Monday 15 January 2018

HelloFresh review and discount: say hello to delicious meals

It's a new year and whether you're into New Year resolutions or not, you're probably thinking about eating a bit better and getting yourself organised at home. I know I am! Read on as I have a special offer to share with you...

Part of my plans for 2018 is to get into meal planning, more regularly and so we can eat better and waste less. Just before Christmas, we were invited to review the HelloFresh food delivery service - a selection of meal recipes delivered to your door, containing fresh locally sourced, pre-portioned ingredients and easy to follow instructions - to see how this could help us as a family to eat well without all the hassle of coming up with imaginative meals and shopping for all the ingredients ourselves.

We've tried the HelloFresh weekly recipe box subscription service in the past, and this time we opted for the Classic Box with three meals for two people, at a cost of £24.99 (you can also choose it for three or four people and for four or five meals, too).

It's always fun unpacking the box when it arrives and what I noticed this time was how the ingredients for each meal were bagged together for an even easier fridge stocking process. Everything is bundled up safe and the ice blocks within the fresh dairy and meat section of the box keep the produce perfectly chilled for up to 24 hours, meaning your box can be delivered to your safe place at home if you are out and it will still be fine when you return.

I couldn't wait to get cooking, and all three meals sounded equally delicious...

This was INCREDIBLE. The meat was so fresh and not fatty, the vegetables were full of flavour and rather than save some for the next day for lunch, I had seconds... I will definitely make this again myself and think it showed just how good the ingredients from HelloFresh are.

This was really easy to make and combined a lot of different flavours to make a really tasty pasta dish. Hubs wasn't sure he'd like this, but he was so impressed, he kept on eating even though he was full up long before the end!

I wasn't sure about the pie, or my pie making skills, but this was super tasty, super filling and a nice hearty meal for a cold evening.

All three meals in our classic box were enjoyed by us all. I would personally go for the five meal version myself, to get more value out of the service, but feel that the quality of the ingredients justifies the price - and the convenience is such a huge benefit too.

As you can tell, we are BIG fans of Hello Fresh in our household - here's why:

1. Quality - hands down, the best thing about HelloFresh is the freshness of the food (clue is in the name!) and the quality. Every box we've had has been full of quality ingredients, fresh vegetables and the meat is extremely good; no fatty bits, great to cook with and tasty too.

2. Variety - with HelloFresh, you get to try a broad variety of cuisines and foods - more so than if you just did your own shop each week, I'm sure - and there's nothing too unusual, just different takes on familiar dishes or some more inventive meal ideas. Something to suit everyone! Aside from the dishes with coriander in, which we simply leave out, we have never not eaten a meal included in one of the boxes.

3. Convenience - oh, the relief of coming home after work and seeing a box full of fresh food and complete instructions on how to make dinner is just fantastic. I just don't have to face a big food shop or even consider what we fancy to eat - it's all there, already thought of for me. And the box is conveniently packed too, with ice bags inside for the meat and fish so everything stays cool even if you ask for your box to be placed in a safe place if you are out when it's delivered, so you can be up and cooking in no time.

4. Simplicity - some meals may only have six ingredients, others may have double that, but all are easy to follow and the instructions are really clear. No need for fancy cooking equipment and no confusing steps - the recipe cards are clearly laid out and easy to refer to while you are cooking.Just select your ingredients and follow along.

5. Time - most meals take 30-35 minutes to make from start to finish, although I'd give or take a few minutes depending on how quick you are and whether you make your own tweaks here and there. My tip is to read it all through before you start in case you spot something you'd prefer to miss or do in a different order. Also, the BRILLIANT thing about the box isn't just that the shopping and meal planning has been taken care of, it's the fact that everything is already portioned out for you. The spices and oils and sauces are exactly what you need pretty much and the veg just needs preparing as per the instructions - so you really save on time when preparing each meal.

