– Ben Martens

Hello Fresh Review

When I bought my computer, one of the components came with a coupon for Hello Fresh. It was a weird pairing, but it worked. I figured I would just keep the service for the heavily discounted first ~4 weeks and then drop it, but I have yet to cancel. We used to eat out about once a week, but with the lockdown, we’re not doing that. Hello Fresh has helped keep dinner time a bit different on a couple nights a week.

We’ve had the service for six weeks now and here are some of my thoughts:

  • It’s expensive. We pay $51.95 for two meals a week. Each “two person meal” is enough to feed all three of us because Elijah isn’t a huge eater yet. I guess if you are someone who eats out all the time, this will seem like a bargain, but I generally make our meals for a way less than $26/night. In fairness, if you were to buy more meals or get bigger servings, the cost per meal does go down.
  • The food is good! There are a plenty of options to pick from every week and I don’t think we’ve had any real duds. The food is generally a little bit fancier than my normal recipes so it’s a nice change of pace.
  • Those fancier recipes mean quite a bit more work too. It’s always takes a bit of extra concentration when I do a new recipe for the first time, but there are a lot of moving parts in these recipes. They generally have a main dish and two side dishes so it’s a lot to coordinate and time out. The instructions are thorough and do a good job, but they would all be easier the second time around. As it is, it feels a bit like I’m on a cooking show being given a test to see if I can get everything on the table around the normal dinner time.
  • The time estimates are bogus. I feel like after cooking dinner for the last ~20 years, I’m fairly good at it, but I don’t understand how anyone can make most of those recipes in the time specified on the recipe. At the very least I need to preheat my oven much sooner. I learned early on to read the recipe early in the day to build my own time estimate of when I should start making it. I generally expect 30-45 minutes to make dinner. The shorter ones MIGHT fit in on a normal weeknight if I got home from work a little early, but generally those are too long to fit into our schedule. But since I’m working from home right now, it’s fine.

So yes, we’re happy with it. It’s fun to explore and I am saving all the recipes. I expect we’ll put some of them into our regular rotation but once this lockdown dwindles off, I can’t imagine we’ll keep paying for the service. It’s neat for what it is, but it doesn’t fit into our budget.