The Pros And Cons Of HelloFresh – Plus Notes On Their Vegetarian Meals
Here I offer you the pros and cons of HelloFresh, and I also offer a few thoughts on their vegetarian meals because their vegetarian meals were the only reason I kept my subscription going after the first time we reviewed HelloFresh (follow this link for our review).
Pro – HelloFresh Gives You Fantastic Meals That Are Both Different And New
If you are sick of food that repeats on you, then having somebody else decide what you eat is a nice way of adding a little spice into your life. Be brave and cook and eat whatever they send. You may not like what they are offering when you are cooking it, but I have been genuinely surprised by the taste of food that I normally do not like.
I was foolish enough to think that the supermarket version of vegetarian lasagna was the way it was “Supposed” to taste. I had not experienced a genuine mix of flavors within a vegetarian meal outside of a restaurant until I tried HelloFresh. Plus, it really grinds my gears that grocery stores and online recipe websites offer terrible vegetarian choices.
I was starting to think that horrible bean toasties and bland spaghetti was the height of vegetarian food until HelloFresh showed me what good vegetarian food really tastes like.
Vegetarian – Home-cooked Food Is The Only Way To Eat Vegetarian Meals
This point about vegetarian meals counts for all the food delivery services that offer vegetarian food. I have tried more vegetarian meals that I can count, from those fake sausage things to microwave broccoli-cheese pasta things, and most of them were okay-to-awful. Trying the home-cooked meals from HelloFresh was the first time I had ever enjoyed eating vegetarian food beyond a baked potato or cheese sandwich. I liked the fact it was different, new for me, and that the flavors are so plentiful and carefully chosen. Even while adding ingredients I knew I wouldn’t like, such as Pine nuts, I discovered that the meal as a whole was great and even the ingredients I didn’t like still added to the experience.
Con – The Food Goes Off Rather Quickly
If you do not cook your box the week you receive it, then you may find yourself in trouble. It takes around a week for the fresh herbs to turn to mush, and if you do not cook what is in your box, then your next box will arrive and you will have two boxes full of food that you need to cook as quickly as possible before they both go off. It was heartbreaking to see my Spinach and Basil turn to watery mush because I had procrastinated about when I should cook my meals.
Pros – The Recipe Cards Make Cooking Very Easy
I cannot praise enough the quality of the recipe cards. I am a little sad that they are made from high quality card because it seems wasteful, but if the recipes were on my phone, then my phone would have been soaked many times by my wet hands. The same is true for if the recipes were written on pieces of regular A4 paper. It is just a shame the recipe cards cannot be sent back for reuse or recycling.
Vegetarian – The Vegetarian Meals Are Very Filling
I was a little worried that the vegetarian meals would fill me up for about an hour and then I would be hungry again. However, I found them to be very filling and satisfying. What is odd is that when I mix the ingredients at first, it always looks like there is not going to be enough for two people. Yet, by the time I have placed it on the plates, there is almost always some to spare. If you follow the instructions correctly and do not mess it up (like I did once or twice), then the food is always filling and tasty.
Cons – There Is Too Much Packaging
I do not know what people were complaining about online when they say there is too much packaging. I know there is a fair amount of plastic wrapping and a few plastic pots left over at the end, but it isn’t that different to if I bought all the ingredients in a supermarket. Are people just rolling their tomatoes down the conveyor belt without bagging them first? The biggest problem I have is with the packaging that keeps the box cool. I reuse the ice blocks by refreezing them and putting them in my fridge now and again to lower my electricity bill, but it is hardly a long-term solution.
The insulation stuff seems pretty wasteful too, so I took to putting it in my attic as extra insulation. Do not put the stuff in your loft because it has no fire-retardant capacity. Also, speaking of the packaging, I received a pot of cream in the bag about 3 weeks ago, and it was as smashed as a cheesecake in a panda house. It got everywhere, which meant lots of rinsing off, but otherwise it was fine. I contacted HelloFresh and they refunded the cost of the cream right away, which I thought was rather nice.
Pros – Most Of The Ingredients Are Already Measured For You
For example, if the recipe says you should add a few drops of this and a tablespoon of that, then the ingredients will be in wrappers that contain just a few drops or just a tablespoon. Things such as vegetables are not measured, but they give you enough to make the meal comfortably. With the exception of vegetables, everything else is measured to offer the perfect amount needed for your meal.
Vegetarian – Some Of The Meals “Appear” To Repeat
There were a few times when we received a meal with Halloumi in it, and we mistakenly thought that the meal on offer was one we had before, but that was not the case. It is almost like the company replaces meat with things such as Halloumi, which is why it appears every couple of months in different recipes. Instead of slapping a piece of pork in a wrap, they throw in a bit of Halloumi instead. Still at first glance, when you see the ingredients, you may think they are repeating meals, but repeats only happen a small number of times per year.
