In 2016, we have resolved to have the girls continue to build their home making skills. One way we are doing this is to have them cook more (They usually cook meals, once every week or so). To practice reading recipes and building their own recipe boxes is also something we want them to do.
To help us become more purposeful in how to do this, we've decided to try out a couple of meal delivery services. The first subscription we thought we would try is HelloFresh.
Three meals are sent out each week and there are three boxes to choose from:
- Classic for omnivores for 2 $9.90 per person or $69 a box
- Veggie for herbivores for 2 is $9.08 per person or $59 a box
- Family of 4 $8.75 per person for $105 a box
Each meal has the food required to make it (some basics are required from your kitchen...butter and oil for example). The food comes packed with ice packs in an insulated bag.
Recipes for all three meals are included and have step-by-step directions with photographs to illustrate.
Nurtrician information is included on the side of the box.
You choose the date for delivery Tuesday-Saturday (It is set to arrive 8AM-8PM).
You can cancel or suspend by clicking in your profile
You can give it a try using our referral code. For your first box, you will receive $35 off! Yay! Our HelloFresh Referrel code is 8v82WV.
Our Weekly Budget
How does our weekly budget work? We spend about $175 a week on food and other items. Throughout the month the other items include diapers, paper towels, toilet paper, basic clothing, school supplies, first aid things, and herbs.
Not included in this budget: We buy a half a cow and a hog every year from local farmers for our freezer and we grow some of our own fruits and vegetables (the seeds and things to maintain the garden every year are included in the weekly budget) with organic practices throughout the summer.
Most of my own home cooked meals cost about $1.00 per person for dinners and less for lunches and breakfast. So there is almost a $5.00 difference per person per meal.
So to make this particular delivery box work for us, which is regularly priced at $105 a week, we would only have $60 for the week for the other 4 meals and any extras. Which might work for one week a month, but we definitely would go over our budget if we only had $60 to spend for the remainder every week.
What Comes in a Box
When our box arrived the girls were so excited to get it open and see what HelloFresh is all about.
Each meal comes in its own box or set of boxes with the exception of meats.
Meats are packed separately.
Boxes are labeled with the name of the recipe.
Inside a box, you'll find pouches and bags with grains, seasonings, fresh produce, and in one case cans (Poppa laughed to himself as he pointed out the can is not exactly fresh).
We decided to try a box for a family of 4. While we are a family of 6, Wheel eats small bits and with an extra side or salad, we found that everyone was easily full with a lunch or two for Poppa left over.
The first meal the kids made was the Toasted Thai Rice Bowl.
A neat thing about trying out a delivery service like this is that you get to try things you normally would not have experience eating. The girls have never eaten lime before and enjoyed trying it squeezed over their meals, not so much taking a bite out of it. While rice isn't necessarily new to us, I had never cooked with Basmati Rice and thought it was very good.
From each new recipe, the girls also learned a few new cooking tips. During this cooking session, Ceesa learned how to cut things in fourths. We also learned that frying shrimp makes it really pink. :)
The girls generally do some cooking by themselves, as a team, I thought they would be able to handle these recipes, but both Poppa and I stepped in at different times to lend a hand. We also found the difficulty levels on the recipe cards didn't match the difficulty of the recipes for the girls.
The colors of this recipe may just be my favorite part. Look how beautiful they are in that pan!
And here's the final product. :) This one received 4 out of 4 stars.
This was the families favorite meal. I think it would be great subbed out with chicken, too. I don't eat much seafood, but the rest of the family does and were all very pleased with this dish.
The next meal that they made was Butternut Squash and Sage Risotto.
This is a vegetarian dish, so I pulled out some chicken that I had previously cooked for Poppa because he is the opposite of vegetarian.
The girls learned that you don't bake things on wax paper even when the picture looks like it is being cooked on wax paper. "Momma why does dinner smell like candles?"
Jo-Jo had a lesson all of her own as well. It went like this....
under no circumstances are you to rub your eyes while cutting onions.
The kids have probably had feta before, but generally on a salad and never over the main course. It wasn't something they were thrilled eating. However, the pepitas were a new favorite of everyone and we all ate them by the handful.
This meal was our least favorite (the wax coating probably didn't help). It only gets 1 out of 4 stars.
The final meal was the Spiced Swedish Meatballs.
For this recipe, the girls learned how to properly clean fresh mushrooms. And we finally figured out where the confusion was coming from when the girls would read the recipe cards. Each new numbered direction had a bold title. To them, that title sentence was telling them something to do. So we got the chance to practice a new way to read a recipe.
We read through the entire recipe. Then we went through each step individually as we did it. Reading each numbered direction through ( all of number 1) and then reading sentence by sentence as we did it. This was helpful and something I generally do before I make something from a recipe anyway, so I am prepared for all steps ahead of time.
I don't think any of us have had Swedish Meatballs (but maybe I had some over 20 years ago when I was in Europe).
We served this with one of our own salads.
I thought when I originally saw the recipe that this would be our family's favorite, but it actually only gets 2 out of 4 stars. The Swedish spice mix was not a favorite.
The boys' favorite part of the experience appears to have been the box.
They played in it for a couple of weeks and then I turned it into the engine for a train.
Overall, I feel like the girls had a valuable learning experience and we had the opportunity to try foods that we normally would have never thought about trying. I wish the recipes themselves would have been more to our liking, but it may have just been the particular week that we tried out (For the two person meals, you can pick the recipes that you want delivered. Since we choose the family option, we only had the three meals that were sent as options.). While the service is too expensive for our family to use weekly, it would be something that we could do occasionally. You can peak at the upcoming recipes and if there is one that looks good to us, we could have another shipped.
Remember if you want to give HelloFresh a try use our referral code. For your first box, you will receive $35 off! Yay! Our HelloFresh Referrel code is 8v82WV.
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