Box It Up! Is Subscription Food Delivery Worth the Money?

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Blue ApronOnce upon a time, anyone who wanted to prepare a special meal had to first track down a recipe and then trek to the grocery store for the necessary components.

But these days, you can skip right ahead to the mixing and marinating, thanks to such services as Plated and Blue Apron, which bring ready-to-cook dinners—complete with detailed instructions and just the perfect amount of ingredients—to your doorstep.

But are they worth the cost? And are the results both tasty and healthy?

A growing number of people seem to think so, given that several of these companies have taken off in just the past few years. HelloFresh, for example, claims to have delivered more than 10 million meals internationally since 2012—in the U.S. alone, their business more than quadrupled in 2013.

“Many people say they want to cook more, eat healthy and waste less,” says Seth Goldman, C.E.O. of the U.S. division of HelloFresh. “And we provide a convenient way to do it.”

The Skinny on Subscription Food Services

While signing up for a subscription food service hardly means never setting foot in a supermarket again—you only receive meal kits for a few dinners per week—it can provide the tools and encouragement to experiment with new fare at a reasonable cost. Prices for subscription food services range from about $10 to $15 per serving.

“They allow you to have a ‘restaurant’ quality meal at home for much less money, and you won’t have to stock your pantry with unfamiliar spices that you might never use again,” says Keri Gans, R.D., author of “The Small Change Diet.”

Jackie Newgent, R.D., a culinary nutritionist and author of “The With or Without Meat Cookbook,” believes that these services are also well worth the price because they foster kitchen confidence. “Cooking can be a relaxing and enjoyable activity,” she says. “It’s a lovely learning experience to share with family too.”

The downside, however, is that most of these plans aren’t great for picky eaters. Although some allow you to customize your choices a little, flexibility is limited. PeachDish, in fact, sends all subscribers the same meals, emphasizing the “adventure” aspect, and urging people to think of it as a yearlong cooking course.

RELATED: 8 Ritzy Restaurant Dishes You Can Make at Home

  • Allison

    $10-$15 a serving? I guess if you’re buying one of these meals instead of going out for dinner, it might save you money (then again, we spent $25 for the two of us to eat out last night — so even saving money compared to dinner out isn’t a given). But otherwise, that’s way more expensive than a typical meal, and it sounds these are often less healthy, too. No thanks.

    • Angela Hamon

      Allison it is not enough food. If you have ANY dietary restrictions you may find a family member misses out , and one company is reusing their packaging materials to the point they harbor germs. I thought I was sick from one of their meals and then learned they had reused all the packing materials, filthy and gouging. And good luck trying to cancel. you have to skip every week to avoid big charges!
      That said I do have 2 new healthy dishes I can make from the grocery store. and much cheaper! lettuce wraps vegan or meat, and zatar chicken , we skip the cream.

  • Gars

    Gee, why can’t people retire?

  • Marisa

    We’ve been using Blue Apron since the beginning of the year — for three meals serving two adults at $60 a week, we’ve been really pleased. The meals are diverse, well-proportioned, and have expanded our tastes — who knew my husband and I would both list the Salmon Reuben as one of our favorite dishes, when we both confessed to being prepared to order a pizza before the first bite? I’d argue that the meals aren’t necessarily “less healthy” — fortunately, we’re not on diet-restrictions so I’m not really a calorie-counter. I would say that from a portion viewpoint, I feel like it’s healthier — with meat packages often containing more than what we need (I HATE that most meat recipes call for 1 lb and most packages contain at least 1.25 lb!), it’s great to have just the right amount of both the ingredients as well as the servings.

