There’s nothing more convenient than having dinner delivered to your door 2 or 3 times a week, but what about having the ingredients delivered and then you do the work? Meal kits – are they worth the price? Is it still a hassle to get dinner on the table? Continue reading for an experienced review of the top two meal kit delivery services on the market today: HelloFresh and Home Chef. This comparison is based on freshness of ingredients, flavor, packaging, convenience, price and variety.
At just about any time, you can cash in on a great discount for either one of these services, allowing you to get 2-3 meals a week for 2 people for an average of about $30 per week. That doesn’t sound so bad after you add up your grocery bill for the month plus eating out, delivery, etc. Meal kits give you the opportunity to try something different, get cooking practice or just take the guesswork out of dinner for a couple nights a week. They can be especially helpful if you have a busy schedule with no time to go grocery shopping, or if you have small children or just don’t know what to cook and are tired of the same old recipes.
HelloFresh is one of the top-rated meal services available, offering fresh ingredients, variety and flexible meal plans that you can cancel at any time. They have plans ranging from 2-4 servings 2-4 times per week for about $7-$10 per meal plus $6-$8 for shipping. You can also choose from veggie, low calorie, or family friendly as well as upgrade to gourmet or 20-minute meals. You can even add wine if it’s available in your area.
As far as ingredients go, you can expect to get exactly what you need save for salt, pepper and olive oil. The portions are already packaged by the exact measurement, but produce must be washed and chopped. The packaging itself is meant to be opened and stored upon delivery and includes a gel ice pack that can be disposed of or recycled. The food is packed well but beware of busted packages and loose ingredients rolling around in there. Aside from having to prep the vegetables, the recipes and instructions are simple and easy to follow. The food is mediocre. While there is variety in the recipes, the flavor is lacking unless you jazz it up yourself.
Bottom line for HelloFresh – convenient, moderately priced, delivered on time, packaging faulty, recipes are interesting but the flavor is mediocre. It was easy to cancel and get a refund. No questions asked.
Home Chef boasts simplified dinners, fresh ingredients and customizable plans at a low price point. A little more robust than HelloFresh, their plans range from 2-6 serving 2-6 times a week for $10 per serving plus $10 shipping. However, there are coupons and vouchers always available. You can basically get a 2 meal a week plan for about $25 per week for the first few weeks. You can’t add any wine but you can upgrade or go veggie or gluten free.
You again get exactly what you need as far as pre-portioned ingredients and the produce must be prepped. The packaging is like HelloFresh except all the package contents, including the plastic bag the veggies come in, are recyclable. Watch out here too for busted packaging. It’s unknown if this issue is with shipping or packing but it’s a problem that shouldn’t be ignored and is an immediate deal breaker. There’s a little less variety in Home Chef in that it seems to be the same type of recipe every week – mainly some kind of rice bowl. The food is mediocre except for the steak flautas – those are amazing.
Bottom line for Home Chef – delivers a little late in the day (after dinner), fair pricing, faulty packaging, mediocre recipes, easy to pause.
In summary, if you’re looking for a way to expand your cooking ability, are bored with your own recipes, or don’t have time to go shopping, these services are for you. If you already cook the rest of the week and are going to the grocery store anyway, you may as well just get stuff for the whole week and not utilize these meal kits. It could turn out to be more work than you bargained for. By the time you open the box, separate the ingredients, prep the ingredients, cook and plate the dish, you could have just found a recipe online and gotten groceries delivered via Shipt.