I have had an on-again-off-again relationship with HelloFresh for a good few years now. I’ll often sign up for the service for a few months, will have a relatively positive experience with it, then will decide it’s probably not worth the cost and dip out. I suppose I have commitment issues when it comes to meal prep subscriptions.
In any case, when I was offered an opportunity to review some of the newer meal options available with HelloFresh Australia, I found my interest piqued once again. In the earlier months of 2022, HelloFresh announced it was refreshing its list of recipes; introducing new dietician-approved meals along with more plant-based options.
Again, I found myself drawn into the experience and decided I’d like to see how the HelloFresh experience was looking in 2022.
Here’s how I found my week of meal prep with them.
Real Life Reviews: HelloFresh 2022 recipes
Honestly, there are a lot of positives that come with signing up for a service like HelloFresh.
Once you set up your plan – options start from three meals a week for two people and go up to five meals per week for four people – you are given the choice of sorting through potential dishes according to recipe type.
Whether that’s ‘quick and easy’, ‘meat and veg‘ or ‘flexitarian’, you’re given a fair amount of control given here (there are eight categories, in fact). While I’m not sold on all of them – I don’t love that there is a ‘carb smart’ option because I think anti-carb talk can be toxic – I did find this feature helpful overall.
As an example, I really suck at eating enough protein day-to-day. Knowing that, it’s helpful to be able to hone in on protein-rich meals and fill my week with them so I don’t pass out on my desk at 3:00 pm.
The other thing I love is that it saves you from that terrible experience of getting home from work starving and having no clue what to cook for dinner. Your decisions are made in one go, and most (if not all) of your weeknight meals are planned out ahead of time.
Most importantly though, the dishes are genuinely yummy. And, for the most part, they’re pretty simple to prepare. For all of those reasons, I chose to continue my subscription with HelloFresh beyond the review period. It won me over again.
What’s not so good?
First up, using small-serve packets of seasoning and other ingredients isn’t the greatest in terms of sustainability. I don’t love how many packets tend to come with a HelloFresh order. But in saying that, the company has said it’s working towards having all its packaging be reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025 and there are tips on how to properly dispose of all its items online.
The other thing is that I find veggie servings are really small. Maybe I’m a salad fiend, but a handful of lettuce does not satisfy, in my books. And when it comes to the meal sizes as a whole, I usually find them filling enough, but there have been times where I’ve thrown in a few extra ingredients because one carrot seemed a little stingy for two people.
I personally would like enough of a plate that I stand a chance of having leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch, but that doesn’t really happen here. Mostly I just end up with leftover sauce.
My least favourite part of signing up to HelloFresh, however, is the automatic selection of meals each week.
If you’ve never used a subscription like this, basically you have to choose your upcoming meals by a certain deadline. If you fail to do that, HelloFresh will automatically choose meals for you.
Do I know the deadline is coming up? Yes. Will I still forget? Absolutely. And every time this occurs I end up with three pork dishes I really, really do not want. I’ve tried using reminders, but this system just does not work for me.
And so, I broke up with HelloFresh again.
HelloFresh review: The verdict
With prices starting from $77.99 per week (three meals for two people), a subscription with HelloFresh is not exactly super cheap, but it can be a convenient and simple way to organise your dinner plans for the week.
There are parts of the experience that could be better, but if you’re someone who regularly finds you’re stressing over what to cook of an evening, it can be a real life-saver. Just remember to set (multiple) reminders to select your meals each week.