Price: $59.99 for three meals serving two people
Blue Apron is a meal subscription service that delivers fresh ingredients and recipes to your door each week. The time you save (average meal taking 35 minutes of preparation time) not having to plan meals and grocery shop are some of its selling points but the cost for the service is higher than if you shopped for the ingredients yourself. In addition, the meal serving portions allow you to manage your diet, with calories per serving around 500-700 calories. Also, when possible the ingredients are organic and sourced locally using family-run businesses.
Meal delivery services allow you to choose from a selection of meals each week. You then will receive the recipes and pre-portioned ingredients to prepare a home cooked gourmet meal. The recipes provide the novice to experienced home cook step by step cooking instructions.
The cost for Blue Apron services is $9.99 per person which works out to about $59.99 for two people per week or family plan The family plan is $139.84 per week or $8.74 per person. I chose the two person plan since I was cooking for a single person most nights. The second meal I would have the next day for lunch or dinner which covered lunch and dinner for six days of the week. After checking out other meal kit services I discovered Blue Apron cost the least. Deliver is free nationwide and you are allowed to choose a delivery day that suits your schedule. I chose Saturday since I knew I would be home on that date to receive the package. The ingredients arrive via Fedex in a refrigerated box with ice packs to keep meats and dairy products from spoiling.
In an effort to suit a variety of tastes, Blue Apron meal service has five menus that can be customized for dietary requirements of vegetarians, pescetarian, as well as meat lovers. My vegetarian sister ordered the meals with the only complaint being the she had too much food. Blue Apron promises that no recipe will be repeated in the same year. There is a default menu reflecting your saved preferences (whether you are vegetarian, meat lover, or have specific foods you want to avoid). You are also allowed to select meals and view the recipe in advance which is important for picky eaters and people with food allergies. The recipes are beautifully illustrated and provide detailed information about the foods and in some cases a mini-history of its origin. The recipes are available within the meal kit and online via interactive recipe pages.
My experience with Blue Apron was not all smooth. One of my Saturday deliveries was delayed until Monday. Of course I had to toss the entire box since FedEx has no refrigerated storage for packages. The other issue I had with a couple of deliveries was missing ingredients. In all cases, once reported to Blue Apron, I received a credit for each shipment. I also discovered on their Facebook page and website that other customers had issue with missing ingredients. It’s my opinion that Blue Apron quickly resolved this quality assurance issue and made sure their customers were pleased with the service.
My verdict on Blue Apron ? I love it and will go back to using the service in a heart beat. I enjoyed my Saturday afternoon unboxing of my Blue Apron shipment. The only reason I stopped the service was that I had a number of house guests during the holidays and could not justify the cost of adding more meals. Gourmet meals in less than 35 minutes is a reality. I did it and hope to do so again.