Southern Belle in Training

Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle Blog || Est. 2012 || Charlottesville, VA

November 10, 2020

Unsponsored + Unbiased Hello Fresh Review!

     It's here- my unsponsored and unbiased review of Hello Fresh, the meal kit service that I've been enjoying using for the past two months! I never thought I would be this excited about using a meal kit, but here we are. I am still planning to try out a few of Hello Fresh's competitors like Home Chef, Blue Apron, etc this winter and write a larger blog post comparing and contrasting several of them, but some of you messaged me on Instagram saying you still really wanted to see a dedicated Hello Fresh review first. So here we go! Spoiler alert: I love it!


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      First up- a disclaimer: I'm not partnering with Hello Fresh in any way with my blog. Today's post is 100% unbiased and unsponsored. 😊At this time last year if you had asked me my opinion on Hello Fresh, I would've said it was something solely designed for people who didn't know how to cook. I've loved both cooking and baking since I was quite young, and have enjoyed both even more in adulthood with having my own kitchen. I would've also told you I thought it was intriguing that Hello Fresh only seemed to be talked about widely by podcast hosts and former Bachelor contestants turned Instagram influencers. 

     Ever since moving into my first apartment in 2016, I'd been cooking dinner at least two or three nights a week, in addition to baking treats and cooking lunches throughout the week as well (and eating dinner leftovers on other nights as well). I'd eat out for one or two meals (usually weekends), and especially once I got to Charlottesville I'd usually spend at least one meal a week at a friend's house as well- sometimes more! This meal routine worked for my first few years post-grad, but then enter 2020 and COVID. Gone were meals at friends' houses, and while I have still been doing a bit of takeout since March, I'm overall eating out a lot less since I'm home a lot more. I was starting to get really overwhelmed by always eating every meal at home, and making so many of them myself from scratch. My work schedule as a morning show host makes weeknights tough for me- and it was starting to feel like I was spending way too many hours a week before bedtime cooking and cleaning the kitchen. 

    During the summer, I did a survey on my IG Stories to ask what people thought of meal kit delivery services. The responses I got were actually mixed- some people thought they were a waste of time and money. But most people did say positive things! Messages from my blogger friend Angela of The Thrifty Pineapple and one of my best friends, Ciera, really helped to convince me to give it a go. I figured what did I have to lose to try it? If I didn't like it, I could always cancel. 

     Okay y'all- Hello Fresh has way exceeded my expectations. I absolutely love it!! First and foremost, the meals are delicious. Much better than I thought they would be. Some of them are the same level of delicious as a restaurant meal that would probably cost twice as much. There have been a few that were just okay and not ones I'd order or make again, but they still weren't bad in the scheme of things. It's very clear these recipes are all well tested, and the end result will be good! 

    I also do find Hello Fresh to be a time saver. Yes- it still does take some time to make the meal and clean up after, but I find the whole process to be faster than making dinners totally from scratch, and it makes my weekly grocery shopping trip easier as well since I'm not buying as many items at the store. For me, it definitely is a time savings.

    I also love the portion sizes! No matter how much you enjoy a home-cooked meal, you can only eat the leftovers for so many days before getting sick of it. As a single person cooking for one, most dinners I make tend to last for five or six meals... and by the third time eating it I'm usually sick of it. But I hate wasting food! Hello Fresh is a perfect solution. I'm on the two person plan- which means for each meal I have enough to eat for dinner, and exactly one leftover serving to eat the next day for lunch or dinner. So I never get sick of anything or feel wasteful! 

     My last favorite thing about Hello Fresh is that all their recipes are public! Did you know that? You don't have to sign up or be a member to be inspired to cook with their easy and delicious recipes. I have already re-made a few of my favorite meals with ingredients that I've gotten myself at the grocery store, and it's also been fun to share my favorite recipes with friends who don't want to sign up for the service, but are curious about the recipes. 

     Here are a few of my favorite meals so far- with the recipes linked if you'd like the try them ASAP yourself!

Bulgogi Pork Tenderloin - My very first Hello Fresh meal and ironically still my favorite one ever!! This was SO good, and I'm not even normally a big pork tenderloin fan. The Bulgogi sauce is out of this world!! Hello Fresh does use this sauce for other recipes too (I've tried the Bulgogi meatballs and beef bowls), but the pork tenderloin was my favorite way to use this tasty sauce.


Frank's Redhot Spiced Crispy Chicken - My second favorite recipe, and the one I've tried to duplicate the most at home with my own ingredients! It's absolutely delicious- this is a recipe I can't wait to make for friends and family once it's safe to have people outside my household over for meals again.

Smothered Pepper Jack Burgers - Burgers are one thing that I was never very confident in making at home pre-Hello Fresh. That's one meal I'd always prefer at a restaurant. But Hello Fresh's burgers are all phenomenal!! This pepper jack one has been my favorite one I've tried. 

     One tip I do have for ordering your meals/boxes- while the pasta and soup meals are tasty, I don't think they're worth the price. I've tried a few of the Hello Fresh pasta meals and found them all to be good, but I felt like I could've easily duplicated them for a lot cheaper from Trader Joe's. I would say experiment with the Hello Fresh soup and pasta recipes from their website, but buy your own ingredients! I do find Hello Fresh boxes to be totally worth it for the burgers, and other meat dishes. Besides for chicken and ground beef, I wasn't too confident in cooking a lot of other meats before I started Hello Fresh. 

    It's safe to say my opinion has totally changed on Hello Fresh from what I'd assumed it'd be like before starting. I am so glad I gave it a try! If you click this link here- you'll get a savings of $70 off your first few boxes (they divide the discount up between the first few- $30 off one, $20 off another... etc). Worst comes to worst- if you don't like it you can cancel or pause at any time. No hassle at all! 

     I am planning to pause Hello Fresh in a couple weeks for December and January... so that I can give Home Chef, Blue Apron, and maybe one other meal kit delivery service a try so that I can do a big compare/contrast blog post review for this winter! I'm already excited about that.


     God Bless,

  

     xoxo Annaliese 

    

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3 comments

  1. The crispy chicken looks fantastic!! Meal delivery is such a great concept and we've enjoyed doing it in the past-although I can't remember if we've done Hello Fresh or not.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is so helpful! I've been thinking about trying Hello Fresh again. I did a while ago and loved it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Zactly, very helpful.
    I actually appreciate this review more bz this is not a sponsored post.

    We had a huge problem with the delivery drivers not dropping the box off to the right door step.
    It ended up being a major hassle.

    Question: what day of the week do you have your box delivered on?

    ReplyDelete

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