Which is better? A Meal Kit or a Meal Prep Delivery Service?

On Black Friday both Hello Fresh (meal kit) and Fresh n Lean (meal prep) ran a promotion. The promotion was your first order (5 meals for 2 people per week) only cost about $45 dollars! After your first order, you were charged the regular subscription price. For 5 meals for 2 people per week, Hello Fresh and Fresh n Lean meal plans on average cost between $75–100.

I liked the idea of cooking from a meal kit, and I liked the idea of a no hassle “heat and eat” option, so I decided to buy both, and compare the two.

Here is my experience trying Hello Fresh’s meal kit delivery service and Fresh n Lean’s meal prep delivery service. Spoiler: Fresh n Lean was the best!

Both Hello Fresh and Fresh n Lean have frequent promotions so never pay full price to start your subscription!

Hello Fresh Review

Hello Fresh Meal Options

On the Hello Fresh website, you select your meals from a list of standard and deluxe meal options. Deluxe meals (which looked a lot better) are an added cost.

Hello Fresh Meal Kit Categories:

· Meat & Veggies

· Veggie

· Family Friendly

· Fit and Wholesome

· Quick and Easy

· Pescatarian

Hello Fresh Meal Kit Packaging

My Hello Fresh’s ingredients were delivered in 5 eco-friendly, individual brown paper bags. The instructions for making each meal were on 5 large, double sided, step by step recipe cards (with photos) that made it super easy to follow!

Tip — Where is the meat?
Looking for your proteins? No, they didn’t forget to send them, they are hiding in the very bottom of the box under a brown paper bag ice pack.

Hello Fresh Cooking Time

I chose meal kits from the Hello Fresh “Quick and Easy” category. The instructions stated preparation would take 30 minutes. It took me about an hour to complete. Plus, about 10 minutes to clean up.

The ingredients for each meal were decent. The oregano was a little wilted, and they sent the tiniest cucumber I have ever seen!

Banh Mi-Style Meatball Bowl ingredients

Most of the recipes consisted of pasta or rice, which is super cheap to buy yourself in the supermarket. And here you are paying a premium for it in the Hello Fresh meal kit.

The recipes use very heavy cream sauces, which add needed flavor but more calories. Hello Fresh meal kits are definitely not lower calorie meals.

The two meals I made were good, not spectacular, just good enough.

Here is how the Banh Mi-Style Meatball Bowl came out. In hindsight I should of mixed it all together in a bowl.

I also made Che Buono Chicken Pasta

Fresh n Lean Review

Ok, let me just say it, I loved Fresh n’ Lean!

Fresh n Lean Meal Options

When you sign up for the Fresh n’ Lean meal plans you do not have the option to choose your individual meals. Fresh n Lean chooses the meals for you. But you can still tell them if you don’t like certain ingredients, and they will replace them for you. (i.e. I did not want the Elk ingredient) And you can always select meals individually through their A La Carte menu.

It might not be for everyone, but I enjoyed getting meals that were a surprise

Fresh n Lean Meal Plans

There are 6 Fresh n Lean meal plans to chose from:

· Protein+

· Keto,

· Paleo

· Vegan Standard

· Vegan Low-Carb

· Bulk Ordering

Fresh n Lean also sells snacks (granola, nuts) which were “free for life” on Black Friday.

Fresh n’ Lean meals come in white, individual vacuum sealed containers. After you remove the label, you cook them in the white vacuum packed container in the microwave exactly as is (you do not remove the plastic nor poke holes in the plastic with a fork). As it cooks, the plastic covering rises like a white balloon after 2 -3 minutes.

The Fresh n’ Lean food was absolutely delicious!!!!

Here is what it looked like cooked: “Fresh Cod and vegetables”

You get a good size portion, I got the lunch meals and had them for dinner, it was enough food.

The calorie count in each Keto meal ranged between 440 and 480 calories.

I tracked my shipment via email alerts. Fresh n’ Lean lost my first delivery which was to be sent via FedEx. I called them a day after it was due to arrive, and their customer service representative apologized and sent me a replacement order that arrived on time.

How to Cancel Your Subscriptions

For Hello Fresh you must cancel 5 days in advance, or you will be charged for the next delivery! When canceling to make sure you are not charged I would call and speak to a Hello Fresh customer service representative instead of doing it via the Hello Fresh website.

It is quick and easy to cancel Fresh n Lean and they have excellent customer service representatives. You can also cancel your plan via their website.

The Verdict: Meal Kits or Meal Prep?

Hello Fresh Overall Review

Hello Fresh was so-so. In summary

· I liked their giant step by step recipe cards. I possibly may reuse them, and substitute ingredients with lower calorie options

· Their ingredients contained a lot of rice and pasta which costs pennies at the supermarket

· The protein came in small plastic packs and although it did not appear appetizing when opened, after cooking they tasted alright.

· High calorie sauces

Fresh n Lean Overall Review

Fresh n’ Lean, I loved it!

· Tastes delicious

· It’s gluten-free and never frozen.

· Quick and easy, heat and eat in minutes

· Their snacks granola and almonds were not that great.

Both Hello Fresh and Fresh n’ Lean meal delivery services are a splurge for my budget. I can buy a lot more for $80 at the supermarket!

Overall trying both services was a fun experiment and if I find another Fresh n’ Lean deal I will definitely sign up and treat myself to some more yummy heat and eat food!



INFJ, Elena Greyrock is an author of contemporary diverse fiction. Her latest book is Six Feet Apart: Love in Quarantine www.elenagreyrock.com

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Elena Greyrock

INFJ, Elena Greyrock is an author of contemporary diverse fiction. Her latest book is Six Feet Apart: Love in Quarantine www.elenagreyrock.com