3 minutes, y’all. That’s all it takes for Freshly meals to be fully heated and poised for consumption.
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Freshly really lives up to its name in that the meals its team of chefs create are fresh food sent straight to your home.
(Read our reviews of top ready to eat meal delivery services and find out more about Freshly!)
Because the concept of Freshly frozen foods doesn’t exist, after you receive your highly insulated package, all you have to do is heat and serve once you are ready for your meal. Did we mention that it only takes 3 minutes?!
Freshly was created by founders Michael Wystrach and Carter Comstock for a reason many of us can instantly relate to: They realized that ordering food every day because they were too tired or busy to cook was harmful to their health (and waistlines). Not only were they feeling sluggish, they were also spending tons of money on food that they weren’t enjoying or looking forward to each day.
In order to find a workable solution for his dinner conundrum, Wystrach — who is the company’s CEO — began asking chefs and other people in the food industry about possible ways to create a company that provided simple, easy to heat meals for busy working people.
Freshly was the result of those conversations. The company founders say they are the perfect service for busy young professionals in their 20s and 30s who are often at work for long hours. Because Freshly meals aren’t frozen, customers don’t feel like they are about to dive into a TV dinner.
Of course, the big question you are probably asking right now is “is Freshly healthy?” We’re happy to say that the answer is yes.
The team behind Freshly prides itself in serving food that is both tasty and well-balanced. Unlike the takeout and pizza the founders were diving into before they came up with the idea for the company, Freshly’s menu is filled with items that are rich in protein and other nutrients.
“We know if food doesn’t taste great, eating healthy can be really hard,” the Freshly team writes on its website. ”That’s why we have a really talented team of chefs building nutritious recipes with only the best ingredients.”
But best of all, Freshly promises the one thing all busy professionals crave: Flexibility and free time.
“We take care of the shopping, cooking and cleaning!” the site enthusiastically promises. “What will you do with all of your newfound free time?”
How Freshly Works
We can guess that many of you are now wonder about how Freshly works. All of Freshly’s meals are prepared by its staff of chefs inside the company’s 60,000 square foot facility in Phoenix, Arizona. The Freshly staff say the set up of their Arizona kitchens allow them to create small batches of fresh, tasty meals.
Because Freshly’s subscription plans are set up as weekly recurring orders, customers don’t have the option of signing up for a trial membership.
However, you do have the option of skipping orders and switching meal plans at any time. Freshly menu items are not offered a la carte.
What You Can Expect From Your Meal
We really appreciated the fact that Freshly’s meals don’t taste as if they had ever been microwaved, even when we heated them up that way.
The entrees tasted fresh and as if they had just been prepared from scratch in the kitchen.
Another one of the most appealing things about Freshly is that the entire menu is gluten-free.
We know that those who need to avoid gluten often face challenges in finding good meal kits that meet their needs, so this is a huge plus!
The company decided to be completely gluten-free because they realized that many diners preferred to avoid gluten.
Fortunately, their chefs have ensured that you won’t miss out on anything health-wise by making sure to use nutrient rich meats and produce.
Freshly also has great options for those who are on the following diets:
All Freshly meals will arrive fully cooked and ready to serve after heating. Because Freshly dishes can be heated in just three minutes, you never have to worry about budgeting out time to prep.
Freshly’s extensive menu contains options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Because you choose your meals each week, you can figure out the dishes that work best for you.
Heating your meals is easy. Each meal will have printed instructions on how to heat your meal on the back of its packaging, but rest assured that everything can be done by simply using your microwave. For those of you that would prefer to use an oven, Freshly provides instructions on how to do so here.
Worried about what to do if you can’t eat everything in your box within a week? Good news! The answer to the “can you freeze Freshly meals?” question Is a resounding yes! While your food will taste better while it’s at its freshest, it isn’t’ always possible to eat it right away. Once your meal is frozen, you’ll simply have to add a few minutes to the cook time to make sure everything is heated correctly.
The staff at Freshly suggests also making sure your food is reheated to 165 degrees (which is the same temperature your fresh meal would have been.)
Freshly subscribers can enjoy a wide variety of dishes that include everything from Indian-style curries to American classics like meatloaf. Here’s just a sampling of what you can get your hands on!
Sausage & Peppers
Chicken Livorno with White Beans, Kale, and Bacon
Grilled Flat Iron Steak
….and a variety of other dishes with myriad flavor profiles!
Regarding how Freshly is delivered, one of the most helpful aspects of Freshly’s delivery system is that you get to pick the day your meals will be delivered.
Freshly delivers to most places Tuesday through Sunday. Once you pick your meal plan, the Freshly site will instruct you to select the delivery date that best suits your schedule.
Based on your delivery schedule, your meals will be shipped by either FedEx or OnTrac. And don’t worry about having to budget for shipping fees, because shipping is free!
Freshly meal delivery reviews online are mostly positive, with customers saying their meals are delivered on time and stay cold in their box.
As a plus, all of Freshly’s packaging materials are recyclable!