6. Independent - the produce in the boxes is source locally from farms and independent shops by-and-large, so it's great to see this kind of support and again, it opens you up to new foods and suppliers.

7. Delicious - each meal we have had has been full of flavour and contains lots of good things - I'd say probably two to three of your five a day on average.

8. Portions - again, every meal we have had has been generous, even with a husband with a bigger appetite. With the Classic Box for two, we had enough for a portion of lunch the next day - even if it doesn't look it, trust HelloFresh's quantities as it's always enough for us.

9. No wastage - because everything is measured or portioned for you in the boxes, and because the portions are just right or give you enough for a decent leftover meal, there is minimal wastage. EVERYTHING is used up. And, as an aside, there's not a lot of washing up to do either. Bonus!

10. Flexibility - this is true for both the way you cook your meals - if you don't like an ingredient, just leave it out - and for the service, which you can pause at any time. If you don't want a box every week, you can pause up to six weeks in advance I believe and as long as you have done so before the cut-off point for the following box, you won't be charged and sent one. There's no contract or minimum number of orders and you can pause and unpause whenever you want, determining how you want Hello Fresh to work for you. Just remember to check this regularly, as new weeks get added you are automatically 'unpaused' so you need to logon to change this if you don't need or want a box in a given week.

At the start of each month, as pay day rolls round, a HelloFresh delivery is a godsend for me as I know I have some great food to look forward to and it's pretty much taken care of for me. Coming home from work and school tired and hungry can lead me to make quick, poor cooking choices but Hello Fresh gives me inspiration and actually makes cooking really enjoyable - and the happy faces around the dinner table are a testament to how good the food actually is.

Trust me - any one can cook with this and there will be meals to suit everyone, or for you to try for the first time and turn into loved recipes to come back to. Which makes me think of more benefits (I can't believe I limited myself to just 10!)...

11. Collection - the recipe cards included are yours to keep, so you can go shopping and recreate your favourite meals again for yourselves. You also get a binder to put them all in (around your third box order, if I remember correctly).

12. Skills - HelloFresh commends you on your cooking skills, sending you a certificate when you've 'graduated' to another level after a few boxes. There's 'top tips' on every recipe card, to help you try new preparation techniques or save time, which comes in really handy for novice cooks. My Sister-in-Law is the first to admit she's no cook but she's just tried the Classic Box and was so proud to have made two meals herself and they both enjoyed all five dinners a great deal, agreeing that the boxes are easy to follow and the ingredients are of high quality.

13. Discounts and referrals - there's always an offer on when you sign up to trial your first box (and remember, no commitment!) and you get discount or free codes for friends to try HelloFresh too.This is how we first came to try out the service and three of our friends have tried it now too.

14. Value - taking into account everything I have said, I really feel that HelloFresh is great value for money. The higher the number of meals in your chosen box, the higher the value / lower the cost per meal. Whilst I could go to the supermarket and buy the same ingredients for less per head, I would also have a surplus of some ingredients, based on the way things are sold versus how everything is prepared for you, and the quality of the food is such a good standard, you may not actually be buying like for like. For us, one box when we get paid sets us up well for the new month and anything more than that is a real treat, but this could be a service which really works for some busy families with mouths to feed and inspire and who really want the convenience of it all.

15. Service - just to end on, the customer service team is super friendly and helpful and if you ever need them, they are quick, supportive and easy to deal with - the service matches the quality of what they produce.

I honestly can't recommend HelloFresh more highly and think signing up for a trial would be a great idea if you enjoy cooking but have little time, and want to eat better in 2018. 

For TBM readers, you can receive a massive 50% off your first AND second box from HelloFresh. That's right, pick your box and save half the money, on two week's worth of fresh, delicious meals delivered to your door! With no contract, there's no reason not to give it a go. 

Just use code: TOBECOMEMUM

Find out more about the different recipe box types here.

* Thank you to HelloFresh for my complimentary recipe box, but trust me - all opinions and content in this post are my own, genuine experiences


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