The Cost of Drinking Huel for Breakfast and Lunch
So… about a month ago, I started drinking Huel.
Like, for two out of every three meals.
I wouldn’t have bothered mentioning this on The Billfold—because this is a personal finance site, not a GET EXCITED ABOUT HUEL site—except some of you who follow my Instagram figured out that I had boarded the Huel Train and wanted to know how much it cost.
Currently, it costs $114.30 every five weeks.
Here’s how it works: Huel is a nutritionally complete powder that is sold in 7,000 calorie bags. You get to decide how many calories to mix with water and how often you want to drink your Huel. I use the popular 2/3 method, which means I’m drinking Huel for breakfast and lunch and eating a non-Huel dinner. (Last night I had vegetable rotini cooked with spinach, cheese, and tuna.)
You can order a single bag of Huel online, but it’s way more cost-effective to set up a subscription. With a subscription, you get either two, four, or eight bags of Huel sent to your home at specific intervals: two weeks, four weeks, five weeks, etc.
Which means I had to figure out how much Huel I wanted and how often I wanted to receive it.
Right now I’m signed up for four bags every five weeks, which means I’m drinking 300 calories of Huel plus a banana at breakfast and 450 calories of Huel plus an apple at lunch. Yes, when you do the math on how many calories are in four bags and how many days are in five weeks you get a bit more Huel than I actually need, but Huel is so popular that shipments sometimes get delayed—which makes having a little extra Huel the smart choice.
In the future, I may change my subscription. (I am very likely to switch to the eight bag subscription at some point, because costs do go down when you buy in bulk.) Or I may use the extra Huel to make cookies.
This segues nicely into the “but how does it taste?” question, and my shortest answer is that it tastes kind of like putting oatmeal and nuts and a little vanilla in a blender and then letting it chill in the refrigerator. (I’ve been telling people that if they’re into overnight oats, they are going to love Huel.)
I am the kind of person who likes to eat the same foods every day, and I’m also the kind of person who does not always have the happiest digestive system, and Huel solves both of those problems. Huel has also stopped my sugar cravings—like, I used to have an “I need to eat candy every day” sweet tooth, and now I don’t. (It’s really weird. It’s like I’ve lost a part of my identity.)
If you don’t like vanilla, there’s an “unflavored” Huel, which I haven’t tried; there’s also a gluten-free Huel if you’re into that. (Huel is naturally vegan.) If you want to read about Huel’s nutrition and why the team chose the ingredients they did, start here.
At this point I’m starting to sound like an advertisement for Huel, and I’m really just trying to explain that switching to a food subscription has made meal planning and prep so much easier. (Also eating. And digestion. And making decisions around food. And wondering what the food is going to make me feel like two hours later.)
I don’t yet have enough data to figure out whether I’m saving money by buying Huel instead of the foods I was previously buying for breakfast/lunch/snacks; Huel takes a big bite out of my grocery budget, but I’m also buying significantly fewer groceries. I’m also buying fewer groceries because I had a bunch of “lunch food” stocked up (like peanut butter, jelly, and bread) that I’ve been eating for dinner, so I won’t really know my new grocery expenses for another month or so.
I do know that Huel is giving me much more value per meal in terms of nutrition, energy, and satiety—and this is from someone who was eating pretty healthily before I switched to Huel. Breakfast used to be oatmeal, banana, raisins, sunflower seeds, and honey; lunch was PBJ, an apple, carrots, cucumber, hummus, and chocolate; snack was SUGAR TIME; dinner was slow-cooker lentils with yogurt, flatbread, and more chocolate. Not bad, right? HUEL IS WAY BETTER.
So that’s my Huel story, and I’m sorry I don’t have more financial data for you yet! I could do a follow-up in a few months if you’re interested—and, as always, happy to answer questions in the comments.