Update: This review has been updated July 2019 to include the most current Freshly information.
For many people, they are constantly plagued with the decision to take the time to cook a healthy meal at home or pick up high-calorie food that’s loaded with preservatives from a drive-thru, simply because it’s easy. Fortunately, Freshly is one of the companies seeking to end that struggle by providing their customers with nutritious meals that are not only easy to make, but also delicious.
Freshly’s website states their mission is to “help the world eat healthy, feel better, and live more.” They want to make eating convenient, healthy, delicious, and sustainable. They do this by providing meals that are easy to prepare and are always gluten-free, high in protein, low carb, and all-natural. They’ve partnered with top chefs and use only the quality ingredients to ensure their meals taste great. And they’re sustainable due to the recyclable package that every order comes in. They’ve even made a great effort to ensure every meal is perfectly portioned, so you never have to worry about food going to waste.
With so many meal options at your fingertips, Freshly makes it easy to plan your meals in advance. And because they’re so easy to prepare, you are able to quickly fix a good-for-you meal and get back to your life in no time at all. There’s no more excuses to not eat healthy, thanks to subscriptions like Freshly.
Today we’re reviewing their prepared meal delivery service to see if what they say on their website is true. Let’s get started!
How to Join & Choose Your Items
To get started with Freshly, you’ll first want to visit their homepage. You will see a place to enter your email address and your zip code, which will then inform you if you’re eligible to receive deliveries from Freshly. If you are, you’re good to!
The next step is to choose the type of meal plan you want. Freshly has four different options for you to choose from. You can opt to receive four, six, nine, or twelve meals per week. You are then prompted to choose which day of the week you’d like your meals to be delivered.
Once you’ve gone through those steps, you can begin selecting the meals you’d like. If you have dietary preferences, you can also filter meals based on your needs to ensure you’re seeing only the options you want. After you’ve chosen the meals, you can go through the checkout process and complete your order.
You are able to make changes to your menu for the week and also your delivery day, but these changes need to be made prior to the weekly deadline. If your order has entered the production process, it is too late to submit changes.
Keep in mind that Freshly is a subscription service. This means that you will receive meals every week as long as your subscription is active. If you need to cancel or pause your subscription, you are able to do so by logging into your account.
Types of Food They Offer
Freshly provides you with a variety of meals to choose from each week. Everything they offer is gluten-free, high-protein and low carb, and always all-natural. They also do not use processed sugars in their meals. Their meals are also free from artificial colors and artificial flavors.
When viewing their menu, you can filter your meal search based on dietary and food preferences. With so much to choose from, you’re sure to find something that suits your tastes.
You can also find nutritional information and a list of ingredients for each menu item directly on their website. This ensures you’re able to check the details for each meal before adding it to your order.
For our initial review, we decided to go with…
- Homestyle Chicken with Butternut Mac & Cheese
- Three-Bean Ancho Turkey Chili with Cheddar Cheese
- Steak Peppercorn with Sautéed Carrots & French Green Beans
- Chicken Livorno with White Beans & Kale
- Slow-Cooked Beef Chili
- Rustic Chicken with Mashed Potatoes & Veggies
Freshly has updated their delivery in order to ship to all states within the continental United States.
If you are able to receive meals from Freshly, they ship packages Monday through Friday. This means, you can expect your order to arrive between Tuesday and Saturday. The date of delivery all depends on the delivery date you selected when checking out and also on your location due to the ability of the carrier to make deliveries.
Once your order has been shipped, you will receive a shipping confirmation email that contains your tracking number and the expected delivery date. It’s a good idea to track your package so you know exactly where it is and you can then anticipate its arrival. Meals typically ship out one to two days before they are delivered.
Packages will always be shipped either by FedEx or OnTrac, so their delivery schedules will play a role in when you receive your order. Freshly chooses the carrier that is able to get the meals to you the fastest based on your location.
