Companies, like Blue Apron, are capitalizing on the desire to have someone else go shopping and prepare your meals for you. In fact, Blue Apron is serving up more than 5 million meals a month. Would you be willing to join millions of others and pay extra money to have ready-made meals delivered to your doorstep?
About Blue Apron
If you haven’t heard of them already, Blue Apron is one of many companies out there that offers a meal planning and delivery service. Each week, you log on to the website and choose the meals you want delivered. Once you pick a delivery date, you’ll receive fresh produce on your doorstep. You typically get two to three meals per week, depending on your account settings.
The idea is that you’ll save time because you won’t have to think about planning meals, shopping for the ingredients or even looking up recipes. The meals can also serve as as a healthy option. Blue Apron only serves up local ingredients, including organic meats and produce. However, does the meal planning service live up to the hype?
My Initial Thoughts on Blue Apron
As a foodie, I love looking at new recipes and *gasp* actually going to the supermarket. I wasn’t convinced that I would like Blue Apron (or any meal service) since I’d always modified recipes to fit my personal cooking style and preference.
Also, as a naturally frugal person, the cost of the service was a bit too much for my liking. You’re looking at around $9 per meal with Blue Apron (which adds up to around $54 if you order three 2-person meals for the week). If you have a family with children, like I do, you may not have a good experience (especially if you’re dealing with picky eaters). Luckily, my son is pretty adventurous, so I decided to give Blue Apron a try.
The Blue Apron Experience
If you’re looking for convenience, I was impressed with how easy it was to sign up for Blue Apron’s services. It took about five minutes to enter your information and meal preferences. Before you know it your meals for the week are on their way! I enjoyed the fact that Blue Apron delivered even to my tiny little town. However, in rural areas, like mine, delivery may only be available one day (for me it was Fridays). In larger, metropolitan areas you can get delivery on most days of the week (even Sunday).
The meals were delivered by noon the day I chose for delivery and everything was packaged nicely. There were two large ice packs inside the cooler bag, which would have kept all the ingredients cool if I weren’t home for a few more hours. I left the ice packs out overnight to see if they would be melted the next day, and they weren’t (good news if you miss your mail delivery).
Upon preparing my first Blue Apron meal, I couldn’t help but like how each ingredient was portioned out for you. Every meal in your box has ingredients that are packaged and labeled individually, much like what you see below:
All the ingredients were clearly labeled and the recipe cards had clear instructions with photos of each major step, in case I needed to know how to cut up certain ingredients or weren’t sure about how do to a certain cooking technique.
How Easy Is It To Prepare?
Cooking the meals was almost as easy as unpacking the box. The instructions were clear and easy to understand. Each recipe reads like a checklist where you work on another part of the meal after you finished the previous step.
If you’re unclear now to do something (even as simple as chop an onion), you can head over to their website to see the recipe in action through how-to videos. Each recipe card also shows how long it should take to cook the meal (I found the estimates to be accurate).
It didn’t necessarily save me time, as my usual cooking time is 30 minutes or less (and even less than that if I cook in the crockpot), but for those who aren’t so adept in the kitchen it’s also a great option. There were a good variety of meals, but if you’ve got dietary restrictions (like a gluten intolerance or you’re a vegan) then you may not have many choices, if any at all.
How Does it Taste?
As for how the meal tasted, it wasn’t too bad. My husband and son ate it, but felt like they needed dessert afterwards. It wasn’t the greatest meal (we thought we needed something else to round out the flavors), but wasn’t one of the worst things we’ve tried. The next two meals weren’t bad either. You could tell that the ingredients were fresh but, with a family to feed, I’m not so sure it’s the best option.
Is Blue Apron Worth It?
If you’re looking for a frugal meal option, Blue Apron probably isn’t for you. In my opinion, the amount of money you pay for three meals from Blue Apron, you can easily buy your groceries for the week. However, it is cheaper than going out and ordering similar meals, so if you’re one that likes restaurant style meals without the price tag, it is definitely cheaper.
All in all, I did like that these meals had ingredients I probably can’t find in my local supermarket and the meals were easy to put together. So, if you’re looking to introduce more local produce into your weekly meal plan, learn to cook new dishes or avoid the supermarket altogether, Blue Apron may be worth a try.
Interested in Blue Apron? Get $30 off your first week using this link.
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