Once upon a time, I tried meal prepping to 1.) eat healthier, and 2.) save money by avoiding eating at restaurants. It really worked for me when I was in college because I was so poor and hungry, but now that I’m out of college and I can afford to eat, I just don’t really do meal preps anymore, or if I do meal prep, I rarely ever actually eat the meals… So I end up wasting all of that food and I end up wasting a lot of money because I’ll order Jimmy Johns instead. I also HATE eating leftovers! So I figured it would be a lot better if there was some kind of food service where someone else would make the food for me and I would heat it up and eat it. Kind of like frozen dinners, but they actually taste good and are healthy. Cue Freshly. I saw an add for Freshly on my Instagram and realized that’s exactly what I needed. Meals delivered to my door, a wide variety of meals to choose from so I won’t grow tired of them, and they’re all a healthy amount of calories and macros. So I signed up and tried Freshly meals for a week!
Back in college, I had meal prepping down perfectly. I would make grilled taco-flavored chicken, white rice, those Knorr cheesy chicken flavored rice sides (not super healthy but still better than french fries), cauliflower, and broccoli and I would divide everything up evenly into tupperware and that’s what I would eat for lunch and/or dinner during the week. I would use one cup of chicken, one cup of either cauliflower or broccoli and ½ cup of either kind of rice and I would make about five prepped meals. And I would actually eat them because they were yummy and it was the perfect amount of food. And probably because I was in college and could only afford to eat McDonalds. So it saved me money and was nutritious!
But after that, I started experimenting more and adding different kinds of protein and different veggies and I grew tired of it. I really only know how to make proteins, veggies, and rice one way so it’s always the same flavors every time. And like I mentioned earlier, I really don’t like leftovers. I never heat them up right and they get all soggy… So having these Freshly meals, I’m able to actually follow the heating instructions and avoid the “leftovers” taste.
I work in an office Monday through Friday so I either have to bring my lunch or I have to go buy something. I don’t have the luxury of being able to cook myself lunch during the week day, so I ordered these Freshly meals specifically for my lunches during the work week. They easily fit into my lunch box and I can just heat it up at work and save myself some money and also know that I’m eating healthy.
Here are the meals that I ordered for my first week of Freshly meals along with their calorie and macro info:
1. Veggie Baked Penne – gluten free, soy free, vegetarian. 480 calories, 65g carbs, 19g fat, 16g protein. Includes: brown rice flour penne noodles, marinara sauce, zucchini spinach, tomatoes, onions, ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, and mozzarella cheese.
2. Steak Peppercorn – gluten free, soy free, and high protein. 480 calories, 32g carbs, 27g fat, 29g protein. Includes: mashed red potatoes, sauteed green beans and carrots, and a flat iron steak with a cream sauce.
3. Penne Bolognese – gluten free, soy free, high protein. 530 calories, 61g carbs, 18g fat, 31g protein. Includes: brown rice flour penne noodles, marinara sauce, ground beef, asiago cheese, and parmesan cheese.
4. Shrimp and Andouille Paella – gluten free, dairy free, soy free, high protein. 460 calories, 49g carbs, 10g fat, 38g protein. Includes: basmati rice, andouille sausage, shrimp, fire roasted red bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, and green peas.
5. Turkey Meatballs and Linguine – gluten free, soy free, high protein, and spicy! 490 calories, 53g carbs, 19g fat, 34g protein. Includes: brown rice flour linguine noodles, marinara sauce, ground turkey, onions, tomatoes, and parmesan cheese.
6. Homestyle Chicken – gluten free, soy free, high protein. 600 calories, 39g carbs, 30g fat, 47g protein. Includes: gluten-free almond flour fried chicken breast, green beans, macaroni, cheddar cheese, cauliflower, pepper jack cheese, and butternut squash.
How it works:
You get a choice of 6 meals per week, and you pay by the week so you can skip weeks whenever you want. Like if you’re going on vacation, you can skip that week of meals! Or if you are a social butterfly and have lunch/dinner plans every day one week, you can skip that week of meals! And they have a wide variety of meals to choose from so you can pick different meals every week or if you just really love the Penne Bolognese, shoot, you can order that sh*t for all 6 meals one week if you want to! I actually might…
The meals are made to order, so it’s not like they’re pulling a bunch of frozen meals out for you. It took me two weeks to get my first delivery of Freshly meals because they had to put me on their list of people to cook for. So I signed up for Freshly on March 11th and didn’t get my order until March 22nd. Which I’m perfectly fine with because I would rather have fresh food made for me rather than just them throwing some food that was made two weeks ago into a fox and mailing it to me… And they sent me email notifications through every step of their process. I ordered Freshly meals on March 11th, then they sent me an email on Thursday March 21st letting me know that they just cooked my food that day and were shipping them off to me. Moral of the story is that they make the food the day before they send it out for delivery, so you know it’s fresh when you get it!
My Freshly meals arrived in a big box with insulation on the inside and 3 huge ice packs keeping my food cold while on their journey. The box was pretty heavy so my boyfriend offered to bring it inside for me haha! Then I packed the meals into my fridge and I’ve been eating them for lunch and/or dinner.
My first two weeks of Freshly meals were $49 each and after that it goes to the regular price of $59.99 per week. So basically $60 per week. And that might sound like a lot when you first hear the words “$60 per week” but when you think about it, that’s actually less than what I spend a week on food. So I usually spend about $80-$100 a week on groceries (breakfasts, lunches, and dinners). And if I don’t bring my lunch to work, I’ll spend at least $10-$20 ordering something to-go or for delivery. So if I eat out every day for lunch during the week, that’s about $50 to $100 a week on food, plus tips and delivery fees, plus the $80-$100 I spend on groceries. But since I’m getting all of my lunches from Freshly, I will only have to buy groceries for breakfast and dinner. So the $60 per week Freshly meals are actually saving me money, or I’m at least breaking even. $60 Freshly meals plus only $50-$70 for weekly groceries… I spent about $110 on food this past week instead of almost $200… Winner, winner, Freshly chicken dinner. You can use this link to get $20 off of your first two weeks of meals (each) so only $39 for your first two weeks of meals.
And since Freshly is super healthy, it’s also helping me keep on track with my diet and fitness goals. If I drink my Herbalife weight loss smoothie for breakfast, eat a Freshly meal for lunch, and eat a healthy dinner, I’m only looking at around 1,119 calories per day. And since I burn about 1,426 calories a day (my BMR), I’m burning more calories than I am eating, so I am losing weight also!
The meals themselves were so yummy, too! The Turkey Meatballs with Linguine was my favvvve!! OMG so good! The Shrimp and Andouille Paella was my close second favorite. They have a wide variety of meals to choose from so if you don’t end up liking one meal that you picked out, you can always swap it out for another one next week and every week after that. I wasn’t a huge fan of the peppercorn steak, but the mashed potatoes and green beans that came with it were very delicious!! All of the ingredients are very fresh, nothing is mushy like it’s been frozen and sitting in condensation and the vegetables are nice and crisp. Okay I’m drooling now thinking about it…
All around, Freshly is helping me get my sh*t together and helping me save money, eat healthier, be more organized, and lose weight. Life is so hectic with having a 9-5 office job Monday through Friday, running a blog, fixing up and decorating a house, and just trying to be a normal 26 year old with a social life and healthy relationships and friendships, I need all the help I can get! If you work full time, are trying to save money, and are trying to eat healthier, I would definitely suggest giving Freshly a try, because it’s delicious, affordable, and it’s super helpful during the busy week. You can use my link to get 6 dinners for $39 for two weeks (that’s $20 off each week).