After more than a year of pandemic-related restaurant closings, many people are beginning to crave higher-quality culinary experiences at home — and technology can make it happen. In an effort to expand their food horizons, some home chefs have signed up for HelloFresh. This meal kit delivery service offers convenient and flexible recipes and includes everything you need to make them in its weekly subscription box. While HelloFresh is a great option, those looking for cheaper or healthier options might be interested in some HelloFresh alternatives.
HelloFresh doesn’t cater to those with stricter diets and charges relatively high prices, making it a less cost-effective option. Luckily, there are dozens of alternatives that offer more affordable subscriptions, extensive meal choices and higher-quality ingredients.
Here are just a few such alternatives.
If you’re looking for an affordable HelloFresh alternative, Dinnerly easily takes the cake. This smaller, lesser-known company charges just $5 per serving, which is $2.50 cheaper than Hello Fresh. Digital recipe cards, fewer ingredients and simple packaging keep costs low and cooking quick and easy. Plus, you can choose from 14 different meals each week, including five vegetarian options and at least one fish-based meal.
There are a few downsides to Dinnerly, however. Because each recipe only uses six to seven ingredients, some people might find these meals a little too simplistic. You might also need additional ingredients and kitchen supplies, which the service doesn’t provide. Ingredients aren’t separated by recipe, either, so some home cooks may feel a little confused or overwhelmed when preparing meals.
- Extremely affordable
- Simple packaging
- Simple recipes and ingredients
- Additional supplies and ingredients sometimes needed
- Ingredients not separated by recipe
- Recipes might be too simplistic for some
- Choose Dinnerly when you are looking for a simple and cheap HelloFresh alternative.
EveryPlate offers similar low-cost meal options for home cooks on a budget and, like Dinnerly, the ingredient list is quite short. Thus, you should expect simple recipes that are quick, convenient and require very little preparation. Choose from nine standard meals and one premium meal — which may include steak or seafood — each week.
This company doesn’t cater to special diets or common allergies and ingredients don’t come in pre-measured quantities. They also follow Dinnerly’s method of throwing all the ingredients in the box together, which uses less packaging but might be confusing for beginner chefs.
- Low cost
- Simple recipes
- Little preparation required
- Does not cater to special diets or allergies
- Ingredients do not come in pre-measured quantities
- Ingredients are not sorted by recipe
- Choose EveryPlate when you do not have dietary restrictions and are looking for a cheap and simple alternative to HelloFresh.
Unlike Dinnerly and EveryPlate, Blue Apron charges about $10 per meal and only lets you choose from four to six recipes each week. Meanwhile, the vegetarian plan offers just two to three selections. While meal options change each week, some home cooks may enjoy a larger selection of recipes. Still, the company does cater to a wider variety of dietary patterns to accommodate more people.
Because Blue Apron has been around for a while and is a main competitor to HelloFresh, the company does offer higher quality ingredients like fresh, sustainably sourced seafood, hormone-free meats and non-GMO produce. However, it doesn’t provide pre-portioned ingredients or package each meal separately so making meals might be slightly more inconvenient.
- Provides options for a wide variety of dietary habits
- Offers higher quality ingredients than HelloFresh
- Higher price than HelloFresh
- Limited recipes available each week
- Does not provide pre-portioned ingredients
- Meals are not packaged separately
- Choose Blue Apron when high-quality, sustainable ingredients and dietary restrictions are your biggest concern, and you do not mind paying extra pricing.
4. Green Chef
Home cooks who prefer organic foods will likely choose Green Chef over HelloFresh. This company offers several plans to accommodate keto, paleo, plant-powered and balanced living dieters. It also labels recipes that are vegan and gluten-free and provides about nine recipes to choose from each week, while its competitor offers 23.
Of course, higher-quality ingredients, strict animal welfare standards and more specific meal plans do make Green Chef slightly more expensive than HelloFresh. However, cooks with restrictive diets might not mind spending the extra $1 to $3 per meal.
- Offers organic foods and plans to accomodate many different healthy diets
- Offers more recipes per week than other health-focused meal kits like Blue Apron
- Uses higher-quality ingredients
- Has strict animal welfare standards
- Slightly more expensive than HelloFresh
- Choose Green Chef when looking for a variety of healthy options that fit strict diets and you do not mind spending a couple extra dolalrs per meal.
Unlike its competitors, Freshly promises meals that are ready to serve in just three minutes! Instead of individual ingredients, customers will receive fully prepared, preportioned, ready to enjoy meals. All you have to do is throw them in a skillet, oven or microwave. Plus, every meal on the menu is free of gluten, peanuts, artificial ingredients, refined sugars and preservatives. Thus, a subscription to this meal service might be ideal for people with allergies and common dietary restrictions.
While Freshly is more affordable than HelloFresh, each meal still costs about $8.50, which is more expensive than Dinnerly and EveryPlate. Moreover, the company doesn’t emphasize organic or sustainably sourced ingredients, which may be a deciding factor for some.
- Meals come fully prepared and preportioned and only need to be heated
- Catered to those with dietary and allergy restrictions
- More affordable than HelloFresh
- Does not use organic or sustainably sourced ingredients
- Less affordable than services like Dinnerly and EveryPlate
- Choose Freshly when you have dietary restrictions and are looking for easy, fully-prepared meals and are not looking for the cheapest meal plan options.
Each option above comes with its own pros and cons and what works for one home cook might not work for another. However, with a little research — and maybe some taste-testing, you’re sure to find a subscription to suit your dietary needs.
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