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All my post surrounding food are big hits on this blog (I’m so glad that ya’ll are like me :p)
So I figured that I should make a series of sorts where I try out some of the most talked about meal planning and kit service and share with you all my option.
First up is Blue Apron! Now, I have talked about this company a few times on this blog before, mainly comparing them to eMeals (which I’m still loving!). ButI have never actually tried their service for myself.
Price Breakdown & Selection
So I finally bite the bullet and placed an order with them. Like so many of the other meal kit service out there, they offered a sign up promotion. I ended up getting $60 off 2 deceivers, +$10.50 cash back with eBates.
We selected the family of 2 plan with 2 meals a week at $47.95(this includes taxes and shipping). With our added discounts, this came out to be $12.70 per week or $6.35 pre meal (not a bad deal).
Once I selected my plan and gave my CC information, they showed me the menus for the next month or so. Personally, I would have liked to see the menu options before I signed up (and maybe you can do this and I just didn’t see?), but what they had didn’t look half bad either.
Each week consist of 8 meal options to choose from, 3 of which are vegetarian (a must for me).So the section isn’t bad, but it’s also not the the best. So we picked out the two meals that looked the most appealing to us and patiently waited a week for them to arrive.
Packaging & Organization
Our box arrived around 5pm on a Wednesday via FedEx. The box came well insulated with two huge ice packs that stood up to shipping and being in a truck in 100 degree weather.
When I opened the box, I was happy to see that everything looked really fresh and that nothing had gotten squashed. I was also really impressed that the eggs had not a single crack in them (as I dropped the box twice before the delivery guy just decided to bring it in for me:\ )
There was A LOT of plastic in that box, however everything was either grade 4 or 5 recyclable so that was a plus.
I didn’t like that there wasn’t much in the way of organization. the “Knick Knacks” as they called them were in their own little baggies that were abled for the specific meal. But everything else was a free for all.
Fortunately, there weren’t too many ingredients so it wasn’t hard to separate things out, but it still would have been nice.
Cooking & Tasting
We cooked the Udon Stir Fry the night that it arrived. They estimated that it would take 25-35 minutes total. I timed it and with a few hiccups on our end and the meltdown of our little ones, it took us 30 minutes on the nose, so that was great.
The directions came on a thick glossy card stock, which is nice because it means that it will hold up in a busy kitchen. They broke down each step in a simply, easy to follow way and even had some pictures to accompany the steps (which Stephen enjoyed a lot).
I wanted to make sure that the ingredients they sent over tested as fresh as they looked (a few of our friends use other services and told us that things don’t always taste as good as they look). So I ate a few of the ingredient raw. The sweet peppers had amazing flavor and the bok choy was nice and crisp, so I was happy and excited.
I will admit here that I was kinda sad that the recipe wasn’t for udon soup (my fav!), however, the finished product here was pretty solid. There was a lot of flavor with some deep umami notes, which is great for vegan and vegetarian dishes. The dinner itself felt light, but very satisfying at the same time. I was full enough to not want ice cream!
Pros & Cons
Let’s start with the cons.
I didn’t like all the wrapping, or the lack or organization within the box. I feel like this could be remedied by placing all the produce for each recipe in 1 bag. I’m also not completely happy with the lack of options for vegetarians and vegans. While 3/8 isn’t terrible by any means, it’s always nice to have a bit more options when your diet is limited.
And as I flipped through the site just now, I saw zero vegan options. To be fair, many of the recipes could be made vegan (such as the Udon Stir Fry) However, they’re many vegans who wouldn’t want dairy or eggs sent to them. So it would be cool if they gave you the option to omit certain items.
Cons aside, Blue Apron did deliver on what they promised; quick and easy home cooked meals with quality, healthy ingredients.
After a long day of working, Stephen and I were able to come together and cook a great tasting meal while caring for a baby and a cat, who might as well be a toddler.
Would I Use This Service Again?
For families, vegetarians, and people who already know how to cook, I would recommend Blue Apron as a monthly treat. I can actually see this being great for a date night in, paired with wine and dessert! Or a nice exciting meal for the family to try out instead of heading to a restaurant.
For the groups listed above, I feel like this a a great occasional service because at this frequency, it’s cheaper and less fussy than going out, but you still get that great quality of food.
For folks who don’t know how to cook, or don’t have much time for it (single or married without children who eat), then I feel like this service could be a great fit into your weekly life.
We got a total of 4 serving out of one recipe. So I figure that you can easily make 2 recipes straight 3-5 days depending on how much you eat. At this rate, if your order 2 meals from Blue Apron every week, you’re spending $207 on groceries a month (not bad at all) and saving money by not going out.
For us personally, we’ll definitely be throwing this into our date night routine once a month and save some coins by not going out! (still going to get a babysitter tho lol)
Have you tried Blue Apron? Or Are you thinking about it? Let us know below! Also, which meal kit/planning service should we try next?
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