Convenience Cooking At Your Doorstep- Are Meal Kit Programs Worth it?
I’ve been seeing advertising for home delivery meal kits for a while now as I’m sure you have.
Being a frugal family is why we always passed by the meal kit option.
Well, since we wanted to review these two meal kit companies and wanted to know what the rage was about, we went for it.
Be prepared for pictures of all the meal kit recipes we made and I broke down the cost of one recipe.
The reason for that was to see what it would cost us if we just bought the ingredients at the grocery store.
HelloFresh Meal Kit Review
However, for those of you who want convenience or to try new meals either HelloFresh or goodfood are great options.
Getting a meal kit for singles or even students might help with cooking in the kitchen and convenience.
In our area, HelloFresh Canada is run in Toronto, Ontario at 110 Spadina Avenue Unit 201.
I don’t know if it’s just a call centre or a place where packaging of the meal kits happens but that’s where it’s located.
As you’ll learn below the home delivery of meal kits such as HelloFresh and goodfood may or may not be right for you.
Pros and Cons Of HelloFresh Meal Kit
- You get seasonal Ingredients
- Less Food Waste
- Beautiful Recipe Cards
- Reusable Insulated Food Box with Ice packs
In every sense of the words above HelloFresh is correct.
Who would love the HelloFresh Meal kit home delivery service?
- You don’t like to cook
- You’re not that great at cooking
- You don’t want to think about meal planning
- Cost is not an issue
- The convenience of how easy it is to create delicious meals with a recipe card
- Enough space to store the food kits in the refrigerator
- Customize your meal plan
The cons for the HelloFresh Meal Kits from our experience were fairly obvious for us.
- Cost is over our budget
- For the meal for 2, one of us could polish it off
- Need lots of refrigerator space for the food bags
- Include full Keto Meals in meal kit plans
- No nutritional labels unless I’ve missed them
Step By Step: How To Order HelloFresh
Once you have the app on your phone or you’ve signed up online you’re ready to get started with your meal kit.
Being that Mrs. CBB eats a Keto diet and I don’t we had to find something we could both eat.
You can customize what plan you want and pick from the meals that they currently have on the menu.
The meal kits will arrive weekly however you have the choice as to when they get delivered which I liked.
Giving the customer control over the meal kit plan is very important since people aren’t always home to eat.
You sign-up online or download the app from your phone at the Google Play Store or the Apple Store
HelloFresh Meal Kit Cost
The deal for HelloFresh right now for new subscribers is $80 off PLUS if you use Rakuten Canada you get a further $15 back in cash.
To be fair you don’t get the full $80 off on your first box which kind of caught me off guard.
Remember to always read the fine print on anything you plan to purchase.
Here’s the rundown but for those of you who end up loving the meal kit service, any savings is better than nothing.
Get $80 Off
Personally, I would have liked to have the full $80 off right away instead of the tiered commitment to the company.
Get $50 off your first box, $20 off your second box, and $10 off your third box, to save a total of $80!
Flexible, no commitments – pause or skip when you need.
- $50 Off 1st Box
- $20 Off 2nd Box
- $10 Off 3rd Box
HelloFresh commits to offsetting 100% of direct carbon emissions, making it your eco-friendly meal kit of choice.* – HelloFresh
This was our first receipt from HelloFresh below minus the $40 welcome coupon.
In total, we spent $28.93 out-of-pocket to test this meal kit even with the $40.00 coupon.
After that, if we continued to order 3 meals per week for each of that would cost us around the $70 mark or more.
Plus, you still need to eat 4 other days of the week so either you order more meal kits or go grocery shopping.
HelloFresh Meal Kit Recipes
We ordered three HelloFresh meal kit recipes for two that would last us for 3 days.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have the room in our refrigerator but as it’s cold in Ontario we left the insulated box in the garage.
One question I know many people will ask is whether the food will stay fresh.
I’m going to say yes it was perfectly fine for us and we even skipped a day in between cooking a meal.
Our HelloFresh Meal Kit Selection
The three meals for 2 people that we chose were;
- Italian Beef Meatballs and Chickpeas – I ate all of this myself. 30 minutes, Carb Smart
- Lamb Meatball Burgers – I ate all of this myself. 35 minutes to prepare
- Sesame Roasted Chicken Salad – Mrs. CBB and I shared this. 30 minutes, Carb Smart
One thing, we noticed about both the services was that they asked us to use our oil to fry the food up.
