Is Home Chef affordable? Does the luxury of a home meal delivery service fit my budget conscious life style? Does it work for a family with kids?? I tried it, and this is my honest review from a frugal mom’s perspective.
I have always wanted to try a home meal delivery service. The idea of ingredients for fun meals showing up at my door seemed like such a fun luxury, but I could never get over the price. At least until now!
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Is Home Chef affordable?
Home Chef is offering new customers $35 off their first order, which makes Home Chef affordable to try for at least one week.
You can try Home Chef for just $14.80 shipped! That price includes 2 meals with 2 portions per meal.
When I heard about the $35 off promotion, I jumped on the opportunity to try Home Chef. Keep reading for my experience, to see if I would consider Home Chef affordable without the promotion, and who I recommend (and don’t recommend!) using Home Chef.
How does Home Chef & the special discount work?
Of course I tried Home Chef to be able to tell you exactly how it works and to describe the process of signing up. This was my experience the first time.
Step 1: Click this link and the $35 off promotion is automatically applied. Make sure the green bar at the top of your screen says, “Voucher code successfully applied for $35 off your first order.”
UPDATE: People are saying the discount is not shown in their order summary. If that happens to you, don’t be alarmed. People are saying the message, “Any outstanding credits or discounts will apply at the time of purchase.” The $35 off will be applied, and you can check your order history for confirmation.
Step 2: Enter email address. They will send you order updates, menu updates, and future promotions. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Step 3: Pick the number of portions (2,4, or 6) & number of meals per week (2-6). If you pick 4 or more portions, shipping is free. If you pick 2 portions, shipping is free with 3 or more meals per week. Otherwise, shipping is $10.
Step 4: Indicate food preferences. You can select if you are interested in vegetarian, low-calorie, or low-carb. You can also list foods to avoid. Each week’s menu features 18+ different meal options, but your choices will be more limited if you indicate different food preferences in this section.
Step 5: Enter shipping information, and pick your first delivery date. You will be charged for this delivery upon checkout. Your preferred weekly delivery day can be changed anytime. You don’t need to be home when your meals are delivered.
Step 6: Enter payment information. With the $35 off promotion, the cheapest option is 2 meal per week with 2 portions per meal for just $14.80 shipped. I selected 4 portions 2 times a week for $44.60.
At this point in the process, you will be charged for your first delivery. Yes, this happens before you can pick your meals, which I didn’t like. Check the comments for a list of the meal options for the next few weeks.
For all future deliveries, you will be charged the Friday before your order arrives. You can choose to skip a future delivery by the Friday before the delivery date at noon CST.
Step 7: Pick your meals. Most meal options are $9.95 per serving, but they also have salad entrees options for just $6.99 per serving. The amount your credit card is charged will be adjusted depending on the price of the meals you select.
My Home Chef Experience
I opted to order 2 meals with 4 portions per meal because I didn’t want to make a second meal for my 3 kids on top of the Home Chef meal. Especially because I knew that the cooking process would take me longer since I would be documenting it all for this review.
Also, I wanted to see if my kids liked the Home Chef meals I selected. Spoiler Alert: They loved them!
I ordered crispy orange chicken and Italian sausage & pepper risotto. We enjoyed both meals, but the orange chicken was our favorite. Grace requested that I make it for her birthday meal in September.
The 4 portions per meal made plenty of food for my family of 5. My children are young (10, 7, and 2) and eat pretty light. I was pleased to have leftovers for lunch.
What I learned
Home Chef sends one bag of ingredients for every 2 portions you order. (The meat is packaged separately.) This made it very convenient to gather all the ingredients I needed when it was time to cook.
However, the recipe card is written as if only 2 portions are being prepared. With the first meal I prepare, crispy orange chicken, I realized I needed to double the amount of water for the rice that the recipe card was calling for.
When I made the risotto meal, I completely forgot! The texture of my risotto was not quite right, and it wasn’t until the next day I realized that was because I didn’t add enough water.
I wish the recipe cards had a reminder to increase ingredients if making more than 2 portions.
I wish I would have paid more attention to how long the website said the meals would take to prepare and the experience level for each recipe.
Both recipes took me over an hour to make. Part of that was because I was taking breaks to document the process for this review and Instagram. Part of it is because I was making 4 portions instead of 2 (the more portions you make the longer it will take). Another reason is because my recipes were considered “expert” and “intermediate” level meals.
Probably the biggest reason why the meals took me so long to prepare (besides me documenting the process), is because I was trying new recipes and cooking methods that I was not used to. I did that on purpose when I ordered. I liked the idea of trying something new, but it did slow me down.
If I order from Home Chef again, I will be careful about selecting “expert” level meals, and will make sure I don’t forget to increase the ingredients.
Overall, I enjoyed my Home Chef experience. The food was excellent. The process was fun. The packaging was convenient – did I mention the chicken breast came pre-chopped!?
I recommend Home Chef to:
- Everyone if you are using the promotion to get 2 meals with 2 portions for just $14.80 shipped! This is a great deal, and very affordable. But who do I think should try Home Chef at the full price? Keep reading!
- couples or singles – the price for 2 portions is fairly reasonable, especially if there ends up being leftovers
- people currently eating out often – if you spend more than $10 per person in takeout multiple times a week, this would save you money
- couples who enjoy at-home date nights – If you don’t mind throwing a frozen pizza in the oven for your kids, Home Chef would be perfect for a nice romantic meal at home (and cheaper than a restaurant!).
- those wanting to learn how to cook – if you are in a cooking rut or have limited cooking experience, this is a good way to try new recipes
- anyone wanting to experiment with a diet – Home Chef would be a great way to dip your toe into different diets like low-carb, low-calorie, vegetarian, or gluten free
- people in a busy season in life – Home Chef offers “oven ready” meals, salads ready in 5-10 minutes, quick meals ready in 10-15 minutes
I do NOT recommend Home Chef to:
- those with a strict budget – If saving money on food (or in general) is a high priority, there are cheaper food options than Home Chef. At $10 per portion, Home Chef is not the most frugal way to cook. (The exception to this would be if you are normally spending more than $10 per person, but I would still argue that there are easy ways you could cut your budget even lower than $10 per person.)
- families – The price per meal goes up with each additional serving you add to your Home Chef plan. Spending $20 for a nice meal in for 2 isn’t bad, but $40 for a family of 4 or $60 for a family of 6 seems really high to me even if it is cheaper than a resturant.
- very picky eaters – Home Chef does a great job offering a variety of 18+ different meal options each week (and we loved what we ordered!), but if you are very picky, you might prefer to have complete control over the recipes you prepare.
In conclusion . . .
With the $35 off promotion, I think everyone should give Home Chef a try. Spending $14.80 for 2 meals with 2 portions each is very affordable, and it would be a fun experience to try.
At full price, there are a lot of people that I think could benefit from Home Chef. However, if you are accustomed to budget conscious meal planning and you normally cook all/most of your meals, Home Chef will probably cost more than you are willing to spend on a regular basis.
Is Home Chef affordable in your opinion? Let me know your thoughts on home delivery meal services.
Check out these other honest reviews:
Disclosure: Offer limited to one per household. New customers only. May not be combined with other offers. May not be used for gift cards. Not redeemable for cash. Not eligible in all states. Percent discount does not apply to any delivery charge. Free delivery with order of $49 or more. Click here for additional details. Void where prohibited. This post contains affiliate links. I may receive a commission from your purchase at no additional cost to you.