Cooking With The Mannos – An Honest Review of Hello Fresh

Hey luvs! So many of you have been asking me about what I’m eating lately to stay healthy during my pregnancy! So I thought today’s blog post was the perfect opportunity to share what my family and I are currently eating!

I wanna talk about HelloFresh. Yes, I have a partnership with them and I want to be upfront about that from the beginning. But I also want you guys to know that I work with them because I 100%, truly love what they do! I honestly feel like HelloFresh has completely saved me and my sanity at some points.

I don’t know about you guys but I feel like my time and my patience are constantly stretched thin. I hate even admitting that because sometimes it honestly makes me feel like a failure. I’ll get in my head and say things like “shouldn’t you have all your shit together? Shouldn’t you be supermom? What’s wrong with you?” I really get in my head and then stress myself out even more about how I don’t have time to do everything that I need to do in a day.

So how does one possibly eat healthy when they feel stretched so thin? When they don’t even have time to go pee some days never mind have time to feed her family healthy a meal. Well, I have to do some give-and-take here. Do I order takeout sometimes? Of course I do! I’m only human. But with that said, there’s no way I’m going to have my family eating take out seven days a week. But on the flipside I just don’t have time to plan out meals seven days a week, go grocery shopping and cook them for my family! It’s just not happening!

So what do I do? Well I try to limit as many of my responsibilities as possible when it comes to making dinner. And that’s where HelloFresh comes in. I don’t have to meal plan since the recipes are laid out for me. And I don’t have to go to the grocery store which saves me a ton of time! And to be completely honest with you, I hate going to the grocery store. Do I ever go? Of course! We need things in our fridge other than our HelloFresh meals like Molly’s milk and ice cream for me and baby of course! But I just don’t need to go nearly as often when I have HelloFresh delivered right to my doorstep! Not only does the food come to me, but it’s always fresh and delicious! Sometimes when I have friends over and I’ve cooked a HelloFresh meal, they ask to take a picture of my recipe card so they can make it for themselves at home. Those friends are usually the ones not working or without kids. My friends with jobs or kids just get online and sign up for HelloFresh themselves right away! Ha!

Anyway, I really wanted to share this with all you guys because it’s something that I absolutely love and really think is helpful. It’s been such a lifesaver for me that I know it will be helpful for so many of you! And the great thing is if you use my code AliLuvs , you get $30 off your first box which is 50% off 3 recipes a week for 2 people — a great way to try it out! If you get it, please come back to my blog and let me know what you think of it! Or if you’re already signed up for HelloFresh and getting it now, let me know what you think in the comments below! Isn’t it great!?

Thoughts

84 thoughts on “Cooking With The Mannos – An Honest Review of Hello Fresh

  1. Ali. Is it worth it? I would think going to the store would be cheaper. I get this would save a lot of time but not sure if that be cheaper.
    You should share some receipe with us though. 😃

    1. Going to the store is SO much cheaper and you still have to buy groceries for all of your other meals so it really isn’t a time saver either, in my opinion.

      1. Kaytee – I totally respect your guys opinion, so thank you for commenting, but I’ve had a different experience! When I go to the grocery store and buy ingredients there’s always way more ingredients then I actually need and I end up throwing half of it away. To make a meal, I’ll spend $50 on ingredients. So it would’ve just been cheaper to order takeout but not nearly as healthy. I find it saves me a ton of money because I’m not throwing away food and wasting food.

        And I go to the store WAY less now since dinner is really the only meal my family is all home for each week.

        1. I completely agree Ali. We are money watchers and some weeks this not only saves my sanity but it costs less in the long run bc there’s no waste! And we skip weeks from time to time and then sometimes get “we miss you” emails from Hello Fresh with additional promos to start up again. And it’s always SO GOOD!! With a picky husband that means the world too! We love Hello Fresh!!

          1. If you have a family of 4 or larger, there is just no way Hello Fresh saves money. Unless that family eats extremely expensively to begin with or eats out constantly. 3 dinners is $104 a week. I spend around $125 a week in groceries for ALL of my families meals and snacks (19-21 meals depending on if we eat out once or twice) I can’t imagine $104 a week for I Lynn 3 meals being cost effective for average families with average budgets. $35 for a homecooked meal that feeds 4 people is super expensive.

        2. $50 on one meal? That’s your problem there. Wow. It doesn’t take that much time to meal plan, just saying. And if you think you’re busy now. You have no idea how much more hectic life is about to become with another baby almost here. Time to make some better choices and prioritize some things…. 😐

          1. No need to be so condescending. If you don’t like her post, you’re not required to read her blog! Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and for her maybe hellofresh works best.

