Have you been curious about trying those meal delivery services? There are so many to choose from. Chef’s Plate, Good Food, Miss Fresh, etc. My husband and I signed up with Hello Fresh, and I am going to share our experience. The plan we had was for 4 meals per week.
I was very happy with the way everything was packed. A good-sized box (That was perfect for moving!) with 1 or 2 large ice packs in the bottom to keep your food fresh until you put it away in the fridge. These ice packs can be reused yourself, or you can collect them and Hello Fresh will come and pick them up to be reused. Each individual meal had its own paper bag with a cute clear label. Meat or larger items would be packed into the box outside of these bags, but it was obvious which meal they belong to.
When you receive the box, all you have to do is put everything into your fridge and take the proper bag out when you’re ready to cook.
Inside the paper bags, all the ingredients are portioned and individually packaged with clear labels. Sometimes pre-chopped and ready to go. The plastic bags that the ingredients are packed in are biodegradable so you can feel good about throwing them away.
The meals were very easy to cook. Without having to measure out ingredients nearly as much as you would normally have to, and not having to chop up all the ingredients (you will have to for some) it made the process a lot faster and simpler. The recipe cards are beautiful. The steps are all very simple and explained well, but they also have a lot of pictures that a visual person like myself can really appreciate.
Being able to choose from a list of available meals for the week made it easy to avoid foods that I didn’t think we would like. We were never stuck with a meal that we didn’t want to eat. If you happen to be a bit pickier than us (though, I can be pretty picky) I would recommend doing 3 meals a week instead of 4. If there is a week where you don’t like any of the meal options, you can always opt out of that week. I personally don’t like tomatoes, but I would still select meals with them if it was possible to just not add them to the meal or to only add them to my husband’s portion. If they were cherry tomatoes, I would give them to my husband to snack on while I cooked.
The produce was always fresh, which is something I was worried about, and the ingredients were high quality and tasted great. With spicy ingredients, the instructions gave you different measurements for different levels of spice so you can customize the dish to suit your taste. Every meal I made looked beautiful when plated. Lots of colour, seasoning, and balance. It felt like a dish you would get at a restaurant.
You’re able to change your plan up and opt-out of a week when needed. During the holidays when we were going to be out and eating at different Christmas dinners, I knew there would be no point in getting our meals for that week. If you’re going on vacation, no worries. It’s great not being stuck with meals you may not use.
One thing I have always struggled with as a person with depression is finding the motivation to do things like cooking. It seems too exhausting, and like too much work. I was attracted to Hello Fresh because they do a lot of the cooking tasks that I found most daunting for me. Shopping for ingredients, measuring them all out to avoid food waste, and knowing what ingredients work best together. But even with all of this extra help, I still felt a major sense of accomplishment when I finished making a meal. I felt like I was actually contributing to the household on days where I was otherwise not feeling great and didn’t accomplish much.
There were still some days where depression would get the best of me and I would really not be in the mood to cook. This is why it’s great that it’s a 4 day a week plan, so I could still have my “lazy” days where we order food or my husband will make grilled cheese. But also knowing that I had to cook all 4 of those meals within the week helped me force myself to get up and get cooking when I was feeling just a little “meh” and I always felt better once I got started.
Ultimately, what is the reason you don’t have a home-cooked meal when you don’t? It’s too much work, takes too much time, I don’t have the energy for this. I get that. Hello Fresh allows you to have a home-cooked meal a lot more often which means you will be healthier and possibly find some more joy in cooking rather than seeing it as a chore you don’t want to do.
*This post is not sponsored by Hello Fresh, these are my honest opinions that I wanted to share.