Coffee Talks: We Tried a Meal Subscription Box and Here's What Happened

My husband and I love to cook. We cook pretty much every night and eat out rarely. Cooking together is important to us. Our date nights always involve cooking in the kitchen and dancing around together. So, when a friend recommended we try a subscription meal service, we were a bit hesitant.

It’s not that we were against the idea, but we love cooking and planning our meals together on our own. To have all of the ingredients and directions shipped right to our door made us feel a bit lazy. Then, it dawned on us how busy we are and that it could be a fun thing to try. So, we tried Hello Fresh, which our friends recommended.

A Bit of Food History

I’ve mentioned before that my husband grew up in the foster care system. Well, even though he grew up bouncing from foster home to foster home, he still has family recipes that mean a lot to him. When we first got together, he made it clear that he wanted to me try and learn recipes that his grandmother has made when he was very little.

My husband’s family history is a bit of a blur, but we do know that his biological family is scattered all over and a bit blended. Many of his grandma’s family recipes are Spanish. Replacing our everyday favorites, which included the family recipes, with meals that pop up at the front door made us nervous. We didn’t want to lose the flavors we are used to.

Luckily, Hello Fresh offers a lot of meal options that appealed to us and also had similar flavors to our family recipes that we love. So, we were eager to try it out. We picked three meals to try first.

  • Tex-Mex Beef & Poblano Enchiladas with Pico de Gallo & Lime Crema
  • Gouda Pork Burgers with Caramelized Sriracha Onion & Potato Wedges
  • Cheesy Beef Tostadas with Long Green Pepper, Tomato Salsa & Hot Sauce Crema

Burgers are my favorite thing to eat, and they had a ton of options that both of us really liked. I was honestly surprised by the variety that is available to choose from. It took the nerves away pretty quickly.

Let the Cooking Begin

When we opened the packaging up, we realized they send you everything. The only things we needed besides utensils and cookware was the basics- salt, pepper, and olive oil, which we always have. Honestly, looking at it all sitting on our counter gave us mixed feelings. It was so cool, but we were hesitant that it would be enough.

Now, keep in mind we only ordered meals for him and I. We have picky toddlers, so these meals were meant for us to do as a couple. Still, it didn’t look like quite enough food, but we dove in, following the directions one step at a time.

Everything was pretty simple to follow, but it was weird to keep looking at the direction card to make sure we were doing everything required. We are used to cooking without reading, because we know a lot of recipes by heart. Also, we tend to not measure anything to specifics. As a blind woman who loves to cook, I can’t really see to measure things out, so I’ve gotten very good at guestimation, as I like to call it.

I think we did a pretty good job following directions and measuring each thing out, regardless of being used to that or not. We tend to cook and just taste as we go. Like I said, I can’t tell you an exact measurement for his family’s traditional recipes, but I can tell you a pinch of this and some shakes of that. That is just how we cook, but this experience was different and fun.

Continuously In Awe

There was this continuously in awe feeling that we both had. The food was beautiful and smelled amazing every step of the way. The first meal we did were the enchiladas. Everything came out so perfectly, and the food tasted incredible. I couldn’t help but take pictures along the way, because it was a fun and beautiful experience.

It felt odd, because we are home cooks who adore cooking. But this experience felt like we were outside of our comfort zone on a first date, and it was a bit thrilling. Plus, damn was it amazing tasting, and it filled us up!

All three meals were a hit, and this is probably something we will keep doing. Also, we checked prices, and it’s not as pricey as we thought. It cut our grocery bill in almost half. We also tried pricing the same ingredients sent to us, and the prices in the grocery store kept averaging a dollar or two more. So, we determined it’s definitely worth it for our situation.

A Must Try

I have already recommended this meal service to a few friends and family. Also, I sent a ton of thanks to the friends who recommended it to us. Originally, I thought things like this were for people who were too busy to cook or who didn’t really know how to cook. I was pretty wrong, darlings. These services are for everyone.

Hello Fresh is a must try in our opinion. It was easy, and I can really only think of one criticism throughout the whole thing. The prep times for the meals we chose all said they were between 5-10 minutes, and the cook time was about 20-40. With our first experience, it was flipped. The prep did take a bit longer than we anticipated, but we also had to keep looking back at the recipe card. Again, reading recipes as we cook is something we aren’t use to, so once we get the hang of that, I’m hoping prep time will decrease.

That’s hardly a con or reason to not try this subscription box though. There are a ton of choices, including family friendly and vegetarian. They cater to your dietary needs with preferences and listing allergies and such, and I thought that was pretty cool.

Hello Fresh is a game changer. It also made for a pretty romantic date night that was a shake up from what we are used to. So, I say it’s a must try!

Have you tried a meal service or subscription box? I’d love to hear your experiences.

-With Love,

Jenni

24 thoughts on “Coffee Talks: We Tried a Meal Subscription Box and Here's What Happened”

  1. This is great to know, I have been considering doing a meal subscription for some time now and after reading your glowing review I think I’ll sign up!! Thank you!

    1. It was so fun! It was a bit daunting at first, but we really had a great experience with our first box.

    1. Yeah, I’ve heard that is one option more people wish they offered. Hopefully, they make the changes to be even more inclusive!

      1. It’s tough to do, though. For kosher food to be offered, it would have to be processed on different equipment and under rabbinical supervision.

      2. That’s true, but they could offer two or three options at least. Also, becoming that inclusive would be incredible for a brand.

      3. It really would! I would jump all over that if it was available, and it would make life much easier. There’s so many people who could try it, too.

  2. Great post! I was really interested to read what your experience was like with Hello Fresh as I’ve been contemplating trying them (or a food subscription box in general) for ages! Whenever I see people using these kind of services the food always looks amazing and it seems so convenient. I really enjoy cooking as well and I think these kind of subscription boxes would give me a chance to cook things I never would have tried cooking before! Thanks for sharing!! x

  3. My boyfriend and I tried it in September too, and we loved it ! It’s a bit out of our price range for now, though, but we’re keeping it in mind for when we both get higher paying jobs (which, hopefully, will be soon !)

    1. It can get pricey with the bigger packages too. I’m sending good vibes and support for future amazing jobs! I know budget plays a big role in being consistent with it, and we are tapped out after the holidays. I’m looking forward to doing it again once the funds are there though.

    1. It’s definitely something I recommend everyone try at least once. It made for a fun date night too!

  4. Looks amazing, as I cook most everyday, cooking blogger and all, i love when something is so easy and my family can prepare it. I think I will give a try once.

    1. I agree! It’s not something we would do everyday, because they have that option. It was fun though.

  5. I am of the same mind you are 🙂 I actually use to be a chef, so not being bale to be “creative” is hard for me. At the same time, my type A self loves the fact that I have everything I need and don’t need to worry about a single ingredient. Thanks so much for sharing sweets! Your food looks SO yummy <3

    1. Thanks so much for reading. My dad has been a head cook at a restaurant for almost 20 year, and food is just in our blood. I was surprised by this service though, so I had to share.

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