Blue Apron: A Meal Subscription Service Review

A review of the Blue Apron meal kit service. Read to see if this is the right service for you or PIN for later. - Health Happens at Home

This is my third review of a meal subscription service. Check out my review of Hello Fresh here and Green Chef here.

Families are busier than ever, thankfully many companies are coming up with ways to help busy families live healthier. Kroger now has the ClickList service where you order groceries online and drive to store where they are delivered to your car. Check out my review here. Walmart is now offering a similar service. Meal subscription services, also known as meal kit services have started appearing, too. These companies send fresh, pre-measured ingredients and an accompanying recipe right to your doorstep. They are designed to help you get a home cooked meal on the table without having to meal plan (for a few days at least) or grocery shop for those meals.

Today's review is Blue Apron. I received a free trial box (2 meals of the Family plan) from a friend who uses Blue Apron, but didn't complete the two step cancellation process so I paid full price for the second box (2 more meals). The meals I received took between 30 - 60 minutes for preparation and cooking. Blue Apron is not certified organic but "many ingredients are certified USDA organic, seafood is from sustainable sources and the meat is raised without added hormones or sub-therapeutic antibiotics. For produce, Blue Apron, supports farmers who use regenerative farming practices. Encouraging biodiversity and utilizing integrated past management allows these farmers grow crops with minimal fertilizers and pesticides."

Blue Apron offers two basic plans:

  1. Two person plan ($9.99 per meal/person) - Hello Fresh was $9.90/Green Chef $13.49. This plan sends three recipes per week.
  2. Family plan ($8.74 per meal/person) - Hello Fresh was $8.75. This plan sends two or four recipes per week.

Shipping is free. You can skip weeks and cancel at any time.


Let's Get Started!

A review of the Blue Apron meal kit service. Read to see if this is the right service for you or PIN for later. - Health Happens at Home

The Results...

 Beef and summer corn enchiladas with kale and Monterey jack cheese. This was AMAZING!!!!! And I like that this was not a jar of enchilada sauce. Wish the tortillas had been whole grain.

Beef and summer corn enchiladas with kale and Monterey jack cheese. This was AMAZING!!!!! And I like that this was not a jar of enchilada sauce. Wish the tortillas had been whole grain.

 Green chili chicken roll with lime jicama "fries". Chicken roll was very good! My family didn't like the jicama "fries", but I thought they were good. It was nice to have a different vegetable. Would have liked whole grain dough.

Green chili chicken roll with lime jicama "fries". Chicken roll was very good! My family didn't like the jicama "fries", but I thought they were good. It was nice to have a different vegetable. Would have liked whole grain dough.

 Sweet and smoky spiced salmon with dijonnaise potato salad and green beans. This meal was really good! While the salmon was good the vegetables were really delicious!

Sweet and smoky spiced salmon with dijonnaise potato salad and green beans. This meal was really good! While the salmon was good the vegetables were really delicious!

 Spicy hoisin chicken and rice cakes with garlic chives and baby bok choy. This meal was good, not our favorite but fun to have foods we never would eat if not part of our box.

Spicy hoisin chicken and rice cakes with garlic chives and baby bok choy. This meal was good, not our favorite but fun to have foods we never would eat if not part of our box.


What I liked:

  • Pre-measured ingredients for a specific recipe. 
  • Delivered to my door
  • More and different vegetables than I usually buy for dinner
  • Adults really enjoyed each meal and there was more variety between the meals than Hello Fresh.
  • Some organic items were included
  • The fresh herbs in my recipes were easier (read: faster) to work with than the ones in our Hello Fresh boxes. The fresh herbs really do taste great.

What I didn't like:

  • While the adults really enjoyed the recipes, the kids refused most recipes (except the chicken roll which they loved) and defaulted to our back up food. They also did this with the "family friendly" Hello Fresh recipes and Green Chef meals so I wasn't surprised. 
  • I wish the grains had been whole grains. It would be so easy to substitute corn or whole wheat flour tortillas in the enchiladas and white (a softer wheat) whole wheat flour dough for the chicken roll
  • The cost. We live on a tight grocery budget. The price was less than Green Chef and comparable to Hello Fresh
  • Because everything was pre-measured the recipes would be very difficult to try and replicate on my own. I don't really know the exact ingredients or amounts in the spice blends, etc. Pretty sure I'll at least attempt the enchiladas though, they were soooooo good!
  • Cooking and preparation time was longer than Green Chef meals.
  • It was a multi-step process to cancel. And you must cancel before your seven day window. I messed this up and ended up with a second shipment. While we enjoyed the food, our grocery budget suffered.

The Verdict

If you have the room in your budget, Blue Apron is a delicious option that includes some organic ingredients! Remember that you can skip shipments. I have a few more companies to try but I will definitely reconsider a less frequent schedule with Blue Apron; I really liked it!

Let me know in the comments section below if you have tried a meal kit service before and your experience.  What did you like and not like?  Would you do it again?  Or have you tried any of the other competitive brands?  Let me know! I would love to hear from you!

Don't forget that Health Happens at Home,

Erin Marie

P.S. The Blue Apron links in this post are not affiliate links. They are just for your convenience.  

 

 

 

Here is an image to pin on Pinterest! Thanks for sharing!!

A review of the Blue Apron meal kit service. Read to see if this is the right service for you or PIN for later. - Health Happens at Home
Posted on August 12, 2016 and filed under Review, Nutrition.