If you want to stay fit and healthy but find that making dinner every night is a struggle, meal subscription services may be a great solution for you.
Freshly offers single-serving meals that can be heated in the microwave. These meals are planned by nutritionists using whole food ingredients and minimal added sugars or processed foods.
Our Freshly review can help you learn more about this healthy meal kit service.
Note: Effective January 17, 2023, Freshly is ceasing its direct-to-consumer meal delivery business.
What Is Freshly?
Freshly is a meal delivery subscription service offering healthy, nutritionist-designed meals that are fully prepared and ready to heat.
They focus on high-quality ingredients and offer some options for special diets and specific dietary needs.
In addition to their microwavable dinners, they now offer side dishes and entrees that can be used to make your own family plan. This can help you reduce grocery shopping and prep time for home-cooked meals.
Freshly vs. FreshlyFit: How Are They Different?
FreshlyFit is a line of meals offered by Freshly that are more focused on specific macronutrient targets and dietary restrictions.
These meals are more carb-conscious and higher in protein. They may be appropriate for diets such as keto, paleo, or macro-based diets.
Read our review of the top paleo meal delivery services to identify a better solution if you need to follow the caveman diet.
FreshlyFit meals essentially serve as a premade meal plan because the offerings all have similar macronutrient profiles.
As a Freshly subscriber, you’ll have access to all of the weekly meal options from both Freshly and FreshlyFit when you choose your meals.
How Does the Service Work?
The registration process for Freshly is straightforward. Navigate to the “Plans & Menu” page to get started.
The first step will be to choose how many meals you’d like to receive each week. You can choose four, six, eight, 10, or 12.
Next, you’ll be taken to the meal selections. You can look at all of the meals or browse specific menu categories.
Here are the menu categories they offer:
- Crafted Classics: Healthy takes on traditional meal favorites, like Homestyle Chicken with Masterful Mac & Cheese or Cauliflower Shell Beef Bolognese with Nonna’s Soffritto & Italian Cheeses
- Signature Collection: Favorites from the Freshly menu, like Ancient Grain Chicken Pilaf with Fall-Spiced Parisian Carrots & Apples or Bunless Bison Burger with Spring Succotash & Loaded Cauliflower
- FreshlyFit: Lower carb, higher protein meals like Keto-Friendly Chicken Bowl with Super Greens Pesto & Cauli Rice or Baked Turkey Meatballs with Zoodles & Eight-Veggie Ragu
- Takeout Twists: Healthier versions of popular restaurant foods, like Beef & Broccoli Bowl with Garlicky Stir-Fry Sauce or Chicken Tikka Masala with Seven-Spice Vegetable Biryani
- Purely Plant: Vegetarian meals like Unwrapped Salsa Verde Burrito with Purely Plant Crumbles or Farmstead Baked Lentil Pasta with Seasonal Veggies & Creamy Marinara
- Proteins and Sides: Larger portion sizes for meal prep or quick family meals, like Sauteed French Green Beans with Garlic & Toasted Sliced Almonds or 3 Grilled Chicken Breasts
The Freshly menu offers 50-60 items to choose from each week, so there’s sure to be several meals that appeal to you.
After you pick your meals, you can complete the registration process.
Freshly is a subscription-based service, so you’ll be charged and sent meals on a weekly basis unless you skip weeks or cancel. Both of these options can be done easily online.
If you keep your subscription, be sure to make your meal selections before the deadline each week. Otherwise, you’ll receive meals of Freshly’s choosing.
How Much Does Freshly Cost?
Freshly meals range in price from $8.99 to $11.79 per serving. Larger orders have lower per-meal prices, and shipping for my box was $6.99.
However, their website states that shipping costs may vary depending on your location.
|Servings Per Week||Total Cost with Shipping|
*Related: Are you looking for a less expensive meal delivery service? Take our free quiz to identify the best choice for your needs.
