My husband and I actually like to cook and try new recipes regularly, so Blue Apron had always been interesting to us, but I was hesitant to pull the trigger. When a friend gave us a gift card for Christmas I was excited to try it out and pleasantly surprised by the service.
My main point of skepticism was from reading reviews that claimed Blue Apron and other similar services would help save money. To be clear, if you’re cooking all of your meals at home already, a service like this won’t save you money. However, Blue Apron is a great lower-cost alternative if you’re eating out at restaurants several times a week. Thinking of it as an alternative to a restaurant rather than a normal home cooked meal really changed my perspective and gave me a much more positive outlook on these services.
Another thing I was worried about was shipping the food. I had visions of opening my box to rotten steaks and limp vegetables, but thankfully I was wrong. The boxes seem well insulated and the ice pack at the bottom was still frozen completely solid when the package was delivered. I’m still not sure how they managed that one. All the produce we got was fresh so in terms of food quality they get 5 stars from me. Plus the tiny pre-portioned “knick-knacks” were straight up adorable.
Now, onto the recipes! For our first two weeks of meals we got three meals a week. On the website they have eight meal options which is great in case you don’t like some of the proteins offered (for example, I’m not a big fish fan). I would note that this is not the service for picky eaters, because almost all of the meals were a little adventurous. For me that was part of the fun of Blue Apron, but if you’re not willing to try new foods you might end up wasting your money.
Here are the recipes we got:
Saffron Risotto with Orange-Glazed Fennel
Spaghettini & Yellow Tomato Sauce with Roasted Red Peppers
Strip Steak & Potatoes with Spicy Maple Collard Greens
Spicy Fettuccine & Beef Bolognese with Zucchini
Beef Medallions & Scallion Salsa Verde with Potatoes & Broccoli
Creamy Fusilli Bucati Pasta with Fried Rosemary & Walnuts
All of the recipes we made came out great! I really thought that we would mess up one or one would be a complete flop (can you tell I’m a cynic?) but the recipe cards were easy to follow with lots of pictures and everything tasted good. I liked that the recipe cards were good quality too so we could keep them and recreate the recipes if we wanted.
Overall I really did like the service and I have a few main pros and cons I noticed after trying it out:
Easy Meal Planning – No grocery list to write and no wondering what you’re going to make when you get home. I loved that this took the thinking out of meal planning and this is definitely my biggest pro of the service.
Try New Recipes/Ingredients – Like I mentioned, the recipes can get pretty adventurous, which was a big plus for me. Not only did we try different ingredients, we also learned some new cooking techniques. I had never made a risotto before but I was successful on my first try with Blue Apron!
Cheaper than eating out – I already covered this one, but I think it’s important. If you think of Blue Apron more like a special treat than a normal dinner it’s much more reasonable.
More expensive than cooking at home – If you typically grocery shop and cook dinner at home, Blue Apron will probably be more than your usual budget. In that case you just have to weigh if the other pros are worth it.
No extra ingredients – When I’m normally grocery shopping I’ll plan to use an ingredient like rice or eggs several times throughout the week to help my budget stretch farther. With Blue Apron everything is perfectly portioned so you don’t have any extra ingredients left at the end of the meal. For me that’s a little annoying, especially when considering how much more expensive Blue Apron is than shopping at the grocery store.
No Leftovers – When Blue Apron says two servings, they mean two servings! I was a little surprised when I opened our box and found just one steak for the steak recipe. Was this really going to feed both of us? Each meal ended up being exactly two servings, no second helpings and no leftovers. We didn’t go hungry, but usually I like to cook bigger portions so we have leftovers for lunch. A pot of chili or batch of curry can feed us for a good 3-4 meals! Again, for the price it was disappointing to not have any leftovers.
Have you tried out any other meal services? Did you think it was worth it? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments or on Instagram @meganrosablogs