Hello Fresh Experience?

My next door neighbor is on a jag with Hello Fresh–there seem to be deliveries multiple times a week. This surprises me a little, since she is a good and imaginative cook.

Anyway, yesterday she gifted me two meal kits: Vegan Shwarma Spiced Chickpeas, and Vegan Maple Carrot Power Bowls. I think maybe her houseguest isn’t ok with vegetarian. The kits come with simple instructions.

Do the Hounds have experience or opinions about HF in general or these meals in particular? Tips or flourishes?


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No experience with those particular meals. I tried HF in the fairly early days of the pandemic when I was feeding other people and having trouble getting food at the stores. Took some of the stress out but I found the produce was often tired and needed to be augmented or replaced, which kind of defeated my purpose in the first place. No idea if that was pandemic-related or not. We discontinued after 3 or 4 months and never looked back.


Thanks. Was it economical, or at least close?

Honestly, I don’t remember. Since I normally cook for one and was during that period cooking for four, and remember how stressful those early days were, and I was marooned far from home, the economics were the least of my worries.


I haven’t tried HF specifically but have tried a similar service. Looking at HF’s website, it looks like it’s about $9-ish per meal per person after the initial/cheaper introductory offer.

IIRC the similar service we used for a while was priced about like HF’s, accounting for inflation. The food was good but not terribly inspiring. They were easy and quick to make, especially if you got some repeats a week or so later and were already familiar.

For us the service was just a crutch to help out for a few months during a particularly difficult time. Otherwise we wouldn’t have bothered and after that did not return to using the service.

For folks who don’t really home cook much and are tired of take out or eating out, or for a young couple really just getting the hang of home cooking, I think this kind of service can be a pretty good deal.


Waiting to put the first kit together. My reactions so far:

  1. The ingredients were of acceptable, if not premium, quality.

  2. Several of the ingredients did double duty, requiring portioning and reserving. But there was almost no waste.

  3. The prep and cooking steps were more involved than I expected. A beginner cook might be intimidated.

  4. The written instructions weren’t formatted well, and didn’t follow typical cookbook/recipe conventions.

  5. The 2-portion variants wouldn’t fill two hungry adults.

I’ll report on how it ate…


We were given a coupon for Hello Fresh and tried it out. The dishes were pretty good, not too difficult to make and there was little to no waste. You do have to do most of the prep work yourself, none of the fruits or vegetables came pre chopped/sliced/diced/zested etc. I costed out the recipes in our box and you do pay a significant premium for them to create the recipes, plan the menu, do the shopping and send everything to you. I don’t have my notes from that to say exactly how much of a premium it was but they have their full recipes on their website if you want to see how much the ingredients would cost at your local supermarket.


Except for all that individual packaging and the mailers.

I agree there is quite a premium tacked on for the privilege of having them write recipes and mail ingredients.

We have a household in the neighborhood that buys take-out, has delivery and (it seems) for special occasions get boxed/you make it meals 5-7 days a week.
Lots and lots of trash for trash pick up day and the cardboard (pizza boxes, local grocery delivery packages from Costco, Safeway, HF, etc. pile on recycle day (a separate day) is ridiculous. They are an up and coming couple (like the 'yuppies of yore) with kids and have two salaries, so they are comfirtable with all that.

You make an excellent point. Yes, this is also the case with my neighbor/donor, except there is no trash or recycle service. It’s strictly haul-your-own.

What I meant in my OP was the HF kit had very little food waste.

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Ive done Blue Apron a few times.

I like that someone else decides whats for dinner. I dont mind shopping …meal planning makes me bananas.

Its nice to have all the ingredients, all set up in mise. I used to put the components for each dish in a big ziploc with the recipe card tucked inside. No thinking is awesome when you’re tired.

Great flavors and recipes usually easy to follow. Once in a while I’d think Nah, that’s not how you do that!

Usually two servings fed both of us with enough left over for someone’s lunch.

Down side is cost…it’s about $10 pp per meal (not awful but not cheap)

Also sometimes its just too. We would sometimes just cook the protein and veg because we werent in the mood (or didnt have the time/energy) to make something with lots of sauces and garnishes.

Ive thought about trying one of the others, but am not realky motivated.


Or maybe it’s how they survive with two kids and two working parents. Just a thought.


ETA I meant to respond to the thread, not to a specific person. Sorry!

My brother and SIL use HF and have for a couple of years. When I house sit, they often leave one or two kits for me.

I have many many thoughts not related to the food/recipe quality, but I will restrict my comments to just those topics. For me, as a foodie and delighted kitchen bon vivant, the meals are utilitarian but never delightful. Produce was frequently unacceptable. Flavors generic and muted. Quantity of food per meal too small.

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These services seem like they fit a particular need for someone who wants to cook but is impacted by some confluence of circumstances within the Venn diagram of meal planning, food shopping, and prep/execution. Everyone is different. For myself, the issue is that 1) for the cost, the portion sizes are entirely too small (YMMV) and 2) If I am too tired to cook in the first place, it doesn’t matter how idiot proof the recipe and packaging of ingredients are, those “fresh picked ingredients” are still going to sit in my fridge and languish just as they would have if I’d picked out a recipe and gone shopping myself.


I’m a little this way, too. The one meal I’ve tried really didn’t spare me much prep or cooking time, either.

So far, the biggest draw for me is in offering meals I would never otherwise choose to try.


One of the nice things about Blue Apron is that rhe recipe cards give a time estimate. It does help on late nights.

This is different than the service we used back when that I mentioned in a prior post - all the chopping etc. of veggies and meat bits, was already done.

We’re not big eaters. But the portion control would worry me. I’d like a little bit of leftovers just in case. To each their own


Absolutely, they make it work for them. Wish I had that option BITD.

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