Update: I ended up cancelling my plan with Hello Fresh a few weeks after posting this article as I was consistently missing items week on week. When I contacted their customer services team I was advised that they were experiencing supply issues yet had they had made no attempt at informing customers of potential issues prior to delivery. Unfortunately, this meant that some of my food went uneaten as I didn’t have the ability to get to a shop on time to pick up my missing ingredients.
As I stated in a post at the end of last month, I have finally decided to embark and commit to losing weight and becoming a fitter, healthier version of myself. If you read that post, you’ll know that I openly admit that my biggest downfall was in the kitchen but at the time I wasn’t sure how to address it. I never really wanted to restrict my diet to the point I was tracking macros and I looked into a few different options and after about a week I had a narrowed the options down to either Hello Fresh or Huel.
I done some more digging around the internet and YouTube and eventually came to the conclusion that Hello Fresh was the route for me. I found online and I ended up getting 50% off my first box and 35% off the following three boxes so I signed up to give it a go and then, a couple of days later, my first box arrived. However, before I proceed with the rest of this post, please be aware this is not a sponsored article and the opinions that follow are based on my own experience as a paying customer.
The main reason I I was interested in Hello Fresh was simply to take the away the mind-numbing task of trying to figure out what was I eating as well as the hassle going shopping and forgetting half of what I needed anyway. Hello Fresh delivers a weekly box if fresh ingredients directly to your door and it gives you everything you’ll need to make some cracking meals and they even give you a recipe card to follow along so that you can craft restaurant quality food night after night. Yeah, I know that sounds really scripted and comes across a little too much like an advertisement for them but it sums up their service really well.
At first, I wasn’t 100% sold on the whole idea to be honest and when I was unpacking my first box I genuinely thought that I was out of my depth needing to prepare my dinner from the basic ingredients you’re given.
So, how does it actually work? Well, each week you get to pick what you want from a pre-selected menu either through their website or on the mobile app and will arrive on delivery date picked by you. For example, I get my delivery through every Saturday and DPD who deliver my box, have always gotten to me within the same 60 minute window week to week.
After that, it really is pretty simple. Unpack your box, put things where things were they need to go and get cooking. One thing thing I will say however, is if your kitchen is quite warm like is, put your vegetables in the fridge. I left my carrots out in my vegetable rack on week one and they went all floppy and soggy, I assume from the tumble dryer, and nobody wants floppy and soggy carrots.
Following the recipes really couldn’t be simpler but I’d recommend giving them a once over before starting to cook to save you from any nasty surprises. I’m single man who lives alone and I’ve been getting a box for five days designed for two people which does my dinner one day and lunch the next and so on throughout the week but prepare yourself for big portions. Sometimes what you’re cooking doesn’t seem like a lot but once it all comes together you’re not going to be left feeling hungry afterwards.
Admittedly I don’t follow the recipes word for word and sometimes I’m using them as a guideline but I’m still always 100% happy with the results. Another amazing thing about Hello Fresh is that I’m getting to the end of the week and I’ve used all the food the way it was meant to be used and I’ve not tossed out a single thing (aside from a lemon because I don’t like them and the aforementioned carrots) and to me that’s important and not just for some environmental reason but more so because before if I never ate something and it went off, I felt like I was throwing money away.
Speaking of money, is it value for money? I think so. You’re getting really top quality food sent directly to your door each week and all you need to do is make your selections and follow the instructions. Any time I started getting bored of something, for example potato wedges, I just skipped any dishes that incorporated wedges the following week.
I had originally started with a 4 day box and recently upped it to the 5 box and while it may technically cost me more than nipping down to the shop each week, long term I think Hello Fresh saves me money because I’m not buying and wasting and I’m not ordering takeaway because I know what I have in my fridge is better quality and healthier for me and at the end of the day when you’re trying to lose weight having top quality food that makes you scoff at the idea of a takeaway isn’t a bad thing.
As I said previously, I’m a single man who eats this stuff for lunch and dinner five days a week, I eat at my mum’s once a week and I just use whatever leftovers I have in the freezer for the final day but because I live alone I’m getting 10 meals out of a box instead of the advertised 5 and at no point yet have I ever gotten sick of the idea of eating the same thing for lunch the day after I had it for dinner.
I’ve enjoyed every single dish I’ve made and by eating less processed crap and eating the wholefoods that Hello Fresh has sent me over the last few weeks, not only have I lost some weight I feel healthier as well. The entire experience has made me re-evaluate how I see food and to me that has been priceless.
Now, I will admit that my four weeks haven’t been without issue. For example, my latest delivery was to include some caramelised onion sausages which never arrived but after quick web chat with their customer services team I was credited £7.80 which will be deducted from my next delivery and I wandered down to Morrison’s and picked myself up a replacement for a fraction of what they’ve given me back.
After living with Hello Fresh for the past four weeks, I can’t overstate how happy I am with my decision try them. Whether I stick with them long term, well that remains to be seen but certainly or the foreseeable future I do plan on keeping them around for a while and if you’ve ever thought about giving Hello Fresh a try for yourself, then I would recommend you do so but just make sure you look around for an offer before you sign up to maximise your experience and chances are I’ll revisit Hello Fresh in another article down the line.
by Edward Laing