My family has been a fan of meal subscription services for years. Not ONCE has one been given to me free of charge for a review — just so we are clear.
Meal Subscription and I Go Way Back
When our first son was born in 2015, we used Blue Apron for almost 2 years. My husband and I would put our babe to bed, cook the meal together, then sit down to eat in front of our favorite TV show. It was the perfect date night in. I loved that I did not have to engage in any recipe finding or meal prep. I also enjoyed not having to buy standard size bottles of ingredients that I only used once or twice for specific recipes — raise your hand if you do not often use sesame oil.
At some point, we stopped getting Blue Apron meals but for no reason in particular. I am sure it had to do with a specific diet or maybe even just a break for vacation.
Meal Subscription Buffet
When we moved into my parents’ house this February so that we could renovate our new house, I decided to try meal subscription services again since I would be cooking for more people some nights.
For 4 months, roughly 16 weeks, I have alternated between Home Chef and HelloFresh. I wanted to try them both out and also loved having the opportunity to choose between that many meals each week.
I tried Home Chef based off of the bloggers / influencers that I follow who use Home Chef. Consider me influenced.
We have enjoyed Home Chef. My favorite thing about Home Chef is the option to choose between cooking method. They offer precooked meals, stove top meals, slow cooker meals, and oven ready meals. This feature has allowed me to mix it up a bit even further and that has been cool.
I do not have a whole lot of negative things to say about Home Chef but when I look back on the history of meals that we have gotten with them, none of them make me say — “Yeah! That was good!!” All that to say — I will not be using any longer for one main reason:
For two months in a row, I have received chicken that has been leaking when I opened the box. Home Chef has refunded me for the meals that include the leaky chicken. So, it truly did not cause me in loss.
BUT — I hate raw chicken. I do not know what my babies did to me, but ever since being pregnant for the first time, the sight and thought of raw chicken is gag worthy. It is a sacrifice for me to cook raw chicken. Receiving leaking chicken is down right unbearable.
HelloFresh Love Affair
We have received HelloFresh about 8 times. We have LOVED the meals. We actually talk about some of them often — lookin’ at you Bulgogi Bowls.
You do not have the option to choose cooking method as you do with Home Chef.
But their ingredient packaging makes up for it. The meat is packed in much sturdier packs, which makes my chicken hating heart rejoice.
The meal selection and add ons available are really worth talking about. I really enjoy picking out our meals — like I get really excited when a new week of options gets released. Next week for example, there are 17 meals to choose from — SEVENTEEN! That includes 5 meatless options and 3 seafood options. I can add on chicken sausage, chicken breasts, ranch steak, ground beef, ready to eat chicken breasts, a salad kit, garlic bread, and two dessert options.
We order 2-3 HelloFresh 4 serving meals a week. My husband and I each eat a serving and our kids sometimes split a full serving. That leaves us with a serving to split for lunch. I also keep shelf stable Jambalaya Girl and Monjuni’s Pasta Sauce on hand. So the add on meat options allow me to stretch the HelloFresh Box for the whole WEEK! That is stellar, y’all. And it makes me really excited.
The meat of it all
So, there you have it. If you have considered trying a meal subscription kit, I highly recommend HelloFresh. You will not be disappointed. And look, those Bulgogi Bowls come back the third week in June. You better boogie for the Bulgogi.