    • disqus_VcVHWpHOEt

      I too have been VERY happy with Blue Apron. I’d say the cost is a very good value considering the quality of ingredients, including small amounts of pricey spices. You can certainly eat for far less, but I think it would be tough to eat that well for $10/meal if you shopped on your own. The food is whole and nutritious and there are always a lot of veggies and fresh herbs. I’ve found that we have eaten a far greater variety than we would if we were shopping for meal ingredients on our own — artichokes, kohlrabi, pork belly, yucca — all foods I have never shopped for before but have really enjoyed. We really enjoying cooking and have found this a great way to have a special meal without going out to eat. While I select the omnivore option, I’ve found that it is possible to change your preferences after the meal announcements are made before delivery – for example, I wasn’t too excited about next week’s spaghetti and meatballs, so I changed my preferences to exclude red meat and a tasty veggie dish was substituted. I’ll switch back to omnivore next week.
      One more thing – current subscribers get regular free-week trail offers that they can send to friends. If you know anyone that uses Blue Apron drop a hint that you’d like to try it. Three free meals are three free meals! Although the free week is how I got hooked…

      • frenchbelle

        I agree! We’ve loved Blue Apron. I feel that I have become a better cook as well, and have learned the basics of how to use ingredients that I previously only enjoyed in restaurants (i.e. lemongrass, coconut milk, etc.). I decided to order the ingredients for one recipe that we particularly loved (from Fresh Direct, since we live in NYC and don’t have a grocery store in our neighborhood), and ended up with enough ginger and lemongrass to open a chinese restaurant, and more expensive! I love that there is no food waste with blue apron. i’ve also been told by the company that they are working on compostable/recyclable packaging, since that would be my number one (and only) complaint–too much packaging. Yes, I could cook cheaper, but not these recipes. If I made pasta and soup and chili and meatloaf all the time, it would be cheaper, but this is restaurant-quality food, that is healthier than most, fresh, using high-quality ingredients. For two people in NY, it doesn’t get much better!

    • Bclay8

      Great for lazy people with expendable income…get real people, meals in the mail? No way, no how…google the recipe, walk to your LOCAL grocer or farmers market and put some time into your own health. This is one of the dumbest ideas I have ever seen…

      • Sarah Yarbrough Roark

        Lazy people? I work 50-60 hour weeks and we have a farmers market open on Saturday only, about 30 miles away. I guess the “dumbest idea” is not for “Judgey People”.

        • Bclay8

          Anybody who takes short cuts on their eating habits deserves the health problems that those short cuts will cause.

          • kml744

            Busy and lazy are not one in the same. And apparently you’ve not looked at what is available through Blue Apron otherwise you’d know that this is not a shortcut, but a way for busy people to have fresh ingredients for home cooked meals with far less waste of time and food. The alternative for me was spending a couple of hours on the weekends to plan and shop for meals for a week. I often had more of any ingredient than I would need for a meal and more often than not there was LOTS of food cost and waste. If I only needed a tbl of basil, I’d have to buy an entire bunch for $4 (don’t start with me growing my own Mr. Judgy) and end up throwing out most because it would go bad before I could use it up. The lazy eat out. Some of would prefer to cook and be able to control the ingredients which business like Blue Apron allow us to do. Fine, you have lots of free time and money to spend on doing your meals differently. Don’t judge those of us that find these types of services to be healthy, cost saving, and less wasteful then other options.

          • Naausicaa

            You come off as an uniformed idiot. I know it’s probably not true, but the evidence is otherwise. Why don’t you look at Blue Apron meals, before you spout off nonsense?

        • JIMDC821

          It’s still the perfect recipe for people who can spend $600 for a month of dinners.

      • Brenda Gregg

        I’ve not subscribed to a food delivery service as yet. I have read a few reviews and am considering doing so.
        Here is why:
        I am single, like to cook, would like to add variety to my meals.
        It is hard to be able to cook a variety of meals, try something different, when you are single. I can’t afford to buy spices and herbs by the jarful, etc. I make less than $10 an hour. Plus, the only “grocery” store in my town is Walmart. With a subscription food service I can try things I would not otherwise be able to.

        • Kris Hinson

          Co-ops are a reasonable option. Buy in bulk with members, split up as you see fit. Many ingredients, such as quinoa, have a very long shelf life. No co-op in your area? Group buy with people! It’s a great way to get recipes and ingredients!

