Been interested in the Freshly meal subscription for a while. Since we’re staying indoors more, now seems like a good time to try them out.
After struggling to focus these last few months, we’ve had a lot of difficulty with our usual weekly meals. There might be something we forgot about that went bad in the fridge. Or we’d run out of the food we bought for the week and have to get either more groceries or food delivered. So we started looking into meal subscriptions again, to reign in our weekly meals and make sure we have enough food for the week.
First, we tried Daily Harvest. For price you pay, the food we got did not seem worth it. Some meals were okay, others I couldn’t finish. A lot of the main meals I ended adding in some shredded chicken. But for the cost, I shouldn’t have to add in my own protein. The containers the soups arrived in were these large biodegradable “bowler hats” as we nicknamed them. They took up so much space in our freezer that we struggled to fit in anything else.
Next up was The Good Kitchen. That was an utter failure. I’ve never been less excited for a meal than when we were struggling to eat their frozen meals. Also, we had a misunderstanding when canceling the next week’s order. Turns out you need to contact them to cancel your week’s order after you cancel your subscription (it wasn’t made very clear on their site). Their customer service was awful. We ended up with an extra week’s worth of unwanted meals. The salmon and shrimp meals were definitely the worst, always overcooked. There’s actually still a salmon meal left in our freezer that neither of us wants to eat. Each meal would have a decent amount of water in them after you’d heat them up, which is not appetizing.
Most recently, we tried out a Freshly meal subscription. My husband has been interested in trying them for a while now. Although I was still scarred from our previous experience with The Good Kitchen, we gave Freshly a try. Their app made it easy for me to check what meals we were getting and make any adjustments.
Delivery was prompt with insulated packaging. We put all of our meals in the fridge, but their site says you can freeze them as well. If frozen, they’ll need a few extra minutes when microwaving.
Unfortunately, they aren’t the most beautiful meals. But they all tasted good. I tried my best to photograph a few that looked decent. The portions were larger than a typical frozen dinner. After my previous experiences with other companies, I was really impressed by the amount of flavor and excitement they’ve packed into each meal. They even made an effort to make the sides as tasty as the main focus of the meal.
For the negatives, I only have a few gripes. There’s the clear film over the meal that you need to pull back a corner of it to vent, then peel it all off when it’s ready to eat. It is very strongly adhered compared to a typical frozen dinner clear film. I let my husband deal with pulling back the film, but on my own I’d have to stab the film with a knife to get it to vent. I also wish there were more vegetarian or vegan options, and that the plastic trays could be swapped out for something more eco-friendly. Those issues aside, we’re still really happy with Freshly and will continue ordering more tasty meals from them.
For my future reference, I’m listing below what I thought of each. If I can remember, I’ll update this list after I try more of their meals.
- Cauliflower-Shell Bolognese
- Chicken Tagine
- Creamy Chicken Casserole
- Down-Home Turkey Meatloaf
- Homestyle Chicken
- Summertime Chicken Risotto
- White Bean Turkey Chili
- Chicken Teriyaki
- Chicken Tikka Masala
- Golden Oven-Fried Chicken & Mash
- Ole Chicken & Smoky Chile Sauce
- Pulled Pork Al Pastor
- Sicilian-Style Chicken Parm
- Swede-ish Meatballs
- Arroz Con Pollo
- Coconut-Curry Chicken Bowl
- Tangy Sesame-Citrus Chicken
- Thai-ish Lemongrass Bowl
- Three-Grain Chicken Pilaf
My final disclaimer is that this subscription would not work for everyone. It works for us since my passion is in trying new foods, and we usually have a fairly large food budget per week. For me, spending up to $107.99 for 12 meals ($9/meal) is a better than spending $30-40 on a fast food delivery for dinner that isn’t very filling. Freshly is a good choice for having a quick meal option to prevent me from overspending on last-second impulse food purchases. I’ve been a lot less stressed about what we’ll eat when there’s a stack of Freshly meals in our fridge.
I’m not sure how long this promotion will last, but if you use my referral link to sign up, you should get $40 off. Also this isn’t a paid review of Freshly, just a happy customer. We’ve also tried Hungryroot and Blue Apron in previous years, but we wanted to get pre-made meals this time around. Do you have a favorite meal subscription service? Let me know!