          2. Wow! So incredibly rude. Agree with the Erin. There are plenty of other blogs to read. I’m confident some people troll online, just hoping to find something to complain about or someone’s day to ruin. The world is a tough enough these days. Throw a bit of kindness into the universe and perhaps it’ll come back to you.

  2. I love meal delivery services. I’m a big fan of Green Chef because they have a vegan option. Even though they may seem pricey, I find they save me money since keeping me out of the grocery store reduces the number of impulse buys I make!

  3. Thanks Ali! Maybe I’ll give it a try. I became a vegatarian very recently and I BELIEVE you are a vegetarian as well? (Not positive). Reason I am asking is because I am curious if Hello Fresh’s veg options are varied and fun too! Thanks again for your blogs!

  4. I love how honest you are about the worry of keeping family life together. My family could really do with something like this, some days we are so tried and haven’t been grocery shopping for a while and end up ordering unhealthy take out food. So thank you for your review and for being such a lovely human!

  5. Does Molly eat the meals as well or do you fix her something different for dinner? We got hello fresh before our little girl (she’s 21 months) was eating solids and we really enjoyed it. But now i feel like we would need the meals for 4 or to fix her something different. So I’m not sure i can justify starting it up again. But man does it truly make life so much easier!!

    1. She does! She loooooved this grilling cheese recipes that I made in these photos! Really she loves most the recipes. And if I feel like a recipe has a little too much spice for her, I will just add the spice to mine and Kevin’s and keep Molly’s separate. The recipes usually involved adding spice to veggies on a baking sheet so I will just add to half the baking sheet. So extra dishes or anything.

      But I honestly try to feed her EXACTLY what we eat. And as a result she eats SO well!

        1. It definitely enough for me, Kevin and Molly. But probably wont be enough when Molly gets older. But they have a 2 person meal pan (which we get) and a 4 person.

  6. I have done Hello Fresh before and while it was fun and easy, it was in no way remotely cost effective for my family. It’s basically the quilvalent of eating out for dinner 3 nights a week for my family of 4 (well 5 but the baby doesn’t eat dinner) and I still have to cook! I’m not saying the food wasn’t good but I canceled after my trial because it was so expensive AND I still have to buy groceries for breakfasts, lunches, snacks and the other 4 dinners for that week so it saves me very little time. I can see this being helpful for singles or people without kids who work a lot but don’t want to eat out all the time, and who have the disposable income to spend this much money on 3 dinners. But for regular old families, I do not understand how the benefit would outweigh the cost. At all. Also, I felt like there was SO much packaging and waste. That bothered me as well.

    1. You must be good at picking out ingredients and using all of them for your recipes. I think my problem is is that I would buy ingredients for a dish but not have to use them all so I would end up wasting so much food and spending so much more than I ever should have. I think people that are good at getting ingredients and using them for multiple recipes probably don’t have this problem. But that must mean you’re a good cook! I unfortunately am not. Ha! So HelloFresh is been amazing for me.

      1. I definitely plan my meals for the week so that I will use up a lot of the ingredients I buy (multiple dishes with kale to use up the bunch, 2 recipes with coconut milk to use up the can, etc) but even with having some waste and throwing it out, there is no way Hello Fresh (or other similar companies) is cost effective for average families with average budgets. Their family plan for 4 people with 3 meals a week is $104!!! I spend about $125 a week on groceries to feed my family of 5 (1 is a baby though so he eats very little) and we eat healthy and well. That is roughly $125 for 19-21 meals (depending on if we eat out for a meal or two during the week)! I can’t even imagine spending $104 for only 3 home cooked dinners. I usually spend $10-15 to make a dinner that feeds 4 people. Theirs is about 3 times as much. I really don’t mean to rant or be negative about Hello Fresh but I do have a hard time with how these companies market themselves toward busy middle class families and act like they will save them money. If you are a new cook or you don’t eat many meals at home or you are super busy and literally can’t meal plan or grocery shop, I get the value in this and think it’s great for those people. But the numbers just don’t add up for average American families. Of course, this is all just my opinion and my experience and it’s working for you and is in your budget so that’s great! (although, I don’t think you pay for your meals if you have a partnership with them?)

  7. We had a terrible experience with hello fresh. I got multiple boxes with ruined food and their customer service was absolutely terrible 🙁 I had to fight them tooth and nail to get my $ back. I prefer to stick to online grocery pickup to save time(and so much money)!

    1. I’m so sorry to hear that. I am glad you got your money back if you were unhappy. I imagine it was a fluke! Let me know if you give it another try. Their costumer service has been so wondering from my experience.

