Meal Planning

Blue Apron Review – An Unpaid Post

Blue Apron Ingredients

Here’s the box and as promised, I’m sharing my experiences and thoughts with you in a Blue Apron review.

This is a good time to tell you this is an independent Blue Apron review and I was not compensated for this post. The review and the following opinions are my own. And thank you, Duke the dog, for the photo bomb. You’re awesome.

Blue Apron Review

My Blue Apron Review

Blue Apron delivers recipes and the groceries required to make in your home. A nice big box with plenty of cooler packs inside keep everything temperature controlled. The 4-degree temperatures in Illinois helped keep it extra cool, I’m sure.

While I don’t have photos of the unpacking process, if that’s something that interests you, you can watch me unpack the box and view my random family members strolling in and out in the background, on my Facebook Live video. We’re a family of six so people are abundant around here.

Blue Apron offers two plans – I ordered the 2 person plan which includes 3 meals for 2 people. A Family plan is available also which feeds a group of 4 and delivers 4 recipes each week.

When you register for your first meals, tell Blue Apron about your dietary preferences (beef, poultry, fish, lamb, pork or shellfish). Consequently, the recipes you receive are based on your selections.  All the ingredients comes pre-measured and labeled for each recipe and the spices and condiments come in little packages called “Knick Knacks”, which I thought were downright adorable.

Blue Apron Ingredients

How long does my kit stay fresh?

The Blue Apron website states that the ingredients may stay fresh for a week, however, they recommend cooking seafood/shellfish first to maintain freshness. Upon arrival, the meats looked good, the veggies looked fresh. We noticed the beef instructed us to cook or freeze within five days.  Personally, I would cook the meals within the first 5 days anyway. I don’t like to keep uncooked meats in the fridge for very long.

What Makes Blue Apron Unique?

If you’ve seen these meal delivery options advertised or seen the many (many!) ads on social media, you’re aware there are many competitors, each with their own selling points. Blue Apron’s website lays out their mission, which is “to make incredible home cooking accessible to everyone.” Three points are also outlined in their marketing materials.

  • developing a more sustainable food system

  • setting the highest standards for our ingredients

  • creating a community of home chefs

Here’s what was on my Blue Apron menu

The menu I received from Blue Apron included detailed menu cards with step-by-step instructions and photos. There are prep times and cook times outlined on each of the Blue Apron meal cards. Based on my experience, these times were pretty accurate and averaged about 30 minutes. Good to know…

The meals that came with this week’s plan were:
1. Seared Chicken & Couscous with Broccoli & Lemon-Yogurt Sauce – light, filling and easy to prepare. This one was a little ho-hum in our opinion but it still tasted good.

Blue Apron Review Meal 3
2. Guacamole Burgers with Roasted Red Onion and Sweet Potato. I’ll confess that I made this for breakfast one Sunday and it was great! The beef was grass-fed.

Blue Apron Review Meal 2
3. Spicy Shrimp & Korean Rice Cakes with Cabbage and Furikake – possibly my favorite meal, and I don’t even like shrimp.

Spicy Shrimp

Initially, I thought the portions were too small, however after cooking these meals, my husband found them to be adequate. The food tasted great, too. I would go so far to say they’re as good as you’d get (or better) in many dining establishments.

How much does it cost?

A 2 person plan (3 meals for 2 people each week) costs $59.94 ($9.99 per serving)

The Family Plan (4 meals for 4 people each week) costs $69.92 ($8.74 per serving)

Keep reading to hear my thoughts about that.

Other things that are good to know.

– You’ll need to supply your own salt, pepper and olive oil. If you don’t own those, please pause your reading, drive immediately to your nearest store and purchase, please and Thank You.

–  While I wasn’t expecting to need to wash the produce, let’s be real. I didn’t have to grocery shop, I didn’t go meal planning and I followed someone else’s recipe. In the grand scheme of things, I suppose it’s not too much to expect me to wash a head of broccoli.

– When you sign up, you will automatically receive weekly shipments. You can skip weeks if you choose, but do so by the deadline. How do I know this? Ummmm, I made a goof and thought I skipped a week but apparently, I DIDN’T. Hellloooo box on my doorstep!  I emailed their customer service the customer service rep (Wanda) was very polite and helpful about my error.

– One of my readers emailed me about the packaging waste. After looking into it, I see that you can recycle OR return the packaging including the gel cooler packs. Instructions on how to do that are available on the Blue Apron Website.

Based on my Blue Apron review, would I order again?

I thought the quality of the food – both the produce and meat – was very fresh and high quality. The shipment arrived with everything needed. The recipes were filling but light and fresh tasting. I enjoyed cooking with some ingredients that were new to me, like the Korean Rice Cakes. The recipes were elegant and slightly gourmet but not intimidating. If you’re open to trying new things, but not overly exotic things, this would probably be a good match for you.

The recipes are easy to follow. While I cooked and I relied on the photos and text to tell me what to. Another bonus (because I hate washing dishes) is that although most recipes required multiple steps, I found that my kitchen stayed cleaner due to fewer utensils and pans that were required for the recipes. Furthermore, if your kitchen is lean in equipment, you could definitely make these meals with limited resources.

Here’s what everyone wants to know – what about the cost? For me personally, we have a family of six, which includes two teenagers who eat A LOT. We would need a seriously large box to feed all of us, but I would consider it as an occasional splurge, particularly if I was short on time for the week.

Will it save you money? Maybe. Maybe not. It depends how much you dine out OR how much you despise meal planning. If you enjoy cooking and wish to replace some of your dining out with restaurant quality meals in your home, or need a ready to cook plan, this could be a consideration. Remember, you’re paying for the convenience of meals delivered to your home, and the grocery shopping. Those things come at a cost – it’s up to you to decide what works for you.

What do you think?

Have you tried Blue Apron or another similar company? Have questions? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Again, this Blue Apron review and experiences outlined in this post are my own. This review is NOT sponsored by Blue Apron; it’s my weird way of having fun. Thank you.

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