If you’re not already familiar with Blue Apron, it’s a meal delivery system that has gained popularity throughout the course of the last year. While other meal delivery systems have popped up and cluttered the marketplace, Blue Apron has seemed to be the tried and true company; the one that everyone recommends to their friends or co-workers.
Each week Blue Apron curates a menu of original recipes with various beef, poultry, fish or vegetarian dishes all made with fresh ingredients. All of the ingredients get delivered straight to your door with recipes containing simple instructions for putting together your meal. There are 2 options of plans to choose from; either the two-person plan or the family plan ranging from 2-3 meals per week. All you need to do is choose your meals from the menu the week before and wait for your delivery to arrive in its refrigerated bag!
When a work colleague of mine offered to send me a free week of the service, I jumped on the opportunity to try it out. I had been hearing rumors of once satisfied long time customers becoming increasingly disappointed with the quality and freshness of the ingredients since the service rapidly gained popularity. I heard rumors of diminishing portion sizes. I figured that they’re probably more focused on the sales of the product rather than the quality of the product itself. True or not, I had to see for myself and give it a shot.
After doubts of large portion sizes filled my mind, we decided to go with the Family Plan to ensure that Mr. Fresh Fit Fab had enough to eat. He usually eats 2 or 3 portions to my 1 portion so we knew that the 2 person plan would not be enough to satisfy us both. The family plan also had options more suitable towards his palate. Some would say he is a ‘picky’ eater but I would say he just prefer things simple. No funky garnishes and certainly no brussel sprouts. We decided to go with the Crispy Pork Chops and Chicken Fried Rice dinners and hope for the best.
There are definitely a ton of benefits to this program. While I do enjoy cooking, I usually opt for making simple meals and this made me branch out of my comfort zone. A lot of the times I avoid recipes that involve buying ingredients I know I will rarely use again. It feels wasteful to buy an entire bottle of something if you know you’re only going to use 1 tablespoon of it. The great thing about Blue Apron is they send you perfectly portioned out ingredients down to the 1/4 cup of flour or 2 tablespoons of sauce you may need. Now, purchasing those ingredients that you will never use again is no longer an issue. The other great thing about this is that it forces us to cook, sit down & eat together. The work week gets hectic.We work different hours and have different gym schedules which sometimes makes eating dinner together a challenge. There is nothing better than sitting down, having a good meal and catching up about the day with your significant other. This made us set aside time to do just that. As for the quality of the food, we definitely couldn’t complain. The portions ended up being pretty decent and the vegetables were perfectly ripe.
While the benefits are great, there are also some downsides. If you want to do this consistently, you need to make sure there are free days in your week that you are able to take 45 minutes out of your day to cook. If you’re a beginner, I would allot longer. There was a lot of vegetable prep in our dish which took us way longer than we had anticipated. I’m pretty sure I developed a mild case of arthritis from chopping a pound of zucchinis. We’re all busy during the week and it’s not always easy to set aside the time to do this. If you’re not around, you need to make sure that you remember to skip the delivery for that week otherwise you will be charged for it and end up with a full fridge of food you won’t be using. Like I said earlier, I like to keep things simple and easy when it comes to weeknight dinners. The crispy pork chop recipe was definitely not as easy as we thought it would be, mainly due to the extensive prep. It was a lot of work and not something I would want to do 3-4 times a week after work especially due to the clean up process afterwards. As for the cooking itself, we found that the pork chops burned pretty easily even though we followed the cooking time. We also found out that our smoke detector in our apartment does actually work… At least there’s that. Besides almost burning the apartment down, it went pretty well. Everything ended up tasting great despite the minor setback. The last downside I would say is the price tag. At $59-69 dollars per week, their mission to “make home cooking accessible to all” is not so accessible for everyone. It’s a little pricey but I guess it’s worth it for all that you’re getting with it.
Overall, I would recommend Blue Apron to anyone looking for a meal delivery service. It’s a great way to sharpen up your cooking skills and make sure fresh ingredients enter your home. It also helps you switch things up in the kitchen and stray from a potentially boring routine. Even with the price tag, it’s still cheaper than ordering Seamless a few times a week. It’s definitely worth looking into if you’re interested.