Interested in a meal subscription plan and want to try Blue Apron? Looking for a Blue Apron Review? I tried it for a week, and here’s what I thought. Please note: This post is NOT sponsored by Blue Apron– I used an online promo code for $50 off one week’s meals to try it out.
Alright everyone– it’s story time. Once upon a time, I thought I wasn’t affected by advertising. I rarely watch commercials, I do research before buying things– I cannot be swayed! Right? I thought so, but then one day I found myself at the gym, pounding the treadmill, drooling inexplicably over an Olive Garden commercial (I don’t even LIKE Olive Garden, guys!), and then convincing the husband we NEEDED to try their Taste of Italy THAT NIGHT. Well, friends, that’s when I knew ads work. (It’s okay though, because that meal was really tasty!) Recently, the ads on Pinterest and in my email drone on and on about meal subscription companies– you know what I mean, Blue Apron and the like– and honestly, I’ve been a bit obsessed. These companies promise to deliver ready-to-cook groceries straight to your door, and I WANTED it. I worried, though. Was this a clever advertising campaign design to make me lust after expensive food that I didn’t need? (Probably.) Would I end up loving it anyway? (I really thought I would!)
The problem is, once I started looking, I had a little bit of sticker shock. Using these meal delivery companies is pricier than going to the grocery store, no lie. (At least, it is for me with my Aldi shopping ways. If you frequent Whole Foods or other pricier grocers, you might disagree.) No matter how long I looked, however, these companies still seemed so FUN. I loved the idea of little ‘home cooking lessons,’ with ingredients I didn’t normally have easy access to (or just hadn’t tried). The more I looked, however, the more confused I got– because there’s a bunch of meal delivery companies, and they all offer something a little bit different. That’s when I decided I probably wasn’t alone– you might be confused and curious too! And that, dear readers, was the beginning of a new project. Let’s call it– The Blue Apron Project. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be trying out a few different meal subscription services, and giving you the 411. The info. The low-down. Ya dig it? (If you want to bail now, to avoid any more bad jokes/outdated slang/awful puns– I totally understand). Let’s start with the one you’ve probably heard the most about– Blue Apron.
*Note: Blue Apron did NOT send me a free box, but they DID send me a coupon for you! Scroll to the bottom of this post for the coupon link.
What they promise / Current Pricing*:
Blue Apron promises to ‘make incredible home cooking accessible to everyone.’ They promise to use sustainably sourced seafood, local farmers, and to make sure their recipes are easy to follow.
Every meal plan is the same cost, no matter your dietary selections, and prices are clearly posted and easy to find. For a two-person plan, it’s $9.99 per meal per person, and with 3 meals for 2 each week, your total is $59.94. A family plan serves four adults at $8.74 a meal, and can either come with two or four recipes per week.
Ordering / Meal Selection:
Blue Apron lets you select the type of meals you’d like before ordering or entering card information, and then you can adjust the preferences after ordering. Not every meal subscription company lets you clearly choose your preferences before ordering, so this was great.
You choose three meals per week, and there are six total options. Those options seem to always be– three vegetarian, one seafood, one white meat, one red meat. So, if you’re vegetarian, you don’t have any options to choose from– you just get what is selected by Blue Apron for that week. I also found that when I chose a seafood option, one of the vegetarian options would disappear (presumably removing the one with the most expensive veggies), leaving me with only two veggie options. So vegetarians and pescetarians– you don’t really have an option to select meals each week, you just get what they chose. Either you like the options that week, or you skip the week. This isn’t necessarily a problem, however, because the selections looked great, and skipping was easy. Just be aware that if you don’t want certain types of food, you’ll have limited meal options.
Vegetarians, also note– The regular two-person meal plan has options for you, but the family plan (which serves four) doesn’t come with any meatless options. Vegans– this meal service isn’t for you (yet)– right now, Blue Apron doesn’t offer any vegan meal plans.