My Experience Using the Service
For the sake of transparency, I’m not a huge fan of frozen meals. However, I still had a good experience with Freshly.
The meals arrived fresh and were kept cold with ice packs. I put them in the freezer because I didn’t want to chance storing them in the fridge and one going bad before I could eat it.
*Related: Is a plant-based diet important to you? Read our Gobble review to learn if they might be a fit for your needs.
However, I think putting them in the fridge vs. freezing them would preserve more of the texture of the food since they’re shipped fresh.
Freshly is also very eco-friendly with its packaging. Almost everything can be recycled, including the shipping box, liner, cardboard sleeves for each meal, and trays and films.
The ice packs can be emptied and recycled or kept and reused.
The best meal I tried was the Zingy Buffalo Chicken. However, I really enjoyed all of the other meals as well.
I replated one meal (Turkey Meatballs & Zoodles), and it looked just like it was cooked at home. Keep in mind that this is a salad plate and not a dinner plate, so the portion size isn’t as massive as it looks.
Fortunately, it was still very filling.
I also tried the Beef & Shiitake Bolognese and the Honey-Peach BBQ Chicken from the FreshlyFit line.
The vegetables were a bit mushy for my taste, but that’s par for the course with microwaveable meals.
Nevertheless, the flavors were excellent. If I didn’t also have a family to feed, I could see myself subscribing during busy seasons.
I also had a great experience with customer service. I forgot to cancel after my first week, so when I got the email that my next week of meals was getting ready to ship, I started a chat with customer service.
They were able to quickly cancel the order and issue a refund.
How Easy Are Freshly Meal Kits to Prepare?
They really couldn’t get much easier! If you want a meal kit company that simplifies the cooking process, Freshly is worth trying.
When fresh, the meals need to be heated in the microwave for two or three minutes.
From frozen, I heated my meals for four or five minutes each, and they were perfectly heated.
You could reheat them on the stovetop or in the oven if you wanted. However, that takes away a great deal of the convenience of these meals because you’d have to put them in a different cooking vessel, and it would take much longer.
Who Should Use Freshly?
Here’s who Freshly is a great fit for.
Cooking for One or Two People
Freshly is ideal for small households of one or two individuals. The meals can be used anytime a quick and easy meal is needed or as an alternative to eating out.
However, larger families probably wouldn’t see a lot of benefit from using the service. Fresh n’ Lean is a similar service. Read our Fresh n’ Lean review to see how they compare.
Freshly meals are a great option for busy working families. To save money on dining out at lunch, you could use Freshly meals.
Or, after a long day at work, you could heat up a Freshly meal rather than cooking a full meal and then having to clean up the kitchen.
Read our guide on meal kits for singles to learn of other possible options for this need.
People Who Follow Specialty Diets
Freshly offers plant-based, keto, paleo, gluten-free, and nut-free meals. This means that they’re a wonderful option for people following specialty diets such as these.
*Related: Are you interested in other meal delivery kits that focuses on specialty diets? Consult our Green Chef review to learn how they might be a good fit for you.
Most of these selections will probably be made from the FreshlyFit menu, but some of their standard menu options may also work for these diets.
Who Shouldn’t Use the Service?
If you fall into one of these categories, Freshly may not be a good fit for you or your household.
People Who Want Large Portions
These single-serving meals may not be satisfying for people who want larger portion sizes or people who have increased calorie needs, such as advanced athletes and weightlifters.
Doubling up on portions at each meal can be done, but it would also double the total price of the meal kit each week.
There’s no cooking involved with Freshly. Consequently, if you want to cook, it’s not the right choice for you.
A more traditional meal kit company like Blue Apron, HelloFresh, or Sunbasket will offer plenty of opportunities to cook a variety of different meals for both aspiring and advanced cooks.
Pros and Cons
Here are the pros and cons of this meal kit delivery service.