But while we love Freshly, the saddest thing about this service is that it is not available in all 50 states. According to Freshly’s website, the Freshly delivery area is as follows:
- Alabama (AL)
- Arizona (AZ)
- Arkansas (AR)
- California (CA)
- Colorado (CO)
- Georgia (GA)
- Idaho (ID)
- Illinois (IL)
- Indiana (IN)
- Iowa (IA)
- Kansas (KS)
- Kentucky (KY)
- Louisiana (LA)
- Mississippi (MS)
- Missouri (MO)
- Nebraska (NE)
- Nevada (NV)
- New Mexico (NM)
- Oregon (OR)
- Oklahoma (OK)
- South Carolina (SC)
- South Dakota (SD)
- Tennessee (TN)
- Texas (TX)
- Utah (UT)
- Washington (WA)
- Wisconsin (WI)
Given that Freshly’s meals are all fresh, we found their pricing a welcome surprise.
The average Freshly meal works out to be between $8.99 and $12.50 on average. Those prices per serving, as the founders of Freshly point out, are comparable to other food companies like Blue Apron.
Freshly, of course, has a big advantage over Blue Apron in that you don’t have to make time to cook. Instead, you just pop your meal into the microwave and then get it eat it within minutes.
Subscribers can choose between the following plans:
- 4 meals a week: This plan is $49.99 a week (that’s $12.50 a meal)
- 6 meals a week: This plan is $59.99 a week (that’s $9.99 a meal)
- 9 meals a week: This plan is $89.99 a week (that’s $9.99 a meal)
- 12 meals a week: This plan is $107.99 a week (that’s $8.99 a meal!)
One way to get Freshly $40 off your order is to refer your friends to sign up for the service. This will work out for both of you: Your buddy will save Freshly 40 while you’ll get a Freshly discount for every friend that tries out the service.
Once you’ve signed up to your meal plan, you’ll be charged weekly moving forward.
You can also plan your delivery schedule and meal plan menu and change your address up to three weeks ahead of time.
So you’ll always have the opportunity to do a paleo-diet for a couple of weeks, for example, before switching to something else. This option gives you a change to sample a wide variety of meals so that you can figure out your preferences.
Read more on why Freshly made our reviews of best gluten free meal delivery services.
Food for Thought
So, is Freshly worth it? We think so! We love the flexibility of the Freshly meal service and the fact that they have so many options for different diets. One of the most frustrating things about meal kits can be the lack of things like vegetarian, gluten-free or low carb options. Given that, the fact that Freshly’s chefs makes it a point to include dishes that meet the dietary requirements of many Americans without skimping on quality and creativity is huge.
Another pro is that the meals on the menu are clearly tailored to busy professionals and gives customers the ability to order several different kinds of meals (Mexican, Indian and traditional American, for example) in any given week.
One aspect of Freshly’s current system that will hopefully be rectified soon is the fact that the company currently doesn’t deliver to 50 states. We hope that the company will figure out a way to ensure that diners everywhere can enjoy these filling and interesting meals.
Those who like a little kick to their food might need to head to their spice cabinets to up the heat factor to Freshly’s meals (which are often more flavorful than spicy.) Additionally, if you are like us and watch tons of Chopped each week you know the importance of plating. We suggest plating your Freshly meals to make them appear less like TV dinners when you are ready to eat.
Another thing to note is that while Freshly does have breakfast options, they are primarily egg-based dishes, which is definitely something to keep in mind if you don’t like eggs. Freshly’s breakfast dishes also tend to be served in smaller portions than the company’s lunch and dinner options.
Freshly customer service is also well organized, helpful and willing to answer any questions about your plan (and to offer suggestions about what plan would best suit your needs.)
Additionally, the Freshly website is constantly updated, so you can check on menus, your individual account and read up on any additions to the Freshly menu.
Their customer service reps are easily accessible via text message or phone and are quick to offer you credits if you aren’t satisfied with a particular meal. The text support option is extremely fast and detailed and you can readily reach a representative to ask questions, get nutritional info and provide feedback.
How to Order
Freshly’s premise is simple and to the point (and lucky for you, the site is easy to navigate).
First off, you’ll have to head here and select the meal plan you’d like. Customers have the option of picking 4, 6, 9, or 12 single portion meals per week. But don’t feel like you have to stick with a set number of meals per week forever! Users can change their plans on their login page each week based on their needs by heading to the Meal Planner section of the website.
Freshly’s menu is posted on its website each Sunday here. Once you’re all set up, you can expect to receive your meals in an insulated box.
Don’t worry if you aren’t home to receive the package. The box will stay cold for up to 12 hours. All you have to do once your package arrives is put everything in your freezer and then heat your meals when you are ready to eat.
Once you’ve signed up, you can expect your first set of meals to be prepared shortly there after and shipped within 1-2 days. After your package is dropped off for delivery, you’ll be sent a tracking number for your box so that you can track its journey.
Remember, if you have any questions about your order, you can always reach out to the Freshly’s super helpful customer service team. (We honestly found them to be one of the most helpful teams we’ve ever contacted.)