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Freshly Review

Freshly Review

Soon after the birth of my second child, I realized two things. The first is that it is possible to function on two hours of sleep for months at a time, all-be-it poorly. I actually forgot my NAME! The second is that no matter how hard I tried to cook, I simply couldn’t find the energy or time. And let’s be honest, the last thing a sleep deprived person needs to be around is sharp knives, boiling water and a flaming hot burner. It’s like a bad episode of Mr. Magoo. Add to it the stress of also having another child to take care of and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. The only time I thought about an oven was when I wanted to put my head in it!

So Much Take Out

My Husband and I tried some other options. We lived on pick-up and delivery for a couple of weeks but that got expensive and my maternity pants got even tighter. Plus, there is a little piece of you that dies when the pizza delivery guy recognizes you. Shout out to Chad! He’s awesome!

So where do we go next? We tried the frozen food aisle. Now, I am not hating on frozen dinners, even when the “Healthy” ones have an insanely high amount of Sodium. I find that they’re nicely priced and easy to re-heat. They’re good for a few dinners, but you can’t make it a regular, almost daily habit. You’ll get bored really fast. One can only eat so many Lean Cuisines before they snap and call Chad for more Pizza.

The Solution

I noticed these ads for home delivery meal kits and wondered if there were any healthy, pre-made, non-frozen meal delivery companies. I know that’s asking a lot, but to my surprise, there are some.

That’s where Freshly came in. They offer the options of  4,6,9, or 12 meals a week.

4 Meals for $49.99

6 meals for $59.99

9 meals for $89.99

12 Meals $107.99

FREE DELIVERY

We opted to have four dinners each per week which left us the flexibility to cook for ourselves or go out for dinner the other three nights. We also threw in a few breakfasts for fun. I know, what rebels right? For two adults, we were on the 12 meals plan. 8 Dinners and 4 breakfasts. Every week, a good-sized box is delivered to your door. Inside the box is insulation made of recycled denim and ice packs. The denim is biodegradable and the plastic bag encasing it and the cardboard box are recyclable which brings me some peace of mind.

This is the larger box – 12 Meals
Thick, denim insulation

Freshly’s food goes straight from your doorstep to your fridge and then into your microwave for a couple of minutes when it’s time for dinner. Viola!

So let’s answer some basic questions.

Does it look like it’s picture online?

Like a lot of dating profiles, it doesn’t quite look the same in person. The Chicken Parmigiana was probably the worst offender. But remember what your mama said, “Looks aren’t everything”….it’s how the Chicken Parmigiana tastes that makes it worth the while. Most of the meals looked similar to their website photos. It does say on each meal package “to enhance your Freshly experience, we recommend plating your meal.” Who needs plates when it’s already in a container? I’m thinking the only people that do that are either:

A) Lying to their in-laws saying that they’re the ones who cooked it;

or

B) Are not the ones who do the dishes in the household.

Thanksgiving Turkey in person
Thanksgiving Turkey as it appears on Freshly.com

 

Worst offender

I almost felt like I was Catfished until I tried it.

Chicken Parmigiana in person
Chicken Parmigiana as advertised on Freshly.com

Is it good for you?

Well, I’m no nutritionist, but here is the list of ingredients from one of Freshly’s dishes that I typed in word-for-word.

Southwest Chicken Bowl

INGREDIENTS: Chicken Breast, cooked wild rice, sweet potatoes, black beans,water, salt, cooked buckwheat, corn, cooked quinoa, spices, canola oil, cooked lentils, garlic, lime juice, apple cider vinegar, sea salt, rice flour & baking soda.  I feel like there should be a “tada” sound effect at the end of that ingredients list. It’s simple and healthy. No hard to pronounce scientific words, no red dye anything, and it’s good.

Southwest Chicken Bowl Freshly.com

Is it worth the price? 

The meals are about $10 each. The going rate at most restaurants is well over that. However, cooking for yourself is more than likely cheaper, unless you’re like me and always pick that one dish that requires thirty ingredients. I cannot say a definitive yes or no on whether this is worth the price for you, because every person who reads this is different. You have to look at this from your standpoint as to if this is something that is worth the price to you. What’s your opportunity cost for not ordering? In other words, what could you be doing in that time-frame instead of throwing a meal together?

Who could benefit from Freshly?

  • People who work a lot of hours
  • Elderly people who live on their own
  • College Students
  • Newlyweds
  • Bachelors
  • Someone going through a kitchen remodel.
  • Pretty much anyone who has a hectic schedule and wants a tasty and healthy meal, freshly made and ready to heat.

PROS

  • Ready in minutes
  • Pre-made but not frozen
  • Healthy & Tasty
  • Freshly adds 1-2 new meals each week to the menu
  • Website is easy to use
  • Help is available 7 days/wk through chat, text, email or phone
  • Change your delivery date, number of meals as well as switch up the meals
  • Can skip weeks when you want to, super flexible
  • Cancelation is easy if you want to stop using the service, so it’s noncommittal, I’m talking to you 40yo bachelors!
  • Delivered right to your door in a insulted and cold box
  • Pick which meals you want each week
  • Simple Ingredients

CONS

  • You have to order a specific amount 4, 6 , 9, or 12. If you want 8, 18 or 24 meals, you can add a second subscription. Their website says it’s to prevent packaging waste.
  • Depending on the number of meals you order/wk, the size and weight of the box can become a little heavy so if you’re ordering Freshly for someone who might have difficulties lifting 30 pounds or so, they may have to have help. It’s the frozen ice-packs that are the main cause of the weight.
  • While it will keep for a few days, the frozen ice packs will eventually melt and often would leak, so dispose of them soon after putting your food in the refrigerator.
  • Have to order by a set day to make sure you get your meals for the next week (that’s not too much of a con unless you’re bad at setting reminders)

The Verdict

My newborn is now 13 months. We used Freshly for the first few months and then stopped once life got less hectic. We have since used them a few different occasions when we have a lot going on during certain months. And we plan to use them again in the future.  I know that Sarah & Jessica use Blue Apron & Plated, but for my family, the microwavable meals are more practical.  Freshly’s food has real ingredients, tasty meals, well priced and when it’s delivered right to your doorstep, how can you complain. I would definitely recommend Freshly!

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