Have you ever seen those ads for meal prep programs? Whether its Hello Fresh, Blue Apron, Daily Harvest, etc. (there’s a ton!), there’s so many to choose from. But are they worth it? I can’t speak for any of the others, but here’s my Blue Apron review based on my experience with them (and completely non sponsored) after eating their meals for a few weeks.
Blue Apron promises well balanced, chef created, quality meals. Do they deliver?
Please note: This post is not sponsored. All products were purchased with my own money and (as always), all opinions are my own. Additionally, we did not try the premade meals, so I cannot comment on those.
Why did you get it?
My fiancé can’t (maybe he can, but he doesn’t) cook. At all. Like, when we first started dating, I helped him buy his first pot and pan. Anyways, he saw a really good introductory deal for Blue Apron and spur of the moment decided to try it out!
What does the program cost?
It can vary wildly depending on what meals you choose. We snagged a great introductory deal for ~$100 for five weeks.
Full price, it looked like most meals were approximately $10 per serving (each meal comes with two servings, so it’s like $20 per box. However, there are add ons you can choose for certain meals (ex: add pancetta to your pasta or upgrade to a premium meal like duck) that make a big difference. While I”m sure they’re delicious, it’s hard for me to rationalize the extra $8, when I know I could go to the grocery store and get a cheaper version. Then again, Blue Apron states that the quality of their ingredients is one of their top priorities, so maybe they’re getting the best brands.
What did the program entail?
We got the plan with two meals a week. I think this gave us a good sampling of what they had to offer and we tried to sample a little bit of everything. While some meals were definitely more basic and I could’ve made them without a recipe, they always tried to do something to elevate it, like make a sauce to go with it.
How’s the meal selection?
Their selection is quite good. They have a variety of different cuisines and many meals to choose from each week. The meals also change from week to week. You can choose from a variety go meals on the website and then they ship out all of the ingredients to you in a large box (with ice packs so none of your food spoils). Each meal includes all ingredients and a recipe card with detailed instructions.
Blue Apron Review: The Good
Portion size is good. It always feds a minimum of two people for us, but we often split it among three and had no issues with anyone being hungry afterwards. There was one time where it wouldn’t be enough for three, and another time it was borderline so I threw together a quick salad.
We liked all the dishes we got! Nothing worse than working really hard in the kitchen and preparing food, only to sit down and realize… you don’t like it. Luckily that wasn’t the case here! Here’s a couple examples of what the meals actually end up looking like.
This program is a great way to try cuisine you normally don’t cook as you won’t have to go out and look for obscure ingredients and then have a ton left over. Please note; you won’t be cooking the most *authentic* version of the dish (sometimes it definitely tastes American-ized), but you will definitely get to taste the different flavors.
Blue Apron Review: The Bad
Cost. Overall, the full price program is EXPENSIVE. You’re paying for the convenience, I totally get that. Other meal programs cost just as much. However, paying full price and then choosing to do an add on can definitely end up not making this a cost effective choice. So, knowing that they did all the work for me in hunting down the ingredients and making sure I use the whole thing (to cut down on food waste) helps, but at the same time, I’m still having to make the actual food and I could get something from Trader Joes that’s easier and cheaper… Then again, I am a Trader Joe’s junkie.
Blue Apron Review: The Ugly
This program made me so sad because of all of the waste. There was SO MUCH WASTE. SO MUCH PLASTIC. I really can’t get over it. I totally understand, that this is probably what it takes to scale up the business and it makes sense for their business model, but it’s really hard to see the heap of single-use plastic that comes with every meal. It’s especially difficult to rationalize when as one of the reasons for choosing Blue Apron, they say it’s “a more sustainable way to cook.” Nope. Maybe with respect to food waste, but definitely not for the plastic.
Sorry it’s not a cute picture, but you see what I mean.
Would I do it again? Depends. On sale? Maybe. Full price? Definitely not.
I need to up my sauce game. One thing I noticed in all the dishes was that everything had a sauce. There’s just something about it that gives the dish more flavor and I’m a fan. Now to figure out some more basic sauces to add to my repertoire.
Sustainability matters. This may sound bad, but I knew I cared about sustainability, but I didn’t realize how much single use plastic waste bothered me. This experience has actually helped me cut down on more plastics in my everyday life.
Overall, I hope this Blue Apron review helped you make a decision about whether or not to try it out (or at least gave you some points to consider). So, what about you? Have you tried Blue Apron? What do you think? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below!