Here in the UK we have several healthy meal in a box companies to choose from. Two of the most popular at the moment are Mindful Chef and Hello Fresh. Over the last 6 months I’ve tried out both services and have listed out the pro’s and con’s of each of them – so you can make a decision on which, if either, is right for your household.
Hello Fresh Review:
Hello Fresh is an easy to set up meal delivery service. It’s pretty reasonably priced as well and they offer loads of discounts for new customers. I had 50% off my first weeks worth of food and they also have a ‘refer a friend’ scheme where you can send a free weeks worth of meals to a friend.
This is great if you know anyone who needs some free groceries as there is no obligation on their part to continue after they receive their free boxes.
All in all, their meals were tasty, pretty healthy, and you could choose from a good range of meals each week.
The downsides to Hello Fresh are as follows:
They cannot guarantee any of their meals are vegan, due to potential cross contamination.
I personally found that after the first week the freshness of the ingrediants – particularly any meat and fish was not good. I had to contact them on a weekly basis to get a refund for some meat or fish that had gone off before I had time to cook it. They refunded me quickly, so that wasn’t a problem. But, because I was constantly having to deal with meat that had gone off I ended up with bags of food that I couldn’t cook because I was missing the main ingrediant.
Seeing as I had ordered this service so I wouldn’t have to go out to the shops during lockdown this was a very frustrating and inconvenient aspect.
After several long conversations with Hello Fresh via their Facebook page I learned that they only guarantee their meat and fish products for 3 days, including the day it is delivered. I was ordering food for a week (typically 5 days worth of food) so you can see how this was a major problem.
We tried to adjust by cooking the fish dishes first, the meat dishes second and then leaving the veg dishes till last. This did not work either, I often found the meat/fish was rank by day 3. Hello Fresh declined to do anything to solve this problem so after about 2 months of using their service I cancelled. It wasn’t worth the trouble.
Score: 2 out of 5 stars
Mindful Chef Review
After leaving Hello Fresh I was on the hunt for a new meal delivery service. Now that I knew a bit more about how these services work I had a better idea of the features I was looking for.
Features I wanted:
-Really fresh meat and fish that would last an entire week
-Good selection of tasty and healthy meals
After looking around the various options I settled on Mindful Chef. One thing that you need to know is that in this industry you get what you pay for. Mindful Chef is more expensive! But, on the flip side all of their products are really fresh. I have now been with Mindful Chef for over 3 months and not once have I ever had to complain about anything.
-super fresh food, nothing has ever been off or wrong in 3 months
-they give you fun free samples in the boxes all the time, I’ve gotten healthy snacks, some hand cream, a spray for my pillow to help with sleep. All sorts! It’s pretty fun.
-They do have Vegan meals and they are amazing! I’m an omnivore but with Mindful Chef I’ve been eating so many more vegan and vegetarian meals and I feel healthier than ever.
-Their packaging is recyclable and they have a system where you collect all the insulation and boxes and then send them back for recycling every few weeks, for free.
-They donate free meals to children in the UK for every meal you purchase. So far with their service we’ve had 40 meals donated.
-Extra features such as: ready to blend smoothie mixes and healthy frozen ready meals that you can order. The smoothies are really good and if you’re short on time their healthy frozen meals are pretty tasty as well.
-They are more expensive, so if you’re on a tight budget this might not work for you.
However, they do donate to charity, and their food is of a very high quality so if you can afford it then this is definately the better option.
Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars
If you want to check out Mindful Chef here is a £20 voucher just for you!