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My Freshly Review (28 Days of Outsourced Cooking)

Overview - FreshlyI hate cooking. Abhor and despise could also be used interchangeably. So when I stumbled across a meal delivery service, Freshly, with a much different approach than season veterans like Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, and Plated, I was eager to give them a try.

Unlike those three, Freshly delivers individually packaged, chef-cooked meals. Literally, you pop the meal in the microwave for a few minutes and it’s ready to eat.

Given how much internal grumbling happens when I have to meal plan, grocery shop, cook, and clean up, I pounced at the thought of having a pre-made meal in just three minutes.

So for 28 days, I outsourced nine meals a week to Freshly.

Here’s what it’s like eating microwaved meals for a month…and whether I would recommend Freshly or not.

How Does a Microwaved Meal Taste?

Low Country Boil - FreshlyThis was my biggest question. The answer, shockingly, is that Freshly meals taste amazing coming out of a microwave (you can also bake them if you’d prefer).

Seriously, if I served a Freshly meal on a plate to the average person, I don’t think they’d ever know it was microwaved. A few of my friends said the same thing after trying a meal.

I’ve never tasted a better microwaved meal in all my years of wandering this earth. And being a bachelor, I’ve eaten a lot of microwaved meals. ;)

What’s even more impressive is all their meals are healthy—gluten-free, high in protein, low in carbs, contain no processed sugars, and are all natural. (Although, some commenters mentioned high sodium content.)

Get $40 off your first two weeks ($20 off per week) or $60 off your first four weeks ($15 off per week) when you use my promo codes.

FYI: They don’t have to be consecutive weeks. You can skip weeks and order a box when you want.

Note: If you order your first box using any of the links in this post, you’ll get a generous discount and I’ll get a small commission. It’s a win-win for both of us! And please know I wrote this review before I knew I could earn a commission. It’s genuinely my honest, unbiased experience.

Is Freshly Worth It? Who Is It For?

Obviously, if you’re like me and hate everything about eating that’s not the actual eating part, then Freshly is worth checking out. But as I’ve talked to friends and family about Freshly, many of them have also been interested for other reasons.

They’re easy meal options for people coming out of the hospital (giving birth, surgeries, etc.). Another friend knows there are certain weeks where she’ll be too busy or stressed to cook for her family, so plans on taking a “cooking vacation” using Freshly. It’s also a worthwhile option if you’re going out of town and need to ensure your spouse/kids stay alive while you’re gone. ;)

For me though, the biggest win is saved time and mental energy. Freshly is uber convenient. If you add up all the time you’d spend planning, shopping, cooking, and cleaning, each Freshly meal probably saves you at least an hour (if not more). That’s an extra hour a day to spend with your spouse, kiddos, friends, pursuing your hobbies, etc.

It’s an amazing feeling opening the refrigerator, grabbing one of these meals, and eating a few minutes later. It’s the convenience of fast food but with all natural, healthy ingredients.

Six Meals in the Refrigerator - Freshly

Freshly is also great if you need a break from your typical meal rotation. I know I can eat tacos only so many times in a month before I get sick of them.

Having tried it for a month, I can confidently say it’s worth it for me. I have less anxiety, more time, and eat way healthier. I’m not kidding you when I say figuring out what to eat each week was a stressful process for me. And their prices are actually cheaper than similar (pre-cooked) meal delivery companies.

Try Freshly for a week and get $40 off your first two weeks ($20 off per week) or $60 off your first four weeks ($15 off per week). Use whichever promo code will save you the most based on your expected order frequency.

How does Freshly work?

It’s really simple and straightforward—aided by a fantastic website. They get major bonus points for designing a website that’s incredibly easy to use.

1. Pick Your Meal Plan

Your choices are 4, 6, 9, or 12 meals per week. I go with six meals per week and try to get a variety of meal types for some variety.

2. Pick a Delivery Date

Freshly delivers throughout the week. Your first delivery will happen on that day of the following week. I have mine delivered on Wednesdays and the box usually arrives between noon and 3:00pm CST. If you’re not home when it’s delivered, the box will keep for an additional 12 hours.

You can also change the delivery date (my options are Wednesday through Saturday) for any given week which has been handy for me. I travel regularly for work so can easily adjust the delivery date for when I’m actually at home.

3. Choose Your Meals

As of August 2019, you can choose from 36 entrees with new meals being introduced every couple weeks. Although, sometimes they’re calling meals “new” when all they’ve done is make some minor changes (like shift up the side).

