We have had a membership with Blue Apron for some time now and have even given out a few free meals for friends to try as well. AJ and I enjoyed their meals and the service for the most part but could not justify continuing to spend the money each week on meals for us while buying and making separate meals for the kids. Since my original post and review of Blue Apron a few other things have changed, for us and them.
Blue Apron came out with an app to follow which meals are being scheduled for future deliveries. This allows members to choose their meal delivery preferences as well as skip a delivery if so desired, all from the convenience of your phone. This helped save me time and frustration navigating a website from my phone or pulling out the computer. Also seeing the app on my phone helps remind me to check the upcoming schedule. Blue Apron is an automatic delivery service, which means if you do not edit you will be charged and receive a delivery.
When setting up your account, or any time during your service, you can choose between getting meals for two people or a “family”. Although there is no indication or way to change the number of servings for a family. The implication is a family of four here. So if you have a larger family a two meal plan would not be enough.
Family plan options allow you to choose from 4 pre-planned meal options. Select to have your delivery consist of 2, 3 or all 4 of the meals. Either way your price per serving is $8.74 with free shipping. Fairly decent price for a meal. Comparably you’re looking at maybe Chinese takeout or a fast food restaurant, possibly cheap meal at a casual dining place. You won’t be getting steak or anything fancy though. For us the family meals still were not worth it. The frustrations of picky eaters and kids wanting meat in every meal (unless it is purely pasta) was not worth the price.
Since our kids were not thrilled with the meals I switched our plan from a two meal family plan to a three meals for two plan this last spring. The choices change when using a two person vs family meal plans.
For two people plan choose 2 or 3 meals per weekly delivery but now you get to choose from 8 different meals instead of 4! This would be nice for a family plan Blue Apron!! Each meal is $9.99 per serving but if you only have 2 meals delivered you will pay shipping, $7.99 for us. Psh who likes to pay for shipping? Not me!
Another change Blue Apron recently made was adding in Whole 30 meals. This is nice for those following Whole 30 and might be something I will be looking into more after baby boy comes. Of the 8 meals to choose from next week none are marked as 30 minute meals, although Blue Apron does occasionally offer them. Here is my current list of meals to choose from for next week to give you an idea:
- Top Chef ginger-marinated grassfed steaks (with stir-fried vegetables and Jasmine rice)
- Seared chicken and mashed potatoes (with maple glazed carrots)
- Roasted pork and broccoli (with apple, cheese sauce and garlic breadcrumbs)
- Sweet and sour vegetable stir fry (with fried eggs and peanuts)
- Mexican-spiced Barramundi (with kale, sweet potato, and avocado salad) *Whole30
- Brussels sprout & pearl couscous salad (with Harissa-marinated frying cheese)
- Roasted red pepper pasta (with lemon-parmesan broccoli)
- Togarashi chicken lettuce cups (with orange and radishes) *Whole30
Not a bad selection. Which meals stand out to you as something you’d want to try? I usually find two meals each week I want to try but not a third so I skip the delivery. A few weeks ago I forgot to update my delivery (skip) and we received a box, the week before Christmas. Three meals came for two people. Great AJ and I could use them or I could wait and use them later. We ended up doing the latter. Prior to this we hadn’t selected a meal delivery since April. At that time it was a delivery of Spaghetti Bolognese, Za’atar-spiced chicken and seared catfish with udon noodles. This time it was their preselected “popular” meals since I had not made any changes. Beef medallions and brown butter caper sauce with Italian-spiced tomatoes and turnip, seared chicken and mashed potatoes with mushroom pan sauce, sheet pan pork pitas with carrot fries and harissa yogurt.
So far I’ve made 2/3 meals. Last night we had the chicken meal for dinner and I made the pitas for lunch. I felt wasteful with the pitas! After all was cooked, said and done I had two very full overflowing pork pitas. Stuffed with mostly lettuce and covered in harissa sauce. The flavors were delightful and I was surprised at the combinations from the pork and the roasted onions. The carrots were simply delicious as well. Between the two overflowing pitas there was still enough leftovers for a salad, and then some. The head of lettuce and picked Peruvian peppers were wasted (too much) as well as pork seasoning and harissa sauce. Half of the seasoning wasn’t even used and even with spreading sauce over the entire pita there was too much. Delicious meal but I hate to be wasteful.
This is the image from Blue Apron for the meal… I definitely had more veggies in my pita than is shown.
For dinner the chicken was delicious. I am NOT a mushroom fan but mixed in with the pan sauce and eaten with the sautéed garlic kale and mashed potatoes it came together nicely. Normally mushrooms are too overcooked or slimy or not fresh enough for me so I choose not to eat them. With this combination it was delightful, although I definitely could still get the mushroom texture (not my favorite). The chicken was moist and scrumptious. Dawn and I enjoyed the entire meal for dinner. S had a difficult time swallowing the kale (she actually spit a mouthful of it into the toilet, thinking I didn’t know). K ate a bit of chicken and was done. They obviously were plated a very small portion as I knew they would not appreciate or like the meal. There were no leftovers or throw-away items from this meal. The seasonings and cooking oils are what made this meal not your typical “buy ingredients at the store” type of meal. Frankly they are also what helped make the meal flavorful.
This is the Blue Apron image for the chicken.
The steak might be the meal I was anticipating enjoying the most. Overall the steak portion was filling and plenty. The meal included one small turnip to use with the chard for a side dish. Yes ONE tiny turnip for two people. 🤔
I’m not sure where Blue Apron came up with the red and orange colors in the chard for this meal. There are clearly no other vegetables for the chard and turnip.
As for the packaging, I am glad most of the materials are all still recyclable. My only contention is the process for recycling the ice packets. Blue Apron sends clear bags with gel ice packs. This is not something you want down your drain nor is it recyclable. The instructions are to let the ice packs thaw, dump the “liquid” in the trash and recycle the plastic lining. We did that with one bag and it was a mess. I’m all for recycling but the mess and time involved with thawing and dumping the insides is not worth it for me. Something is still left to be desired for the refrigeration process here Blue Apron.
My next complaint is with the potatoes. In this box there were two bags of potatoes for two meals. Each was to be 3/4 lbs of potatoes. One bag had two potatoes the other had 4. Out of curiosity I weighed them both. As you can see they are clearly not both 3/4lb. I get they wont be exact but don’t send me less than what I paid for. 14oz is 2 oz more than 3/4lb but 11 oz is 1oz short. It’s the principal of the matter guys! Would you go to the store and pay for produce you did not receive? That’s what happened here.
Overall I haven’t canceled my Blue Apron membership simply because on occasion it is nice to have a meal planned out by someone else. I also enjoy trying the little extra things I normally wouldn’t purchase or can’t find in my local stores. Will I always use Blue Apron? Probably not… there are many options out there.
Have you tried a meal delivery service? What other subscription services have you heard of or tried? Let me know in the comments!
*Giveaway! As of January 29th I have 5 free meals to send out. If you would like one, comment on this post and make sure you are following along for more updates!