You can get $50 off your first HelloFresh box by using my link here 🙂
So there is a bit of a story of how I got disillusioned with the supermarkets, and why I decided to try food delivery services, even though they are really expensive. Maybe you’ll check them out 😉 But the important story today is that I tried HelloFresh and I want to tell you about it.
HelloFresh delivers a big box to your doorstep with all the ingredients you need for a few dinners. At $9.49 a serve, it’s pricier than doing it yourself (I can feed our family well for $4 or less per serve). You can get a cheaper family box and if you’re only cooking for two and not four, the price changes accordingly.
The difference between My Food Bag and HelloFresh is that HelloFresh delivers all the ingredients, presorted. So you open the box and wah-lah! There is five paper bags, colour coded to match the recipe cards, with all your ingredients inside. Now this makes for super easy storage – chuck it in the fridge for the week and you are good to go. If we did this all the time, I would probably even be able to get rid of one of our fridges because we’d need much less space that when I go to the supermarket buying 2 broccoli and a cabbage and a cauli that I probably/might/will/maybe will use that week, somehow 😉 (anyone relate?)
However the second week that we tried HelloFresh, I also had a My Food Bag and a Bargain Box so I needed the ingredients to last longer, and I unpacked them properly so that I could freeze the meat portions. The fresh ingredients looked appealing and the recipes are easy to follow.
Now here is another major difference between MFB and HelloFresh – you get to pick from more options with HelloFresh. The website is easier to use, and there are 8 options and from them you can select the 5 you want. I really like this greater freedom in my planning.
The whole aim of me trying these food delivery services was to test out their portion sizes for those of us with larger families and more than the standard 2.7 kids or whatever it is these days. I have big eaters and lots of mouths so I wanted to see if I could stretch the meals out to feed all of us, with minimal additions.
I have documented more on the additions in the MFB post, but basically I was prepared to add a small amount of meat (such as 300gm small pack of chicken or up to 500gm mince), extra potatoes and carrots, and perhaps a broccoli or side dish of mashed potato if I really felt the meal looked small, to make it spread out amongst us all.
What really happened is that I could make the meals stretch out, with very standard pantry staples. I think it is important to remember that you get a week’s notice of the menu, plus it is only 5 dinners, so you still need supplies for your breakfasts, lunches, snacks and other 2 dinners in a week. So it’s not a major deal to quickly go over the menu from HelloFresh, see it’s pita pockets or burgers, and know that you will have to add a small pack of mince and another pack of buns to your grocery list. We have a vege garden and I do keep lettuce or baby spinach in our fridge for lunches anyway, so having this on hand to bulk up dinners isn’t complicated. The question of course is, does it still mean that HelloFresh is worth it? I have to say yes. An extra bag of potatoes or a broccoli is a minuscule cost to add to the total cost of the HelloFresh dinner, in order to stretch it out to another 3 or 4 people. You’ve already got the block of cheese and probably an extra onion in the pantry anyway. Yes, it takes a few minutes of extra planning, but HelloFresh is still saving me a large amount of planning in the first place. Also, by taking this small extra effort, you take the HelloFresh cost of nearly $40, designed for four people, add an extra $5 for more ingredients, AND THEN DIVIDE IT into 6, 7 or even 8 mouths. That means for your extra planning and a few extra ingredients, you’re getting higher value than a family for four.
The disappointment with HelloFresh though was the portion size on the night we had burgers. There were 5 buns – for 4 people. I don’t know about your family but that sure as hell isn’t enough for our family. The meal wasn’t even complemented with say, roasted wedges to be filling, but a bowl of shredded lettuce as an aside. Riiiiggghhtt. Its hard enough convincing kids to eat salad without plonking two leaves of iceberg on their plate and telling them that’s it.
The main takeaway from this experiment is that the meals are really simple and fresh, and what sets them apart from your usual fare is a really nice sauce or an extra chutney made from yoghurt and cucumber that is super simple but really elevates the dish. Suddenly you’re really impressed with the flavour and you feel like you have the value. The other big factor for me was the sheer delight in not having to think about dinner. Flick to the right card, gather the ingredients, meal is sorted. Even better, the instructions are simple enough for the kids to put together (with minimal supervision) so it’s a fabulous way to engage the kids in the kitchen. Our kids ran a My Kitchen Rules-inspired competition for the week, and divided the recipe cards between themselves and took turns cooking.
If you are super busy, work full time or funny hours, our have late afternoon commitments, I think you would find HelloFresh appealing. If you like simple easy food but like to try new things, you will like HelloFresh.
If you are a bit more interested in controlling your diet, or your family are really large eaters, I don’t think HelloFresh would suit you. But with a $50 discount code at the bottom of this page, why don’t you try it and see for yourself?
Anyway, here is our review for one night:
The child on tonight’s cooking roster was issued with a card for tikka chicken on basmati rice with cucumber and mint yoghurt sauce and mango chutney with a tomato salad.
The ingredients came packaged ready for him.
He needed a little help with peeling the garlic and everything else he did himself.
IN ORDER TO STRETCH THE MEAL ACROSS MORE MOUTHS… I made the following adjustments:
Added an extra 1.5 cups of rice to the 1.5 cups supplied.
Added a few leaves of lettuce to create a salad
Add a tin of coconut cream to the chicken.
This resulted us in serving up 6 reasonable sized plate for hungry pre-teens and two small preschooler plates… more lettuce could have stretched it further but we just had ice cream after 🙂
Kids rated it a 10, 9, 10, 9
…. one wasn’t a fan of the mint and one didn’t like the mango chutney. There was a little heat in the sauce but not enough to bother the kids.
In conclusion: Today’s Hello Fresh recipe was easy to prepare and tasted awesome, I was impressed with the fresh ingredients and the generous portion…
With a couple minor pantry additions I achieved the goal of stretching it out across more people 🙂 This is their suggested serving for four:
You can get $50 off your first HelloFresh box by using my link here 🙂