I first tried Home Chef back in December, with a code for free meals and as part of a paid campaign. But, I’ve continued to order their meals for the past three months on my own dime. Because I’ve had more experience with their meal kit delivery service, I’m going to share a more informed opinion than my initial reaction. This is not sponsored, though if you try Home Chef using my referral link at the bottom, I will get credit toward my next order and you’ll get $30 off your first order.
A common complaint I’ve heard from friends who use other meal delivery services is that there’s a lot of repetition. I haven’t found that with Home Chef. Actually, there have been a few meals that I really wish would be on there again because I’d order them again. You do get sturdy recipe cards so you can replicate the meals at home (and a binder to store them in).
Some of my favorites have been shrimp maki bowl, hummus crusted chicken, ricotta and mozzarella cheese tart, angry dragon noodles, turkey-stuffed poblano peppers, Korean pork noodle bowl, and shrimp and sweet pea risotto, to name just a few. And I’ve never had anything that I didn’t like.
There are usually about 10 different main meals to choose from (with some additions of smoothies, seasonal fruit, maybe a breakfast depending on the week). You fill out a survey with your food preferences and Home Chef will autoselect your meals for you (the number of them depending on how many you said you wanted for the week, with the number of servings you said you’d want- I’ll get to that in a minute). But, you are free to change your meals, actually being able to see the meal calendars for usually about 5 weeks out. When you’re selecting your meals, I highly recommend checking out the prep time, cook within time (can vary between 3-7 days so if you know you won’t get to it immediately, you’ll want the ones that you don’t have to cook within 3 days), difficulty (I haven’t had an issue with any of them, but again, it’s nice to have easy meals on weeks when you’re short on time), and spice level (we love spicy around here, but if that’s not your thing, you’ll want to go for not spicy or mild). You can also see how many calories are in a meal- some times I go for the lighter fare and other times, with what catches my eye.
It’s really easy to skip a week if you don’t want your meals delivered for that week. We skipped two weeks when we were in the process of moving since I had no idea which house we’d even be at or where my kitchen supplies would be. I went ahead and skipped the first week in May already because I know that I have a conference to attend and won’t be around to make the meals. When you’re looking at the menu for a given week, there’s a button at the bottom that says “skip week.” Just click it and you’re set. You’ll get an email confirming that you’re skipping it and you can change your mind up until your deadline for that week (mine is noon EST on Fridays- I’m not positive if it is the same for everyone or if there are different deadlines depending on where you live or what day you want your meals delivered).
As for the cost of this meal delivery kit- I always want to know the cost of anything I’m trying. Obviously, the more servings you order, the more expensive it will be. My husband and I order 2-3 meals per week, just for the two of us. On those two or three days, the kids can have their more kid-friendly no-arguments meals like mac and cheese, pizza, grilled cheese, chicken nuggets, while we have something we really like, without having to modify it to accommodate the kids’ tastes. One of our kids would eat everything we’ve ordered, one of them would eat about 1/4 of it, and the other wouldn’t touch a single one of the meals. But then on the other days, they need to eat whatever we do- I’ve found it’s creating a pretty good balance around here.
For two meals, two servings each, it’s $39.80, which we could easily spend more on one meal out during the week. Home Chef has replaced a lot of our eating out or picking up take out. If your order totals less than $45, you have to pay $10 in shipping. Which is why I either pay for a third meal (bringing our total to $59.70) or add on fruit or smoothies (which brings our total to $49.70- so basically, if you don’t add something like this, you’re paying the same amount as for two meals, but you get less food). If you’re ordering more meals or for more people, you won’t have to worry about the shipping, but I’m just sharing what I’ve learned along the way.
As for the portion size: we’ve found them to be good sizes- filling but not as massive as restaurant-portions. If it says it feeds two people, it generally feeds two people with very little (if any) leftovers. But when you’re done eating, you’re full.
What we’ve most liked about it is getting to try different meals and the convenience of having it all show up on my doorstep, without having to go grocery shopping for these items. The ingredients for each meal comes in a clearly labeled bag so you aren’t sorting through a bunch of ingredients, trying to figure out what goes with what (meat is separate). And if I were making some of these things at home, in general, it would cost more as it’s hard to buy items in just the quantity that I need for the recipe. I don’t mind buying things like mayo that I know I’d eventually use all of, but when it’s an ingredient specifically for one recipe and you only need one or some small amount, you usually have to buy in a larger quantity in the grocery store and you might not need that ingredient ever again (or at least, not before it goes bad).
We’ll continue to order from Home Chef. If you’d like to give it a shot, you can use my Home Chef link to get $30 off your first order. You can try it and skip a week or cancel at any time.