A kind reader hooked us up with a free week of Hello Fresh (thanks, Alex!). We tried it out last week, and here’s what we thought. To keep our comparison apples to apples, we selected the option with 3 meals for 2 people, the same as we do with Blue Apron (you should also check out our experience with Blue Apron as we often have free meal kit codes available).
What we liked about Hello Fresh
Hello Fresh has more menu options than Blue Apron. For our free week, we could choose from 15 options; Blue Apron only had 8 options. We also liked that Hello Fresh will send up to 4 meals for a week. There are many times when we feel like 3 meals—the max Blue Apron sends for 2 people—isn’t quite enough for a week and requires us to go out or order in on a day we would have loved to cook at home.
Hello Fresh’s packaging was better. When we opened the box, the 3 recipe cards were sitting nicely on the top and each recipe was in an individual paper bag. All we had to do was take the bags out and place them in our refrigerator. When we were ready to cook, it was super easy to just grab the right bag. Blue Apron packages the smaller ingredients (e.g., garlic and cheese) in individual plastic bags for each recipe, but larger ingredients (e.g., broccoli and corn) remain separate in the box. It takes more time to put up the food and to grab all of the right ingredients when we are ready to cook. In a couple of cases, we missed an ingredient at the bottom of a Blue Apron box when we were emptying it and accidentally threw the ingredient away (not fun).
What we didn’t like (as much) about Hello Fresh
The portions were a little small. In a way, we almost saw this as a positive for Hello Fresh because sometimes the number of calories per serving for Blue Apron can be a bit high (like 800 calories). However, for 1 recipe we received from Hello Fresh, we were supposed to be able to make 3 chicken tacos per serving, but the amount of chicken we cooked could barely fill 2 tacos. Many of Blue Apron’s meals are large enough that we can divide them into 3 servings and save 1 for lunch the next day.
We needed more ingredients in the pantry. For the 3 meals we cooked that week, Hello Fresh expected us to already have olive oil, sugar, butter, salt, and pepper. Blue Apron only requires olive oil, salt, and pepper. We recognize that may sound petty to some, but we don’t keep things like butter stocked in the house. We have almost nothing but what comes in our meal kits each week. Hopefully we never have to live through an apocalypse…
We (almost) wasted an ingredient. For 1 recipe, it called for us to use only 2/3 of the bag of kale. Wasting food is a pet peeve for us, and one of the things we love most about Blue Apron is that it has little to no food waste. (The problem with food waste is real as we discussed in our Blue Apron review and as reported by the National Resources Defense Council.) Blue Apron even stepped up its game recently by packaging the exact number of garlic cloves we need for each meal, rather than sending a full head of garlic.
We have to give the edge to Blue Apron (then again, we’re clearly in love with Blue Apron). Hello Fresh is a solid option though, and the meals we received that week were tasty. It’s definitely worth checking out Hello Fresh’s website to see what they have to offer. Unfortunately, we didn’t sign up for the service, so we have no free codes to give. But if you know someone who uses it, reach out and see if they have a free week to share with you!
Thanks again to our readers for this suggestion and for the generous free week! If you have any other ideas for products or services you’d like us to check out, drop us an e-mail or a comment.
Try the winner at a discount!
Blue Apron recently provided us with a coupon for our readers. You can get $60 off your first three Blue Apron Boxes and we’ll get a small credit, too! We hope you love it as much as we do!