  8. I love Hello Fresh and have been using them for about 2 years. There’s 3 of us and we just have the meal plan for 2 and it’s usually enough for us (even leftovers sometimes). We even take boxes up to our cabin in Big Bear and that works out so perfect for a weekend away without dealing with grocery shopping. We put it on hold if we want to do our own thing or if we are traveling. Love it.

    1. Thanks for sharing Ellen! I put mine on hold when we go out of town too. And I ALWAYS bring the HelloFresh bags with us on weekend trips too!

  9. I’ve read on numerous posts of yours that Kevin does all the cleaning, laundry, cooking and grocery shopping, so why is this even a problem for you? You obviously don’t plan or cook the meals. Hello Fresh seems to be a good company but please don’t disguise this as anything other than an ad.

    1. Lucinda,

      I have noticed that you leave a lot of negative comments on Ali’s blogs. Why do you follow her? Your comments are not constructive.

    2. I’ve never said Kevin does all the cooking. Because we both cook together. And I cook 99% of the Hello Fresh dinners we get. Kevin does 95% of the laundry and dishes. And the majority of the rest of the household cleaning as well, although I do a lot of cleaning too.

      Lucinda – I always accept constructive criticism when it comes from a place of love and actually wanting me to grow as an individual. That said, I would really appreciate it if you try to be a bit more thoughtful about others feeling (meaning mine in this instance) when you comment on my blog. With love, Ali

      1. Unfortunately, you did say that on a podcast you did. You said that Kevin did all the above chores, including cooking, and you paid the bills. At the time I thought that seemed a little diminishing of Kevin since he obviously takes care of Molly a big percentage of time, but if he is OK with that, so be it. I just like authentic people.

        1. Honestly, why are you even reading her blog? You must have a lot of time on your hands if you follow people you obviously don’t like

      2. Ali-

        You don’t need to justify how you & Kevin run your home AT ALL. Whatever works for you guys is great. No one needs to comment on that. It’s great to hear that Kevin takes so much responsibility at home, actually. Way to be amazing, Kevin! You both have busy careers and a busy family life- about to be even busier! It’s nice to see you guys really having each other’s back and taking care of each other.

          1. Nicely said Andrea and Ali I certainly hope you do not take Lucinda’s comments to heart. You share so much of your life with us, you are honest, authentic, and caring. Some choose to be critical for there own reasons, don’t let it get you. You are amazing and give US so much of your personal time, we appreciate you!

    1. Honestly, for one person you might be left with a bunch of leftovers. But you could eat it for lunch and dinner and make cooking meals EXTRA easy on yourself! Or really since it’s 3 meals a week, you could have it 6 nights in a row if you don’t mind leftovers. I personally love leftovers 😉

  10. My husband and I had a baby girl in December and just started hello fresh a few weeks ago. It has been a life saver, and allows us to have home cooked meals 3 times a week. Without hello fresh we would probably be surviving off of take out and tuna sandwiches!

    1. Hi Alyssa! I love that you brought this up! I’ve been using HelloFresh I think for a little over a year now so I don’t even think we had it when Molly was first born. But we did start using it a few months after she was born. And the reason I started getting is because I just found I didn’t have as much time to do all the things that I used to. But with the second baby, I know that HelloFresh is going to be an absolute game changer those first few weeks! Yes, we’ll order a lot of takeout and yes, friends and family will drop off meals. But on the days when we don’t have those things we will definitely be cooking HelloFresh! Thank you so much for sharing this! And congratulations on your little bundle of joy!

  11. Ali, I’m sure I’ll get ripped apart for this, but I hope you’ll take this with the intended respect….
    it always surprises me when you use curse words. You’re such a nice, classy woman and then all of a sudden (seems to be few and far between), you do a review about food and you use sh**! Why? Is this just so common among professionals, that no one even realizes it’s offensive to the average person? Do your co-workers at Home and Family talk like that when they’re off the air? I’m genuinely curious. And, what does Hello Fresh think about this, in their review?

    I know all the women who use bad language regularly, are going to tie me to a stake and burn me now, but hey….it never hurts to have someone explain things to you when you’re honestly looking for an answer.

    1. Hi Debbie! I totally appreciate your comment and especially appreciate you voicing your thoughts in such a respectful way. I first want to start off by saying that I’m really sorry if using that word offended you. That certainly wasn’t my intention and I apologize for that.

      However , I try to make this blog be as real and unfiltered as I possibly can. And yes, sometimes I use that word. I think it was my way of trying to demonstrate that I’m not perfect and I don’t have it all together and yes, I even feel so out of control sometimes that the only word I can use to describe it is “S%&#”.