But so far, here are some of my favorite meals:

  • Wild-Caught Mahi with Mango Salsa
  • Homestyle Chicken with Butternut Mac & Cheese
  • Low Country Boil (an unexpectedly great addition to the menu)
  • Sausage Baked Penne with Sautéed Zucchini and Spinach (nothing fancy here but consistently good)

Choose 4, 6, 9, or 12 meals and use my promo codes to get $40 off your first two weeks ($20 off per week) or $60 off your first four weeks ($15 off per week). Try some of my favorites and let me know what you think.

The chicken meals are generally the most filling. While I never finish a meal still feeling hungry, I do wish the portions were larger on some of them. This might not be an issue though depending on how much you typically eat.

Freshly Faves

Interesting Observations

While I originally wrote this post after eating Freshly meals every week for a month, I’ve continued using Freshly—averaging about two orders a month since May 2016. That’s how I stumbled across some of the observations below …

Up first, Freshly’s customer service is top notch and extremely generous.

I emailed them about a meal that was noticeably off from what I’d eaten in the past (the only time it’s happened in over 300+ meals) . Without me asking, they promptly gave me credit. I thought that was a nice gesture. It made me wonder if they’d give you a credit for a meal you didn’t enjoy.

Which led me to take advantage of their text support option one day while I was feeling a little goofy (as you’ll kind of gather from the text thread).

Another time, the deadline to skip a week was earlier than expected because of a holiday. I didn’t realize that and had a box shipped to me when I didn’t want it. After reaching out, they gave me a credit for the entire box! (They’ve actually done this twice now when both times were my fault for not paying attention to when I would be in town.)

From the outside looking in, I’ve been really impressed with how Freshly operates.

A few things have really stood out. The proactive credits I mentioned above. They’ve replied to every question I’ve tweeted at them. They’ve changed their nutrition labels to say 1 serving instead of 1.5 because of user feedback. They rolled out a feature on their website to let you rate meals.

I’ve seen them try different insulation materials, cooling packs, and film. They send out feedback surveys.

All of that communicates a company that values and acts on feedback.

Now that I’ve been a regular Freshly customer since 2016, I’ve found every other week (sometimes every third week—depending on my travel schedule) is the right frequency. It gives me enough variety that I never get sick of the meals.

Also, only having to wash cups and silverware has been one word, glorious!

Freshly Alternatives

Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, or Plated are the most talked about online. However, you really can’t compare Freshly to those services because their model is so different.

With Freshly, you get chef-cooked meals. Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, and Plated send you the raw ingredients to make your own meals. While that saves on meal planning and grocery shopping, you still have to cook and clean. I’ve tried all three and they weren’t for me. Each meal took about an hour to prepare and, honestly, just wasn’t worth it. Some meals turned out fantastic, others were gross. Clean up took longer than normal, too.

If you enjoy the act of cooking and want to save time on grocery shopping then Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, or Plated are great options. But if you’re looking for simplicity, convenience, and consistency (in quality of food), Freshly is the clear winner.

And it’s cheaper than similar (pre-cooked) meal delivery services.

Another alternative to Freshly would be local food delivery services. It seems a lot of catering business also provide this type of service. Before trying Freshly, I found one in Nashville that was decent. The food definitely wasn’t as healthy or conveniently packaged, but it was still good. Had I not found Freshly, I probably would’ve continued with the local service.

Ready to give Freshly a try? Save $40 off your first two weeks ($20 off per week) or $60 off your first four weeks ($15 off per week) with my promo codes!

So, think Freshly has a spot in your cooking arsenal? Let me know in the comments how you could see yourself using Freshly.

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Erick
Erick

I just joined and I was wondering why they don’t have 10 meals; it is my wife and I look for 2 meals a day for 5 days a week?

Emma
Emma

Visiting a rural state and trashed my knee so figured I’d order to food to get me through surgery recovery. This is a good program. I agree it’s salty but almost everything is now, so I try to order the lower sodium ones (though it’s a pain to have to expand the nutrition for each item in order to get that info). I wish there was better selection but maybe I just started on an off week; it seemed heavy on chicken and only one fish item was there.

I tried bistroMD and even though it says the same description, Freshly is better. Bistro may be prepared by a chef but it arrives solidly frozen. I also tried Factor75 and it’s my fav hands down, although it is pricier. But the meals are larger, at least the protein portions, and I especially liked that it was grassfed beef, no antibiotic, etc. But that does drive the price up (but in my experience cheaper than buying that premium level of ingredients myself to cook). I only bring it up because I think it’s more of an apples to oranges comparison with Freshly – both very good, both awesome customer service, but Factor is better quality and priced higher. I’m probably going to alternate them in the future to better fit my budget.

