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Here's What Happened When I Gave HelloFresh A Second Chance

I'll be honest, I tried HelloFresh meal kits last year, but had to end my subscription.

Not because of the food though. The meat is tender and top-notch, the produce colorful and fresh, and there were plenty of vegetarian options to sprinkle into my plan. I liked exploring their international recipes too. Overall the recipes were imaginative, easy-to-follow, and delicious, and compared to takeout and eating out, HelloFresh was a true money-saver.

No, I quit because I was out living my best life and barely ever at home. Working late, happy hours with coworkers, going out on dates, and hanging out with friends--I overestimated the time I actually spent at home.

And even though the meals generally took 30 minutes or less to make, I just didn't make it a priority. It seemed like every week, I'd still have 2 meals left in the fridge when the next HelloFresh delivery arrived on the doorstep.

But the world has changed. More than anything, I need to keep things simple. So, I figured I'd give HelloFresh another try . . .

When I jumped on their site, I'd forgotten how easy it was to order. HelloFresh's "Meat and Veggie" plan is sort of the catch-all option, where you can pick and choose from all 22 chef-curated weekly recipes. However, if you need to narrow it down based on your home's specific needs, they also have Calorie Smart, Family Friendly, Veggie, Quick & Easy, and Pescatarian.

The amount of food you order is super flexible too. You can choose 2 or 4 servings per recipe, as well as 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 recipes per week.

I also saw that HelloFresh now allows you to double or triple down on a certain recipe--something I could've used the last time I tried it! Technically, if I only wanted to cook once that week but have 6 servings, I could just order my favorite recipe-- Hot Honey Chicken with BBQ Roasted Potatoes and Broccoli--three times over. Old me would've loved this hack, but now that I have time, I decided to go for recipe variety.

I was a little overwhelmed by the choices, it was intimidating. Would I ever have the chops to cook Peppercorn-Crusted Beef Tenderloin with Chive Butter, Asparagus Amandine & Mashed Sweet Potatoes?

I was nervous that I'd fall into my old bad habit of tossing out uncooked meals when the next week's delivery showed up. But then I noticed one of their 10-20 min Easy Eats recipes - Smashed Black Bean Tacos w/ Creamy Slaw, Pickled Onion & Red Pepper Crema. It's veggie, uses one pan, and is supposed to take only 20 minutes from prep to plate.

I thought maybe I could start with that and then move on to the 30-minute meals. What really convinced me to recommit is how affordable HelloFresh is. Meals started at only $7.49 a serving!

So, I signed up and waited for my box to be delivered right to my door. I knew from the past that it would be packed with high-quality ingredients and step-by-step recipe cards in eco-friendly bags, fitting perfectly on the top shelf of my fridge. Meat is also delivered under ice packs, so the protein is never suspicious when it gets to me.

HelloFresh's ingredients are pre-portioned, so there's hardly any measuring needed and no leftover ingredients going bad in my fridge. That saves time, money, and the environment.

And if I ever need to skip weeks or swap recipes, HelloFresh is chill about it. I can pause or cancel at any time. Wouldn't it be nice if everything was this uncomplicated?

Trying HelloFresh the second time, I've actually been able to enjoy the process of cooking. I'm not in over my head, and I realize that food isn't just fuel to get you through another grinding day. Thanks to HelloFresh, I've reset my perception of mealtime. The goal isn't to just get the food cooked and eaten. The goal is to sharpen my cooking skills and discover new recipes I'd only ever try if someone else cooked it for me at a restaurant.

Now, it's about spending time with my partner. As we prepare dinner, we drink wine, eat balanced meals, and talk - really talk - in ways that our old fast-paced life didn't allow.

We take pleasure in the moment. Which is all any of us truly have.

HelloFresh can help you savor the moment, too.

Update: Our friends at HelloFresh are extending a special NEW YEARS OFFER to our readers. Follow this link to get $90 OFF (12 MEALS FREE) across 4 boxes including free shipping on the first box!

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