Last week, Richy offered several codes for free boxes from HelloFresh, so I decided to see what it was like. HelloFresh deliver weekly boxes of ingredients, with recipes, so that you can cook simple meals from scratch.
HelloFresh Boxes can be delivered on either Tuesday or Thursday, and the ‘classic box’ contains enough food for three or five meals, for two or three people. There are also family boxes, and a vegetarian box available. Recipe cards are included, and they are also viewable ahead of time on the web site. The recipes change each week, and with the classic box you can choose which meals you would like to be delivered. All the meals can be cooked in 45 minutes or less, with most usually taking around 30 minutes.
The First Supper
So far I’ve made one of the meals from the box, which was a Thai ‘Moo Pad Krapow’ – pork mince, green beans, rice, chilli, shallots and garlic. Although I assumed there would be garlic in the box, I couldn’t find any, but thankfully my parents have recently returned from a holiday in France and had brought us some back. Everything else was there though.
The recipe card was dead easy to follow – split into seven steps, with photos of each step. My cooking abilities fall somewhere between beginner and intermediate – there are only a few meals that I can cook from scratch from memory, but I can usually follow a set recipe with no problems, and indeed had no issue with this one. This particular recipe also includes a few tips for some customisation, such as varying the amount of chilli or adding a fried egg.
And that’s how it came out. It was actually really delicious, and even bore some resemblance to the photo on the recipe card! Result.
We’ve yet to try the other two recipes but will do in due course.
This first box was free, but would normally cost £39 a time, including delivery. That gets you 3 meals for two people, or six portions at £6.50 per portion. Roughly speaking that’s what you’d pay for a decent main meal at Wetherspoons and so is a little on the high side. However, the 5 meal box for 2 people, at £49, is better value at £4.90 per portion. HelloFresh note that on average the ingredients for the £49 box would cost £58 if bought from Tesco, and even more from Sainsbury’s or Ocado, plus delivery on top. And you don’t get the recipe cards included.
Whilst I personally feel it’s a bit steep, I’m writing this from the perspective of someone who lives in Yorkshire where the cost of living is significantly less than, say, London.
For us, the deliveries are a major issue. They can only be on Tuesdays or Thursdays, at any time between 8am and 5pm. This meant that I had to have the box delivered to me at work, which I then had to carry on the train home – and they’re quite big boxes. Christine and I both work full-time and are away from the flat during the daytime and there isn’t really a secure place to leave the box for when we get home. Nor are there any delivery lockers in our town, and most of our neighbours are yuppies like us who are out at work all day so we can’t leave the boxes with them.
If HelloFresh can introduce weekend deliveries, or commit to two-hour slots outside work hours, then it may be more feasible. We have no issue with having our groceries delivered from Ocado because they’re able to do so at times when we’re at home. But HelloFresh’s delivery times are awkward for anyone who works full time.
Taking it steady
For now I’ve put off having deliveries for a couple of weeks, until we’ve tried all of the meals that we’ve had delivered and can decide whether we want to carry on with our subscription. As a free trial it was nice to do as an experiment, but I’m not sure whether this is something that I’d be happy to commit to on a more regular basis.
However, if you are interested in signing up, you can use my referral code ‘8PAFE8‘ to get £20 credit towards your first order.