The other night I tried HelloFresh for the first time, and based on my n=1 experience I feel like I’m qualified to provide a full review of the entire thing. Man, I’m really running out of blog ideas!
A special person and I got a free week coupon, so of course we used it, and of course we still had to pay a couple buck–but we did get 4, 2-serving meals out of it. So we tried pork tacos.
For those unfamiliar, HelloFresh ships you a box with a bunch of pre-packaged ingredients and recipes so you can cook meals for the week. All for the price of eating out! For this particular recipe, we got cilantro, lime, sour creme, tomato, kiwi, pork, poblano pepper, Mexican spices, tomato paste, chicken stock concentrate, and onion. So a lot of stuff. Initially, I felt like this was really a lot of work chopping up like 6 different ingredients. But it went by quickly enough with two people and the end result was pretty tasty. All in all it took maybe 30 minutes of work including cleaning up, and by the end of it I thought it was a pretty fun experience. The biggest surprise of all was that it was actually enough food for two people who like to run (and eat) a lot.
So, was it worth it? Absolutely not! Especially given the business model, which assumes you’re doing this for most of your dinners each week. This meals normally cost like $9+ per serving! It’s not worth it for the same reason you don’t drive to a movie theater every night to entertain yourself when you can just Netflix (or do something actually productive, if you prefer) in your own home. Yes, it’s nice to go to the movies every once in a while, but for more than $10, 50+cents/mile of driving, and the time it takes it’s just not practical or even desirable to do on a very regular basis.
For the same amount of time and a fraction of the normal retail cost of this HelloFresh recipe, we could’ve cooked a tasty meal with fewer ingredients (and therefor easier prep) and had plenty of leftovers for lunches during the week. Yes, it’s nice to try a new recipe with ingredients you don’t always use every once in a while, but I’m perfectly capable of going to the grocery store and using an online recipe when I’m in the mood for that. Budgetbytes.com is actually a great resource for doing this without breaking the bank. Also, I wouldn’t really consider myself an avid environmentalist, but the amount of unnecessary packaging–like two individually wrapped packs of sour cream that you just combine together–was a little bit ridiculous.
Would I enjoy this experience again for the price I paid? For sure, I would and I will. But at the normal price…let’s be serious. Be an adult, go to the grocery store, and cook your own food. It’s not that difficult. Honestly, just going out to eat probably makes more financial sense than this.