I've Eaten Over 228 HelloFresh Meals, and They've Drastically Changed My Dinner Routine

I’m saving more than $400 a month on groceries with the meal delivery service.

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Hello Fresh review
Photo: hellofresh.com

If I'm being honest, I've never enjoyed shopping at the grocery store. Why? Because I always end up going when I'm hungry, which means I leave my local Ralph's with three pints of ice cream, a package of cookies, and a handful of vegetables—which will end up spoiling because I forget they're in the crisper. It's a vicious cycle.

During a normal week, my significant other and I would drop at least $200 on groceries. This meant I was spending $800 a month on food, and that total did not include my Wednesday coffee and donut habit, my Friday sushi indulgence, or my weekend wine purchases. Then came HelloFresh. I first heard about the popular meal delivery service through influencers on social media who raved about the benefits, like minimal food waste and delivery right to your doorstep. I was hesitant at first because it sounded expensive. Anything that convenient had to come with a hefty price tag, right? Despite my reservations, I decided to conduct my own review.

My overall rating for HelloFresh: 8.9 out of 10

Sign up now: From $50/week; hellofresh.com.

Signing Up for HelloFresh

My partner and I took the plunge and placed our first order. We chose to try four meals a week with two servings per meal, and selected vegetarian as our default preference because I have not eaten meat in over a decade. The cost for these selections was $81 per week. At about $10 a serving, it was cheaper than any of my recent takeout orders.

The sign-up process is really straightforward and transparent. What I valued most was the ability to look at HelloFresh's weekly menus before I became a subscriber. You can preview up to six weeks of upcoming meal options to see if they fit your needs and preferences without having to provide an email address, something many subscription services force you to do.

When you're ready to create an account, the site makes it incredibly easy to choose the meals, number of servings, and number of recipes you want each week. It should be noted that HelloFresh is currently available in 48 states, excluding Alaska and Hawaii.

Hello Fresh review

HelloFresh Meals

The customization options for HelloFresh are seemingly endless. Here's a quick breakdown of the different meal plans.

Number of HelloFresh Meals Per Week

You can choose to receive between two to six meals a week in servings of two or four. That means you're getting eight to 24 meals per month, though HelloFresh allows you to skip weeks or change the amount of meals you order any time you want.

Diet Preferences

HelloFresh's weekly menu includes the following filters: meat & veggies, veggie, family friendly, calorie smart, pescatarian, and quick & easy.

A common concern among potential customers is that they'll quickly grow bored of the meals or there won't be enough variety. I can personally say that after ordering more than 228 meals from HelloFresh, I've never seen the same set of weekly selections twice. Plus, the brand is continuously updating its existing meals with new twists and different ingredients. HelloFresh makes a conscious effort to keep things fresh and exciting, which, as a longtime customer, I appreciate.

Those who click the "meat & veggies" option are given 25 different recipes to choose from each week while the other filters have slightly fewer meals available. HelloFresh will preselect meals each week based on your diet preferences, but you can also handpick your entrees.The list of available meals rotates on a weekly basis and includes recipes like Thai Ginger Curry, Gorgeous Greens Farro Bowl, Bruschetta Zucchini Boats, and Italian Chicken & Pepper Sandos. My personal favorite is the Honey Miso Broccoli Donburi. If you curate your top picks in a Favorite Recipes list, you can scan ahead to see when they'll be on the menu next.

HelloFresh also has Gourmet, Gourmet Plus, and the latest Taste of Summer offerings that cost extra on top of your weekly subscription. These options range from $7 to $10 per serving. Make sure to note these items before making your selections to avoid unwanted surcharges.

Sign up now: From $50/week; hellofresh.com.

HelloFresh Delivery and Packaging

When you sign up for HelloFresh, you select a weekly delivery day. However, that day can be changed in your account settings. Though you can't specify a delivery time, customers can track deliveries via the "My Menu" tab on the website or through the HelloFresh app (which is my preference).

HelloFresh does provide insulating liners, ice packs, and other cooling materials to help keep ingredients fresh until you're able to bring in your box and refrigerate the contents. I previously had troubles with deliveries when living in an apartment complex with a package room. Instead of leaving our box in the package room, delivery personnel would sometimes leave the box in random locations around the complex. HelloFresh does not manage conversations for shipping and delivery concerns, so we had to go directly to the local delivery company to get the issue resolved.

Hello Fresh review

HelloFresh Recipes and Cooking Process

I always find the instruction cards for HelloFresh meals to be straightforward and easy to follow. All the recipes in my box can be prepared in approximately 30 minutes, which is quicker than the time it takes for my usual sushi order to arrive. If you are more digitally savvy, you can also use the HelloFresh app or website to view the recipes. What I love most is that everything is organized, so I can multitask different steps in order to minimize cooking time. I'll simultaneously have pasta boiling on the stove and sweet potatoes roasting in the oven while I prepare a dish's sauce. I even find time for a mid-prep glass of wine with some meals.

Keep in mind that HelloFresh categorizes some ingredients as "at-home essentials," so your deliveries will not include items like butter, olive oil, sugar, salt, and pepper because it's assumed that you have them in your kitchen.

HelloFresh Flavor and Quality

I am someone who craves flavor and variety, so you won't catch me eating a plain salad. I continue to order HelloFresh meals because they're delicious and the brand keeps my deliveries from feeling stale through its menu rotations. By changing up the recipes, I'm introduced to new entrees and combinations, something I did not experience with my go-to grocery hauls.

