Look at this! A blog entry EARLY! WOAH!
Today's entry is a little bit different. I like sharing the things that surprise me. If it's really good, or helpful, I like to give a shout out. Today's shout out - HelloFresh.
We got our first HelloFresh box this week and I finally cooked the first meal tonight. I want to start out by saying that this is NOT a paid promotion or advertisement (though if @HelloFresh wants to throw some food my way, I wouldn’t say no). I just genuinely liked it.
I’d been debating about trying a meal service for a while. We eat out fairly regularly, which is neither healthy nor is it cheap. I looked into a couple services a few months ago, but never pulled the trigger. I think the initial price, even with an introductory discount, was making me a little gun shy. So when my good friend @TheOfficeScribe gave me a coupon for a free week, I decided “free” was a price I could live with to try it out.
Tonight, we tried the cherry balsamic pork chops with roasted potatoes and roasted broccoli. Was it super healthy? Well, in comparison to say, chicken wings with french fries and ranch dipping sauce, yes. Yes it was. Even though there was room for improvement in the healthy department, it was still delicious and I didn't feel like I was a greasy bad person for eating it when I was done.
Things I liked:
- Easy to follow instructions. I spent my day today cleaning out the basement, so I was pretty knackered when I got upstairs to cook. Step by step directions with pictures and clear instructions were soooooo appreciated.
- REALLY GOOD DISH! I’m something of a picky eater. I dislike the texture of onions, among other things. They look like worms. I can’t deal. The Cherry Balsamic Pork Chops had shallots in it. Not exactly onion, I know, but in the onion family, and they did not gross me out. Rest of the meal was excellent as well. Good meat. Good veggies.
- No food waste: I like to cook. I do not like to eat leftovers. They frequently end up being thrown out. With HelloFresh, there aren’t any leftovers to go bad in my fridge, and there aren't any leftover ingredients to hang around until I can figure out what to do with them.
Things I’m not so keen on:
- Price: The industry standard seems to be about $60 a week. That’s three meals, times two people. That’s kind of a big chunk of change. I realize that when you break it down, its way less expensive than two people going out three times a week, but still, you’re looking at that all up front, instead of spreading it out and maybe substituting less expensive options. You’re kinda stuck with what you picked. I guess I just want my cake and want to eat it too.
- Packaging: The packaging isn’t bad. It could be better, but it’s not bad. Everything is shipped in a big box with a cooler bag inside. Inside the cooler bag, you get three big blocks of supposedly biodegradable fake ice, and each meal is separated into its own paper bag. All the ingredients are portioned for just that meal, which is great, but, you’re also left with all these tiny containers for the ingredients. Some of the containers are plastic, while others are glass or little packets. Regardless, there’s a bit more packaging waste than you would have with a larger container. Additionally, as an avid Amazon Prime user, I have more cardboard boxes in my life than anyone needs. Cutting up one more box is not something I’m super excited to do.
- Slightly deceptive cook times: The recipe card said prep time was 10 minutes and cook time was 20, for a total of 30. While that was right on the money, my understanding was that you prepped everything in 10 minutes and then had 20 minutes to go do other stuff while it was cooking. Not so. With the pork chops, you were doing different stuff for the whole 30 minutes. Not terrible, but could probably be a little clearer.
At the end of the day, the qualms I had about Hello Fresh were far outweighed by the positives. I feel like I’ve accomplished something by cooking. I had a great dinner that was probably better for me than any of the handful of restaurants where we usually eat. I tried something new. It’s a good night.
Next week’s meals are already on the way. I’m excited to see how these turn out. If you're on the fence about it, I do think you should give it a try. It's pretty easy. The food is delicious. And I even have a couple coupon codes for three free meals if anyone wants to try it. Shoot me an email. I'll hook you up.
Until next time, kids. Have a great week!