Surely, when you buy a meal kit every item should be included even the cooking oil.
However, with HelloFresh we did get a small bottle of sesame oil for the Sesame Roasted Chicken Salad.
Overall, we were happy with the HelloFresh meal kit but felt there wasn’t enough food for two people.
They also included a $90 Off Including a free shipping card for our next box.
- $45 off the second box
- $25 off the third box
- $10 off the fourth box
The HelloFresh Recipes
Below I will share photos of our finished meals which happen quick to make and flavourful.
Sesame Roasted Chicken Salad
This was the Sesame Roasted Chicken Salad a delicious meal and we’d definitely make it again.
With the addition of the pear with the kale slaw, wasabi paste, mayo it was super flavourful.
Mrs. CBB opened the wasabi with her teeth, haha. She’ll never do that again.
Italian Beef Meatballs and Chickpeas – HelloFresh
Although the recipe card says this recipe is ‘carb smart’ Mrs. CBB did not taste it because it’s not keto.
I didn’t see any recipe nutritional information which would have been convenient for anyone following a specific diet.
Overall, I liked the dish as it was quick to prepare and had lots of flavour.
The chickpeas were a great addition to this meal especially roasted in the oven and the balsamic glaze over the meatballs.
A fairly simple meal with flavour.
Lamb Meatball Burgers – HelloFresh
I ate lots of lamb in the UK but when I saw the price of it in Canada I’d only eat it when I found it on sale.
These Lamb Meatballs Burgers were a nice treat for me however I found the burgers to be a bit dry.
The salad that came with the meal was a tomato spring salad so greens and tomatoes.
I ate the entire meal for two by myself as Mrs. CBB does not like lamb and to be honest I found it as a 1 person meal.
Maybe you think I eat lots but I also work out every day and I’m a hungry boy. ha!
I also wasn’t too keen on the marinara sauce and mozzarella on top however it did help with the dry lamb burger.
The marinara had no flavour and it would have been nice to have a homemade Italian sauce instead.
Ok, so that’s HelloFresh let’s get into goodfood meal kits.
My favourite dish was the Italian Beef Meatballs and Chickpeas.
For Mrs. CBB she enjoyed the Sesame Roasted Chicken Salad and probably could have eaten a bit more if available.
HelloFresh Referral Program
Once you are signed up you can start to refer friends and family to HelloFresh with your HelloShare code.
Your friends will receive a $40 discount and HelloFresh will credit your account $25.
You can manage your plan week to week or skip weeks if you will be on holiday or don’t care for an order.
Goodfood Meal Kit Selection
To be honest it felt like were ordering food from a restaurant and having it delivered but in a way that’s really what meal kits are.
The only catch is that you have to follow a recipe card and cook the meal on your own.
Honestly, it’s no big deal and these companies make preparing the meals so darn easy you can’t possibly muck it up.
From goodfood we ordered the following three meals:
- Seared Halloumi Fall Cobb Salad with smoky coconut bacon & cider vinaigrette. – 15 minutes 710 calories per serving
- Beef Kofta and Roasted Sweet Potatoes with creamy lemon chopped salad – 25 minutes, 640 calories per serving
- Spiced Seared Trout with dill, walnut, and champagne vinegar pesto -15 minutes, 680 calories per serving
The Seared Halloumi Fall Cobb Salad was our favourite of the three meals from goodfood.
This was one of my least favourite meals as I felt the beef Kofta lacked flavour and was a bit too dry for me.
The sweet potato was perfect for this recipe and roasted up beautifully in the oven.
We both enjoyed the seared trout however we would have at the second piece of trout if it were available.
The addition of the walnuts added the perfect texture to the soft trout.
Lots of good flavours in this dish such as the dill, garlic, and champagne vinegar.
Pros and Cons Of GoodFood Meal Kit
Keep in mind these are our opinions however you might have different ones so if you are interested in trying a meal kit go for it.
- Local Sourcing of products for their customers
- 100% Recyclable Packaging and refrigerated boxes
- Delicious recipes that are quick to make
- Food Waste Reduction
- Fuelling learning is a program where they donate a nutritious meal for a child in need at school.
- Great for people who live in rural areas or seniors who can’t get out without assistance.
- Easy to follow recipe cards with a nutrition label
- Pick and choose when you want the boxes to arrive especially if you go on vacation
- We didn’t really find anything to complain about goodfood apart from the pricing.
