New Kitchen & Food Prep
At the start of this year we had a leak discovered in the kitchen along with some pretty serious kitchen and floor issues. Which resulted in having no kitchen floor for 10-11 months. Starting December with a new kitchen felt like a great time to have another go at cooking and meal preparation. And trying to avoid my default being 'put the frozen food in the oven' and done. Or if we fancy a 'nice meal' Laura has to cook it.
I'd seen Hello Fresh advertised by a few YouTubers I watch and it looked fairly simple and guided. So we subscribed for the start of December.
I really think having Hello Fresh and using the meal plans has had a positive impact on my wellbeing and I wanted to reflect on why and how.
Have you used Hello Fresh or a similar subscription before?
Time in the kitchen
Now we have a floor this is a lovely room to be in and to prepare food. I/ we didn't try this before I think in part because the kitchen was not a nice room to be in. You were there because you needed to be. Making the most of the space, including the work surface is so important. Particularly if like me you are trying to learn a little about the ingredients you are using.
I am not always the best at portion control (especially with chips). Having only the ingredients required really has helped to manage the amount of food on the plate, and to know that it's not just less food. It's the correct amount for a portion.
Trying new meals
When selecting meals from the HF menu I have chosen meals I would never have picked up in the shop. Yes, two of those meals I will not be ordering again, but all of the other meals we've tested have been great. Finding some you don't like is part of the learning process and for me learning about the ingredients I actually don't mind and the ones I really do.
Confidence in the kitchen
My reasons for trying HF included building up my own confidence and capabilities in the kitchen. Which I have done to some extent. The meal guides are very simple and very much walk you through each process. While I can follow these, I'm not sure how much I'm 'learning'. I guess that would come over more time and with more confidence and food knowledge.
Just knowing 4 of the weeks meals are sorted (that's our subscription amount) really helps with weekly meal planning. I have got into the routine of having an hour after work to do house tasks, then cooking. Having that time set aside to stand, listen to music and prepare something is a really beneficial activity for me, as someone spending most of their days working from a laptop.
Things I'm not sure about
The 'to your door' delivery is great, and means less stuff to get when shopping. However I do worry about making sure I'm home to get the food indoors and in the fridge within an hour. Not really a winter problem, but in the summer...
I have had one meal that was missing an ingredient and I didn't notice till half way through the meal prep. Fortunately I was able to find a substitute. But even if I'd checked starting I'd have been annoyed that ingredient was missing and couldn't be replaced in time given the fresh food and expiration dates.
Limited meal plans? So far it's been great, but I think by early to mid January we may have tried all the different meals we would. So will only be repeat ordering meal plans, which we already have the walkthrough guide for. Once you are doing this, I wonder if just getting the ingredients yourself from the shop becomes more of an option, and HF seems less beneficial? In my head I've committed to having HF until February or March and then reviewing how useful it is to us then.
For now I'm enjoying Hello Fresh, trying new meals and building up my own confidence with food and in the kitchen. Having healthier and fresher food has helped me feel more energetic, less lethargic, and means I can enjoy the one or two occasions when having the 'less fresh' foods, rather than that being a norm.
I would definitely recommend Hello Fresh for maybe 2-3 months. After that I think it maybe loses some of the initial benefits, if the meal plans are not rotated/ changed. Even without meals rotating I think it would remain great for some, because of the ease of use and variety in meals you'd still have.
Please note: This post does not include sponsored content; I paid/ pay for our Hello Fresh subscription. Hello Fresh did not ask and have not seen this post before it is published, nor have they instructed me on what to say. The views, experiences, thoughts and insights expressed in this post are my own.