        • aidacloutier

          I felt as you did Brenda. As a single woman, my meals have always been pretty tasteless, boring, unhealthy, and often inedible. Recently, after I underwent a triple bypass and met my future husband, I decided I had to learn how to cook healthier and tastier meals. I found that several of the meal box delivery services offered their first week of meals either free or at a huge discount, and I was able to sample several of them including Blue Apron and Hello Fresh. I’ve kept both of these services, but I am on their monthly plan (it’s not advertised, but most offer a one delivery a month option consisting of 2 or 3 meals for two people) and since you can skip a delivery at any time, I just alternate between the two or choose the one with the best meals each month. I am now so much more comfortable in the kitchen, I’ve learned many new cooking techniques, and now cook with ingredients that I’d never used or even heard of this time last year.

          For those out there who a really interested in trying out a box meal delivery service, I would recommend checking with the best known services, such as Plated, Blue Apron, Green Chef, Hello Fresh, PeachDish, Sun Basket, or Din (formerly called Forage) and inquire if they still offer the first week free or when might they offer it again. The food really is awesome and the recipes areally fun and different. I think that most will really enjoy the experience! :-)

          • naturalista

            Have you tried Terra’s kitchen? I just received my second green chef and am very happy with the portions (which as I mentioned in above comment, can last me far more than 6 meals) and the customer service is amazing! I am curious about Terra’s kitchen because they offer much more customization.

      • Lindsay Reed

        By the time I go get the stuff at the grocery store I have spent way over what I need for a few meals.

      • Julia Todd

        You’re kidding, right? I love this service because I get extremely healthy meals that use ingredients that I never even considered using. The meals are healthy, calorie counted and I actually find my over all grocery bill to be less. Why? because it’s portioned for two people and it’s difficult to buy things in small quantities for one recipe. In addition, I also find that the meals are top quality and I don’t have the urge to go out as often because frankly, my plated meals are better than what I could get eating out.

        • Bclay8

          Lazy

    • Virginia Wilmot

      Does anyone have a code to get a free box. I would like to try Blue Apron. Thank you Virginia

  • SunnyG

    It would helpful in articles of this nature if you assigned a grade or rating so we could scan for the best value or best taste/recipe.

    To help future readers, as I can suss out from websites, without actually subscribing, the best values of price/qty:

    Blue Apron: A, 3 meals for 2 people, $60, or $10/serving
    Hello Fresh: B, 3 meals for 2 people, $69, or $11.50/serving
    PeachDish: C, 2 meals for 2 people, $50, or $12.50/serving
    Plated: F, I think we all understand this is wicked expensive.

    Unfortunately only PeachDish and Plated deliver to my area. I live in Eastern Iowa, in a “major city” for Iowa, but still a blip on the map (as I told the fiance when I moved here :P ). Blue Apron and Hello Fresh currently service large markets (My zip code vs Memphis, TN, Chicago, Indianapolis, Denver, etc.)

    I previously considered jumping on board with one of these meal programs as the fiance and I have pretty full schedules, but in the end, I decided it would be more cost effective to grocery shop and cook at home 4-5 nights/week. Paying $200/month to eliminate the need for grocery shopping and cooking a total of 8 meals, just didn’t seem like a good investment. If I’m thinking about this backwards, I would appreciate any feedback to make my money life and kitchen life easier! :)

  • krysh

    Well, I personally wouldn’t pay for this for MYSELF, BUT… what an awesome idea for a gift!!! Especially since Plated.com does NOT make you sign up for a service! I just ordered two, 2-serving meals and sent them to my mom for Saturday, May 10th, delivery (Mother’s Day gift). Tip: use code 36c6f0 to get $30 off, so the two 2-serving meals that would normally be $60 was only $30, plus free shipping :) I feel like a sucker for reading this article and then paying for one of these services, but I’m always looking for new gift ideas.

