Meal kit delivery services are a great way to try new foods, practice your cooking skills, and save time by skipping the grocery store. You can read more about the services at Why You Should Try Meal Kit Services.
But which meal kit delivery service should you use? When I first started looking into meal kit delivery services, Blue Apron is one of the names that popped up the most. I decided to try them as one of my first meal kit delivery services for two reasons:
- Since it seemed like one of the more popular services, I figured they had worked out (for the most part) the issues that might affect their newer competitors (delivery issues, packaging issues, etc.).
- They offered a big discount – $30 off! (You can get the same discount by using my discount link.)
I tried Blue Apron for five weeks. Read my review below to help you decide whether you should give them a try, too.
Blue Apron offers two plans:
- 2-Person Plan: 3 meals per week with 2 serving sizes per meal.
- Family Plan: Your choice of 2 or 3 meals per week with 4 serving sizes per meal.
When signing-up for any meal kit delivery service, check to see if there’s a discount code. Blue Apron offers $30 off your first order (get the discount here).
I selected the 2-person plan with 3 meals per week.
With my 2-person/3 meal plan, I was given 6 different meal choices. From those meal choices, I could choose 3 options for my meals for the week. However – once you start making your selections, other options disappear. So you don’t really have 6 options. This is apparently a cost-savings technique. You can’t choose 3 very expensive dishes. You can only choose 3 dishes that fall within Blue Apron’s cost cap.
This was probably my least favorite part about Blue Apron. I would have preferred to have more choices. However, I admit that having fewer choices did get me to try things that I wouldn’t normally have tried (but liked!).
In my area, I had the option to choose a delivery day that was any weekday. This was real plus compared to other meal delivery kits I tried, which only offered delivery on one or two days of the week.
However – in the 5 weeks I tried it, my delivery never arrived before 6PM. The first week I tried it, my box didn’t arrive until 9:35PM. When I contacted Blue Apron about it, they said they consider it on-time if it’s delivered by 9PM. To me, a 6PM deadline would be a more reasonable delivery deadline for a meal kit. With a 6PM delivery deadline, I could have cooked a meal on the delivery day. But based on the delivery schedule, I wasn’t able to do this.
Compared to some of the other meal kit delivery services, Blue Apron has a smaller box and less packaging. That means less waste and fewer trips to the trash/recycling bin.
The food comes in an insulated bag, which Blue Apron says is recyclable. However, I’m not sure it’s something you can put in general recycling. Many municipalities don’t accept plastic grocery bags because they jam up the recycling machines. The Blue Apron insulted bag seems to fall into the same category.
Within the insulated bag, the big ingredients for the meals are all included together. The small ingredients for the meals are separated into individual brown paper bags. Some of the other meal kit delivery services separate all the ingredients into individual bags/boxes by meal. One benefit of Blue Apron’s method to put all the ingredients together in one bag is a reduction in waste. One downside is that it takes a little extra time to separate the ingredients by meal.
Tip: Blue Apron tends to toss in one head of garlic per box. You’ll likely use this garlic for multiple meals, so don’t toss out the extra after your first meal!
Difficulty to Prepare
For each of its meals, Blue Apron provides a detailed 8.5″ x 11″ recipe card.
On one side, the card identifies the applicable ingredients. You’ll use this to pull out the ingredients you need from the box that contains all the ingredients for your meals for the week.
On the other side, the card provides pictures and a detailed narrative on how to prepare the meal.
I sometimes had a hard time following the narrative. I occasionally reached the end of the recipe and realized I had left over ingredients that I was supposed to use somewhere earlier in the cooking process. The pictures helped and I often referred to the pictures to help understand what I was supposed to do.
If you’re really efficient in the kitchen, you might find the recipe order a little inefficient. Once I got more comfortable cooking the recipes, I started rearranging some of the cooking order to speed up the process.
Overall, the meals were fairly easy to prepare. However, they can be time-consuming. It would usually take me about 45 minutes to prepare a meal. And when you’re only making 2 serving sizes, that can seem like a lot of effort for the low volume of meals it produces.
I was really happy with the taste of Blue Apron meals. I would characterize most meals as familiar, comforting tastes. You might not be blown away by the most spectacular meal of the year – but there’s nothing that really disappoints, either.
Of the 15 meals I had during 5 weeks, I absolutely loved 2 and really liked 13. I didn’t dislike anything.
I loved the Blue Apron portion sizes. With some of the meal kit delivery services, I have to add “filler” food like rice from my pantry to feel full. But with Blue Apron, I consistently felt satisfied after finishing a single portion size.
I reached out to Blue Apron’s customer service twice during the 5 weeks I tried them.
The first time I contacted them was when my very first delivery didn’t arrive until 9:35PM. I contacted them to ask if that’s when I usually should expect the delivery, since it seemed really late to me. The response told me that I should be “rest assured” because my “ingredients were kept cool throughout transit and have arrived fresh for you to enjoy.” Except that I couldn’t enjoy them on the day that I expected to enjoy them because they didn’t arrive until after dinner time.
The second time I contacted Blue Apron’s customer service was around the July 4th holiday. I wasn’t paying attention and missed the cut-off date to cancel my order for a week when I’d be out of town. I emailed them after 9PM and got a response less than 40 minutes later that they would make an exception and cancelled my order. I really appreciated their fast response and willingness to cancel my order after the cut-off date.
I would recommend Blue Apron to someone who likes solid tasting, mostly American fare with very few surprising or unusual tastes. While Blue Apron offers fewer choices than some other meal kit delivery services, all the meals I tried were consistently good and the portion sizes were filling.
If you’re still on the fence about whether to try Blue Apron, use my discount link to get $30 off your first order and give them a try for a week. You can skip future weeks or cancel at anytime without any penalty (as long as it’s before the delivery cut-off).