I read a fair number of home and lifestyle blogs and lately you don’t have to try hard to stumble across a Blue Apron sponsored post.
What’s Blue Apron? Blue Apron is a meal ingredient delivery service. They deliver pre-measured ingredients, along with the instructions on how to cook an entire meal consisting of a main dish and side. From what I can tell, they have a 2-person program and meals for a “family,” which is about 4 people.
I have a friend who uses Blue Apron and she received a free meal trial to “gift” to a friend. Peer-to-peer marketing at its best! She gifted it to me. So, Blue Apron has NO CLUE who I am and therefore this post is not sponsored. However, I did not pay for my two meals either. Everyone clear on that? 🙂
If you sign up, even for a free trial, you’re “signed up,” which means you have to give them a credit card. I do not like that gimmick. That means you have to go in right away and cancel your subscription or you are going to be paying for another week of meals. In my case, that would have been about $70.
To avoid paying for any meals, I set up my account and scheduled the week I wanted the meals to be delivered. Then, I UNSCHEDULED delivery for all the weeks after that on their calendar. I also set a reminder on my calendar to cancel the account after I had received our meals in the mail.
Canceling the account was easy. It was all done online and there was no hassle.
The good thing about Blue Apron is that you can schedule the weeks you want a delivery. You just have to know in advance that you want meals delivered that week. You can’t change your mind at the last minute. I learned this the hard way.
I think I was right at the 7-day mark from receiving our order when I realized my husband was going to be out of town unexpectedly and I was set to receive 2 family meals. Bad timing, but these things happen.
I made the most of it and cooked the dinner with two girlfriends and their kids while our husbands were all off fishing. We all agreed it was a super fun evening!
You can tell the Blue Apron folks whether or not you’ll eat certain types of food like lamb or fish, etc. They do post the menus so you know whether or not you’ll want to receive a meal that week based on what they are sending you. If you don’t like lamb, you’re not going to get lamb.
The directions were super easy to use and follow. You do have to slice up the vegetables, but all the ingredients are pre-measured. So, if you need a whole onion or a tablespoon of this or that, it’s all there for you.
I don’t think I’ve read one bad thing about the quality or freshness of Blue Apron’s ingredients. My experience was that even after my box sat in the fridge for 2 days, everything was still super fresh.
My girlfriends and I brainstormed about who would really benefit from receiving this meal delivery service. Here’s what we came up with:
1. Folks who struggle with coming up with healthy meals for their family or getting their family to eat healthy foods. If you need a way to commit to eating more healthy, this could be a helpful tool.
2. If you want an “every once in awhile” break from meal-planning, Blue Apron might be the answer. For instance, if you know you’re going to have a super hectic week at work, then having 2 or 3 meals ready-to-go in your fridge that will only take 35-minutes to prepare might save you from that “oh no what’s for dinner thought” that always happens around 4pm.
3. If making and planning dinner is one of your least favorite chores, then this might eliminate some of the stress and drudgery for you.
4. If you’re trying to cut down on the number of times you eat out in a week, but still want that gourmet experience, this could fit the bill.
My friend who uses Blue Apron one or two weeks a month is a single mom with one child. She tells me it’s not always fun to cook for herself and a 7-year-old. In fact, it’s easy to fall into a “let’s do whatever is easiest” rut. This gets her out of that rut and they can make their 2 or 3 meals stretch into more with leftovers. So, she finds a lot of value for the price that way.
Now, from my and my friend’s experiences, your box of meals is going to be delivered very late in the day. Hers is always after 4pm and mine was delivered just after 5pm, which is tricky if you don’t receive your mail at your house. I got a call from the UPS store that I had received a perishable box and I should probably come get it before they closed. In hindsight, I should have just had it delivered directly to my door.
The reason I would not subscribe to Blue Apron is simply because of the price. Roughly $8.74 – $9.99 per meal per person isn’t a lot if you are eating out, but it is for routine weeknight dinners. We eat very fresh, but simple meals. As I’ve said before, some sort of meat and salad is pretty normal around here. I can’t see myself reducing my weekly grocery budget by $70 to have two meals delivered and come out ahead on that one budget-wise. But that’s just me.