There’s cooking from scratch, and then there’s take out and delivery. Somewhere in the middle of this spectrum, lies meal kits. I like trying new things, I like trying new recipes, and I like to write about trying out these new things and share my experience. I’ve tried some meal kit delivery services, but we don’t use one regularly ourselves since I like to cook a bigger portion with leftovers to counteract the Motherhood Penalty time crunch. Here’s my Fresh Prep review.
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Fresh Prep Review
Fresh Prep is a meal kit delivery service located in British Columbia and Alberta (with a focus on Vancouver and Calgary).
Fresh Prep was created in 2014 by three high school students Becky Brauer, Dhruv Sood, and Husein Rahemtulla from from Burnaby. They wanted to make it easier to eat healthy meals more conveniently.
Fresh Prep is considered Western Canada’s most convenient and sustainable meal kit delivery service. They are also Canada’s top rated meal kit service.
How does Fresh Prep work?
A Fresh Prep review wouldn’t be complete without looking at how it works.
Like all meal kit delivery services, it’s pretty straight forward.
First you select how many servings and how many recipes per week you want delivered. Then you pick the meals you want. Then you pick your delivery day and the delivery time window you prefer.
There are 10 meals and recipes to choose from each week, and these are created by dedicated chefs.
You can change your Taste setting to avoid certain things like beef, or chicken etc. and you can indicate that you are vegetarian or vegan too. If you have allergies, they try their best, but they can’t guarantee no cross-contamination.
Fresh Prep also have an Add-On menu where you can pick snacks, sides, grocery items, and desserts to add to your delivery.
On the day of delivery a Fresh Prep contractor delivery driver picks up the cooler bags at the designated Fresh Prep warehouse, and follows a preplanned route for the delivery. The Fresh Prep driver uses their own car. They get paid between $20-30 per hour to deliver your food.
The food arrives in a cooler with your recipe cards and if you have a Zero Waste recipe, it comes in this neat plastic container that has pre-portioned inner containers in them filled with things like mayonnaise, or julienned carrots.
Then when you’re ready to cook, give yourself 30 minutes (the meals take maximum 30 minutes) and follow the recipe card.
Fresh Prep recommends that you consume your meals within 4 days of delivery to maintain freshness.
Fresh Prep Menu
Next on the Fresh Prep review agenda, we can look at the menu.
The Fresh Prep menu is different each week, and there are 10 recipes to choose from.
There are menu items like:
- Pineapple BBQ Chicken Quinoa Bowl
- Chorizo and Sweet Potato Tacos
- Sticky Teriyaki Chicken Thighs
- Chipotle Mac and Cheese
- Nicaraguan Beans and Rice, with Fried Eggs, Plantains, and Avocado
In addition to the menu there are add-ons, such as:
- Sourdough bread
- 1L of Tomato and Basil soup
- Oat milk
- Broccoli florets
- and meat portions (e.g. an extra meat portion)
Fresh Prep Recipes
The Fresh Prep recipes were very easy to follow and the timing of the recipe is accurate (e.g. it was definitely less than 30 minutes). They are so step-by-step and literal it was something like “wash lettuce and cut into 1/4 inch ribbons”.
Fresh Prep Pricing
How much does Fresh Prep cost?
Fresh Prep is not cheap compared to cooking from scratch yourself, but it is cheaper than eating take out or ordering Uber Eats and also cheaper than dining out.
Fresh Prep works out to be $13.50 per serving per meal.
For two meals for two people once per week, it is $54.
They recently introduced a family friendly serving, which works out to be $10.50 per serving. Each family friendly meal costs $42.00 each and serves four.
Fresh Prep Cancellation
One of the main features of Fresh Prep is the convenience and ease of use.
It’s easy to pause or skip your week’s delivery, it’s just a toggle of a button on your Fresh Prep website login.
If you want to put your Fresh Prep subscription on hold, you just go into Settings and click “pause subscription”.
To cancel completely, you will have to email firstname.lastname@example.org and confirm your cancellation.
You’ll have to make sure your Fresh prep cooler bag and Zero Waste containers have been picked up first before you cancel otherwise you might get charged for them.
The Fresh Prep contracted driver will text you to let you know they will be arriving soon to pick up the Fresh Prep cooler bag.
Here are some pros and cons that I have identified with Fresh Prep.
Fresh Prep Pros
Sustainable. Compared to Chefs Plate Canada, I liked that my meal kit was delivered in a Fresh Prep cooler bag instead of a box that I would have to recycle. One of the recipes was 100% zero waste, and the rice, sauces, shredded carrots were all measured out in little plastic dividers. It didn’t make me feel so icky breaking down a box, and throwing away a bunch of plastic wrappers. They pick up your washed and rinsed cooler bags and Zero Waste kits and sanitize and re-use them.
