When you are so busy doing “all the things”, preparing and cooking an evening meal for your family can seem like the hardest thing ever.
That is why we need all the help we can get. Meal planning and delivery services can really help out busy families. But you may hesitate in trying services like this, because of the cost and the fact that you would rather know that you are preparing a healthy meal for your family.
It took a while for me personally, when I was so busy and stressed to realize that I don’t have to do it all. Neither do you – you don’t have to do it all.
I started looking into various meal planning and delivery services. I am working my way through them all to bring you honest reviews of the various services and companies out there.
Meal delivery services, Blue Apron included, can help you with many aspects of trying to deal with a busy life and little time. You can get the groceries/ingredients for meals delivered straight to your door, and the recipes to plan for what to cook.
When you are busy doing all the things, you need all the help you can get!
Here is my honest review of the Blue Apron meal delivery service. Blue Apron was one of the first meal delivery services available, and it is one of the better known meal delivery services, so it is a good meal delivery service to start with first.
What is Blue Apron?
Blue Apron is a meal delivery service that delivers recipes, together with ingredients, straight to your home, every week (or how ever often you need deliveries).
Blue Apron states: Blue Apron offers a better way to cook, with fresh ingredients and great recipes delivered weekly to your home. Blue Apron has no commitment or fees, so you can prepare delicious, inventive meals at home.
The Blue Apron website at www.blueapron.com is very user-friendly and you can easily and simply join and plan out your meals.
You start out by choosing your preferred plan. There are several plans available:
2-Serving Signature. This serves 2 people, with either 2 or 3 recipes every week. You choose from an ever-changing mix of meat, fish, poultry, Beyond Meat, and nutritionist approved recipes created with Weight Watchers.
4-Serving Signature. This serves 4 people, with either 2, 3 or 4 recipes per week. It has recipes for families, get togethers, or those who prefer to knock out multiple meals in a single cooking session.
2-Serving Vegetarian. This serves 2 people, with either 2 or 3 recipes every week. It has meat free recipes that celebrate the best of seasonal produce.
Every week you get a choice of 8 different meals to choose from. You choose your recipes, select your delivery date and sit back and wait. Once the box is delivered it comes complete with all the food ingredients you need for your recipes, and recipe cards and instructions.
How to Sign up for Blue Apron
To sign up for Blue Apron go to their site at www.blueapron.com.
Once your account is created, you enter your delivery information, and your billing information. You can also select your first delivery date right now.
Signing up for an account is super easy and you are guided step by step in the entire process.
How Blue Apron Works
After signing up for the particular plan you want, you choose your delivery date and also give any special delivery instructions. Blue Apron delivers 7 days a week, which makes it so convenient.
When you give your delivery information you can also give special delivery instructions if you need to. For instance “leave on porch” or “leave with neighbor next door”. The meals are delivered in a box that contains a special insulated bag and ice packs. Any ingredient that is perishable or needs to be frozen or refrigerated, is packed in ice packs inside the special insulated bag. So your contents will be just fine left outside your home until you get home.
When you set up a plan with Blue Apron, you do not have to have all your meals delivered on a regular basis. You can skip meals anytime you want to (it is very easy to do this by just going into your account on the website). You can also cancel the service at any time. You are not bound by any contract at all. (However, you cannot cancel on the website, you need to send an email to the company).
You set a delivery day, but you can move that delivery day whenever you want to (as long as your box hasn’t already shipped out).
When your box ships, you get a great reminder by email. It tells you what time and day your order is due to arrive, shows you pictures of the meals that are in your box, and lets you track delivery of your box.
Recipe Choice & Ingredients
Blue Apron has a wide choice of recipes. I signed up for the Signature Menu for 2 Meals per week. There were 8 menu choices given to me for that week (please note, menu choices will always vary):
Creamy Tomato Pasta
Coconut Vegetable Curry
Cheesy Lime Chicken
White Cheddar Beyond Burger
Spiced Salmon with Garlic Yogurt
Crispy Potato & Kale Hash
Korean Style Beef Bowls
You are presented with all the menu choices for the particular week you are choosing for, and there are usually around 8 recipes to choose from. You can select and change recipes at any time by clicking on them.