    • Kris Hinson

      Great idea for new families! One could cook while the other entertains the little one!

  • Logan Thomas

    That’s just too expensive for me. I’d rather go out to eat. Last night my wife and I ate at a restaurant off of the happy hour menu and our bill was less than $8. Usually when we go out we’ll just share a $10-12 meal. Even with a couple of drinks, our total is less than $20. $20 for a meal we cook at home is just too much for me.

  • Kyla

    After a foodie friend recommended Blue Apron, my boyfriend and I signed up in March with the first week free, which was a nice bonus. We found that the portion sizes for each meal were great for the two of us, plus we usually had leftovers for the next day, $60 for seemed like a pretty good deal. However, we ended up canceling the service after three weeks mainly because the packaging seemed really wasteful. Each individual vegetable and item comes wrapped separately in plastic (I totally understand the need to wrap the meat, fish and poultry separately, but it seems like veggies could be all in one bag or container). Also, inside the cardboard shipping box had a bunch of freezer packs along with some type of plastic insulating liner, which Blue Apron says you can recycle, but I haven’t been able to find anywhere in my city to recycle these items yet. Another reason we decided to cancel was because a lot of the sauces, glazes and condiments used in some of the meals were either really high in sodium or sugar. We chose to use only a portion of these ingredients when cooking and ended up just throwing away the rest. Delivery food subscription is a great idea, but personally I’d rather exchange the convenience for less waste and healthier ingredients.

    • Sarah Yarbrough Roark

      the packaging bothered me a lot as well (Plated). So I have been re-using the boxes – they are really good quality, and reusing the ice packs – picnics, taking prepared food to family, etc. and give them away. I haven’t thrown a single box or ice pack out in four months. I have saved the insulation for packing material. I also reuse the green vegetable bags (for produce) and plastic containers for leftovers. I rinse the little bottles and use for leftover wine (for cooking) – not sure what to do with these but can’t just throw them out. I realize I sound like a nutcase now.

      • Uncoordmommy

        Not a complete nutcase :) I have thought the same thing about the packaging though. I use PeachDish (LOVE IT) and they aren’t quite so bad, but all of the refrigerator packs etc just seem like they should be reused somehow.

      • JIMDC821

        I hope Blue Apron is paying you a handsome royalty!

    • ADD Foodie

      Blue Apron has said recently that are working on more environmentally friendly, biodegradable packaging. I too reuse the packaging. I’ve found that I can use just a little of the sauce and then freeze for later or use in some other dish. We find the portions to be bigger than what we are used to,so often we have lunch leftovers. This custs down on the cost.

    • ecfood2016

      I interned for FreshRealm last summer and it was great! They’re an awesome meal kit delivery service and they use a reusable Vessel so there is no cardboard or ice pack waste. Here’s the site if you are interested: freshrealm.co.

  • http://jeffbridges.net Jeff Bridges

    My wife and I use Plated, and it’s changed our lives. No more picking recipes, no fighting through over-crowded grocery stores, no leftover half-bunch of cilantro. Instead, we get to go online and read about dishes that make our mouths water. Then ingredients show up at our door, pre-measured and of the absolute highest quality, with a recipe card so easy a cave man could follow it. The meals are without fail delicious—not one dud yet! We’ve even re-made a few for guests they’re that good.

    We tried Blue Apron once—never again. Try Plated, you’ll love it!

    • Erika

      Jeff, how much food do you get for each plate? Is 2 plates enough food to feed you and your wife?

      • apostrophecatastrophes

        I actually found that the portions were rather small for the price (I’m referring to Blue Apron). My boyfriend and I both have healthy appetites and workout at the gym pretty much every day, so the 500-600 calorie meals that Blue Apron provides is not enough for us. We had a lovely dinner tonight from Blue Apron but then both found ourselves snacking in the kitchen afterwards. To me, it was a fun experiment, and I made some dishes I wouldn’t have normally tried, but it’s definitely too expensive. I can make meals myself for much cheaper AND have leftovers.

