For those of you who haven’t heard of Blue Apron, it’s a meal delivery service similar to Plated or Hello Fresh. The subscription service sends you the measured ingredients to make gourmet meals at home.
As you can imagine, it costs more than your normal home-cooked meal. When Blue Apron contacted me, I was reluctant to give their meal delivery service a try because I was pretty sure it didn’t fit into anything “frugal.”
While I knew that Blue Apron didn’t line up with our normal food budget, I thought it would make a super fun date night at home, so I decided to at least give it a try. Blue Apron sent us a box with the makings of three meals for two people.
Let me give you a little overview of the service and the cost, and then I’ll discuss if it’s worth it. You might be surprised.
What do you get in a Blue Apron meal delivery?
The Blue Apron box includes:
–>Ingredients for three meals for two people, in the exact proportions you need for the recipe
–>Recipe cards with set-by-step instructions and beautiful pictures
–>Access links to cooking tips and videos
How do they deliver it?
If you’re like me, you’re wondering, “How in the world are they going to ship me meat and veggies without something going bad?” I admit I was a skeptical and nervous that the delivery wouldn’t make it on time. I had it delivered to my husband’s office on a Friday, but then I started to worry that if it was late we wouldn’t get it until Monday.
That didn’t happen at all. It arrived right on time as expected. Un-boxing it was pretty fun, so I called over the kids. Inside the box, everything was in an insulated bag. The top was like a refrigerator with the veggies, spices, and other ingredients. A piece of cardboard separated the lower portion, which had the meat (we got salmon, pork roast, and chicken thighs) sandwiched between two giant frozen ice packs.
Everything looked great! I was impressed that many of the ingredients were grown locally and the meat was organic.
My husband and I enjoy doing just about anything together. He is a better (or at least fancier) cook than I am, so this was totally up his alley.
Our delivery had three meals for two people. I made one of the meals, as a surprise for my husband on a day he was working from home. We had a fun, kid-free lunch together (the baby was sleeping)!
I made seared salmon and fall vegetables with apple-brown butter vinaigrette . And it was delicious!
The other two meals we cooked together date-style, which was totally fun!
I really enjoyed trying completely new recipes with cooking techniques and ingredients I had never used before! It was a learning experience, and I mean that in a good way. In fact, we will be adding some new foods (like salmon, radish, Brussels spouts) to our diet now that we know some good ways to pair and prepare them.
How much does it cost?
Now that I’ve got you thinking about dinner, you’re probably wondering how much does a Blue Apron meal delivery service cost?
If you’re like me, that was probably your first question.
Well, it’s way more than we spend on a normal dinner at our house! I’ll tell you that much! We keep our costs low by cooking from scratch with simple ingredients. If we used Blue Apron to regularly feed our family, we would spend our entire monthly grocery budget on just ten family meals!
On the other hand, if we compare the price of Blue Apron to the cost of eating out at a sit-down restaurant, the meal delivery service doesn’t seem so expensive. The meals themselves are definitely restaurant quality and the ingredients were top notch. You would definitely pay more at a restaurant, even before considering gratuities.
So is Blue Apron worth the price?
That’s up to you. It depends entirely on your situation.
Blue Apron can be worth it if you’re looking for an experience and not just dinner. For us, it was like a private cooking lesson where we got to eat a restaurant quality meal afterward.
If you’re consistently eating out because you just don’t have time for menu planning, grocery shopping, and cooking from scratch, the Blue Apron could certainly be worth the price.
Blue Apron isn’t for everyone though. Here’s who Blue apron is not great for and who it is perfect for:
Blue Apron is NOT great for:
I like that Blue Apron provides a family option, but if you have more than two kids, you’re kind of stuck. Honestly it would probably be price prohibitive for larger families, even at the cheaper price per serving.
You are able to select your meal choices from several menu options, but they aren’t shy about using less-known ingredients. It’s better for cultured palates than those with mac-n-cheese taste buds (like my kids).
People on a tight budget
While three Blue Apron dinners might fit nicely into some couples’ entertainment budgets, since it’s less expensive than three dinners out, if you don’t have an entertainment or eating out budget right now, then it’s probably not for you.
Blue Apron is great for:
The price of Blue Apron suddenly seems very reasonable when you consider what you would pay to go eat at a restaurant. At home you’ll get bigger portions, won’t have to tip, and won’t have to hire a babysitter.
Busy people who like to cook
Planning a menu, shopping for ingredients, and then using them before they go bad is tough enough for those who are home all day, but those who work may have an even more difficult time cooking at home instead of eating out all the time. Having someone else make the menu, get the ingredients together and portion them out so there isn’t any waste, will save time and money over constantly eating out.
Time spent together in the kitchen is memorable. It’s a great time for a kid-parent date. If you have a child that likes to cook or experiment in the kitchen, then making a meal together is a great one-on-one activity. With the ingredients portioned out the way you need them and step-by-step instructions, everything is set up for your success.
The beauty of gifts is that you can give something that people wouldn’t normally buy for themselves. Giving gifts gives you the chance to splurge on something special and spoil someone that you love. A Blue Apron order could make a unique and memorable gift.
You’ll get a chance to cook something that’s a little outside your comfort zone (at least it was for me). I learned new techniques and how to use new ingredients. There is even a link on the card that gives additional info and a video tips for various ingredients.
Want to try Blue Apron?
If you want to try it for yourself, check out the current deal Blue Apron has going on!
While Blue Apron is a subscription service, there is no commitment. You can pause deliveries, skip weeks, or cancel at anytime.
In fact, if you’re looking for a fun and unique gift of experience, Blue Apron might be just what you’re looking for!
How about you?
- Have you ever tried a meal delivery service? What did you think?
- What are occasions when you would consider a meal delivery service “frugal?”
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