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Have you been thinking of trying one of the meal box subscriptions - maybe Blue Apron? Blue Apron is one of the biggest and most well known meal box kit services. You’ve probably seen ads or even received a promotion in the mail trying to entice you to subscribe. We certainly have!
We finally decided to order a box to compare it to the other boxes we’ve received, which include HelloFresh and Home Chef. We wanted to try out Blue Apron since it seems so popular. We see that our neighbors receive a box every week and we wanted to see what we were missing out on! We’ve written a complete review so that you can make an informed decision about whether to order your own Blue Apron box.
If you are used to ordering subscriptions or if you have ever ordered a meal box kit before, the online ordering process should be familiar to you. Blue Apron has a very slick website that loads quickly and is fairly intuitive. You’ll notice that you have a calendar and will be able to see what day you’re receiving your boxes and the meals you have selected. We decided to order a family box (4 servings, 3 recipes) since we are having some visitors come over. The only downside to this was that it limited our meal selections - there were no vegetarian options for the family box (at least for this week) and so we had to choose meat options, which was not our preference. We ran into further issues because we don’t eat seafood or beef, which further limited our options. In the end, there were only 2 meals that fit our dietary preferences. In addition, we received error messages twice (due to the fact that there were no vegetarian options) and had to contact customer service to get it explained and resolved. We did find two meals that seemed appealing and added them to our box. It was smooth sailing from there!
2 Recipes Per Week
4 Servings Per Recipe
$72.92 total + free shipping
$9.12 per serving
Receiving The Box
The box arrived at 3:30 PM and was handed directly to us by FedEx. The box was intact and didn’t look like it had been tossed around too much. It was also still cold and the ice packs hadn't melted. We’ve had some dripping boxes in the past from other meal box kits, so this was a relief in the middle of summer!
First Impressions Upon Opening The Box
The box comes well insulated and packed with ice. The food was cold even on a warm June day. Blue Apron continues to just dump the ingredients into the box, so you do have to spend some time sorting them. Luckily they organize what they call "knickknacks" or small ingredients into bags.The meats were packed down at the bottom, closest to the ice pack, so that was reassuring.
The Two Recipes In Our Box
Lumaca Rigata Pasta & Pork Ragu with Ricotta Cheese
Seared Chicken & Hoisin Sauce With Sesame-Sweet Chili Wonton Noodles
We actually loved cooking these meals as a family. The steps were easy to follow. We liked trying out new ingredients and flavors. Blue Apron tends to be more laborious than other meal kit boxes and this box was no exception - we had to chop the peppers and grate the carrots ourselves. But it was worth it! Everyone gave the flavors rave reviews and we even decided to keep the recipe card to re-create in the future.
Concerns and Caveats
Blue Apron’s packaging is not very eco friendly. The ice packs and plastic wrap do not seem biodegradable. Other parts of the packaging are recyclable.
We were not happy about the fact that Blue Apron couldn’t accommodate our vegetarian preference in its Family Plan. Blue Apron is not a good fit for people with dietary restrictions or food allergies.
Blue Apron offers fewer recipe choices than HelloFresh and Home Chef.
It’s annoying to cancel (but not impossible). You have to send an email and you can’t just do it on the online portal. If you’re feeling anxious that you might forget to cancel, you can just “skip” a bunch of weeks that are coming up to give yourself plenty of time to remember to cancel.
The price is not especially competitive compared to the next best alternative which is take out and it is definitely not competitive compared to grocery shopping. However, it does save you time (no grocery shopping or meal planning). It depends on how much you value your time, enjoy cooking, and prefer prepared food.
Overall, the food was good and we appreciated the fact that the recipes had more ingredients and flair than some of the other meal boxes.
Blue Apron is worth a try! It holds it own alongside the other meal kit boxes. For $60 off your first 3 boxes of Blue Apron, use this link.
Want to Read More?
You can see our guide to saving money by cycling through meal box subscriptions here and you can see our detailed review of Home Chef here.
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