Hello Fresh Recipe Cards with text overlay: As Promised....My Hello Fresh Update

As Promised….My Hello Fresh Update

Have you ever thought about trying one of those meal delivery services we see advertised all the time? Well, as some of you know, after considering it for quite a while, I decided to give Hello Fresh a try. It’s been a couple of months now, and I thought I’d give you a little update.

I mostly enjoyed my experience with Hello Fresh, but ultimately ended up cancelling my subscription after two months.

So Why Did I Cancel?

The thing that caused me to cancel was that, in spite of having FRESH in its name, the produce we received was often anything but. Some things were completely unusable. If this were only an occasional issue, it wouldn’t have been a problem, but this happened with at least one meal in each box we received.

There were several times that, had I not had a garden and herb bed (or veggies in the fridge), I wouldn’t have been able to make some of the recipes I got.

I will say that when I contacted Customer Service, they did apologize and give me a credit on my account. Unfortunately, though, my complaint didn’t really make a difference. My last two boxes (that I got after contacting them) had produce that I would never have bought. I will admit that I can be somewhat picky about my produce, and some folks may not have had a problem with the produce I got.

Here are a few pictures from my last couple of boxes:

I think they may have different places that they ship from though. My best friend’s daughters all use Hello Fresh and they haven’t really noticed any issues with their produce. That makes me wonder if our veggies were coming from different places.

Even though I was dissatisfied with the produce and ended up canceling my subscription, I’m still glad I tried it. There were some really great things we gained from having those green boxes delivered to us each week.

The Positive Aspects of Our Hello Fresh Experience

The Hello Fresh recipes are delicious! We tried 23 different meals (we chose one exact duplicate because we liked it so much), and out of those, there were only two that I really didn’t care for. I did have to make occasional adjustments to seasoning amounts to protect my cranky tummy, but they really did a fabulous job putting together tasty, easy-to-prepare dinners.

Easy-to-prepare didn’t always mean quick – most of the meals took at least 45 minutes from start to finish. That’s not really that long in the grand scheme of things, but for those of us who are almost constantly in an energy deficit, it can seem like forever.

I got back into the habit of cooking more consistently. I had already been cooking at home more since Coronavirus made it to our area, but on nights when I didn’t really feel like cooking, we’d just do something simple, even if it wasn’t particularly healthy.

Because I was getting three meals each week, I knew I had to cook at least three nights. I certainly didn’t want to let all that food go to waste. And because of the produce issues, I tried to make sure I cooked everything within just a few days.

There was very little waste, except when I had to throw away produce that was not usable. The recipes were all perfectly portioned so that we ate everything I cooked. No more leftovers getting lost in the back of the refrigerator and eventually having to be tossed.

It kept me from having to plan meals for three days of the week. Having a meal plan can be so beneficial for our health. It can help us plan for healthful eating and ensure we don’t just grab whatever’s available when we get hungry. If I’m being truthful, though, I hate meal planning. I’m not sure why, but I dread sitting down to make my plan each week and tend to put it off as long as I possibly can.

All the ingredients for our meals were curated. Everything I needed, except for basics like olive oil, salt and pepper, and butter was right in that little brown bag for each meal. Being able to just grab that bag and have everything I needed seems like a small thing, but it made a huge difference for me.

I learned some new little tricks to make easy sauces that are really flavorful didn’t add a lot of calories. Sauces can make such a difference in the flavor of a meal, but they can also be loaded with calories and fat. Many of these sauces were balsamic-vinegar-based, and although they did add some sugar (sometimes a tablespoon of jam) and fat (a tablespoon of butter), they weren’t as heavy as a lot of sauces.

Final Thoughts….

In my original post, I mentioned that I thought this might save us money on our grocery bill, but that wasn’t the case for us. One of the things I liked best was also one of the things that I liked least — there were no leftovers. That meant we didn’t have leftovers to eat for lunches the next day. Since we didn’t have those leftovers, we had to purchase things for breakfasts and lunches in addition to our delivered dinners. And of course, we had to have groceries for dinners the other four nights of the week.