Edward
Edward

Some studies suggest that we get less waste with this packaging vs general food waste. It’s still a pain getting rid of this much packaging every week, especially the gel packs.

My gripe is with the freshness. Most of our meals are use by 4 days after delivery, and a couple were less than that. Keeping them frozen destroys some of the freshness and our schedule needs to be more flexible.

I would love a similar service from Whole Foods or Sprouts. If I could pick up similarly packaged meals from the market, have the flexibility and less packaging, I’d be in, even with a subscription. For now, we’ll just put stuff together from the deli..

Bob D.
Bob D.

Meals good, but necessity for incredibly elaborate packaging is a deal-breaker for me. That, including three huge ice packs required for only six dinners, causes the box to weigh so much that the cost per meal is thrown out of whack, due to Freshly having to factor in the UPS charge.

Don’t get me wrong…..their packaging is fabulous. Just wish they could implement a system that wouldn’t result in a final cost of over $10 per meal.. I would gladly accept a larger, frozen portion, in less costly packaging.

P.S. I’m actually surprised that not one other review I read, mentioned anything regarding the packaging. It’s extremely effective….even innovative…..unfortunately, kicks the cost way up.

Ashley
Ashley

I agree it’s a lot, but I found it awesome that it’s all recyclable!

Beth
Beth

My husband and I are recent “active retirees” and want to eat healthier and have variety with good quality lunches and dinners We received our first order of 12 meals this week, and we are very pleased! I actually froze ALL the meals upon their arrival because we do not want to have any waste, in case we had sudden plans away from home. We are easily 1-2 hours from Nashville, so I was concerned whether Freshly delivered to more rural areas. NO problem! First delivery arrived on time, on our requested day of Friday (we do our now-much LIGHTER grocery shopping on Sat. or Sun.). We have a simple fresh, mixed greens side salad with all our nicely plated Freshly meals, along with a glass of wine. Dinner is feeling pretty special and something we now look forward to! Thank you, Freshly—please continue the high quality good work!

Debrann Jennings
Debrann Jennings

I’m dealing with my illness and my husband works a few states away… having theses wonderful meals delivered to my door for both me and for him to take with him each week has been a blessing✨
…and being able to “ chat” with them has answered all my questions…. keep up the great work Freshly🌟

Kathy
Kathy

I get 6 meals per week and they are very good! My two favorites are the low country boil and the baked chicken with loaded potato (cauliflower) I would recommend Freshly for anyone who likes good healthy meals and doesn’t like to cook like me.

Nina

Excellent blog. Thanks so much Alex. My husband and I work 1.5 jobs each and cooking has turned into the dreaded chore of the day/week. We found ourselves eating out too much due to the convenience of it all. Tried Home Chef for a month but ended up not even having time for that either. Based on your blog we are going to try Freshly and see if that works for us. Thanks again!

Leslie
Leslie

I am worried about delivery I have two full time jobs. What are my delivery options?

Ali
Ali

Hey.. I couldn’t find your promo code

mike donavon
mike donavon

All looks good. Will probably give Freshly a try at a later date. We are older citizens, and this looks good to us. Your overall explanation was excellent – thanks.

Carla
Carla

Can you loose weight on freshly?

Eric S
Eric S

I just started using Freshly. The meals are very good. I do wonder if it is good for weight loss. They actually seem to taste too good. That sounds strange. I did notice the fat grams were a bit high for the meals. Not sure if that is necessarily bad or not. I do think I am going to try this for a while. I am doing 12 meals a wk to start. I’ve done Nutrisystem and Kettlebell Kitchen before this. I like Nutrisystem, but their meals don’t fill me up and I sometimes ate 2 or 3 of them at the same time. I did the weight loss version for KettleBell and most of their meals were truly awful. I know why ppl wld lose weight on that. Because they wouldn’t finish the whole meals!! Ok. That is all I wanted to say.

Cody C.
Cody C.

Been using their services for 2+ months now so I could kick fast food and regulate my diet for weight loss, already down 15.6lbs! Freshly is great.

Jerry
Jerry

Just received my first order today by Fedex. So far, excellent meal. No more driving in rush hour traffic to eat and no more tips. Tip…when peeling back the corner, add fresh sliced up mushrooms and other tidbits. It works ..

