Do you enjoy cooking, but just don’t feel like you have the time?
Looking at your grocery bill feels painful and you have to choose organic and non-GMO all because of price?
Feel like you struggle to eat healthy because it is a hassle to figure out what to eat for the week and not always convenient when you are rushing?
Well, you are in luck! There is a company that has made it their goal to make eating well and spending less easy for you. Introducing Blue Apron, a farm-to-dinner table meal delivery company that provides a week’s worth of food directly shipped to your door that you can trust is balanced, sustainable, and organically good for you.
A little backstory…
If you know me, you know this was not a trivial decision.
Trying out and reviewing a meal delivery service is strange because I LOVE cooking and am a fervent proponent of it. I used to cook almost every other day of the week even though it could be tiring. I like knowing what I eat and the quality of my ingredients. I like knowing how healthy my meal is because I made it. I do not like heating things up in a microwave. But, alas, I have come to realize that some things are better partially delegated; because let’s face it, it takes a lot of time out of my day to cook that much. This and frequent trips to the grocery store both take time and get expensive. Each time I walked down those grocery aisles, I tried to be strict to sticking to my “list”, but there is always something on sale that I think “well, we could just stock up on this now” and lo and behold we ended up spending more than we should. So, it has been an auspicious time to figure out a solution…
The key was finding a service I could trust.
At first I had heard of Freshly, prepared meals delivered to your door that just needed to be heated up. They did not deliver to my area though. Then, I learned about Blue Apron.
After signing up and trying out their service for two weeks, I am happy to write a review of Blue Apron’s wholesome meal delivery service including my experiences and reasons for why I will continue to use them.
Blue Apron Review
Eating Well & Spending Less
What is Blue Apron?
Blue Apron is a farm to table meal delivery or “home chef” service that provides weekly deliveries of high quality diverse ingredients to ease up feeding an individual, couple, or small family throughout the week.
This company partners with over 150+ farms to raise the highest-quality ingredients by creating a distribution system that delivers fresh food directly to the consumer – bypassing the middleman grocery warehouse and store – which reduces the price overall. By providing meals at a better value and by investing in the things that matter most—our environment and our communities – Blue Apron’s Home Chef Distribution System has the vision that together we can all build a better food system than what we have had in place for the past near century.
Watch their video on what they aim to do by clicking on the picture down below:
In the traditional supply chain, ingredients are often picked before they are ripe so they can withstand a journey through the hands of many middlemen (such as a regional grocery warehouse and grocery store) before they reach the consumer.
Blue Apron’s model aims to revolutionarily change this.
They have pioneered a different model that delivers fresher, high-quality food from the farm to the kitchen, avoiding long and wasteful detours at costly grocery stores.
Also, due to their standards, you can be sure you are getting high quality healthful food, too. Blue Apron partners with Seafood Watch, and farmers who raise animals that have not been fed antibiotics or hormones and use non-GMO ingredients. At the grocery store, it can be hard to tell whether food is high quality and sustainably grown. By teaming up with the foremost sustainability experts to create better standards for growing food and raising animals, Blue Apron aims to usher in a better outcome for our environment, guaranteed markets for farmers, and higher quality ingredients for home chefs like us!
How does this meal service work?
Basically, it works like this.
1. You sign-up with Blue Apron to begin a weekly delivery. Choose what you would wish to include into your typical weekly plan. If you want, click below to get $30 off your first order (that’s the equivalent of 3 meals with them):
Do you like beef? Make sure that is checked on your profile’s preference list. Do you like fish? Make sure that is checked, too. Do you not like pork or lamb? Un-check those from your preference list. For any food allergies, do the same in noting down your preferences, or if you are vegetarian. Overall, your preferences are fairly customizable.
One thing to note, although you can customize what foods you would like to include to a certain extent, you are limited in what pre-planned meals you can choose for them to send from their online menu, primarily because they focus on harvesting what is in season. So, if you are a really picky eater, you may wish to give them a trial and see if you can handle the varieties sent. That, and expanding your tastes isn’t all bad, eh?
2. Next, make sure you have paid! Blue Apron’s prices are VERY reasonable, especially for the quality of food that you get. I was surprised at how low their prices were. When I saw non-GMO and sustainable, I thought “ok, this has got to be around $100 for two people for a week at least”. Nope, for a 2-Person Plan for my husband and I, the weekly price was $59.94. Which comes out to $9.99 per meal. And shipping is free! I was quite stoked. If you want the larger Family Plan that is $8.99/meal or weekly $71.92. As I said, not bad.
3. Lastly, you pick a date convenient for delivery, and cook your weekly package when it shows up! Do not worry if you are not home while your food sits and waits. As you can see from my pictures, Blue Apron ships in a box that is secured in insulated wrapping to preserve your food from weather in case it is left outside, and there is plenty of ice packs to keep your meat fresh. Ideally, you can get to it quick, but if you can’t, it will be ok.
