A few weeks back, a friend of mine (thanks Lauren!) sent me a few free meals so I could try out Blue Apron for a week. Selma and I recently tried Plated (another popular food subscription service) and were pleased with the outcome so I was really interested in giving Blue Apron a shot to see how it compared.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Blue Apron, it’s a meal subscription service that sends everything you need to make delicious meals right to your doorstep. Some of the main draws of this service are that all meals are only 500-700 calories per serving and take only ~35 min to prepare on average. You simply make an account online, select your dietary preferences and delivery date, and then wait for your box. When it arrives, you follow the detailed instruction card inside and dinner is served. Even those who are not culinary inclined will find these recipes easy to make.
First, everything arrives on your doorstep in an insulated box. Unlike Plated, they ship to most locations nationwide and they have a Saturday delivery option as well which is awesome if you live in the city and don’t want to leave your packages unattended. They also source the best seasonal ingredients directly from farms, importers and family-run purveyors so you know that the quality of ingredients you’re receiving is top-notch.
Upon opening your box, you will find a letter detailing the items of your menu and your colorful and vibrant instruction cards. These cards detail each step of the prep and cooking process so you don’t get lost and confused along the way.
In your insulated bag, you’ll find all of your ingredients neatly packaged in separate bags according to the meal. Everything is perfectly portioned out so you have exactly what you need to make each dish. This solves two problems: One, it cuts down on unnecessary cost and food waste by providing you with only what you will use. So no more buying that huge bunch of parsley and letting 90% of it go to waste. And two, you don’t have to waste time measuring anything out. You just simple open and pour out the ingredient (for the most part). Also, something to note is that they pack your meat and fish closest to the freezer packs so they stay nice and cold. Smart.
This is everything laid out nicely so you can see just how neatly packaged everything is. We ordered 3 meals for 2 people so we got a ton of food.
And just like Plated, everything is kept nice and cold for several hours after you receive the box with these reusable ice packs. So even if you’re not home when your box arrives, these little guys will keep everything cold and fresh.
Something important to note is that all of the packaging is recyclable, including the ice packs which are filled with a non-toxic, water soluble gel. A lot of people are concerned with the waste that stems from having everything individually packaged and to an extent I would have to agree. But using packing that is recyclable or biodegradable is at least a step in the right direction. I also came across this post on their blog about creative uses for your box and ice packs.
There are two plans to choose from, the 2-person Plan (which is what we went with) and the Family Plan. From what I gathered, the Family Plan seems to have more family style dishes on their menu as opposed to individual entrees like the 2-person plan and can obviously feed more people.
Blue Apron is also a little bit cheaper than Plated coming in at $9.99 per plate vs Plated’s $12. This is actually not too bad when you consider that you’re getting everything you need delivered right to your doorstep. Now keep in mind that you are essentially paying for two things – quality ingredients and convenience. If your time is worth a lot to you, then this is definitely the service you need in your life.
In my opinion, this is an awesome solution for busy people. You get quality ingredients and recipes that are healthy and delicious. And best of all, no food is wasted and no annoying trips to the store. As for the price, it’s still hard for us to justify spending $10 a person for dinner every night when you can easily make a meal for far less. Plus, we usually rely on leftovers for lunch the next day so if we did this every night, we would have to spend more money on lunch the next day. Not smart. Nevertheless, it’s still an awesome idea for a date night or special occasion. It’s cheaper than going out and it’s actually a lot of fun cooking together.
And with that, check out what we made!
Have you tried Blue Apron or a similar service before? I would love to hear your take on it as well!