      And if you’ve read my blog for a while now you would probably know that I think this might be the first time I’ve ever even used a slight curse word on my blog. I honestly don’t think I ever have before. So it’s not something I do regularly but I, like many human beings, I’m not perfect. I guess that was the message I was trying to get across. And while I totally understand that using that word is a big deal to you, it just isn’t to me. And hopefully we can understand each other and respect our differences. I think we can!

      Thank you for reading my blog! And thank you for respectfully bringing up a discussion topic. xoxo

        1. I actually thought the very same thing and thought I was the only one who noticed. It really diminishes the class in an otherwise classy girl. In fact, I’m kinda disgusted by some of the women on Arie’s season because it’s so unnecessary and makes them look trashy to me.

          As for the comments on Hello Fresh, I think we have to respect what they’re saying. It’s hard to take someone seriously when they’re being paid to say it. All these Bachelor people on Instagram are doing the same thing. It’s a new product all the time, and of course every product is the best product ever. So I do appreciate hearing feedback from others who have differing opinions.

          The one thing I would offer, Ali, if you see this is that you don’t need to defend what you say. I find that is being more “unreal” than real. For example, you’ll say something you don’t like or are having a problem with, but then you’ll go overboard in the next breath to kinda smooth over what you just said. It’s like you want to say something negative, but then you’re already anticipating all the hate you’re going to get so you go out of your way cater to those who are going to tear into you for having a negative opinion about something. Say how you feel. That’s all you have to do.

  12. I’m at the other end of raising kids. Next school year I’ll be down to my daughter left in the house. That’s not to say her brothers aren’t over often for meals. However, when it’s just the three of us, next fall when the next one up goes to college, I think this would be great for us. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  13. Hi Ali! Love your blog! I just wanted to ask, if I don’t choose the vegetarian option do I have any say on what meat we do get delivered? It’s my husband and I, a toddler who is a bit picky and 4 month old so as for saving time it would be great for me as a stay at home mom! Thanks!

    1. You can skip certain weeks if you don’t think you will like the meals coming the week or if you go out of town or just want a break from them! Not sure about further customization. I’m always happy with my meals so I don’t look into making changes. But call them to find out!

  14. Ali, you are such a dear person yo me! I love your gracious, well spoken responses to the 2 women questioning you. You are kind, thoughtful, compassionate, fair, fun and adorable. You are a very much loved wife and mother, daughter and sister, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, colleague and friend. Your blog is such fun to read! I am a married–42 1/2 yrs.–mother of two sons, 29 and almost 34. I ski, run, hike and bike, garden, read and love our 2 Labs. I think you are a remarkable, young woman! Thank you for all you share! I’m hoping to try Hello Fresh soon! Life is too short to be a slave to the kitchen when time and fun are short!❤️

    1. Awwww Liz! Thank you for leaving this comment. I, like everything, get down on myself sometimes. Especially when negativity to thrown my way. So comments like yours are what keep me going and keep me wanting to do this blog. So THANK YOU! It means more than you know! And thanks for sharing a little bit about yourself! I love learning about all of you too!

  15. I tried Hello Fresh and really wasn’t impressed with it. The meal selections weren’t that great and I found that it didn’t really save me any time at all. I have food allergies and Hello Fresh isn’t flexible for people with food allergies. I was told to take out the ingredients I can’t eat. If I have to start doing that then it really isn’t saving me time or money. Luckily I had a free week trial period. Much prefer to do my own meal planning and grocery shopping. Guess it’s not for everyone!

    1. Definitely hard when you have food allergies. I think like all things, it’s great for some but maybe not for everyone! Thanks for reading regardless!

  16. I can’t not comment on this post….. I read your blog religiously and LOVE it! You do not have to share as much of your life with us as you do and I, for one truly appreciate it! The ugly comments on this post are so disheartening to me. We live in a world that feeds hatred and negativity on a daily basis. You and your blog offer a light into the darkness that surrounds us. Shame on these individuals for visiting your blog and being so negative.

    You do not have to ever justify your words or how you and Kevin run your household. I can’t even believe some of the comments on this post! Please keep doing what you’re doing and know there are TONS of us who adore you and your blog!