Also, do not worry if you do not feel like you are the best cook. Blue Apron provides very easy to follow recipe cards (a standard page in size front and back) that explain the ingredients you will need to prep each meal and step-by-step instructions on back with pictures. You can’t go wrong, and if you really liked the meal they sent, you can always save the recipe card as a reference to make on your own time at some point.
I will say, I definitely liked being able to choose a day for when food would be delivered consistently, because than I can build a routine and habit around that. It is nice knowing when my food will arrive and that I can change it if need be. Friday was my personal choice 🙂
Side Note: Blue Apron does also offer a signature wine to go along with your meals if you should so choose. If you are planning a dinner date or if you just like having quality wines, browse through what they feature. Some of the wineries they work with, especially in Napa Valley, California, are ones you would normally have to be on a waiting list for months to get access to a bottle, but with Blue Apron, you can get them right away.
Does it make life easy?
Yes, it really does. After trying out my first two weeks with Blue Apron, I can attest to their weekly package giving my life a greater amount of convenience. First, the package has just about everything I need for each meal or 3 recipes for me. With the exception of a little olive oil here and pinch of salt there, which I always have on hand in my cupboard, Blue Apron provides the rest. That is great!
Also, when it comes to balancing variety, Blue Apron’s meals include vegetables, fruits, grains, and meat for my meals. Each meal has a very balanced helping of what you need to eat healthy and wholesome; especially for something that is so quick! That and the food is very fresh, I can sense every time I cook their recipes how fresh each slice of salmon is or how “just picked” their peaches are. In addition, the packaging on the meats as well as on some of their other ingredients explains how trusted it can be to genuinely be good for you (sustainably caught, no artificial flavorings, etc.). I like that reassurance.
Lastly, I still get to cook! One thing I really enjoy about Blue Apron and has me looking forward to every parcel’s arrival is that I still get to cook every little thing. As a person who likes to get more hands-on with my food, smell it before it is cooked, prepare and dice just how I like, this is a major plus to the whole factor. With Blue Apron, my cooking is made easy, not replaced. That, I can truly appreciate.
Is it affordable?
Definitely! For a couple up to a small family of four, Blue Apron provides a good price for the quality and variety they provide. Their 2 Person Plan was $59.94/week or roughly $9.99/meal whereas their Family Plan was $71.92 or $8.99/meal. This might be slightly higher in price for some people when it comes to eating throughout the week, but for us personally, this was actually a savings compared to how we shop from our local grocery store and farming co-op.
One benefit that also helps cut down on my costs is a reduction in the number of grocery store visits. Not only is it saving time in my day to have fresh food delivered free to me, but it also prevented me from impulse spending from my grocery store “list”. These quick buys can easily be overlooked and do add up. With using Blue Apron, my local store shopping days are down to two a month and that is a lot fewer opportunities for me to “just pick something up” because it is interesting, sounds good, or is on sale. Let’s face it, the grocery store is trying to SELL to you while you walk down those aisles. Blue Apron reduces that temptation.
I have to say, I am very pleased with Blue Apron’s “home chef” meal delivery service. It was quite surprising to see for the price what foods I was getting in my weekly meal kit box, especially with the high quality of the ingredients. The food was very fresh, veritably wholesome, and varied enough to keep being tasty and not become repetitious. The ability to customize what meats to include and what not, as well as plan around food allergies was a nice addition, too.
For all of us who are environmentally health-conscious, supporting family farms and their sustainable organic practices is a major plus as well. Companies like Blue Apron allow for farmers to not only have better odds of keeping their farm in their family for generations is so desired, but also in helping to promote less monoculture and more diversity in the foods we eat. The times I have gotten “fairy-tale eggplant” as a side for a dish have certainly been both tasty and interesting (and I used to dislike eggplant). Keeping these more rare varieties of crops around is better for our world as a whole all while adding color to our dinner palate. As part of my work being on the Board of Directors of Purple Porch Farming Co-op in South Bend, IN, this is an important consideration as well.
All of these things make Blue Apron a service I will definitely be using for the foreseeable future. It has not only made my life easier, but is saving me a good chunk on my monthly groceries all while providing me a well-balanced meal plan. Plus, I am glad I can choose to “skip” my weekly meal deliveries anytime I am on vacation or if I ever wish to stop.
If you are interesting in signing up and trying Blue Apron out for yourself, click on their link below and get $30 off your first weeks’ worth of meals!
What do you think of farm-to-table meal delivery services? Would you like to try Blue Apron? Comment below and e-mail us, and we might even be able to gift you a free meal from them, on us!
Interested in my work with Purple Porch Farming Co-op – click here!