Noelle
Noelle

Maybe you addressed this but skimming quickly I couldn’t find the answer. I’m interested in gifting some meals to a disabled man and his wife. Can you order freshly for just a short period of time like two weeks? Or is this a plan I have to sign up for? Thank you!

Robert Jackson

I am very impressed by your site and your post very nice and I got such a piece of good information on this topic it’s a very interesting one. Thanks for sharing the best posts they amazing.

Marianne Riegg
Marianne Riegg

Too salty, over-seasoned. I don’t think of myself as a fussy eater. These meals would taste fine with half the salt.

Sherry
Sherry

I definitely agree, too much salt and too spicy, now hot spicy but over spiced. I’m not spicy adverse at all but I do like to taste the food!

Stephen
Stephen

Thanks for the review and follow ups! I’ve been seeing the ads popping up on my social media for Freshly and, for the first time, it seemed like something tailor made for me. I’m single, older, live alone, have a lot of hobbies and I also don’t like being around large groups of people, so grocery shopping is not only inconvenient but also a bit overwhelming and anxiety filled. You hit all of the points I was curious about and now I just need to take the plunge. Thanks again!

Lynn
Lynn

What is the average cost per meal?

Oliver
Oliver

So, you can order let’s say six meals, but the shelf life is 3 to 5 days?! Do I have to freeze them?

mandy
mandy

Where can I get the promo codes I would like to order today

Dude
Dude

I don’t think that link to the offer works anymore. Good review.

Jaclyn
Jaclyn

Thank you for this in depth review. I just placed my first order with freshly and was a bit nervous about my decision, afraid I was making a mistake. I truly am tired of mealing prepping each week and wanted a healthy and convenient way to eat well at work. Your insight and experience have eased my mind.
Thank you

Brandon

As a single, full time father, this company is truly a life saver. I just ordered my first 6 meals and can’t wait to be able to spend more time with my daughter! Thank you for the review!

Elizabeth Faye
Elizabeth Faye

Great review, just received our first set of meals. I generally meal prep on Sunday, spending hours of my time… this company will give some of my freedom back! So exciting. Thanks again!

Wes
Wes

Thanks so much. Couple questions…The marketing states “chef cooked” did you ever ask Freshly where exactly and by who your meals were cooked, was it local or a centralized kitchen? Also, do the meals show up frozen or refrigerated?

Asha

thanks for the honest review! I’m excited to try my first box :)

Suzie
Suzie

Thanks for the review! Our first meals are coming this week! Excited to try them. I have tried other services where you have to prepare the meals, and happy to find something that’s easier. With both my daughter and I working full-time, I figure these meals will be “my” days to cook!

April
April

Thanks for the review! I am 4 meals into my first week of Freshly and I LOVE it! I, too, hate prepping and cooking, and I live alone, so plans where you have to cook meals big enough for two at minimum just aren’t worth the time, effort, or money for me.

I am spending way less than I would getting various takeout lunches during the workday, and I’m getting healthier food. And Freshly just blows frozen meals out of the water–there is no comparison. It also tastes a lot better than other heat and eat meal options I’ve tried.

The portion sizes are perfect for me, and as an active person who does a lot of strength training, running, and obstacle course races, I love that there are many options that have 20+ grams of protein and a healthy amount of carbs.

Freshly is now my go-to meal plan…if they keep up the quality and reasonable pricing, I will be ordering this for years!

Dale Cunningham
Dale Cunningham

Tried freshly for a week . Not bad, but not good enough for my taste. Nothing on their
Website contains a phone number or email address. How can I contact them to cancel.

jean
jean

You can download the app and cancel your subscription that way!

Brandon
Brandon

“While I never finish a meal still feeling hungry, I do wish the portions were larger on some of them.”

This means that it’s perfectly portioned. The biggest problem people have is not always what they eat but how much they eat. If after you eat you feel satisfied, you ate enough. It’s important to resist the temptation to keep stuffing yourself until you can’t move. That is the easiest way to pack on the pounds, or at least stopping yourself from dropping extra ones.

I am seriously considering trying this out, because the prices don’t seem to be outrageous, like I thought they would be.

Claudia
Claudia

Best review hands down thanks. Got my first order. Love. However, not too sure it’s actually totally healthy which is soooooo disappointing! I need these to get a bit healthier haha! I work hard and don’t leave office till late most nights. This is amazing but don’t want to end up with high cholesterol- that’s serious lol. You should tweet them to up their game on the REAL health part of their business model =)
I get it -for taste, but I believe there is way to keep the taste NATURALLY (less sodium for crying out loud it’s 2019, many consumers DO read and are knowledgeable about basic clean healthy nutrition!)