- Also, we found the portion sizes to be a bit small
- If they are cutting out the middle man who is getting the savings, us or the company?
Step By Step: How To Order A GoodFood Meal kit
Just as HelloFresh you can pause your weekly meal kit order or cancel it if you’re not satisfied.
They have 3 plans available;
- The Classic Plan with 2 or 4 servings
- Easy Prep Plan 2 or 4 servings
- Family Plan 4 servings
You pick a plan that works with your diet or lifestyle and then you get to look through the available recipes.
Pick the recipes you like and then pay for them and a box will be shipped to your house by the stated delivery date.
You get to choose what dates you want your box deliveries and can cancel at any time or stop the box on certain weeks.
It’s a fairly simple process to go through.
GoodFood Meal Kit Cost
Below is a screenshot of how much our first GoodFood meal kit for 2 cost us.
Are Meal Kits Worth The Money?
Below I’m going to break down the cost to make one of the meals we ate.
I’ll be comparing organic products from the grocery store to see how much the convenience of these companies cost Canadians.
I’m only going to count what you would be paying for not the stuff you need such as salt and pepper etc.
Seared Halloumi Fall Cobb Salad Ingredients
- 225g Brussel sprouts $1.98 at Zehrs for 225g $0.44 for 50g
- 60g sliced radishes $0.57 a bag is $3.99 for 1lb at Zehrs
- 50g sliced red onions $0.25
- 1 head romaine lettuce $3.99 at Zehrs
- 100g julienned beets $0.75 for one at Zehrs
- 15ml red wine vinegar $1.89 at Zehrs for 500ml $0.10
- 75ml sweet cider vinaigrette I went with apple cider vinegar and a tbsp sugar or honey $0.50
- 25g toasted coconut chips $1.00 a bag of 70g at Zehrs is $2.99
- 125g halloumi cheese at Zehrs 250g is $8.99 reg price so half of that would be $4.50
- 2 hard-boiled eggs Dozen 2.49/12 = $0.20 each egg so $0.40
- 9g craving cobb spice blend (salt, garlic, sugar, red bell pepper, vinegar powder, green bell pepper, paprika, turmeric, cayenne pepper,
- smoked paprika.) You probably already have these spices at home but if not just go to the bulk barn and pick them up. I’d say no more than $1.50 for 1 tsp of each.
Total Cost to buy groceries and make this meal: $15.54 for 2/4 people
What did we pay for this meal on goodfoods? Approximately $29.68.
We had an $83 coupon that we used on a total of $89.04 for 3 meals each serves 2 $6.04 out of pocket.
So even if we took that total of $89.04/3 = $29.68 for each meal plus potential shipping costs of $9.99 as ours were waived.
Keep in mind I used one of the more expensive Canadian grocery stores to pull the prices from.
We could easily drop the price of shopping for the food at the lower-priced grocery stores in Canada such as Food Basics or No Frills.
- Medium pan
- Sheet pan
- Salt and pepper
- Parchment Paper
The recipe states it can feed 2 or 4 people however if you plan to feed 4 it better be an appetizer salad.
GoodFood Referral Program
Give $40 Get $25
Similar to HelloFresh the goodfood meal kit has a referral program as well.
With goodfood you can send your friends a $40 credit and you get a $25 credit but only if they sign up through your referral link.
- Visit makegoodfreiends.ca/friends
- Sign in to your goodfood account if prompted
- Enter your friend’s email address or share our personal referral link with them.
It’s that easy to earn money to pay for your future meal kit boxes.
We also received 6 free box coupons that we could give to our friends or family which is awesome.
That’s a great way to get the word out about this company for those who would benefit from it.
Feedback On The Top 2 Canadian Meal Kit Companies
Both of these companies offer what they say and you get what you order.
There are a few ideas we listed above that we think would add bonus points for each meal kit.
The biggest con for us was the price since we have a food budget and we love to cook.
One of the reasons I wanted to try both these meal kit companies was to try and understand the craze around them.
At the end of the day, you either like to cook or you don’t but would follow recipe cards and the prep work completed.
Ask yourself, does this meal kit company fit in your budget? How much will it cost me to eat the days I don’t have the meal kit?
Discussion: What are your thoughts on meal kit programs such as the two I’ve reviewed today?
Let me know in the comments if you do order, your feedback, and if you might or might not order.