  • Jenna

    If you like the idea of this kind of service, but don’t like the cost or the options above, do a little research in your local area. We have been using a meal kit delivery service in the Nashville area which provides 5 vegan meal kits per delivery for $80, which works out to about $4 per serving. This has been well worth the cost for us!

    • Kris Hinson

      We had a wonderful whole food delivery service in my town; Greenville, SC; called Scratch. They even served lunch, and had a pick-up system. It just didn’t take off. I miss their tiramisu so much!

  • http://www.findsubscriptionboxes.com/ Find Boxes

    Subscription boxes like Plated and HelloFresh are a great way for budding or home chefs to start preparing meals in their own home. These boxes deliver quality, fresh ingredients for their meals and the instructions are easy to follow. We’ve prepared a few of these box meals and enjoyed both the variety of foods and the process of cooking up meals that we might otherwise not have tried.

    There are often promotions for the first box to help alleviate the cost if you want to just “give it a try.” Here’s a coupon to save $25 off your first HelloFresh box: http://www.findsubscriptionboxes.com/coupons/exclusive-coupon-use-code-hellofind25-save-25-1st-hellofresh-box/

    If you want to read real subscriber reviews for some of the boxes listed here, or if you want to find a coupon so you can save on your first box, check out the Find Subscription Boxes subscription box directory at http://www.findsubscriptionboxes.com.

  • Bclay8

    This is a wasteful, expensive, and ridiculous idea. Sorry, it doesn’t make any kind of sense to get individual meals in the mail. You guys need to cater to the 1% and go away

    • JIMDC821

      Bravo!! Well said… What else can we make fool-proof to rob us of our own creativity?

  • Josh

    I am a foodie home cook, I dabble in molecular gastronomy, have a well stocked kitchen, and tons of gadgets. I also periodically have a subscription to blue apron. Their recipes are good tasting, diverse, and just plain convenient.

    That said, the marketing team cleverly compares it as an alternative to eating out, rather than cooking yourself at home (which is literally what you are doing anyway). In that regard you are paying about double what you normally would, not including sale prices at stores. If you are not a cook already and lack a lot of key ingredients and spices, its a better value, but if money is your concern you can just look at the recipes online and go buy the stuff yourself.

    • Kris Hinson

      I am a huge fan of the library! They have just about every cookbook, and it’s free. A good cookbook is inspiring and so informative!

  • Sarah Yarbrough Roark

    I have been using “Plated” for about 4 months now, 2-3 meals every week. My husband and I both enjoy variety and like to cook at home (we have a four year old). We both work and try to eat healthy, whole foods rather than processed, canned, frozen, etc. This has been real boost to our quality of life. I save time not having to plan menus and go to the grocery store, and I don’t have lots of leftovers or rotting produce. I have cooked things I never would have tried before and have some new favorites in my repertoire. Not as cheap as McDonalds or Olive Garden – but we don’t eat that kind of food, so for us it is great! Blue Apron doesn’t deliver to our area, or I’d give them a try too!

  • Noreen

    Plated has been the best thing that’s ever happened to me and my kitchen. I don’t enjoy grocery shopping and often times, the ingredients I need are not available. Plated ingredients are so healthy and all the meat is antibiotic free. The recipes are 5 star restaurant quality and I can proudly say that I made them. I can’t say enough good things about it. I get my food delivered, everything comes out fabulous, I’m learning how to cook better and my family and I can enjoy awesome meals. And I save money as well. It has really improved my quality of life. I wasn’t paid to say this. I just think it’s a great thing and everyone should experience this kind of joy in the kitchen. I love to cook now. Click this https://www.plated.com/invites/a1992f for 2 free plates! Yummy!!

  • ICanCookNow

    Hi there all!