Freshly Mobile App
Like a lot of meal delivery services out there, Freshly has a dedicated mobile app that makes ordering and managing your service a bit easier. Let’s go over the main benefits of their Apple app and Android app…
Edit Upcoming Meals on the Fly
When using a meal delivery service, it’s important that you remember to make meal selections each week. Otherwise, you could wind up getting something that doesn’t suit your preferences since they automatically make the choice for you. But what happens when you get busy and it completely slips your mind? Maybe you’re away from your laptop and the clock is ticking to review your menu and make changes. With the Freshly app, there’s no need to panic because you can grab your phone and edit your upcoming meals directly on your phone. You can pick and choose the meals you’ll receive and even skip a week if needed. It’s full control over your Freshly account, right in the palm of your hands. And the best part is it’s not just an app version of their website — it’s quicker and easier to navigate. The app will also give you notifications like when your box ships and when you should choose your next meals.
View Nutritional Information & Ingredients for Meals
When choosing your meals, you may want to see all the nutritional information and ingredients before you actually select it. The good news is you can do that as well right within Freshly mobile app. Upon selecting a meal, you’ll see exactly what’s inside and what makes it special in terms of its nutritional benefits.
Easily Log Daily Nutritional Information With Apple Health
If you’re someone who loves to track your meals and nutrition (e.g. calories, protein, carbohydrates) on a daily basis, you can easily send information for your Freshly dinners to the Apple Health app. With just a few clicks, you’ve recorded all the important details of your meals and it’ll be saved for you to review later.
Rate Past Meals for Better Future Recommendations
With a meal delivery service like Freshly, they’re suggesting meals for you each week based on your tastes and preferences. And if you want to receive better recommendations, it’s important that you take the time to rate each meal you receive. Luckily, you can do this directly from the app after dining.
Simply log into the app, open the “Ratings” tab at the bottom of the screen, and then you’ll see new meals from your delivery that are ready to be rated. Once you tap on a star (one to five) the rating gets submitted so the meal choosing algorithm gets to know you better. Freshly will take your opinion into consideration when recommending meals in the future. This way, you’ll be less likely to sift through meals you aren’t interested in and will instead be presented with options you’ll love.
Set Any Dietary Preferences
If you have any dietary preferences, you can easily set those or change them inside the Freshly mobile app. This allows you to choose any ingredients you want to avoid in your meals. After you’ve done this, you’ll see a warning symbol over any meals that contains the ingredient you’re avoiding so you don’t add it to your cart.
Freshly’s meal selection page contains various badges on each meal to indicate whether they’re 500 calories or less, high protein, paleo friendly, vegetarian, soy-free, dairy-free, etc.
Contact Their Customer Support Team
If you ever need to get in touch with Freshly’s customer service, the app has made that easy as well. You’ll find a page that presents all the ways you can get in touch with their team. You can use live chat, call them on the phone, send an email, or read their FAQ page.
When ordering food that needs to be kept cold, many customers worry about the freshness of their meals by the time it arrives on their doorstep. Thankfully, the food subscription boxes on the market today are very strategic about how meals are packed to ensure everything stays cold and fresh.
Freshly uses something called modified atmosphere packaging to keep food fresh during transportation. This modifies the composition of the internal atmosphere of a package. This process ultimately extends the shelf life of fresh foods by 200% or more compared to packaging in air. It also lowers the amount of oxygen, which slows the growth of aerobic organisms and the speed of oxidation reactions. It essentially allows your food to last longer and there’s no need to use any kind of preservatives. Everything is kept cold through the use of non-toxic ice packs.
Your meals will also arrive with recycled denim insulation inside the box, as opposed to styrofoam. This packaging is 85% biodegradable and Freshly encourages you to recycle it after you’re done. The individual meals are also packed in containers made from plastic and they have a plastic film over the top. The plastic used is of the highest quality, are microwave-safe, and do not release BPA when heated. This particular type of plastic can be recycled, which prevents it from ending up in our landfills and oceans.
Check out our video review of Freshly here where we go in-depth on the Freshly packaging, how to recycle it, and more.