Delivery. It was delivered by a Fresh Prep driver (even had his name on the Fresh Prep bag) and not by UPS or Canada Post. Scheduling a pick up of the Fresh Prep cooler bag and Zero Waste kit was easy too, with a click of a button and you set it out the morning of. They even sent me a text to let me know the time frame the delivery driver will be coming and another text to indicate that the cooler bag had arrived. There’s no delivery fees and you aren’t expected to tip the driver.
Everything is local. The chicken used was high quality meat and locally sourced. This is a Vancouver based meal kit delivery service company so it was nice to see that the chicken was local, from Abbotsford.
Fresh Prep Student Discount. They have a discount for students, if you are a Student Beans member entailing 3 free meals if you are a new customer. Pretty good for a student budget, if you ask me, that’s over a $40 value for free as a new customer.
There are dishes inspired from around the world. If you want to try something new or try a different cuisine without buying all new spices or ingredients that you might not normally purchase, this is a great way to ‘test it out’ before you commit to buying these ingredients for your pantry.
Fresh Prep referral. There’s a referral where you can refer your friends to use Fresh Prep and they get something like $40 off and you get $40 off for your next order. If you know a lot of people who are interested in meal kit deliveries, you’ll be able to enjoy a few free deliveries yourself.
Fresh Prep Cons
Smaller Portions. The portions seem kind of small. At first I thought wow, how is this supposed to serve two people? The meat portions seemed kind of small, but there were plenty of vegetables to make up for it, it therefore felt healthier not to eat so much meat. Also, the meals were high satiety, meaning we didn’t feel hungry soon after eating them, even though the meat portion was on the smaller side.
Cleanliness? This seems like a silly negative, but there was something a little unnerving about opening up a container and seeing sauce that’s not sealed in a container. This ‘negative’ doesn’t make sense since it’s basically the same food preparation you would find in a restaurant. I quickly got over it though and reassured myself that people handling the Zero Waste containers likely wore gloves and washed their hands.
Charges for unreturned re-usables. There are fees to be paid if you do not return the Fresh prep cooler bag or the Zero Waste containers. This is okay because otherwise people wouldn’t return their reusables, so I respect that they charge if you don’t return them (it’s also such a low barrier to return the re-usables, someone picks it up you don’t even have to go anywhere).
Higher price. You do get what you pay for. Compared to another meal kit delivery service like Chefs Plate, the cost per serving is higher. However, it tastes higher quality and there’s less packaging waste to feel guilty about.
It’s still meal preparation and clean up. You basically skip the mental load of ‘what to make for dinner’ and the time burden of grocery shopping for this specific meal. However, on work days, I really don’t have 30 minutes of time to spare to cook a meal, when my kids are screaming for attention and hangry. Also, you still have to clean up the dishes and pots and pans (and also clean and rinse the Zero Waste kit). I find that since you the the meal is prepared within 30 minutes there are a number of pots and pans to use (many parts of the recipe are cooking at the same time).
Fresh Prep Verdict
Hopefully you found this Fresh Prep review helpful.
In summary, I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to use Fresh Prep for our meals. It tasted good (it wasn’t too tasty- I found Chefs Plate a bit too tasty and salty) and also was very healthy. My husband preferred the Fresh Prep meals over Chefs Plate meals.
I like that it focuses on sustainability and seems more “personalized” compared to the larger meal kit delivery services. It feels better for the environment with Fresh Prep compared to other meal kit delivery services.
I would definitely use this on days that I might feel overwhelmed with food preparation instead of buying take out, but I wouldn’t use it on a regular basis since meal kit delivery services are more expensive compared to cooking from scratch yourself. This is easy because there is complete flexibility for Fresh Prep you can hold or cancel your future week’s delivery with ease.
I can see why it is considered Canada’s top rated meal kit delivery service.
It’s the details that matter and Fresh Prep has definitely got the details down.
If you’re interested in trying Fresh Prep you can try your first two meals free.
Have you tried Fresh Prep? What is your Fresh Prep review?
GYM is a 30 something millennial interested in achieving financial freedom through disciplined saving, dividend and ETF investing, and living a minimalist lifestyle. Before you go, check out my recommendations page of financial tools I use to save and invest money. Don’t forget to subscribe for blog updates, a free dividend yield spreadsheet, and the free Young Money Bootcamp eCourse.