Recipe choices will vary with whatever plan you choose. For instance if you choose the vegetarian plan you will of course get vegetarian options, and no meat or fish options.
It does seem that a lot of the ‘meat’ recipes are largely chicken based, more than other meats. But there were a wide variety of meat and poultry recipes always available.
The vegetarian options for meals do seem fairly varied, and some are really quite different. Blue Apron does have one of the largest vegetarian meal menu selections of all the meal delivery services.
Blue Apron also has a cook book online, where you can view any recipe at any time. You can then make those recipes yourself at any time (if they are not with your plan, you will just need to purchase the ingredients yourself).
Each recipe comes on a colorful printed card. The cards have step by step full color photos for making that particular recipe. You can even buy a binder to keep all your recipe cards in!
Blue Apron, which is quite unique, also offers a wine delivery service too. Every recipe that they produce has a suggested wine pairing too. This is great if you are a foodie, and really want to make sure you have a good wine pairing with the meal you are about to eat. The prices of their wine are fairly reasonable too.
Who Blue Apron Would be Good for
Blue Apron meals are fairly fast to make, with around 20-30 minutes prep time being around the average. Therefore, for busy working families these are ideal.
Because all the ingredients are already prepped for you for the most part, there is also less time spent prepping. You still may need to slice some vegetables etc, but Blue Apron does provide things such as spice mixes, and other ingredients already prepped and mixed.
If you are a great cook and frequently cook, you may find Blue Apron a little simple for you. The recipes are written step by step and in quite simple terms. But if you are a busy family, work a lot, don’t have a lot of time to cook in the evenings, you will find Blue Apron ideal.
My Experience with Blue Apron
My honest opinion of Blue Apron is that it has extremely tasty recipes and meals. I used the service for a few weeks and made several meals. They were all really tasty, and I would have to say restaurant-quality meals.
All 4 meals I made were very tasty, and my family really enjoyed them. In fact I heard absolutely no complaints. Every crumb was eaten!
The meals were all very easy to make. There were step by step instructions, and all the ingredients were enclosed in the package, so I didn’t have to buy anything else to make the meals at all.
One of the meals was a Coconut Vegetable Curry, that was so delicious. We also tried a White Cheddar Beyond Burger, that was really tasty. Another week we made Zucchini, Mozarella and Olive Paninis among other meals.
One of the great things I loved about the meals was that the portions were absolutely spot on. The portion sizes have obviously been very well thought out. There wasn’t too much left over, or too little to eat.
Another thing I loved about the meals is that there was no food waste, which is probably the case with all the meal planning companies who also deliver ingredients and recipes.
Every food item that was needed for the meals is given in the exact measurement it is needed in. You will get a small slab of cheese for exactly the amount you need. You get a small bottle of white vinegar for exactly the amount of vinegar you need for instance.
My top reasons for choosing and using Blue Apron are:
Really tasty recipes
Easy to follow recipes, with step by step instructions
Easy to use website, simple and easy to plan meals
Quality ingredients, everything seemed fresh
Delivery was exactly when they said it would be
Good portion sizes – they seemed ideal for us
They have a Weight Watchers option
Reasons for not choosing and using Blue Apron
Really I don’t have many reasons at all that I can give for not using Blue Apron. The entire experience was very good, and the meals so delicious.
The only reason to not use them I can see is perhaps the price. For some people the price may be prohibitive, especially if they are on a budget. I didn’t think the price was necessarily high, and it starts at around $7.49 per serving. But if you budget very carefully it may be a little out of your reach. *But I do have to say there are frequent coupons offered, so you can easily get money off the service. I got a discount that was split over 3 orders.
There were not a lot of options for certain dietary requirements, for instance gluten-free and dairy-free. But there is a good range of vegetarian options.
My Overall Impression of Blue Apron
I found the service very easy to use and sign up for, and the meals were very tasty. The meals were easy to prep and cook, and the instructions very good. All the ingredients seemed fresh and good quality.
This is definitely a great service for busy people, with the ingredients and instructions already done for you. If you want a home-cooked meal that is tasty, fast and easy to make I really think Blue Apron is a great choice.
Note: I paid for the Blue Apron meal service myself, I was not given any free services from Blue Apron for this review.
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