    I just signed up for Hello Fresh and I LOVE it! I’m finally cooking at home most nights instead of paying to go out for unhealthy prepared meals! I recommend it for sure. Use code UDFFBH to get $40 off your first box (code never expires!) ^_^

    Happy cooking!
    Clare

  • amy

    I guess this is good for people who don’t know how to cook and are eating at mid level to expensive restaurants every night and who have the money to burn. I cook everything I eat and the quality is great and only spend $3-$5 a meal. Worth the effort to go to the store in my book;)

  • Jackie Wood

    I ordered a Hello Fresh box to try it with a discount code. I got my first box delivered for $41.60 USA in January 2015. The box arrived today and I’m very happy with it!! The food was well packaged with 2 ice bags in a styrofoam cooler. It had no leaks and it looks very fresh. I got a chicken entrée, a pork entrée and a seared steak entrée. All of the vegetables look plentiful and very fresh. The meat is sealed in vacuum bags and they look to be about 4-5 ounce portions. They look like really good cuts of meat, too. All of the fixin’s come in the box except for basic pantry items like salt, pepper, olive oil and butter. The recipe cards are beautiful and show us exactly how to prepare each meal step by step with pictures. I haven’t cooked any of them yet, but from just reading the recipe cards I can tell they will be tasty. An awesome concept for people who don’t have a lot of time to shop, or for people who don’t have a large variety of foods near them. The convenience is wonderful and it’s less expensive than going out for dinner at a sit-down restaurant. If 2 people ate out 3 nights a week for a nice meal, it would be at least $100 conservatively. It’s NOT discount food, it’s quality convenience food. If you’re a good cook who likes to shop, then this would seem expensive. When you place your first order, you can go to the calendar and delay your next 3 or 4 shipments to give you time to decide if you like it. A+++ give it a try.

  • Emily

    I got my first box last week, I loved it! I contacted customer service when I ordered because I used the wrong credit card and they were great to work with. My opinion is this-use a coupon and get your first delivery of six meals for $29 or $19 (vegetarian) and then cancel your subscription if you’re not impressed.

    You can use this coupon code to get $40 off your first box and free shipping -> 3M3LHS

  • ICanCookNow

    Hi there all!

    I just signed up for Hello Fresh and I LOVE it! I’m finally cooking at home most nights instead of paying to go out for unhealthy prepared meals! I recommend it for sure. Use code 86F7PB to get $40 off your first box (code never expires!) ^_^

    Happy cooking!
    Clare

  • greggzuk

    Quinciple.com is better than any of these options – and there is less packaging and trike delivery in NYC to boot!

  • R. Oster

    One significant problem with these companies (we tried “Blue Apron” as well as “Plated”) is that their deliveries produce a lot of garbage. EACH WEEK you receive a big cardboard box that includes, besides the ingredients, plastic wrappings, insulation materials (plastic/styrofoam/aluminum), and thermal packs that you will have to throw away. Each week! That would be 52 such boxes per household and year. This is hardly a sustainable and responsible way of obtaining groceries.

    The main reason why we did not continue using either service we tried was that we realized that, in terms of
    quality, cost effectiveness, and flexibility we can do better cooking on our own. But even if this had not been the case, ecological considerations would have led us to cancel our subscriptions anyway.

    • Rita Hoeffner

      It floors me how those that want to be on the “eco” band wagon are those that seemingly can’t find anything to do with or be creative enough to recycle the packaging.

      I’m NO “eco” fanatic by any means, but I love getting the cardboard boxes. I keep them and use them for storage, they are the prefect book box! I keep most of the plastic bags and reuse them. I stick the ice packs in my freezer to take up all the extra space so the freezer runs less and they have come in handy when I needed to ice down ice chests and didn’t have to buy bags of ice!

      I recently had company for a week and I bought Plated and Hello Fresh for every meal, (just upped my quantities). My company was impressed and I was able to spend time cleaning house before they arrived and not going to the grocery store. Meal prep was great and everyone could get involved chopping up the veggies. Worked fantastic and I believe I saved money in the long run. I love them both and now Blue Apron serves ny area so I will try them too!

