustard Salmon. It was super yummy and really quite simple to make. I think Hello Fresh gives you easy meals to start with and then works your way up to more challenging recipes. Little did they know that Neil and I are Master Chefs. Either way, we enjoyed the salmon and couscous.
Next up was the Crispy Chicken Parmesan Salad. And OH MY LANTA. This was the best meal in the box. HANDS DOWN. So much so that Neil and I have decided to save this recipe for later use. It was crispy, warm, flavorful, and, again, super easy to make. (Keep an eye out for it if you’re ever invited to a dinner at the Robinsons).
Last, and unfortunately least, we made the Mole-Spiced Steak Tacos. I’m not a huge red-meat fan, so maybe my steak-cooking skills need a bit more refining, but this was not good. The steak was tough, fatty and often hard to chew. The servings were way too large at three tacos and 880 calories per person. Its one saving grace was the corn salsa which was delightful, but only I was able to enjoy it as Neil does not like corn.
It was fun to get out of our mega meal routine and try some new recipes (variety). The packaging meant all the food was in good condition when it arrived. All the food was good quality and often organic. The perfectly proportioned ingredients meant no pesky leftovers of things we’ll rarely use (convenience and no waste). We’ve even been inspired to add a few new ingredients to our repertoire now that we know they are easy to work with (they’ll be some couscous in our future, for sure).
Three meals for $69 is ridiculous even with convenience factored in. Our weekly grocery bill averages around $80 and that includes dinners, lunches, breakfasts, and snacks. We even buy a lot of organic products. So from a budget sustainability perspective, HelloFresh just doesn’t work for us long-term. Also, the portions were a bit too large for two people, but not big enough to split into a second meal.
Overall, considering it was free and it was fresh and it was edible, we enjoyed our experience. While we will not continue to do HelloFresh weekly, we both agreed that it’s a great option if we’re pinched for shopping time or want a fun, kitchen experience to share together (compared to cooking classes, it’s a steal!).
Interested in HelloFresh? You can get $40 off your first box by using the Robinson Referral Code (222525R3LMLT) and $15 off for subscribing to their newsletter.