Overall, our Hello Fresh experience was a good one. We had some delicious meals, learned some new recipes, and yours truly here got back into the habit of cooking every night. I would still say if it’s something you’ve been thinking about, it doesn’t hurt to give it a try. The nice thing with Hello Fresh is that you can cancel any time, and it’s a really easy process.

Have you ever used a meal delivery service? What was your experience with it? Would you recommend it? Please share!

Blessings,

~Terri

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Hello Fresh Recipe Cards with text overlay: As Promised....My Hello Fresh Update

25 comments

  1. Thank you Terri for the original and update on the meal delivery service. Great info. I have not tried one yet. Will let you know if we do.

  2. If you can learn a bit from it & have some positive takeaway regardless then that’s good. But how disappointing! I’m picky about fresh produce, as well as bread (is it just me or do staff stand on the loaves to squash them out of shape before putting them on the shelf?) so I’d be hesitant about ordering food like this in my online shop or as a food subscription box. You would have thought, being such a big brand, that the fresh stuff would actually be fresh. It’s not like it’s dirt cheap either. The lack of leftovers depends on what you want, so if you’re hoping to cook less and make the box go further, then it’s probably not the best option. If you just want it for the specified meals and no waste, then great. You turned this into such a positive and I don’t think I could have done that had I have received a bendy carrot like that (that is a carrot, right?) among other unusable items, especially after contacting them! xx

    1. Thanks so much Caz! I have to agree with you on the bread thing. I always have to check any rolls we get to make sure they’re not smooshed. And yes, that is a carrot. Unfortunately, I had more that were like that than not. The deer got those and I pulled some out of my refrigerator drawer for us. The deer didn’t seem to mind that they were bendy.😁 I hope you’re staying safe and doing well! Sending hugs!

  3. Thank you for this post! I haven’t tried one of these services but it’s good to hear a review. I’m with you on the produce— I definitely want mine fresh!

    1. I’m glad you found it helpful Sarah! They have so many options for these type of services now it’s unbelievable. One thing I’ve noticed between this and ordering my groceries for curbside pickup is that nobody is as careful in picking my produce as I am. 😊 Thanks so much for commenting. Hope you’re staying safe and doing well sweet friend!

  4. Since I could eat pizza for every meal I had never thought about trying it. ( I said I could not should 😉 ), Thank you for the information. When it comes to money I am very skeptical about trying new things….you have given me something to consider

    1. I’ve missed you Grace! How are you? I hope you’re doing well. I see I’m not the only pizza lover! We’ve been ordering from Pizza Hut once or twice a month lately. Sometimes you just have to have something yummy whether it’s great for you or not. It’s good to “see” you again sweet friend. Hugs!

      1. Terri, I have a “contest” beginning tomorrow. Please check it out! There are prizes!….lol In answer to your question though about how I am doing….it has been a really rough year, but I am keeping my head above water, and have even found a “small island”

  5. I have to say, I have loved all but one of the meals so the recipes will come in handy. However, I had some complaints, too. Twice I ran over the box with my car because they left it outside my garage door. I have gotten carrots that were questionable, but I think they were frozen and then defrosted? It was weird. There was a screw up with wrong meat, too. I only did it for 4 weeks! I called to complain about a couple of these things and was back and forth on hold 45 minutes because they couldn’t find my account. I have to admit, that I have hardly paid for any of it, so they are very generous when they make up for their screw ups. My daughters, on the other hand, have not had any problems! Crazy. xo

    1. Thanks so much for sharing Sandy! Maybe the freezing and thawing was what happened with my carrots and that zucchini I posted the picture of…. It was dark (almost black) and kind of dimpled on one side. Now that you mention that ‘frozen’ thing, I wonder if that side was sitting against one of the ice packs. I hadn’t seen anything like it, so I was about to eat it. Luckily, I had some in the refrigerator to replace it. I’m glad your daughters haven’t had any problems. Do they live in the same area as you? I’m just wondering if they use different distribution centers and if that makes a difference…. Like you, I’m saving my recipes so I can make them again. They really were quite tasty. Hope you’re staying safe and well sweet friend. Hugs!