      I’m not lazy, nor do I have money to burn. We look at it as part of our entertainment budget since we both enjoy the meals so much. Hubby is a big eater and most of the meals are adequately filling…every so often I just add an extra veggie if the meal looks a tad scant. It’s not for everyone, but we love it..I’m up to 6 meals a week and I’m even looking into Home Chef which includes breakfasts in there selection!

      Believe me, you can’t be lazy and cook these meals! They require time and quite a bit of effort to prepare, but are definitely worth it! My son and his new wife enjoy cooking the meals together..gives them something to discuss besides their jobs.

      • R. Oster

        One box plus freeze packs, fine. Two boxes and more freeze packs, OK. Three boxes, five, ten… fifty-two per year?

        The point is not “creativity.” Cardboard boxes do not grow on trees, they are made from trees.

  • Morgan

    I’ve been a Hello Fresh subscriber for two months now and I’m really liking it. I get the vegetarian boxes and I’m trying new foods and learner different methods of preparing. If you’d like to give it a try please use my promo code — you’ll get four meals free! Go to Hellofresh.com and use code: LGX26G

  • WP

    Following is a message that I just sent to Blue Apron:

    Dear Blue
    Apron,

    Received the first shipment and I must say that I couldn’t be more disappointed. I expected better. If you should care about the reason for my cancellation (which you
    probably don’t) I will tell you:

    a) I’ve had better/larger portions for appetizers not meals. I did not know I was signing up for a starvation type dietary plan. Please NOTE: you are selling
    in America, not a country that has dietary (small portion) standards.

    b) The fish, for the first and most acknowledged main meal product (the other being meat), smelled like it had just been taken out of a garbage bin. Even my cat would not go near it. When opened it contained one extremely large piece of fish and one tiny one. I doubt this is the way fish is served in restaurants. The “spices” definitely covered the smell of the fish when it was close to being charred, but on tasting the spices, I found that they were plain ordinary cajun/jamaican spices without the
    blackening. Hot, but not very interesting.

    This is why the poor “Creoles of New Orleans, and the Rastafari and Arawak of Jamaica” used on their days old seafood to make it edible.

    c) The vegetables (if you want to call a couple of leafs of green something) were wilted and unappetizing. The other vegetables being an unripe avocado, and a
    “small” red onion did not add much to the menu.

    d) The sweet potatoes (main course for the second meal) looked good, but couldn’t you find any smaller ones. These are called “baby” sweet potatoes in our supermarket.

    e) There was more packaging than food in the shipment so I guess we paid for packaging, not food. If only we could consume the packaging.

    f) The recipes we clearly lacking. There were no indications for such “critical” instructions as: a) amount of water to use with the rice; and if it was to be covered or uncovered; b) the amount of spices to be used (my wife is allergic to certain spices but can tolerate small amounts; c) the amounts of oil, salt, pepper, etc. to be used which is usually included with recipes.

    Bottom Line: We did however cook the “first” meal and it was ” adequate. My wife did most of the cooking and she spent over 1-1/2 hours preparing and cooking everything since she is a stickler for exact instructions on recipes. I am more innovative and would have done it in half the time. However, the end result was 2 out of 5 stars, and really NOT worth the effort or the money.

    We are really sorry we tried this out, but I guess one needs to make some mistakes in life.

    Don’t ask us for any recommendations as you will lose whatever customers you already have. I know there are thousands of them and maybe even tens of thousands; but McDonalds has billions; so there is really no accounting for taste, value, or intelligence.

    But considering that this is proposed to be a restaurant meal cooked at home? I really don’t think so! It’s more of a “learn how to prepare an adequate meal” type of an entry without full instructions.

    All I can add is: Have a lot of Ice Cream or Pistachios (and wine) at the end to make it a bit more palatable and filling.

    Walter P

    New Jersey, home of the Jersey seafoods and tomatoes.