Thanks!

kristen
kristen

I LOVEEEE Freshly! It’s literally changed my life, in a way. Meal prep and planning always made me a little stressed. the age-old question “what’s for dinner” is no longer spoken. My son is 17, is a body builder and very active. The portions are just enough for him. Sometimes, I don’t finish mine, so I feel they’re just right. Anyhow…I can’t way enough good things about freshly.

Todd
Todd

Thank you for the review. I already signed up and am anxiously awaiting my first order. I have already tried hello fresh and home chef. Although I loved the food I also found they take too long to prepare and then of course also the clean up. Didn’t work well for us. I am really hopeful about freshly. We are also trying to eat healthier and I like the idea that portions are controlled.

Tania
Tania

Can I lose weight on these things?

Sheila Dyer
Sheila Dyer

Am into about my second month of Freshly meals. Particularly appreciate that husband and I can each eat our own different, favorite meal. The 2 meals often call for slightly different cooking times. While microwaving the first, I turn my cooker-oven to approx. 200 degrees and place my own dishes in, to warm. When each meal has microwaved, I transfer food to my dishes, cover with foil and warm in my oven for a further few (15?) minutes, same 200 degree temperature, so as not to overcook. Little effort, best luxury-restaurant results. And no tipping!

Aundrea
Aundrea

I just purchased my very first order! Searched for reviews and found yours and feel super encouraged. Thanks for taking the time to do this. I’ll leave a response after my first week of meals!

Diana
Diana

What about the sodium, cholesterol and saturated fats in the meals?

Melanie
Melanie

Great review. I haven’t tried the service myself, but I looked at the nutrition facts online and decided it wasn’t for me. They’re fresh, but not healthy. Most (actually I saw) were very high in fat and especially sodium. If you want taste, these may be great, but they’re not especially “healthy.”

Tnb
Tnb

Does it have a bar code for scanning into my fitness pal

Albert PACIFICO
Albert PACIFICO

My wife and I just received the 12 meal plan for each of us for the week. So far so good, all the meals we have eaten have been delicious and plenty filling. It looks like we will be long term subscribers to this great tasting menu.

bob
bob

I just signed up and then found your blog. excited for my first package. Excellent review. thanks

Anna M Bedley
Anna M Bedley

Based on this blog I took the plunge and ordered Freshly for my family. My daughter is an elite athlete who eats very very healthy. These meals were great for her and my hubby and I are enjoying the change of pace for dinner options. I work full time and love to cook….. These are meals I wish I had the time to cook…. But since I don’t, I am thrilled to have found freshly!!

Marci Elliott Spears
Marci Elliott Spears

Can you do this for a family of 3….like 4 days of food for 3?

Jackie
Jackie

Question about the frequency. You mentioned every other week was right for you. So do you have to log in and manually cancel your subscription weekly and then resign up again the next week?

Kimberly
Kimberly

I enrolled in the service and the menu is the same except maybe 3 entrees a week and no breakfast options. My first week was canceled two days prior to delivery because they oversold. I needed to cancel after today’s delivery and they canceled today’s delivery but didn’t refund me, yet. The food is amazing but but too high in sodium for me. Glad you’ve had success.

Victoria Adamson
Victoria Adamson

Alex, I’m so confused! Are you in Nashville? I’m trying to order Freshly and it says it doesn’t deliver to my zip code (which is Green Hills, definitely the heart of Nashville).. if not, what delivery service did you like best in Nashville? Because I’m looking for one! Over the Blue Apron, Home Chef, Green Chef, Hello Fresh, etc…

Madison Rodriguez
Madison Rodriguez

Hey Alex, I just learned about Freshly today and automatically looked for your review. Really relieved to hear you recommend it! As a full-time teacher, tutor, and community organizer, I get home late and have grading or planning to do and can’t afford to order food all the time but junk food has made me gain weight. My question: what is your promo code for Freshly?

Ivy
Ivy

Thank you for your review! I have a daughter that lives on her own and sometimes get home from work late and a son who’s living on collage campus. I’ll be sending them some Freshly meals!! Thank you!!

Cheryl
Cheryl

I have been ordering Freshly for nearly 3 years and have never been disappointed in their food quality, selection or service! They regularly offer new dishes so you can change your selection if you get bored. Only pan of Freshly – They recently took breakfasts off the menu… I used to order 6 meals per week, including 2 breakfasts, but since they took breakfasts off the menu, I’m now down to 4 meals a week.