Do you struggle with making dinner every night? If so, you’re not alone.
Fortunately, meal kit delivery services like HelloFresh are available. These subscription-based services make it easier to cook for your family with no grocery shopping or meal planning required.
Best of all, the company offers a wide variety of recipes that you may not normally cook at home.
Our comprehensive HelloFresh review can help you determine if the service is right for you.
What is HelloFresh?
HelloFresh is a subscription meal kit company that sends you recipes and all the ingredients you need to cook them straight to your door each week.
They are currently dominating the world of meal delivery subscription services.
Not only is the HelloFresh service itself extremely popular, but the company also owns the affordable meal kit service EveryPlate. They also own the high-end, specialty subscription meal box Green Chef.
HelloFresh is a moderately priced meal kit service with broad appeal thanks to its huge weekly selection of recipes that make it easy to get delicious home-cooked meals on the table.
How Does the Service Work?
Getting started with HelloFresh is easy. Simply go to their website and navigate to the “Our Plans” page. This will walk you step-by-step through the sign-up process.
First, select the type of meals you prefer from six choices, including:
- Meat & Veggies
- Family Friendly
- Calorie Smart
- Time Savers
They currently don’t offer weekly meal options for specialty diets aside from vegetarian. As a result, you may want to look into other services like Green Chef or Sunbasket if you have specific dietary needs.
Next, select your plan size. You can choose two to six meals per week for two or four people.
After you enter your shipping information and submit payment, you’ll be able to choose your meals from the weekly menu. This offers 50 unique meal ideas each week.
You can also look at HelloFresh menus for upcoming weeks before signing up to make sure there are plenty of meals you’ll like before spending any money.
After you sign up and make your meal selections, you’ll start receiving a weekly shipment of HelloFresh recipes and all of the ingredients you’ll need.
Keep in mind that staples like butter, oil, salt, and pepper won’t be included in your shipment.
It’s important to note that HelloFresh is a subscription-based service. Once you sign up, you’re committed to receiving weekly shipments.
If you don’t pick your own meals, HelloFresh will choose them for you. Consequently, you’ll want to make sure to enter your selections before each week’s deadline.
Additionally, the subscription is super flexible. You can skip weeks, pause at any time, or cancel easily online if it’s not a good fit.
Easy-to-follow instructions for how to cancel your subscription can be found on their website or app.
Simply log into your account and select “Cancel Plan” from the Status screen in your account settings. You can also call customer service to cancel if you wish.
How Much Does HelloFresh Cost?
HelloFresh is one of the midrange options in the meal delivery subscription service space. It’s not low-cost like Dinnerly or EveryPlate, but it’s also not as expensive as services like Sunbasket or Green Chef.
*Related: Are you interested in trying Green Chef? Read our review of the service here to learn more.
Prices range from $7.49 to $12.49 per serving. Larger orders, like those in the four-person family plan, unlock more affordable options.
Shipping is a flat $8.99 per box. You can also add extras to your box, like breakfasts, snacks, breads, and desserts.
Finally, remember to take advantage of the promos and deals offered to new HelloFresh users. As of this writing, they’re offering $90 off of your first four boxes plus free shipping on your first box.
*For a limited time only, Frugal Rules readers can get 16 free meals, three surprise gifts, and free shipping with their first HelloFresh purchase!
|Servings Per Week||Total Cost with Shipping|
|2 people, 2 recipes per week||$58.95|
|2 people, 3 recipes per week||$62.93|
|2 people, 4 recipes per week||$80.91|
|2 people, 5 recipes per week||$98.89|
|2 people, 6 recipes per week||$116.87|
|4 people, 2 recipes per week||$80.91|
|4 people, 3 recipes per week||$98.87|
|4 people, 4 recipes per week||$128.83|
|4 people, 5 recipes per week||$158.79|
|4 people, 6 recipes per week||$188.75|
My Experience Using the Service
I was highly impressed with HelloFresh. While I have lots of experience with budget meal kit boxes like Dinnerly and EveryPlate, this was my first time trying a higher-end service.
The number of selections was impressive, and it took me a while to get through the ordering experience because there were so many tasty-sounding options.
I settled on three meals for my review of Hello Fresh:
- Chicken Ramen in a Shoyu-Style Broth with Mushrooms, Chili Garlic Oil & Crispy Onions
- Chimichurri Pork Tenderloin with Honey Roasted Carrots & Lime Rice
- Salmon in a Creamy Lemon Chive Sauce with Roasted Potato Wedges & Lemony Zucchini
The shipment arrived in perfect shape, with each meal’s ingredients tucked away in its own labeled paper bag.
All of the meats were separated from the rest of the ingredients between ice packs in the bottom of the box.
Support materials, including recipe cards, were tucked between the outer box and the insulated cooler so they wouldn’t get wet.
The recipe cards are large, full color, and extremely detailed. This made it really easy to follow along as I was cooking.
You can also access your recipes on the HelloFresh app or website.
The food itself is fantastic with generous portion sizes. All of the ingredients were fresh and in great shape.
My whole family was impressed by all of the meals we tried. These included some new and different things that aren’t a regular part of our meal rotation.
The salmon was fresh and perfectly cooked, while the sauce was really easy to make and a total hit. This recipe made plenty of sauce as well, so there was extra for the veggies and potatoes.
The chimichurri was surprisingly easy to make and tasted amazing on the pork tenderloin. It was so delicious that I filed the recipe away for future use.
Overall, HelloFresh really impressed my family and me with its excellent recipes, high-quality ingredients, and neatly packed shipments.
However, the cost is a bit high. As a result, it’s not an expense that our family or other families on a budget would easily be able to justify.
How Easy are HelloFresh Meal Kits to Prepare?