One thing I've noticed is that the portions vary depending on the meals you choose. If I'm looking to have leftovers during the week, I'll often select pasta dishes because they provide plenty of food. However, some of the meals are slightly less filling. The Mediterranean Baked Veggies barely provided enough food for one serving, so I had to add some spinach to the base to create a more substantial meal. HelloFresh loves to use a lot of butter, oil, and salt, so if you're monitoring nutritional values or ingredients in your diet, you may have to make slight adjustments to the recipes.

HelloFresh Prices

HelloFresh prices range from roughly $8 to $13 per serving based on the meal plan you select. This translates to between $50 and $180 per week. There is also a flat $8.99 shipping fee added to each delivery. In comparison, Freshly meals—which are single serving—start at $9 per meal and weekly rates fall between $46 and $102. Blue Apron kits start at $8 per serving and the cheapest plans cost $40 per week, plus $9.99 for shipping.

HelloFresh also provides discounts for select subscribers, such as active military members, veterans, students, and healthcare workers. Right now, HelloFresh is offering Real Simple readers 14 free meals and free shipping when they sign up for their first box.

HelloFresh Sustainability and Sourcing

When my first box arrived, each meal came individually packaged in recyclable bags with exact ingredient quantities and nutritional information on the recipe cards. I saw our food waste minimized almost immediately because each vegetable and fruit provided is an essential part of the meals.

HelloFresh also ensures that its ingredients are sourced properly and sustainably. Employees make on-site visits to each meat vendor they work with, most of which are domestic, and all chicken and pork products are hormone-free. Animal welfare also remains a crucial factor when choosing vendors. For my fellow pescatarians, I was pleased to find out that their seafood is also sustainably sourced. The company currently buys both wild-caught and farm-raised fish.

Hello Fresh review

HelloFresh Customer Service

Hearing the words "customer service" may make you cringe, but my interactions with the HelloFresh team have always been quick and effective. When one of my boxes was missing tortillas, I used the online chat feature to report the problem, and within ten minutes, the issue was documented and I was given an $11 credit toward my next box.

If you're hoping to get sent a replacement ingredient or reimbursed outright for a missing item, that's where HelloFresh falls short. Most of the time, the company's solution is to apply a credit to your account for future deliveries. This doesn't help when you need to run out to the store to replace missing tortillas.

But, I will say that when it comes to pausing or cancelling your subscription, HelloFresh makes it super easy. When my partner and I moved, we skipped a few weeks while we were traveling and getting settled. And if we ever decide to cancel the service, we wouldn't have to speak with a representative to do so.

HelloFresh Customer Reviews

HelloFresh claims that it has the most 5-star reviews out of any meal delivery service, and on TrustPilot, the company has an average rating of 4.3 stars out of 5 from over 38,000 reviewers. Most agree that the flavors and recipes are excellent while others have complaints about the delivery process. Convenience is a major motivating factor for subscribers. Here's what some reviewers had to say.

Jennifer, 5 out of 5 stars

"I absolutely LOVE how everything I need just shows up in the mail and I don't have to search the stores for what I need! My kids love helping mom clean and cut the produce. It has become great family time!"

Jul, 4 out of 5 stars

"I've ordered HelloFresh for about two years. It used to be great, but within the past 6 months, I've received several boxes with missing ingredients. They are always quick to issue a credit for that ingredient, but it's kind of a hassle if it's something I didn't have on hand."

Danielle, 5 out of 5 stars

"I never was very good with cooking. But it was nice because using this taught me a lot. Different ways of cooking, different cooking terms, and that I loooove caramelized onions. I recommend that everyone at least try this company once!"

Heather, 3 out of 5 stars

"We used HelloFresh for about 4 months. The cons outweighed the pros for us. The problem is mainly inconsistency with the freshness of produce and missing ingredients… That aside, it was nice to not have to worry about planning the meals ourselves."

HelloFresh Review: Final Thoughts

HelloFresh is my go-to meal delivery service because of its variety, convenience, and price point. My parents and friends are also loyal subscribers and agree that the stress-free dinnertime prep is worth the investment.

As someone who used to be self-conscious about my cooking abilities, I now feel empowered to take creative liberties with the recipes I receive. After a few meals, I was able to test the waters and determine what worked for me (and what didn't). My favorite part: I never have to worry about what to do for dinner again.

My overall rating for HelloFresh: 8.9 out of 10. Get started with 14 free meals across five boxes, plus free shipping!

Factors What it means Numerical ranking (1 - 10)
Taste Meals have a balanced and delicious flavor and consistency. 10
Ease of Preparation The service provides easy-to-follow instructions for preparing and cooking the meal. 10
Quality of Ingredients Ingredients are high quality and fresh. They are in good shape when they arrive. 10
Dietary Customization There are options for users to note dietary restrictions and preferences. Choosing these options is easy to do, and there are plenty of meal/food options for these preferences. 6 (lack of vegan, dairy-free, keto, and paleo filters)
Meal Variety This service provides a variety of meals, cuisines, and flavors to avoid meal repeats and provide users with new dishes to explore. 10
Health Meals are healthy and provide balanced nutrients. 7 (recipes use a lot of butter, oil, and salt)
Availability The service is available to consumers in a variety of locations. 9 (not available in Alaska or Hawaii)
Portion Size Portion sizes are reasonable and filling. You don't need to supplement the meal with additional food because you're left hungry. 8
Price The price is reasonable for the quality of food you receive. 10
Subscription The subscription/plan offers reasonable customization. You're able to adjust or cancel your order within a reasonable time frame. 10
Shipping The meals arrived on time. The packaging kept things fresh and in good condition. You're able to provide delivery instructions if needed. 7
Customer Service How quickly customer service responds to queries, the level of detail they provide, and how helpful the team is overall. 9
Social Impact Takes into consideration a company's social missions, charitable causes, and sustainability efforts. Products are sourced ethically. Packaging is recyclable or sustainable. 10
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