Hello Fresh v. Plated

If you have been following my blog, you’ll know I began enjoying Hello Fresh a few months ago.  I continue to enjoy it most weeks.

Benefits of subscription food box delivery:

  1. Meals planned for me
  2. Fewer trips to the grocery store
  3. All ingredients at my fingertips
  4. Healthier lunches and money saved from regular trips to Wawa.  (For my non-local readers Wawa is a convenience store.  That’s an undersell, it is the greatest convenience store to ever exist.)

One week rather than getting my Hello Fresh delivery, I bought the ingredients for three of my favorite Hello Fresh meals.  I found that I spent more money in that week, I was required to buy more of some ingredients than what I needed – and they went to waste, and my ingredients from the grocery store were not as fresh as when they came via delivery.   Not to mention the time I saved.

Hello Fresh offers a great app that shows what the meals will be for the coming weeks.  Each week, you decide if you’d like to have your delivery or if you’d like to skip.   Over the next few weeks it seems that 2 out of 3 meals being offered are not gluten free, so I will be skipping these deliveries.  (Sometimes I keep them and purchase the gluten free counterparts for myself and give the gluten-full products to family members or friends.)   Because I will have a few weeks without a box delivery, I decided this would be a good time to try other subscription boxes.  So I am trying Plated.   I will do my best to compare the two companies for you, so that you can make your choice.

 

Cost

Hello Fresh has three box options: Classic, Veggie, and Family.   Each box contains three meals the Classic and Veggie contain serving for two; the Family serving for four.  Classic is $69, Veggie is $59, and Classic is $105.   There are always offers for your first order from $20-$40.  After you become a member, you are offered a discounted price for every friend that uses your referral code.  (Click here for $40 off your first order using my referral code.)

Plated also has three box options: 2 meals, 3 meals, and 4 meals – each meal contains a serving for two.  The two dinners box is $48 plus $6 for shipping: $54/shipment, 3 meals $72 with free shipping; $96 with free shipping, 5 meals for $120, 6 meals for $144, and 7 meals for $168.   Dinners average to be $12 per person.  Plated’s referral program is active only after you have placed three orders, so I am not yet sure of the details.  When I signed up for Plated I got three meals for the price of two.

With both programs I have found that I often get three individual meals out of each box, so I get nine total meals.

Advantage: Hello Fresh.  Less expensive and good referral program.

 

Meal Options

Hello Fresh offers a vegetarian program, which is what I order.   I am not a strict vegetarian, but I don’t eat any red meat, pork, and very little poultry; therefore, the vegetarian program works best for me.  (Doesn’t hurt that it’s less expensive!)   Three delicious vegetarian meals are delivered to my door each week.  Were I to order the classic program, I would have a choice of three from five options.

Plated asks your preference, but you aren’t limited.   Each week, I have choice from all menus.  They have seven options from which to choose, and two items from the “chef’s table” that cost more money.  Also, each week there is a dessert option.

Advantage: Plated.

 

Delivery

Hello Fresh will be delivered any day of the week; you set up the day of the week your prefer.   Each meal is conveniently packaged in a box with the items needed for that meal. The packages are situated above a cardboard and under that cardboard is several ice packs to keep the food fresh even if left on your front porch.

One box with all items for each individual meal.

Plated will be delivered either Tuesday or Friday, depending on your preference.   The delivery box is smaller than the Hello Fresh box, the products are wrapped in a bag of recycled materials.  Inside the items for each individual meal are in recycled plastic bags – some items are not in the bag, but all items are marked with which they belong to.  This is all resting on one ice pack.

I was a little taken aback when I opened my box.  But once I realized it was all plant-based 100% recycled materials, I liked it better.

 

Advantage: At first I wasn’t fond of how Plated packaged, but once I realized how environment-friendly everything was, it edged out Hello Fresh a bit.  I like that everything is labeled.  I also REALLY like how much less room it takes up in my fridge!

 

Meal Prep and Taste

Hello Fresh sends lovely recipe cards.  If there are allergens in any food they are listed on the card.  The cards are easy to follow, and the colorful pictures give me hope that my meals can also look so beautiful.  They rarely do.

The only items Hello Fresh expects you to have on hand are oil and salt/pepper.  They send everything else.

Because everything is so clearly explained, I really feel as thought I can make anything.  I love that.  I made a bechamel sauce one day – I felt fancy!

Plated recipe cards aren’t as beautiful and colorful – but they are nice all the same.  They are just a bit larger and they aren’t printed on such brilliant papers.  At first glance, I thought this was disappointing … but really, why?  I got over it.  I can access all the recipes online so do I really need these cards?  Nope.   This inspired me to recycle all my Hello Fresh and Plated recipe cards.  The allergens are not listed on Plated’s cards, so I have to refer back to my app if I am questioning something.

Other than that, everything is really even.  The foods are equally as “fancy” and easy to prepare.  I will say that one Plated recipe called for parchment paper … they sent it to me!

Advantage: Tie.  On the things that are important, both companies are awesome.

 

Overall Experience

Both companies are excellent.   Because I can skip as many weeks as I like and still be a good-standing member, I will take advantage of that.   Hello Fresh seems to be going through a phase right now with foods that include gluten, so I have put the next three weeks (or so) on hold.   I will continue to use both and let the offerings from the weeks determine which I order.  If the weeks are even, I will probably go with Hello Fresh only because they are less expensive!  Honestly, I don’t think you can lose if you go with either.

I did have two very poor deliveries from Hello Fresh.  They more than made up for their mistakes, and have seemed to gone over and above to correct things.  So I have forgiven those deliveries.

 

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