Some days I love it. A lot of days I hate it.
I grocery shop alone now that the kids are in school. Over the summer, I took them shopping with me because I figured it would be better since they are older. Nope, still a pain and I am reminded once again that I prefer grocery shopping alone. Occasionally, the husband joins me because we are jonesin’ for a date and it’s the closest we are going to get.
Recently, my Xennial self embraced the Millennial part of the weird micro-generation I’m in, and I signed up for the online meal service HelloFresh.
Here’s my unbiased HelloFresh review:
I really tested their ability to ship food and have it delivered my house without the food going bad. It was unintentional on my part, but there we were arriving home at one o’clock in the morning and the box had been delivered at 3 p.m. That box was sitting on my porch for 10 hours in July. I thought that the food was lost and my money wasted. Well, we opened that baby up and the food was still cold…and I mean cold, cold. Thanks to some ginormous Nordic Ice packs and insulated packaging, our ingredients were safe. I’m sure this is not the recommended way to receive your box, but life happens outside of the delivery schedule.
The meals from HelloFresh are ah-mazing! I’ll be the first to tell you I’m no foodie, but I like good food. There are only so many “spaghetti and meatballs” nights before I require an intervention. I also tire of coming up with unique meals on my own so I have an appreciation for a company that can send me three meals I don’t have to plan.
Almost all of the food in the box has been equal to or better than what I get at the store. Unfortunately, with our latest box we had our first food mishap. One of the packages of chicken had leaked all over and one of the packages of kale looked like it was starting to go bad. I didn’t really feel like this was something the company needed to rectify for us since I could throw the chicken in a Ziploc and we had extra lettuce on hand. That being said, I’ve seen many people reach out via Instagram and the company seems willing to fix any food issues.
Nearly all of the recipes that we have tried have been put in our recipe binder as “keepers.” That in itself is impressive. However, do you want to know why I think there are so many recipes that we want to make again? It’s because we are given normal, every day food. One of the top reasons I tried HelloFresh first is because the food is not pretentious. You just can’t pass up Pork Luau Burgers, Wasabi Lime Salmon, or Chicken Under a Zucchini Blanket.
Most importantly, many of these meals take 30 to 40 minutes tops! Timing is a critical consideration when it comes to dinner because nobody has an hour and half to devote to the stove on a weeknight.
The website and app are easy to use. I do prefer the website over the app, but to be honest that is because I have used the website more. Both seem intuitive to use and are simply designed. It’s easy to pop on and pick our meals for the week and be done with it. I have also recently discovered that you can click on the little heart icon on a meal and save it to your ‘favorites’ page. Even better, on your favorites page you can download the recipe card. Super convenient since I’ve misplaced a couple of mine.
Pro tip: Add a couple of the recipes that are not getting delivered to your favorites. Then you’ll have access to those recipes too. All you’ll need to do is pick up the ingredients at the grocery store and, viola!, more HelloFresh meals.
Alright, here comes some brutal honesty. HelloFresh really needs to work on their customer service. Now, I do appreciate a company that has a chat feature for customer service because I can communicate better by typing than I can by phone call. It also allows me to have a transcript of the chat for reference.
I first contacted customer service because I was confused about billing for the week’s delivery and the FAQ couldn’t answer that for me. During the chat with the agent, we confirmed that my payment was pending and that I would get a box the following week. Well, the box didn’t come and the next agent I talked to was less than pleasant to work with. I’m glad I had my copy of the first chat. We ironed it out and for the inconvenience he offered $20 off my next week. I thought I was good to go. Well, the account wasn’t credited the $20 and I ended up with no boxes for a month. However, I was not charged for the missing boxes so I wasn’t super irate about it either.
Everything seems ironed out now and my boxes are coming regularly, yay! Although the customer service experience were less than stellar, the second guy was able to set up my account exactly the way I wanted it. HelloFresh is a weekly delivery service, but I wanted to do every other week. The agent was able to fix my account so it automatically worked this way. I don’t have to go in an manually skip all the weeks I don’t want.
The Big Picture
So far, HelloFresh has introduced me to new recipes, new foods to try, shortened my grocery trip, encouraged my husband to make dinner without stressing out, and given the two of us time to cook together. My kids were excited to open the box. They have not been inspired to cook with me.
Taken as a whole, I do like HelloFresh and I am happy with the company. We will be sticking with it for awhile, but I wouldn’t consider myself a loyal customer. HelloFresh is not the “be all and end all” in meal delivery. I still would like to try some of the others like Plated, Purple Carrot, or Blue Apron.
I’m still trying to figure out a way to get rid of grocery shopping altogether, which might only happen if I win the Powerball, but a girl can dream.
*This not a sponsored post and the writer’s unbiased opinion of HelloFresh.
Have you tried a meal delivery service?
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