HelloFresh meals are extremely easy to prepare by simply following the included recipe cards. For these recipes, I followed the instructions exactly, and every component of each meal I tried was perfectly cooked.
As with other meal kits, it took me a bit longer to prepare the ingredients than the recipe card suggests. However, if you’re good with a knife, this shouldn’t be a huge issue.
Additionally, the cook times seemed to be spot on.
The most challenging meal I cooked from HelloFresh was the Chicken Ramen in a Shoyu-Style Broth. I actually hesitate to say that it was difficult. More than anything so very involved.
It had many components to make at the same time. Between preparing the fresh ingredients and cooking everything else, it was a fair amount of work.
Fortunately, the instructions were perfectly clear, and the end result was delicious. It was a far better and more authentic ramen than I could have cooked on my own.
Overall, I found that HelloFresh offers easy to prepare meals. But, if time is an issue for you, then you’ll want to choose from the “Quick & Easy” selections for quick, ready-to-make meals.
Who Should Use HelloFresh?
Here’s a breakdown of who would benefit most from a HelloFresh subscription.
HelloFresh is an excellent choice for vegetarians. They offer seven vegetarian recipes per week, so a vegetarian household can select the largest box.
Some services don’t provide enough vegetarian meals for their vegetarian customers to have this option, so this is a huge plus for HelloFresh.
People Wanting to Improve Their Cooking Skills
HelloFresh is also an excellent way to grow as a home cook and learn some new cooking skills. The recipe cards are large and provide plenty of details along with full-color, step-by-step photos.
After a few weeks of using HelloFresh, beginner cooks should become more comfortable with several basic cooking techniques.
This can result in more confidence when cooking non-HelloFresh meals.
People Who Want Variety
With 50 unique recipes each week, HelloFresh offers tons of variety in their meals. You can choose from several different cuisine types.
There’s also a wider variety of ingredients than you’ll find in less expensive meal kits, including more proteins (like fish), herbs, and spices.
For this reason, HelloFresh is an excellent option for people who are looking for an exciting variety of meals.
Who Shouldn’t Use the Service?
There are some people who will find that HelloFresh isn’t a great fit for their needs.
Although HelloFresh is a wonderful choice for a vegetarian meal plan, that’s not the case for strict vegans.
Most of the vegetarian meals offered through the service still contain some non-vegan ingredients, like dairy or honey.
If you’re already a great cook and you want polished, high-end, gourmet meals, HelloFresh may not be a great fit for you.
You won’t have access to truly luxurious ingredients like duck or lobster unless you choose the Premium meal selections each week.
For this reason, gourmet cooks may find meal kits like Sunbasket or Gobble to be a better fit.
Pros and Cons
Here are some of the main pros and cons of HelloFresh to consider before you subscribe.
- 50 meal options each week from a variety of cuisines
- Offers up to six meals per week for two or four people
- Middle-of-the-road pricing
- Organized shipments and detailed recipe cards
- Depending on order size, prices can be $12+ per serving
- Shipping costs extra
- Not a great fit for strict vegans
Here’s how HelloFresh compares to other subscription meal delivery kits.
EveryPlate is a budget meal kit service with meals that cost a flat $4.99 per serving regardless of your order size. They are owned by HelloFresh, so there are several similarities.
The company uses similar ingredients in many dishes, so you may notice that some EveryPlate meals are reminiscent of HelloFresh meals.
However, EveryPlate meals tend to be much simpler without the same level of variety that HelloFresh offers.
Additionally, EveryPlate doesn’t separate ingredients by recipe. Instead, you receive all of your ingredients for the week in a single box.
Read our review of EveryPlate here to learn more.
Blue Apron is comparable to HelloFresh in terms of price, quality, and product offerings. Both meal kits are moderately priced and offer several different recipe options each week.
Similar to HelloFresh, Blue Apron’s meals start at $7.49 per serving.
*Related: Read our analysis here of how HelloFresh compares to Blue Apron to learn how the two services rate against each other.
While Blue Apron caters to more health-conscious households by offering several moderate carb and calorie options each week, they don’t have as many menu items as HelloFresh.
Read our review of the Blue Apron menu to learn more.
Sunbasket is a high-end competitor to HelloFresh with more expensive meals and organic, natural ingredients.
They also cater to several different dietary restrictions and preferences, including paleo, vegan, and gluten-free.
Their meals start at $10.99 per serving, and they also offer a variety of healthy, organic groceries as well as single-serving meals that you can add to each order.
Read our review of Sunbasket here to learn more.
Gobble is a meal kit service to consider if you want mostly prepped items to help you save time in the kitchen. The service has three main meal choices to select from: Classic, Vegetarian, and Lean & Clean.
If you like seafood fan, Gobble is a fantastic meal kits to try.
The service is a bit more expensive, with prices beginning at $11.99 per serving. They do offer a special offer of six meals for $36 for your first order.
Read our review of the Gobble menu here to learn more.
HelloFresh is a moderately-priced meal kit delivery service offering a wide variety of unique recipes that appeal to individuals and families alike.
✔️ Wide variety of meal options
✔️ Moderate pricing
✔️ Convenient packaging
✔️ Great for beginner cooks
❌ More affordable meal kits are available
❌ You must pay extra for shipping
❌ Time-consuming prep work
❌ Lacks options for specialized diets
Bottom Line: Is it Worth it?
HelloFresh is a moderately priced meal kit service that offers a great variety of tasty options each week.
The subscription-based service is ideal for families and individuals who want to cook more meals at home but struggle to find the time for meal planning or going to the grocery store.
While it may not be a good fit for people with a special diet, the variety of cuisines is an added bonus for most foodies
Overall, HelloFresh is impressive, but its price may put it out of reach for some frugally-minded households.
What do you look for in a meal delivery service?