The food arrived in a ‘cool pack’ box on a hot day– it was about 80º F, and I wasn’t home from work yet when it arrived. I was pretty nervous about leaving salmon in a box in the heat, but when I got home, it was still ice cold. I can’t say enough about how gorgeous the produce was– everything looked bigger and prettier than what I normally find at the grocery store, as if they went to a giant Farmer’s Market or Whole Foods and picked out the most gorgeous produce available. All the produce looked hand selected and was in perfect condition (no bruises, dents, or bumps). There were also full color recipe cards with instructions, and video tutorials online (in case you’re confused by any of the directions).
Meal One: Seared Salmon & Sauce Gribiche with Mashed Potatoes, Summer Beans, & Cherry Tomatoes. This meal was INCREDIBLE. It really was so much more delicious than I expected, that I was a little blown away. It was filling– even the bottomless pit that I call husband was satisfied (although there were no leftovers for the next day’s lunch).
Meal Two: Sweet Pepper, Zucchini, & Corn Stir-Fry with Soba Noodles & Ginger Cashews. This was tasty! Honestly, I’m not a huge fan of soba bowls, but I was trying to expand my horizons. I enjoyed this, and the husband devoured it. Again, there was plenty of food, and this time there was even enough for seconds.
Meal Three: Summer Vegetables & Queso Tostadas. Once again– this was delicious. I hadn’t seared queso before, so that was fun. There were plenty of fillings, but the husband did end up digging through our pantry for more tortillas to scoop leftover filling into. If we hadn’t had our own extra tortillas, we still would’ve been full (and could’ve polished off the fillings without a tortilla), so I didn’t feel short-changed.
Bonus: One totally free extra feature with Blue Apron is their online recipe index. You can access it without subscribing, and get a better idea of what your meals will look like. If you find something you love, go ahead and save the recipe! I love this feature, and it doesn’t cost a thing.
I LOVED LOVED LOVED Blue Apron! I was a little surprised by how much I enjoyed it, because Skeptical Sarah was rearing her ugly head. My entire experience with Blue Apron was fantastic, though, all the way from ordering to eating. Even though it doesn’t fit into my normal weekly budget, I could definitely see myself ordering it on occasion for treats. My favorite part was the cooking lesson aspect– I was able to try new techniques, and can now include those in my normal cooking routine. I loved that the recipes are reusable– since you’re making almost everything from scratch– you can make it again later on your own.
Who Might Love Blue Apron
- Anyone who can only eat certain types of meat (i.e.- no pork, no beef)
- Anyone without dietary restrictions
- People who eat out on a regular basis (this might actually end up saving you money!)
- Anyone looking for basic cooking lessons
Who Should Keep Looking
- Anyone with dietary restrictions that Blue Apron doesn’t accommodate (vegan, gluten free, paleo etc)
- Vegetarians and Pescetarians who want more meal choice options
- Anyone who doesn’t have 30-40 minutes to invest in cooking– these meals all took me about 30 minutes to prepare, but could take longer if you needed to look up the video tutorials online for clarifications.
This post contains affiliate links.
Are you intrigued by this Blue Apron Review, and want to know more? Stay posted, I’ll be posting several more meal subscription reviews over the next few weeks!
*A Note on Cost: The cost for meal subscription companies varies quite a bit from company to company. However, with each company, expect that the food will cost more than at a grocery store. You’re paying for convenience– they’ve taken care of several meals for the week, and you don’t have to worry about what to cook on those nights. You probably will still need to go to grocery store for the rest of the week’s meals, but the Blue Apron meals are taken care of. You’re also paying for produce that may be hard to find locally, as well as an introduction to new foods and cooking styles. Whether or not the cost is worth it, is of course, up to you. Additionally, the prices I’ve listed here are what each meal subscription service currently charges and that may change over time– check each company’s website for up-to-date price information.
Also Note: As the name implies, all of these companies provide meal ‘subscriptions.’ That means they keep your credit card information on file, and your food will keep coming (and you’ll keep paying for it), unless you tell them otherwise. A lot of complaints I’ve seen about meal subscription companies are about canceling the food on time– each company provides a ‘skip or cancel by date,’ usually about a week before each delivery. I didn’t find it difficult to cancel or skip weeks, but keep the ‘subscription’ part in mind when you’re ordering.