  • Jennifer W

    I saw a comment about coupon and promo codes. I’ve been using HelloFresh
    for a couple months now, I’m completely happy with them. Meals are
    tasty, enough for two people to eat well, and have a leftover plate
    every now and then. If you’re thinking about trying it, my promo code
    will save 40 off of your first box (it also gives me a 20 dollar credit,
    so thank you ahead of time to anyone who might use it) :) Again, I was
    skeptical, and I’m a penny pincher, but all in all, very satisfied and
    will continue to order. code: VVLWQU

  • Arelica Guerrero

    Thanks Barbara for the amazing review!

    I really needed to find a more convenient way to get back to loving to cook in my kitchen…

    I ended up finding another service, which originally started over in Belgium but is now available across the United States: HomeChef. I have tried a number of different “dinner subscription boxes” and this one TOPPED MY LIST!

    I started looking for a way to try this service pretty cheap, because I already pay too much for groceries, and I found a great deal for HomeChef!

    I got $30 Off and Free Shipping on my First Order by using this offer link:
    https://www.homechef.com/%69%6E%76%69%74%65/kQWAUbAMrJo

    That made my first order only $29, perfect to give it a try! In my first order I got the Raspberry Chipotle BBQ Chicken and it was SO good! The other meals included a Mushroom and Swiss Beef Burger and Sous-Vide Baby Back Ribs. They were all very easy to make in MY OWN kitchen and my whole family loved how they tasted! I now get it every week because it is SO convenient, tastes AMAZING, and I get to try cooking new things that I would have never made before…

    I just thought I’d post it if anyone else is looking for a deal to give it a try.

  • The Johnny O Show

    Watch me and my family review HelloFresh’s recipe of the citrus skillet shrimp here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkAyZJIM-1g&list=PLfiklpBmJhxR95V7AkrOREDZ2D-MTNTuy&index=1
    (Subscription food delivery IS worth it!)

  • The Johnny O Show

    We review HelloFresh’s steak tagliata with rosemary sweet potato wedges and watercress salad here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHsUEa_aLbA&index=1&list=PLfiklpBmJhxR95V7AkrOREDZ2D-MTNTuy

  • http://www.boldtask.com James McCarthy

    I think depending on the plan you can make monthly food delivery cost efficient. When you factor in time wasted cooking or driving to a restaurant. Here is a good list of top 5 online food delivery services.

    http://boldlist.net/top-5-online-food-delivery-services.php

  • The Johnny O Show

    Watch my review of HelloFresh’s chicken yakitori with crispy chuka soba stir-fry here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkux2yu9I3Y&index=1&list=PLfiklpBmJhxR95V7AkrOREDZ2D-MTNTuy

  • The Johnny O Show

    Watch me and my family cook and review HelloFresh’s pan-seared chicken and orecchiette primavera here, on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hCeFLgtEbM&index=1&list=PLfiklpBmJhxR95V7AkrOREDZ2D-MTNTuy

  • TheTechGuy

    LMAO, 10.00 bucks?

  • The Johnny O Show

    Watch me and the family prepare, taste, and review HelloFresh’s beef gyozas with spicy soy-glazed green beans: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9XVoKZSwcE&index=1&list=PLfiklpBmJhxR95V7AkrOREDZ2D-MTNTuy

  • stefy_1515

    Too much waste . If you “waste ” food , it goes back into the earth and adds nutrients to the soil. The packaging and ice packs for the week will stay in the ground for years and take lots of energy to produce and recycle .

    This is a choice I cannot justify making . Love the idea , can’t live with the real waste .

  • ICanCookNow

    Hi there all!

    I just signed up for Hello Fresh and I LOVE it! I’m finally cooking at home most nights instead of paying to go out for unhealthy prepared meals! I recommend it for sure. I used the code 86F7PB and even got $40 off my first box (code never expires, so you can too!) ^_^

    Happy cooking!
    Clare

  • Markus

    I like Hello Fresh. It’s reasonably priced and the food is good. If you want to try it, they have a $40 off discount code: YZ32YU