      1. Hi Terri! Yes, they do live in different areas so I bet that has something to do with it. It could have been freezer burn. I had never seen anything like it either. But there has to be something to it because when there is a mistake, they give you a lot of money back! All is well here but school starts the end of next week, so we shall see what happens. I hope you are doing well, too. xoxo

  6. Thank you Terri for this great and valuable information! Dinner is very challenging for my house right now. My husband works nights and I work days, he does have days off, but his schedule is so crazy it just gets hard to actually sit down together for dinner. I have tried making dinner when he has a day off or when I do and can cook something late, but goodness is is SUPER challenging and frustrating. I am think maybe this option would work for us, I just hope it isn’t to expensive. Currently, I hardly leave the house because i work from home and have groceries delivered to the house. Some might say I am overboard with m virus concerns, I am terrified of the virus. Thank you so much for this amazing information!! You are wonderful and amazing person and I appreciate you so much! Take care and please stay safe!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words Alyssa! I imagine it IS really challenging to try to have dinner together with you guys working opposite shifts like that. I can tell you that for the Hello Fresh, my regular price for 3 meals a week was around $60. Since stopping with them, because I really do hate doing meal plans, I’m doing a 2-week trial with emeals.com. You can choose different eating patterns and they give you meal plans and recipes for each meal, generate a grocery list, and will even transfer your list to Walmart, Kroger, or Amazon for delivery or pickup. All you pay for is the meal planning part, which is $5 a week, plus your groceries. And if you already have some of the things called for in the recipes, you can remove them from your grocery list. As I said, I’m still in my trial – I’ve only done 1 week so far, but I enjoyed not having to spend a couple of hours planning our dinners, and the recipes we’ve made so far have been tasty. Take care of yourself sweet friend! Sending hugs your way!

  7. I’m picky about my produce, too. Here lately our local grocery store hasn’t had very good produce, either. I also need leftovers for lunches the next day to save money. This is such a helpful review because I was considering ordering from them to try it. But after reading this I think I’ll skip it. Thanks for helping me save money! 🙂

    1. Thanks for sharing Michelle! Overall, my experience really was a good one – I’m just really picky about produce. I guess that’s because so many produce items get recalled all the time and I don’t want to take any chances on ‘iffy’ veggies. Of course, as I said, my friend’s daughters haven’t had any issues. I think you live in the same state I do, though, so you’d probably get yours from the same distribution center. I hate to think I’m dissuading someone from trying it, but I also know I like to get people’s honest experiences with these things, not just a ‘paid advertisement.’ Blessings to you sweet friend!

  8. Wow Terri, sorry to hear your experience wasn’t too good. You would think that you’d get produce that was fresh in quality and appearance. What happened to you just hurts their reputation. But I guess in a time like this, maybe producing quantity of products for the starving consumers outweighs the quality.

    1. Thanks Mark! You make a great point about them needing to produce quantity. From my understanding, they’ve experienced quite a boom in business since this pandemic started. Maybe they’re just trying to keep up with demand and aren’t paying as much attention to the freshness. As Sandy mentioned in her comment, they do compensate you well if you contact them with a problem. I had been mentioning my issues in the reviews I sent in each week, but didn’t actually lodge a complaint with the company. When I did finally contact their customer service, they gave me a generous credit on my next box. Hope everything is going well over your way, dear friend. We’re wishing for some of those Tradewinds over here right now. It’s been hot and humid, but we’re in for a little cool down this week. Blessings to you dear friend!

  9. Great info, Terri! Thanks for such a thorough write up! I’ve been wanting to do one of these, but I’m picky about everything; so I’ve hesitated in doing so. I love the idea and convenience, but overall, I’m thinking I would be unhappy with the quality. Thanks for doing my homework for me!!! 😉

    1. I’m so glad you found it helpful Stace! Overall, my experience was positive, but I just couldn’t get past those vegetables…. I really did love the convenience, but my new system of using emeals and setting up my meal bins in the fridge seems to be working great so far. Of course, it’s only two weeks in, so we’ll see how it works long-term. Hope you’re staying safe and well sweet friend!

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting Kathy! I really did like the convenience of having the meal planning taken care of and all the ingredients delivered to my door, but I’m just too picky about my produce. Between Hello Fresh and doing the curbside pickup at a couple of different grocery stores, I’ve discovered nobody cares as much about my produce as me. 😁 I hope you’re staying safe and well sweet friend. Hugs!

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