A few weeks ago, my husband and I decided to finally try Blue Apron, the meal delivery service. I’d heard about the program for a while, but had been too stingy to try it out. We received a $30 off coupon in the mail, and I was intrigued. “Could this change how we grocery shop,” I though.
I posted on Instagram to see what other people said. They mostly commented it saved them time, provided healthy meals and was super tasty.
I had my suspicions. Delivery services are usually more expensive (remember my review of Stitch Fix), but I wanted to see why people were quick to defend it.
Here’s my Blue Apron review:
I have a few major complaints about Blue Apron, but I can’t hate on the food. Everything they sent was delicious and introduced us to new cuisines. Here’s what we got:
- Beef tacos & radish salsa with sweet potato wedges
- West African peanut chicken with sauteed kale and rice
- Orange & Mirin-Glazed cod with warm brocoli and barley
My husband and I cook Mexican food often, and I think we’ll add radish salsa the next time we make burritos or tacos. I also realized I liked barley after years of hating it.
Unfortunately, the math doesn’t add up. Blue Apron charges:
- $59.94 for three meals for two people
- $139.84 for three meals for four people
That comes out to $9 a person. It’s cheaper than a meal at a restaurant and about the same price as a fast food meal. That tells me Blue Apron is only a cost-saver if it’s keeping you from eating out. Otherwise, it’s a bust.
Disadvantages of Blue Apron
It’s so much waste! I couldn’t believe how much extra packaging was involved. First, the box is huge, big enough to fit an iMac and a printer. Then there’s the non-reusable ice packs, which are probably filled with antifreeze or something else that hurts our environment.
Then, each individual ingredient is divided into separate containers. Two of our meals required three scallions and each set of scallions came in its own plastic wrap. WTF?? It’s the same reason I hate Keurig coffee containers. Not only are they more expensive, but they’re killing the environment.
[Tweet “Blue Apron is the Keurig of meal-planning. Expensive, wasteful and unsustainable.”]
Here’s my biggest gripe: Most people know that Blue Apron isn’t as cheap as buying your own ingredients. But they claim to be more efficient, since you save time going to the grocery store and planning your dinner. Here’s where I disagree.
When my husband makes dinner, he makes enough to last at least two days, if not three. But Blue Apron’s meals only last one night. The meals take about an hour and seem to require more cleaning up than other meals we’ve done. That’s more time you’re spending cooking than you have to.
My Final Blue Apron Review
If time is the biggest concern, then buy a slow-cooker. That thing has saved me more time cooking than any one Blue Apron meal could. Plus, for the cost of one set of meals from Blue Apron, you could buy an appliance that lasts for years. You just dump the ingredients, set the timer and walk away. As a kid, my mom would set these meals before work and we’d come home to fresh soup, pasta or meat dishes.
Another strategy is my friend Erin’s $5 Meal Plan service. For $5 a month, she sends you five dinner recipes, each that cost $2 per person. That’s $2 a person, compared to $9 a person with Blue Apron. You can find a sample meal plan here if you want to try it out before you buy.
This is how much I disliked Blue Apron: you’ll notice in this blog post there aren’t any affiliate links to Blue Apron. Affiliate links are specific links that connect to products or services. I’ve included a few others in here to items I believe in, but I’m not including any to Blue Apron. I don’t think it saves time or money, and I don’t think anyone should use it.
What do you think of Blue Apron? Have you tried it? Leave your thoughts below.