Freshness of Food
As mentioned above, Freshly uses the process of modified atmospheric packaging in order to get meals from their warehouse to your home. This process is only part of the reason meals from there are so fresh. It actually allows them to improve the overall shelf life of their food by 200% (or more) when compared to packaging in air.
In our initial review, we could not detect the difference between the freshness of Freshly meals and the freshness of a home cooked meal. That is saying a lot since Freshly meals are all pre-made (but never frozen).
Ease of Cooking
Freshly has designed their meals and packaging to be microwave-friendly. Everything is fully cooked when it arrives, so all you have to do is heat it up. There are instructions for heating on each meal container. This will tell you how long each individual meal needs to be cooked.
We popped our first review meal (Steak Peppercorn with Sautéed Carrots & French Green Beans) in the microwave and once it was completely, we let it sit for about 2 minutes. Then it was ready to eat! Super simple and convenient.
If you decide to go with Freshly, you’ll want to keep an eye on your meal and check on it. With your particular microwave, your meal may be need less or more time for heating.
Although Freshly recommends preparing meals in the microwave, you can use an oven if you’d like. You cannot, however, use their plastic containers in your oven which means you’ll need to use your own pots or pans to heat up the food. Using their plastic container could cause the plastic to melt inside your oven. Freshly recommends placing the meal in an oven-safe dish and covering the top with tin foil. You can then each the oven to 325 degrees or 300 degrees for a convection oven.
Each meal will have specific microwave and oven cooking instructions.
To cook their lunch and dinner entrees, they suggest heating for eight minutes, stirring once, then placing it back into the oven for another two minutes. It’s important that you keep an eye on your meals while they’re cooking.
For our taste test, we went with the Steak Peppercorn with Sautéed Carrots & French Green Beans.
Since this is a pre-made meal delivery service and most people purchasing it are looking to save time, we decided to cook up our meal in the microwave like most others would.
Even though this is a “heat and eat” type of service, I would never compare it to anything you’re likely to find in the frozen isle of your local grocery store. These meals are fresh!
The vegetables (green beans and carrots) were surprisingly not soggy like many microwave meals are. They had a bit of “crunch” to them.
The mashed potatoes were delicious and fluffy. Since they were soaking in the steak sauce, it made them extra moist and tasty.
Lastly, the steak had a surprising amount of flavor and was cooked all the way through. Of course, the way steak is cooked is a personal preference. While I will usually order medium-rare, this steak was slightly more well done. However, they cooked it in a way were it was not dry and still retained flavor.
Freshly offers four different meal plans for you to choose from. You can opt to receive four meals, six meals, nine meals, or twelve meals each week. The meal plan you choose will obviously dictate how much your subscription is going to cost you.
For four meals, it will cost you $49.99 per week. Six meals costs $59.99 per week. Nine meals costs $89.99 per week. And twelve meals costs $107.99 meals per week. Do keep in mind that you can pause or cancel your subscription at any time. You just need to make sure you do so before their deadline, otherwise you will be charged for and will receive another week’s worth of food. You can also adjust how many meals you’d like each week if you find you need more or less.
Overall, Freshly is a really great option to consider if you’re looking for a prepared meal delivery box that provides you with pre-made dishes that are made with healthy and high-quality ingredients. Their commitment to nutritious meals by cutting out the artificial additives and refined sugar allows you to enjoy great food without all the guilt later on, which is always a plus. The best part is that there’s no need to cut out favorites like pasta because their meal plan allows you to have it whenever you want.
It’s a great option especially for those who are gluten-free, since every single meal on their menu is made without gluten ingredients (no wheat, barley, or rye). With Freshly, tasty and healthy meals are just an order away, so it’s worth checking out for anyone who wants quick and easy meals for lunch, or dinner.
Lastly, just because these meals weren’t cooked in your kitchen doesn’t mean they aren’t full of flavor. In fact, you might be surprised at just how good they taste right out of the microwave. Just be sure to let it cool down first! 😃