My kids have a countdown to winter break, when they can run around the house all day building pillow forts, playing video games, and get fresh mac'n'cheese for lunch. Me? I always feel like it comes out of nowhere.
All of a sudden, they have no structured time, and routine goes out the window. We're eating pizza for breakfast, popcorn at the movies for lunch, and ice cream for dinner .
To avoid that from happening and straying too far from their routines (especially their sleep schedule), I wanted to do something to implement a healthy meal structure.
I'd tried a meal kit delivery service once before, but it was during a really hectic time, and I ended up letting food go to waste! Their process for pausing or changing the plan was so confusing.
I did really like easy, nutritious, and delicious meals in about half an hour of cooking, so I thought maybe I'd try a new company this time. I have one friend who talks about HelloFresh all the time on social media, and it seemed to be the most family-friendly.
I took the plunge and I ended up loving it. Seriously, I was so surprised, but it was exactly what I needed. If I'd seen a FAQ before I signed up, I would've done it earlier, so I decided to make my own FAQ!
Here are Frequently Asked Questions about HelloFresh (or at least, the ones I had).
How does a meal kit delivery service work?
HelloFresh sends you a weekly box with pre-portioned ingredients and recipe sheets for 2-4 recipes per week. You pick the recipes, the delivery day, the number of people eating, and the number of recipes per week.
They also just started letting you add extra helpings of protein (bacon, anyone?) to your meal as well as desserts like brownies or cookie dough. I'm personally happy with the portion sizes, but if you think you need more, or have a sweet tooth, it's a great option.
How frequently do you get meals?
You choose 2-4 meals per week, and can now adjust your meals, day by day! If you're dining solo on Monday and treating the whole fam on Wednesday, HelloFresh can be there for you.
You can also pause or cancel at any time. It's super easy to pause, which I'll do for the last week of the year - we'll be stuffed with leftovers from my parents' house.
How long do meals take to cook?
This was the biggest shock for me; the recipe times are scary-accurate. If it says 30 minutes, it's really about 30 minutes. There are some super fast recipes, as quick as 15 minutes, and some more gourmet recipes that take 45. You can see the times when you pick your meals, so it's never a surprise.
Is it healthy?
Every meal has vegetables, and honestly that's good enough for me.
One of my sons is in an "I hate vegetables" phase, and HF makes them exciting: I've been roasting green beans instead of boiling them, pickling cucumbers (it's way easier than I thought!), and stuffing peppers with meats and spices.
He also thinks roasted sweet potatoes are a dessert! (No one tell him.)
Genuinely, there are heart-healthy options, low-calorie options, and always fresh produce, so it's really nutritious.
Does it taste good?
Yes! It's kid-approved, too! The sauces are always just right, and it's a home-cooked meal.
They integrate seasonal recipes into the menu, so in the winter, there are options like Crispy Gnocchi with bacon and mushrooms and Oven-baked Pumpkin Risotto. You get to choose between a record 21+ meals every week (!!), but if you're overwhelmed, there's always an option for a Chef's Choice, which is one of the HelloFresh's chef's all-time favorite recipes and a surefire crowd- pleaser.
What does it cost?
HelloFresh costs less than $10 per meal, and prices can go as low as $7.49 for the family plan (there's a vegetarian plan, too). It's sooo much cheaper than buying takeout for a family of 4.
I plan to use HelloFresh exclusively the week leading up to the holidays - take-out restaurants in our area always have long waits during the busiest times of year, and I am not doing any regular cooking when I've got a 20 lb. ham to make in a few days.
Yes: I never would've attempted risotto or some of the trickier sounding recipes from HelloFresh on my own. With instructions and pre-measured portions, there are no leftover ingredients taking up prime shelf space in the fridge, and I'm assured the meal will be super tasty.
When the kids are home on break, HelloFresh fills in all the gaps that open up, but it's really great for any kind of week. This mom's a fan for life!
Update: BLACK FRIDAY SALE! The folks at HelloFresh are extending a special offer to our readers. Follow this link to get $90 OFF plus free shipping!