Cons – You Cannot Buy One-Off Meals Like A Takeaway
HelloFresh cannot afford to send out meals for just one person or just one meal, and they cannot afford to send them out at short notice. They need you to subscribe to their service, and then wait for whatever day of the week they deliver. It is not a terrible thing because it helps the company save money and keep their costs down, but it does mean you cannot use the service like a takeaway service. Canceling is very easy because you can do it on their website and with just a button click. You may also suspend your order if you do not feel like having a HelloFresh meal this week.
Pros – They Have Not Cheaped Out On The Meals
Whenever I say, “Candy is smaller these days,” I am told that I remember incorrectly. I am told that I used to be smaller as a child, so I used to think chocolate bars were bigger, but that is just not the case. Candy in all shapes and sizes is getting smaller as new executives try to prove they can increase profits by offering people less candy for the same amount of money.
My fear is that HelloFresh will start doing the same and offering poor quality ingredients or lackluster recipes so that they may make more profit. I am pleased to say that they have not yet done this (not from what I have noticed) and hopefully the food delivery industry is so competitive that HelloFresh will never cheap on out their meals.
Vegetarian – The Meals Do Not Cost More Per Portion Than If You Bought The Meal Ingredients From The Shop
I have heard people say, “Why use HelloFresh when you can buy the ingredients yourself, make the meal, and save yourself a lot of money?” It seems like a valid argument at first because you probably could pick up the ingredients for less per portion-weight, but that doesn’t mean you are saving money unless you use up all of your ingredients. For example, if your recipe calls for a dribble of honey mustard, then you receive a small packet of mustard from HelloFresh, but you would have to buy a full jar from the shops, which would cost more, and then you would have to use all of the mustard elsewhere in order come out ahead money wise.
It may appear as if you are saving money by buying the ingredients yourself and cutting out HelloFresh, but the fact is that you would have to ruthlessly find ways to use all the refrigerants you buy at a shop. For example, HelloFresh gave us a small packet of white wine vinegar for the meal, and it would have cost us far more if we had to go out and buy a bottle of the vinegar, and we would have never found a way to use it all before it went off (and it takes two years to go off).
You may be tempted to give up on HelloFresh and go out and buy all the vegetables yourself for a cheap price, but the only way you come out on top is if you buy all the vegetables and then find a way to use all the vegetables in other meals before they go off.
Cons – You Pay One Week In Advance
One of the problems that some people have with the HelloFresh service is that they are unaware they are paying for their meals one week in advance. When they cancel their subscription after making a payment, they cannot understand why they still receive a box the next week. The same is true if they cancel their subscribe after the cutoff day because they are still charged for the next week’s meal. At the very worst, if you cancel your subscription, then the most you will have to pay for one more week of meals. In most cases, when you cancel or suspend your account, you stop paying right away until you reactivate or restart your subscription.
Pros – Get Food Delivered Right To Your Door
Don’t shop for your ingredients, get them straight to your door. Remove the element of searching for both recipes and ingredients. Allow somebody else to decide what you are eating. If you are tired of food repeating on you, then it may be worth considering something like HelloFresh.
Here Is A Link To HelloFresh If You Are Interested.
Vegetarian – Avoid Wasting Fruit And Vegetables
One of the benefits of HelloFresh vegetarian meals is that you get the correct amount of vegetables per recipe, which means you never have to waste fruit and vegetables when you are cooking. Plus, it gives your fruit and vegetables a purpose. When you go food shopping, you tend to buy vegetables for food you intend to make. Maybe you buy potatoes with the idea of “Maybe” cooking a potato bake at some point during the week. Yet, those same potatoes find their way into fritters, fries, or even bangers & mash.
When you have a recipe all set up, and you have all your ingredients ready, your vegetables have a purpose, which means they will not end up in a different meal. Plus, there is a piece of mind to knowing that your vegetables are not going to go off while you decide what to make with them.
Cons – Cooking And Preparing Can Take Up To An Hour
HelloFresh has a great way of creating recipes where the cooking process keeps you busy. While one thing is warming, you are peeling another thing, and after peeling you add the sauce to the other thing. They do not follow the traditional method where you prepare everything first and then add it in and wait. HelloFresh has you prepare your items while you are cooking them, which is a great time saver.
Sadly, some meals take up to an hour to cook, which doesn’t sound like a long time, but one of the side benefits of a food delivery service is that it is more convenient, and taking an hour to cook something doesn’t seem that convenient.
For example, I didn’t have to measure out sauces, stock amounts, the amount of seasoning used, and so forth. Yet, some of them still took me an hour to cook. I can only imagine it would have taken me far longer if the ingredients had not arrived with the correct portions, but I really thought that cooking HelloFresh meals would be super quick. I was thinking of it in terms of fast food in terms of fast-home-cooked food…but that is not what HelloFresh is all about.
