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Too Busy To Cook?

Updated: Oct 28, 2022

Have I found the solution to your food problems when you're so damn busy workin' & playin' hard! Sometimes making the time to cook is NOT an option but when you're stuck in a financial rut before that holiday or Christmas is just around the corner, you're forced to live on the good old student meals. Bring back the memories much? Well, why not adult by cooking at home with a little help from Hello Fresh!

This Post Is Not Endorsed By Hello Fresh!

Image: Media With Wix - Click on the image to try a pasta recipe with Hello Fresh!

The Process

On sign up, you are asked how many people you are serving (up to 4 people) & how many meals you would like planned within the week (up to 5 nights). In the box, you will receive a series of sheets, depending on how much you've ordered, with designated numbers in the corner suggesting which bags you use to cook with. The A4 sheets will have instructions, a list of ingredients, how many people you are cooking for & the measurements listed across the page. A photo of the finishing product on the other side & how many calories each meal consists of. In each numbered bag, you will have Z ingredients listed like the ones on your A4 sheet. The fridge items are in a separate bag without a number on them. Usually when in supermarkets, the use by dates are quite short but the item had a sufficient time for usage.

On every sheet, each instruction was easy to follow. The first one I made was Crispy Mississippi Style Fried Chicken. As you can see from the process, it tells you what to put in first as it takes longer & how to prepare the rest of the meal.

The Benefits

At first, it didn't look as though it would feed the ones in the house with the larger portion side (even reminding them this is a low calorie, nutritious meal) but much to my surprise it was tasty & there weren't complaints about needing more after. The ingredients were basic items that you could easily buy a larger pack of & use with other meals for the week. If you're not the best person at planning or buying food that can be used for the rest of the week, this is the perfect way to introduce simplistic meal prep & buying into your shopping routine (like if you're a student living away from home for the first time). If you're a busy person like myself, sometimes thinking about meals for the week can vary on your routine for the week so you don't want to think about each day. If you're going on a self-catering AirBnb #staycation, I'd recommend buying one of these boxes to take with you. If you're new parents, buy a box for when you get home! I really cannot think of a reason to not buy these boxes!

Things to be aware of..

Like any other subscription box, there are a few downfalls. Firstly, there are no alternative options for those with special dietary requirements - other than Pescatarian or Vegetarians. For us this was no issue, due to no dietary requirements, but it was pointed out by one member of the household about the excessive amount of cardboard & paper used. Resourcefully, we use the brown paper bags for food recycling & the box for charity shop donations or gift wrapping. A friend commented when feeding a family of four, their portion sizes are slightly bigger than what is given in the boxes. To make the most of a meal that doesn't look as filling, she would adapt it slightly to make it fit the family's needs. She still continued to order them so this obviously wasn't a huge impact on her experience.

Did I Save Time?

Firstly, I saved time not having to go to the shops for all the bits. Typically, if I were to pick up things after work before heading home - dinner would not have been started until 45 minutes later. The only times a dinner would take longer than usual is potato wedges. There are 2 meals in my box that tell you to peel potatoes & bake them. From experience, I know the best way to bake potato wedges is to peel, boil then bake in order for them to soften. However, they make you put them in first while you prep the rest of your dinner. As it is a basic skilled service, I will let this slide. They still cooked alright - just at a higher temperature. The preparation doesn't take log. peeling veg & chopping depends on the basic skills of the chef. I found it easy to follow the other instructions before like the wedgies or meat was cooked. In some respects, this was good for using the time to put dishes away or fold laundry. Typically after work, dinner wouldn't be served until nearly 2 hours after finishing, if no prep was done. I saved 1 hour each day not having to shop, think or over-prep.

The Takeaway

The initial idea of the box is quite impressive. We had NO inspiration for meals until the box arrived. I can follow recipes online at no extra cost or through the box if I don't have time to go shopping. When heading out to the shops, I found I would spend the same amount of money - if not more from buying those extra household items I need - so it wasn't like I was forking out. I am happy to pay £5 for a delivery that would have been on my Uber Eats order anyway. If you're a single person, I wouldn't be put off by the fact that it serves two. The products can be frozen, you can skip the weeks you don't need the food but you can also use the left overs for lunch at work the next day!

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