    PS- Molly’s pigtails get me every time! They are the cutest!! I miss my girls being that little. They are 16 and 12 now. 😞

  17. I dont know if it would work for me as I eat Cedars Sinai Motility Clinic Dr Mark Pimentels low fermentation diet but if they based in LA they should look into that and use their dietician they work with outside of clinic to help them with that. With thousands of patients most in the area it would help. i know Epicurean has a low fodmap option in NY but the two diets are different and not really diets just eliminating some foods to help manage SIBO which is part of IBS

  18. I LOVE HelloFresh! Recipes are yummy easy to follow and we haven’t been disappointed once! I love that it mixes things up even if you don’t have it delivered every week. As far as the cost, I agree with comments above that if I go out and buy all of the ingredient to make a certain meal it would be just as much if not more and then I will probably waste some. I love that HelloFresh sends you exactly what you need, so it eliminates waste. It also saves time on looking up recipes/ figuring out what you will make for the week. For me, that is well worth it!!!

  19. I meant to tell you I use Retin A weakest one with Bionect ( derm scripts) over it and I now get Bionect over seas but derm approved from manf fraction of price you can use it for moisture too best stuff and makes Retin A not so harsh even weak one and takes you from acne to wrinkle prevention just no sun. And if i get something stubborn or cystic the derm can inject it goes right away so you can get anything bothersome injected it goes into layer of skin not blood stream.

  20. Wow, some of the comments are insensitive.
    I find this blog so real because when I read it (usually in the morning), I thought as if Ali was talking in front of us – no hang ups, no filters.
    Some people read between the lines and create in their own minds negative attributes of a person which I think is not fair.
    Keep up the good work Ali! Your family represents good people on this chaotic earth.

  21. This is one of these things that works for some, but not all, depending on your family situation and your budget and people are always going to blast someone else’s opinion, unfortunately. For me, I love to cook and experiment and I make weekly meal plans watching TV, and make a grocery list to match. I do work full time, but my kids are all grown and have families of their own, so I have more time plus it’s just me and hubby. Although, I have to say, I still cook for a crowd, so we have lots of casseroles/meals in the freezer, which is actually nice! Haha. I think HelloFresh, although pricey, is great for working families with kids, who have limited time to cook and prepare meals. If it was more affordable, I think my youngest daughter would love it. It’s hard for her and her hubby because they pick up kids from school at 6:00 and then there’s dinner. I may actually get her some for a gift for bday or anniversary, if there is a gift option! Thanks for the review, Ali.

  22. Hi Ali
    You’re not alone saying the odd _ _ _ _ word! 😉
    I’m far from being perfect & sometimes get down on myself for alot of the same reasons. If it wasn’t for my best friend Trevor sharing the household chores our house would be a disaster. (He does the outdoorsy stuff, too)
    You & Kevin are both doing great!
    Love your stove & kettle!

  23. I love Hello Fresh and had a great customer service as I put a few weeks on hold while being out of town. I have School at nights so this works for my boy friend and daughter as they always seem to pick up food before going home (Fast Food). This is a healthier option!

    On the other Hand – You look amazing – where did you get that Top?

  24. I love Hello Fresh! When you did a post awhile back I tried it out and love it! It’s fun to try new healthy meals and have all of the ingredients delivered right to my door. I get the veggie option and every meal I’ve made has been delicious 🙂 Having the app makes it even easier to preview the menu for each week and easy to skip a week if you have to. Thanks for all of the fun info on your blog Ali!

  25. I just recently tried Hello Fresh because I saw a groupon for it. Me and my husband are obsessed! The food is delicious and fresh and the recipes are so easy to follow which I need since I am not an experienced chef! We also always make way more than we need and end up throwing a lot away. The portions are perfect for 2 people! I’m not over buying at the grocery store. Love it! I’ve only ordered twice 2 different weeks and would love the weekly sign up and delivery but its just a little too expensive for me 🙁

  26. I posted a reply above, but I wanted to make sure you see this one part. I personally truly appreciate hearing your real-life experiences with no sugar-coating and no justifying why you feel the way you do or did. I remember one post where you laid out your struggles with Molly as a baby. That was so refreshing because, to me, that was real life. Getting dolled up every day to go for a walk or grocery shopping doesn’t feel real to me with a newborn. So to clarify what I said above, don’t feel like you have to defend yourself if you have a negative opinion or you share a negative experience. We will get it and appreciate it more than coming back to “smooth” over what you just said. As a hypothetical example, you’ll say “I didn’t like when Arie did this or did that,” but then you’ll say, “ But don’t get me wrong, he’s such a great guy and such a sweetheart” and blah, blah. I think I read things like that during Nick’s season. I also see it when you’re describing pregnancy and motherhood, etc. Just say how you feel and don’t worry about catering to any potential hateful comments you may get. You’re allowed to share the bad with the good. I hope that makes sense.

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