- Ready-to-make meals require only reheating
- Dozens of weekly menu options
- Meals made with healthy ingredients
- More affordable than dining out
- Shipping costs extra
- Meals may be too small for some
- Pricier than cooking at home
- Not a good fit for larger families
Overall, Freshly is a quality service that specializes in making mealtime convenient.
Here’s how Freshly compares to other meal delivery services.
|Company||Cost||# of Meals||Best For||Servings||Sign Up|
|Home Chef||$6.99+/serving||2-6/wk||Easy prep||2,4, or 6||Try|
|HelloFresh||$7.49+/serving||2-6/wk||Tasty recipes||2 or 4||Try|
|Sunbasket||$8.99+/serving||2-5/wk||Special diets||2 or 4||Try|
Home Chef is a more traditional meal kit delivery service that offers family meals rather than individual heat-and-serve meals.
Unlike other kits, Home Chef does offer several convenient options from their Fresh and Ready line that are comparable to the convenience of Freshly but more geared towards families.
Home Chef starts at $6.99 per serving, so it is slightly less expensive than Freshly. Keep in mind that it will require more time for prep, cooking, and cleaning up.
Read our review of Home Chef to learn more.
Like Home Chef, HelloFresh is a meal delivery kit that sends ingredients and recipes each week that you can cook at home.
They offer several family-friendly and flavorful meals per week but lack the convenience that Freshly provides. This is because you’ll need to do all of the prep work, cooking, and cleaning for each meal.
HelloFresh is a fairly affordable meal kit, starting at $7.49 per serving, so it does offer some cost savings compared to Freshly.
*For a limited time only, Frugal Rules readers can get 16 Free Meals, and your first box ships free. You’ll also get 3 surprise gifts with your order!
Read our HelloFresh review to learn more.
Sunbasket is another competitor of Freshly. Both Sunbasket and Freshly focus on healthy meal kits for people following specific diets, but Sunbasket is a traditional meal kit that requires you to cook.
Sunbasket also uses all organic ingredients as they are able.
The service is slightly more expensive than Freshly, starting at $8.99 per serving. This is likely due to the caliber of their ingredients.
For a cheap meal delivery service that will save money compared to Freshly, try EveryPlate or Dinnerly. Just know that these services will be more time-consuming because you’ll need to prep and cook your meals.
Read our review of Sunbasket to learn more.
Trifecta is a meal kit delivery company for carb-conscious people. Although it’s not truly a diet meal service, it focuses on people who want to manage their calorie intake.
The meals are prepackaged, so all you need to do is heat and eat. Meals have a focus on organic produce and ethical meats. The company has five plans to choose from: Classic, Vegetarian, Paleo, Keto, and Vegan.
Meals are typically no more than 500 calories.
New customers can currently receive 40 percent off their first order.
Read our review of Trifecta to learn more.
Factor is a meal delivery service that specializes in healthy, heat and eat choices. The service is best for busy people who want to stay fit or need keto or vegetable-based meals.
Among the companies I’ve tested, Factor is among the most flavorful. However, the company is best for single individuals or small homes.
Factor meals are more expensive than Freshly. But, they include complementary 20 minute consultations with a registered dietitian when you sign up.
*For a limited time only, Frugal Rules readers can get up to $276 off your first five boxes!
Read our Factor Meals review to learn more.
Freshly is a healthy meal kit delivery service specializing in heat-and-eat meals made from whole, unprocessed ingredients.
✔️ Heat-and-eat meals
✔️ Lots of meal options
✔️ Whole food ingredients
✔️ Less expensive than dining out
✔️ Great for people following specialty diets
❌ Extra shipping fee
❌ Meals may be too small
❌ Not appropriate for larger families
Freshly is one of the top meal delivery subscription services offering fresh, microwaveable meals that are made with whole food ingredients.
While you will pay for the convenience, it’s a great way for busy individuals to save some money on dining out regularly while eating healthy.
What’s most important for you in a meal delivery service?
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