Since I’ve been sending Hello Fresh promo codes to some friends, I figured it was time to go ahead and share my experience with Hello Fresh for anyone thinking about trying it out. So what’s in a Hello Fresh box?
Before I dig into the box, I want to mention customer service. A few weeks ago I found a groupon for a great deal on the first Hello Fresh box for new customers. Before I could even get started setting up my Hello Fresh subscription and preferences, I had difficulty in redeeming my groupon. Groupon’s FAQ stated that I needed to contact the vendor directly, so I e-mailed Hello Fresh. Customer service is really important to me–perhaps working customer service oriented jobs for 10+ years has brainwashed me into believing all customer service should be elite? (HA!) Though I am very pleased to report that the person I exchanged e-mails with was prompt and polite, and the situation was resolved quickly. It turns out my groupon came through expired despite having been purchased that day, nice…I still have yet to hear back from Plated’s customer service and it’s been almost a month, so kudos Hello Fresh!
Outside the Box
I had to select my menu one week before delivery. They offer five recipes to choose from with varying proteins (there is also a vegetarian box available). Additionally, I selected which day of the week I wanted my box to arrive, and I could use their calendar to “pause” any (or every) week. Check out the screenshot below from my Hello Fresh account.
Inside the Box
My order arrived via LaserShip mid-day on Wednesday, I was stoked! This box was a lot smaller than Plated’s, but Hello Fresh did a great job packaging and all of the items arrived in tact, unlike my order from Plated–hence the aforementioned attempt to contact Plated customer support. Hmm, boxes and delivery, something else I know a little bit about, eh? 😉
The contents were packed inside an insulated bubble-wrap bag. Immediately inside were clear plastic bags with the ingredients for each recipe (minus the proteins) and the recipe cards.
It took me a moment to realize that each bag had the symbol of its respective protein, as did the recipe card. You can see the red symbol for beef in both of the pictures above. A word of advice: before putting everything in the fridge, remember to take out your potatoes and onions! I definitely forgot, and while I didn’t notice much of a difference with the potato, I found a lovely squishy onion a few days later…whoops.
After removing the ingredient bags from the box, there was a cardboard divider to separate them from the proteins and ice. The ice was actually frozen water bottles, which I love because it’s one less item headed to the landfill, like a disposable ice pack would be. Some people prefer not to drink water that has been frozen in a plastic bottle, but my husband swears by frozen water bottles for work so they will not go to waste in our house! The meat was definitely still cold. I’ll be curious to see how effective this system is in the summertime though. Granted, LaserShip delivers out of personal vehicles so they are probably air conditioned and not 140ºF in the back like the big tin cans are. For whatever reason this page is kind of hidden on the Hello Fresh website so I wanted to share: Go Green with Hello Fresh. Bonus points here, because I really appreciate the sustainability.
I was thrilled to see Murray’s Chicken, which is certified humane (and thus cage free). I can’t recall the supplier for the beef and pork, but do recall it being antibiotic/hormone free like the chicken.
I chose Roman Chicken with Mashed Potatoes first. It was purely amazing. If I can figure out how much stock the “one packet” of stock concentrate yields, I will definitely be replicating this recipe. Hubby and I both ate our fill, and then had a ton of the peppers and sauce remaining which I later tossed with leftover spaghetti. I might have to adapt this recipe to become spaghetti sauce as well! Please ignore my horrible plating and lack of photography skills…
The next recipe was Meatball Pho. This recipe was good, but not great like the other two. Now, I may or may not be biased though, having grown up with amazing homemade Asian food.
The last recipe I made was Seared Sweet Italian Sausage with Warm Orzo Salad. This was another phenomenal recipe. It even fed the kiddo and I for dinner, and filled me up for lunch the next day. This is the recipe that should have had the red onion. I didn’t have any on hand after destroying the one Hello Fresh sent, so I used a yellow onion instead. I can imagine the flavor of the red onion would have been much better though.
All in all, I was impressed with the quality, the recipes, and even the portions. I dare say that the 2 person meals might feed us all if I supplement with an extra side. I certainly could have added another breast to the Roman Chicken and have plenty of sauce to go around. It did take me a little longer to prepare these recipes than was noted on the recipe cards, however I have ridiculously poor knife skills so that is all on me. Those MasterChef Junior kids my son’s age would totally school me, not gonna lie.
The Promo Code
I received an e-mail containing a promo code to share with friends, for $40 off the first box for new customers. If you truly want to use this as a trial, make sure you immediately pause the week following your first box so you have the chance to try it for yourself before paying full price for the subsequent week–unless of course you love the recipes, then rock on! I did receive an e-mail reminder from Hello Fresh the day before the deadline to set my meal choice or pause, which is great, but I still mark cutoff dates on my calendar any time I try a new subscription service.
Please note that this code can be shared from person to person, however Hello Fresh will cancel the code if it is shared to any third party platforms or coupon sites.
So is anyone going to try Hello Fresh? Has anyone tried this or any other similar subscription services–and if so, what did you think?