9.01.2016

All Aboard the Blue Apron Bandwagon



About six months ago, Bry thought it would be a good idea to ask why I wasn't cooking as often as I used to (free advice for husbands, this is not a wise decision...) While my mind was racing with all of the things I wanted to say, "I'm taking care of a baby!" "Work is crazy!" "I'd rather go to the gym!" and so on. Instead, I simply said, "I'm not feeling inspired in the kitchen, but if you are, I would love if you would take care of dinner one night a week." We had a good chat about how he likes to cook but doesn't feel comfortable improvising and how grocery shopping for new/more adventurous recipes can be a hassle. We have some friends that have used different dinner kit delivery services and most of them have nothing but positive things to say, so Bry did some research and we settled on giving Blue Apron a try. 

After a few months of Blue Apron deliveries, I can truthfully say that I'm a fan. Not only does it relieve the burden of planning three dinners during the week, but the food is really delicious. Below are some pros and cons, and I'd guess that most of these are true for most meal delivery services. Read the pros and cons below:


Pros:

  • There's a good variety of meals and it allows me to cook/eat things I normally wouldn't buy for myself. Like fish. I like fish, I just never buy it to cook for myself. 
  • The flavors are really good and some of the meals have inspired me to use new techniques/seasonings in my every day cooking as well. For example, they use a lot of citrus to season vegetables that are lightly sauteed. Lime juice, lime zest and on some string beans that are just slightly softened from cooking with garlic...so delicious. 
  • The price is reasonable. If you had to buy all of those ingredients yourself, or if you ordered takeout or went to a restaurant instead, you'd spend at least $10 per person. So for 60 bucks a week which gets us 6 meals (3 meals x 2 people) I'm okay with the cost. 
  • You don't have to go to three different grocery stores on the hunt for a specific ingredient. Everything you need is included in the box (with the exception of olive oil, salt and pepper) 
  • Novice cooks can easily follow the recipe cards. I'll be honest and say that I had a hard time putting this in the pros category. The recipe cards are good, but not great. Things are written in paragraph form (which is not ideal for a recipe) and I've found things missing in some of the recipes. Ultimately, the recipe cards are good because they give you images along with the instructions, and you can't royally screw up the recipe, but they could be better. 
  • If you're comfortable improvising you can easily bulk up the meals by adding protein, additional vegetables, etc. Sometimes I'll have a rogue veggie that's on it's last leg or some kale that I need to use up, and I'll toss those into the recipes along with the other veggies. Or opt for one of the vegetarian dishes and add some chicken to it. 
  • You can skip weeks. No delivery is mandatory, if you know you'll be out of town for a particular week, you can cancel. I think you just have to decide to cancel at least a week before the scheduled delivery. 

Cons:

  • The portions are all over the place. There are some times we'll make something and we end up having leftovers. There are many times (most) that we still feel a little bit hungry, especially given that Bry is a hungry dude who eats A LOT. 
  • The calorie count on the meals seems high to me. Especially since the protein portions tend to be smaller, I'm surprised that the meals average around 700-800 calories. 
  • There's still a decent amount of prep work needed. I understand that most of the convenience in this subscription is that I don't have to meal prep and go out and shop for all of the ingredients. However, many recipes require mincing garlic, cutting veggies, zesting fruit. I've started to cut corners and reduce my prep time by just using my jar of minced garlic instead of the fresh cloves they send me.
  • There's a limited selection of substitute meals. Online you can look at all of the meals that are going to be delivered in the next couple of months. It also gives you the option to sub out any of the meals that might not appeal to you. The issue with that is that the only substitute options are vegetarian, and I just know that's not going to be filling enough for Bry. However, I will say that some of the meals that didn't look that great to me on the recipe card ended up being some of the most delicious meals I ate. So I guess it's a bit of a blessing that I wasn't able to substitute those out for something else. 
  • There seems to be a lot of packaging waste. Everything is always delivered in great condition but there are two large ice packs that you have to dispose of each week, the box which can be recycled and then lots of little plastic/cardboard containers and compartments that hold the herbs, eggs, oils, seasonings. I feel a little guilty about my environmental footprint every time I unpack one of those boxes... 

I realize I have a lot of cons there, but I want to be honest about all of the things I like and don't like. And ultimately, I would recommend it to a friend. 


Through our subscription, we have some free meals to give away. If you're interested in trying it out for no cost, shoot me an email (marissasaysblog at gmail dot com) and I'll send you a coupon for a free week of deliveries!

Has anyone else tried Blue Apron or another meal service? Let me know what you think or if I missed any pros and cons. 

1 comment:

  1. Your blog caught my eyes instantly when I saw the name! It's so cool that we both thought of the idea "says". It's so meaningful and I'm amazed how there is another person in the world who thought the same! (unless Says is actually your middle or last name haha)

    love from www.gracesays.co ♥

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