Sun Basket and HelloFresh Meal Planning Services Review Guest Post
Bio: Russell and Maleah are a husband/wife team that run Unconventional Prosperity, a personal finance blog that aims to help people live an abundant life. They reached their goal of financial freedom in their early thirties and their mission is to help other people to do the same. Follow them on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram.
We do our best to try to eat healthy food, but it can be hard to find the time to shop for groceries and cook at home. We both work full-time on our blogs and it can be hard to resist the temptation to eat out. Cooking at home can help save money and usually leads to better calorie-controlled portions.
Having full control over what goes into your food can also improve your health dramatically. We decided to try out two of the most popular meal planning services – HelloFresh and Sun Basket. The idea of having the ingredients and recipes delivered directly to our door really appealed to us.
Although cost was not a big concern for us during this test period, we do like to get good value for money. We hoped that the meal planning services would save us enough time and effort to compensate for the cost of the service.
We found that the meal planning services did work out cheaper than eating out. So, in this respect, they did help us to save some money. The ingredients were high quality and the meal variety was very good. We enjoyed trying food that we don’t usually eat (especially with Sun Basket meals).
Here is what we found when we tried out Sun Basket and HelloFresh meal planning services.
Overview of Sun Basket and HelloFresh
Here are a few things that apply to both the meal planning services that we tried:
- Both the services deliver high quality, fresh ingredients to your door. They supply a simple step-by-step recipe to follow. No grocery trips are needed! This saves a lot of time and stress.
- You can cancel at any time and you are not committed to a long-term contract.
- Both companies allow you to pause the deliveries for weeks that you don’t want to participate in. This can be very useful if you don’t like the meal choices for a given week. You can just pause the service for that week. This feature is also crucial if you travel a lot.
- Both companies offer a discount for your first week.
- The recipes change on a weekly basis. This makes these meal planning services great for adding variety to your diet and helping you to expand your food choices.
- Unfortunately, neither plan offers a free trial or meals for a single person
Our Thoughts on Sun Basket
Sun Basket is one of the biggest meal delivery and planning services. They pride themselves on providing you with the healthiest food with many options like organic, paleo and vegetarian meals. The healthier options that Sun Basket offers sets them apart from other meal planning services.
The meals we tried from Sun Basket contained more organic ingredients than HelloFresh. More of the meals were non-GMO, and they had on average less calories than HelloFresh. We found that quite a few of the meals expanded our culinary experience – we had never tried things like collard greens before (we’re not fans!).
Sun Basket is probably the ideal meal plan for someone that wants to eat healthier, but also needs a bit of help getting started with learning new and healthy recipes.
Price: The Classic Meal Plan starts at $11.99 per serving for the two-person plan. Sun Basket produce is almost always organic. They have many meal options, such as paleo, gluten-free, and vegetarian, etc. There is a $5.99 delivery fee for each box, which can really add up over time.
Meals: The Family plan supplies 2, 3, or 4 meals per week that each feed a family of 4. For the two-person plan, we received 3 meals per week.
Dietary options: Sun Basket meals are the best choice if you require a gluten-free or paleo diet. We did the paleo meal option and the meals were quite tasty, but not quite enough calories for Russell! They offer gluten-free, vegetarian, paleo and lean & clean meal options. They also offer the Classic plan that is not as specialized as the other options.
Refunds: Sun Basket does claim to offer a money back guarantee on all food deliveries within 7 days of delivery. Some of the vegetables that we received from them were wilted, but we never tested out the refund policy.
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- Budget-Friendly $75 Meal Plan
- Cheap Meal Plan for Two – Under $30
Our Thoughts on HelloFresh
HelloFresh is one of the largest meal planning and delivery services. They offer a good selection of tasty meals. Our overall impression of the meals that we made from HelloFresh is that they are tasty, but not quite as healthy as the food selection from Sun Basket. Generally, these meals contained more calories than the Sun Basket meals that we tried.
Price: HelloFresh meal plans start at $9.99 per serving for the two-person plan. HelloFresh delivery is free, which is a really great addition. We found that HelloFresh was far more affordable than Sun Basket. However, we did not find the plan to be ‘frugal’.
Meals: The Family plan supplies 2 or 3 meals per week t each feeds a family of 4. For the two-person plan, we received 3 meals per week. HelloFresh has more options for the two-person plans than Sun Basket. You can choose to have 3,4 or 5 meals sent per week.
Dietary options: HelloFresh has a vegetarian plan, but no dedicated gluten-free plan. They do offer three gluten-free meals, but this seems a bit limited for gluten-sensitive customers. Maleah is sensitive to gluten, which ruled out HelloFresh as a viable long-term meal planning option for us.
Refunds: HelloFresh does have a refund policy, but you might have to supply photographs of the spoiled food to qualify for a refund.
Sun Basket and HelloFresh Meal Planning Services Review Conclusions
We found that some weeks we preferred HelloFresh and other weeks we preferred Sun Basket. We enjoyed both meal planning services. However, we did have a rather serious complaint about both services. Once a week we would receive produce that was not of acceptable quality. We often had to throw out some of the products because the food had spoiled on its way to us.
We live in Florida and the weather can be very hot and humid. This may explain why we had a problem with food spoiling. However, we did not continue either of the meal planning services because of the problems with the food condition.
The price of these services is quite fair. I think it is important to remember that they are not aimed at people who will cut coupons and drive all around town trying to find the cheapest meal! These services are targeted at people who want convenience. The cost is very reasonable for what you get, and it helps you save some of your most precious resource – your time.
Have you tried these meal planning services? Are they good value for you?