Of all the meal subscription boxes to try, this one is my favorite

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Living in New York City, I have to admit one of my most dreaded activities is grocery shopping. Not only are the prices outrageous, but super crowded stores ignite an anxiety in me unlike any other I’ve ever experienced (it’s not like casually shopping in a large, empty Target, trust me).

So when I moved to the city almost five years ago, I quickly realized I needed to adapt and find an alternative to hectic grocery shopping, which is when I decided to try out the meal subscription box HelloFresh.

Like many other of the meal subscription services that are now offered (I’ve actually tested out 11 different ones, including Freshly, Home Chef, Sakara, Blue Apron, Sun Basket and more), you choose which HelloFresh meals you want each week. But the quality of the ingredients and recipes that HelloFresh offers is by far the best I’ve experienced — probably because the ingredients are all locally sourced and each chef-created recipe is tested 200 times before they’re available to you.

Credit: HelloFresh

Not only do you have about 20 different meal options to choose from each week, you can now add sides (like tasty garlic bread), extra protein (like chicken breasts, ground beef or pork tenderloin) and even desserts to your weekly delivery for a pretty affordable price — the add-ons range from $2.99 to $4.99 each.

To start, you can personalize the plan by selecting if you want veggie-only, a combination of meat and veggies or the family-friendly option. You can even choose how many people you’ll be cooking for (two or four) and how many recipes you want to receive each week (two, three or four). The most basic HelloFresh plan (a pair of two-person meals per week) starts at $47.95.

Shop: HelloFresh Subscription, starting at $47.95/week

Credit: HelloFresh

The next step is selecting a delivery date — and yes, they even deliver on Sundays, which is super helpful for meal prepping. Plus, the corresponding HelloFresh smartphone app makes it super simple to make your selections each week.

I mainly eat vegetarian, so it’s important for me to have enough options each week. There are way more vegetarian options than just pasta dishes — including dinners like grain power bowls and veggie flatbreads.

The only downside I’ve experienced with HelloFresh is that there’s no pause option. You have to go into your account and manually choose to skip a week. I’ve forgotten on several occasions to skip, which is sometimes a blessing in disguise for my pantry but not my bank account.

While I can’t say I’ve always enjoyed cooking, after I gave HelloFresh try I now genuinely enjoy the act of chopping vegetables and seeing a recipe come to life.

If you enjoyed this story, you might like to read about this food subscription service that sends no-fuss, ready-to-eat meals.

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