As someone who prides themselves pretty highly on their ability to cook well from scratch, I was pretty hesitant to try meal-subscription boxes, feeling that they would just be an expensive way to do what I was doing already. But when a friend offered me a 50% off discount code for Gousto I swallowed my pride and took the plunge and, well, we’ve had a fair few boxes since and I think they’ve made me an even better cook.
We started with Gousto, using our 50% off discount for the first box, 30% off for our next two boxes and then continuing with the service until we decided to give Hello Fresh a try, using their introductory offers for the following 3 weeks. All in all, it’s safe to say we’ve eaten more than our fair share of discounted food and I’m not even ashamed to admit it. Somewhere along the line, I also decided to revisit All Plants, a plant-based frozen meal delivery service that promises healthy frozen meals in pretty and sustainable packaging, perfect for a quick lunch or dinner.
So how were they? Which would I try again and was it all worth it? Let’s dive in.
Gousto Vs HelloFresh
It wasn’t until trying HelloFresh, that I realised how good Gousto truly was, as two huge competitors they do a lot of things very similarly but at the end of the day Gousto comes out on top every time, and here’s why.
- The recipes
When it comes to the variety of recipes on offer, I’ve yet to have a week with Gousto that’s left me uninspired. HelloFresh, on the other hand, felt a bit samey and to be honest, some of their meals just seemed a bit boring and they seemed to have additional charges on a lot more of their recipes which soon caused the price to rise above what was reasonably affordable. After three weeks of HelloFresh, I wasn’t excited to see what was on the menu for the following week and actually found myself re-creating my favourite Gousto recipes. If you want to eat recipes outside of your everyday norm then go for Gousto.
Gousto – 10/10
HelloFresh – 6/10
- The ingredients
I thought Gousto used a lot of plastic when I first used them but it wasn’t until I tried HelloFresh that I realised that Gousto’s commitment to lowering their plastic use had made such an impact. HelloFresh’s ingredients come in numbered bags, which on the one hand does make them a little easier to grab from the fridge in one go, but on the other, hides the fact that so many of their ingredients are wrapped in unnecessary plastic. Gousto’s fresh ingredients all come loose in the box, the meat is wrapped in ice to one side and the dry ingredients such as rice and seasoning are separated into one paper bag. On the whole, I found Gousto’s ingredients to be of better quality and to last longer in the fridge, and I didn’t mind putting that little bit of extra effort in if it meant that I used less plastic in the process.
Gousto – 8/10 (even less plastic please!)
HelloFresh – 7/10
- The recipe cards
Sometimes it’s the little things that make a service stand out, such as Gousto’s recipe cards. They’re laid out in an easier to read and follow way even if you have to multiply when cooking for 4 rather than for 2, and they’re also made from more durable cardboard so they won’t fall apart if they’re accidentally put in a wet patch on the countertop or held with sticky fingers. Gousto also provided us with a recipe card holder on our second box which has been so useful for storing all our recipes and keeping them from cluttering up our cupboards. HelloFresh’s cards were more flimsy and I found the ingredients section where it explained the quantities much harder to read mid-method.
Gousto – 10/10 (can’t fault them)
HelloFresh – 6/10
- The taste
Finally, what really matters the most, how do they compare on taste? Well, I’m sorry to be so predictable but Gousto wins again. We’ve enjoyed Gousto’s meals so much that we’ve even replicated them with friends and family on days when we didn’t have the meal box. They’re simple, sometimes surprisingly so, but so damn tasty that we’ve never had a bummer of a dish. HelloFresh still offered a selection of good tasting dishes but they often lacked something and we found ourselves having to add our own sauces of spices to give them the flavour they needed to pack a punch.
Gousto – 10/10
HelloFresh – 7/10
I didn’t include All Plants in the above comparison because, well, they aren’t a meal kit box, but as a provider of quick dinner options I felt I should include them here anyway as a little aside.
What I love about All Plants is their commitment to sustainability, you can even send back your delivery box and all its insulating packaging for free for them to recycle (Gousto and HelloFresh – get onboard please!). The food itself is also all vegan and I found it a great way to introduce more plant-based meals into my diet.
As someone who works from home a lot, I find it so difficult to think up imaginative and healthy lunches, and All Plants provided the perfect solution. I didn’t need to think any more, I just grabbed a ready-meal, popped it in the oven and had a healthy, plant-based meal, ready in 45 minutes. Most of their portions are below 550 calories, making them a great lunch option and because they were made entirely from plants I felt like even eating their Carbonara or Lasagne was guilt-free too.
The only negative I have to say about All Plants would be the price, the meals are quite costly, and without their introductory offer, I wouldn’t have been able to afford them as a lunch option. That being said I’m glad I gave them a try and if I have a bit of spare cash in the future I’ll be sure to stock up on a few meals again.
Want to give them a try?
If you give one of these services a try I hope you choose Gousto, I really don’t think you’ll regret it, and if you use my discount code you’ll get 50% off your first box and 30% off your next two boxes. Just take a look at what they offer and how much it comes to before you decide, we got our first box of 4 meals for 4 people for just £19, which worked out at £1.18 per portion and we got a free wooden spoon and recipe binder – Bargain. There’s no obligation to continue the subscription and you can cancel after the first 50% box if you like, plus if you sign up with my link I’ll get some extra credit too so I can continue to stuff my own face with Gousto goodness. Of course, if you don’t want to use my link and feel I’m blowing their trumpet for my own benefit (which I absolutely am, but I also want you to enjoy it too) then you’ll be able to find deals online elsewhere, but I do suggest you give them a go either way.
If you’ve tried Gousto but want to see what HelloFresh is all about then, of course, I have a code for them too, just use this link for £20 off your first box, which works out at about a 40% discount. We didn’t get a free wooden spoon though.
And finally, if you want to try some plant-based meals in pretty packaging from All Plants but don’t want to pay full price, then use this link for £20 off your first box. Shove them in the freezer for guilt-free lunches and dinners when you can’t be bothered to cook.
Just to be clear, my discount links for Gousto, HelloFresh and All Plants will credit my account with money off my next box. You don't have to use them but if you were going to try the service anyway then it helps me out and when you sign up you can share your own code with your friends to pass the discounts on.