Yes, I joined the delivery meal train – but just for a moment. Last month was the first time I tried out HelloFresh and Green Chef’s meal delivery services. I had a lot of thoughts after trying both of these services and wanted to share more about these companies, my honest review, and whether or not I think these delivery services are really worth it.
I never thought I’d actually commit because I knew that it was expensive and I’ve already got grocery shopping down to a science. However, I’ve been lacking variety in my diet and saw this an opportunity change it up. It can take a bit of effort trying to find new meals, figure out what ingredients I needed to get, and then finally making my way out the door to shop. Last month I couldn’t muster up the energy needed to deal with all of that, which is what led me to try HelloFresh.
My initial post was set to review only HelloFresh, until one of my friends sent me a free week of Green Chef ! So I decided to review both and compare the two services. And honestly, it makes this blog post that much better. Both services were great, and I enjoyed making most of the meals, but if you’re like me you’re probably wondering – what’s the difference between them? And, is this subscription thing really worth it? So, lets dive in.
HELLOFRESH VS. GREEN CHEF
With Green Chef you have the option of two different plans. There is also the flexibility with Green Chef to change plans from week to week if you desire.
- The Two-person plan includes three meals per week for two people. With the two-person plan, you have the option of choosing one of the following menus – Vegan, Vegetarian, Keto, Gluten Free, Paleo or Omnivore
- The Four-person plan includes two meals per week for four people. With the four-person plan you have the option of choosing either the Omnivore or the Carnivore menu.
Hello Fresh has three different types of plans which are as follows:
- The Classic Plan: 15 dishes per week for two or four people
- The Family Plan: 6 dishes per week for four people
- The Veggie Plan: 3 dishes per week for either two or four people
Both Green Chef and Hello Fresh offer wonderfully diverse menus so you will really be spoilt for choice when it comes to selecting your weekly dishes.
For Green Chef customers you need to select one of the seven weekly menus that cater for different lifestyles. I loved this feature as the menus options revolve around paleo, vegan, keto, omnivore, carnivore, vegetarian and gluten-free diets. After you have chosen your preferred menu, you can then choose three of their delicious meal options as part of your weekly plan. The only downfall here was that I had to read each meal’s ingredients to see if anything contained nuts*. Most recipes said if they contained dairy or soy however.
Hello Fresh provides the option of eight recipes in their Classic Plan, four in their Family Plan and three in their Veggie Plan. For me, the HelloFresh options felt more limited. If i were to choose a clear winner on menu selection – it would be GreenChef.
Delivery / Packaging
Green Chef and Hello Chef both deliver their meal kits in specifically designed boxes that are labeled and arranged so that any proteins are packed with enough ice for the delivery process.
Both Green Chef and Hello Fresh have ensured that the individual ingredients of each meal kit are sorted, labeled and packaged in separate bags. This means that there is no sorting required by you and it is simply a matter of unpacking the box and putting the meal kit ingredients away.
Green Chef: One of the things that I love about Green Chef that all the meals were incredibly delicious, they are also filled with beautifully fresh ingredients, separately packaged and ready to go. Green Chef has a USDA organic certification, obviously providing tasty meal kits filled with organic ingredients as a top priority. It is interesting to note that catering for specialty diets is also a priority for them, as is convenience. Again I LOVE this feature and it makes picking out meals so fun. All of their meals can be prepared within 30 minutes.
Hello Fresh is another company that believes your time is important and will provide meal kits that are easy to prepare- but- I found the prep time a bit longer and some of the meals a little more complex.
They tend to focus on classic and well-known dishes but usually include some tasty twists in their recipes. The dishes are not too sophisticated or complicated but may require additional prep time.
HELLOFRESH HONEST REVIEW
While I enjoyed every meal we made from Hello Fresh I wasn’t necessarily in love. I was, however, pleased with the way Hello Fresh was packaged. They didn’t use a lot of plastic and the ingredients for each meal came in a small box that could easily be stacked and slid into the fridge, taking up very little space. When I was ready to cook I just pulled out the little box and all the ingredients were right there. Their recipe booklet included step by step instructions with photos of each step which was very helpful (very handy especially for the beginner chef). All the recipe portions were generous and while Hello Fresh offers a vegetarian menu it does not offer Paleo or Gluten free options as of yet. Meals usually took 35-40 minutes to make. I felt like I could play less money to shop my meals at the store and they would take less time to make. No artificial ingredients but not 100% organic or GMO free.
GREEN CHEF HONEST REVIEW
*winner* I was really happy with each meal and the fact that Green Chef meals are organic and GMO free, again, my hat is off to Green Chef! Everything was fresh, tasty, and flavorful, as promised. They even go the extra mile and chop and slice some of the veggies for you which cuts down on prep time! And since time saving is one of the perks of meal delivery I really enjoyed that little extra! The food came in 3 separate bags so I knew which ingredients went with each meal. The portions were generous and I thought the Green Chef recipe cards were perfect for the beginner chef, showing step by step instructions with photos, taking all the guess work out of it. Meals took around 20 minutes to make. Between the quality of the ingredients, the packaging, and the menu options Green Chef won my vote.
So, is meal delivery service worth it?
Yes, and no. I’ll explain.
For me – no it is not. For both of these services it costs around $80 for three meals, for two people. Meals of course are not fully prepped, take between 20-30 minutes to make, and only cover 3 nights of food. I can not justify the cost when I spend $80 for ALL my groceries for 5 days worth of food (including breakfast, lunch, and dinner). Shopping at the grocery store is way more convenient and cost effective for my lifestyle. I would use the service again for meal ideas and to add variety into my diet. Be sure to google coupon codes and you can try a week for free.
The meal delivery services would be great for a beginner or the mom on-the-go. If you do not know how to cook or need to add some variety to your diet, I would suggest trying out one of these services. You’ll pay extra, but if you can afford it, you can learn how to make some seriously tasty dishes. My recommendation – try it out for a few weeks (again search the web for deals first!) then cancel it after a box or two. It’ll be a nice change up from your weekly routine and you’ll learn how to cook a few basic meals and try new recipes.
If you want to skip all that fuss, check out my Healthy Grocery Shopping on a Budget where I share a weeks worth of meals and the shopping list under $90!