Pros – They Send You Reminders About What Is Coming
You will be told via email or text when your meal box will be arriving, and you are told when it has arrived. You may change your order for next week if you wish, which is suitable for people who want to pick alternatives to whatever is on the menu. When they send the email or text that reminds you about next week’s delivery, you may then go online and make changes before the cut-off day.
Vegetarian – Pick Where Your Delivery Is Placed
You may have seen online reviews where food delivery companies have left food boxes in really dumb places, such as on hot porches and inside of waste bins. Sadly, there are some delivery drivers who hate their job and routinely do a bad job. Nevertheless, HelloFresh offers a number of delivery options under their “Leave Safe” settings. You do not have to be home to receive your box, you may specify where your box is left under the delivery instructions. There are already a bunch of options for a safe place, but if you want to be super specific, then you may click the “Other” delivery option and spell out exactly where you want your box to be placed or hidden if you do not answer the door.
Cons – Many Of The Healthiest Meals Cannot Be Frozen
Maybe I am exaggerating when I say that the meals “Cannot” be frozen. I have frozen quite a few in my time, especially leftovers, but some of them freeze very badly. For example, I froze half of the pasta meal I made, and when I defrosted it, the sauce seemed fine, but it has a layer of water on at the very bottom. Plus, there was a time when I froze a meal that had parsley sauce in it, and it defrosted to become very lumpy. I had to reheat it and run the sauce through a blender to get it back to its original consistency.
I am aware that HelloFresh meals are made to be eaten on the same day, but I have made plenty of regular recipes and they have frozen and defrosted as well as any other. I am not saying that I haven’t cooked the odd soup where the defrosted version looked like hummus. Still, it is a shame that I cannot freeze my leftovers when I cook HelloFresh meals.
Pros – Canceling Is Very Quick And Consequence Free
I can go to the HelloFresh website right now, log-in, and cancel my subscription with the flick of a button. Canceling is very quick, very easy, and there are no fees or negative consequences. If you see people complaining about HelloFresh cancellation protocols online, then check the date, and check to see if it is in your country because I have had no problem canceling and restarting my accounts in both the USA and UK.
Vegetarian – Cooking Vegetarian Meals Becomes Fun
I like being vegetarian, but I have already stated that vegetarian meals bought in restaurants are hit and miss, and most that I buy in grocery stores are okay-to-awful. The recipes I read online are usually full of beans and nuts that I don’t like, so it is great to know that companies like HelloFresh have created truly enjoyable vegetarian meals that even meat-lovers will enjoy.
Part of the experience is the cooking of the food. There have been many times I have been cutting up an aubergine or toasting nuts and thinking to myself, “Awww, this meal is gunna suckkkk.” Yet, as I see the meal coming together, I start to get a taste for what I am cooking. There have been a number of vegetarian recipes where the process of cooking the meal has helped me grow a taste for the meal. When I see and understand just how many flavors have been added and mixed in order to make the meal, the food starts to become far more appealing.
Cons – The Pause Feature Seems Pretty Redundant Besides Their Cancellation Policy
I understand why HelloFresh put a pause function on their subscription. It means that people can stop and start their deliveries whenever they need. It means that people can pause their delivery for a week if they are going on vacation. Yet, the pause function seems to be for the company’s benefit rather than mine.
For example, if you wish to skip a delivery one week, then you go onto the delivery section and you choose the week you wish to miss. The image below shows you what I mean.
What puzzles me is that you cannot pause your deliveries with an on and off switch. Right now, I can flick a switch on the HelloFresh website and completely cancel my subscription. It takes less than ten seconds to cancel your subscription. Yet, if you wish to pause, then you have to pick a week and set it to pause. It is quicker and easier to cancel my subscription and restart my subscription than it is to use the Pause function. Plus, there is no negative side to canceling my subscription. I can flick the switch on the website and turn it back on again within ten seconds. I can cancel and restart my subscription ten times today if I wish, and there is no negative effect. The pause function seems superfluous to me when the cancellation function is so much quicker, convenient and efficient.
Conclusion – I Am Still On Board With HelloFresh
It has been a while since our first review, and I am still a fan of HelloFresh. Prices different depending upon which country you are in, but here are the prices at the time of writing.
- For 4 people with 2 recipes per week it will cost $7.87 + £5.99 shipping
- For 4 people with 3 recipes per week it will cost you $7.49 + £5.99 shipping
- For 2 people and 2 recipes per week it will cost you $8.99 + £7.99 shipping
- For 2 people and 3 recipes per week it will cost you $8.99 + £5.99 shipping
- For 2 people and 4 recipes per week it will cost you $8.99 + £5.99 shipping
- For 4 people and 3 recipes per week it will cost you $7.42 + £5.99 shipping
- For 2 people and 3 recipes per week it will cost you $8.99 + £5.99 shipping
- For 4 people and 3 recipes per week it will cost you $6.99 + £5.99 shipping
Here Is A Link To HelloFresh If You Are Interested.
Let us know in our comments section if you try them out and have any comments about them.