I’ve been curious about trying a meal delivery service for quite some time, but I could never justify spending the money when I didn’t know what I was getting. Lucky for me, my cousin Allison sent me a free box from Blue Apron and I was on my way to three free meals.
The process was easy enough — register and choose your meals. The website does make you enter a credit card and automatically enrolls you in auto-ship, so if you’re anything like me, set a calendar alert to remind you to cancel after your free box ships. Blue Apron also gives you the option to put a “hold” on your shipping (and billing), which is a great way to not have to immediately cancel and have time to try the service before making your decision.
My box arrived on Thursday and I was concerned that it sat on my front step for too long. Luckily it was packed full of ice packs that hadn’t even begun to melt, so my food was as cold as it was supposed to be. I opened the box and set out to put all of the ingredients away. The small packaging for each individual meal was really cute and labeled well so you couldn’t mix up what anything was. What I wasn’t impressed with was that there were two ingredients – garlic and zucchini – that were rotten. Because I cook a lot and we eat a lot of fresh food, I had a few zucchini and garlic cloves lying around. If that wasn’t the case, I would have been really annoyed that I now needed to go and buy these items.
Out of the three meals, the first one we tried was the Sweet and Spicy Beef. The recipe was super easy to follow and it really walks you through each step. A huge plus to this, and where I usually fail during cooking, is that it helps you manage your time so that your entire dinner is done at the same time.
Although I was very skeptical about the serving sizes being way too small, I was pleasantly surprised that they ended up being just right. And the meal itself was really good. However, there will be no left overs or second helpings, which was kind of a bummer since we like to take them to work for lunch the next day.
So my overall reaction – it was good, but we won’t continue with the service. This is a really awesome thing for people who don’t cook or are just learning how to cook. It is almost idiot-proof to get the desired results and the food is great. I really enjoy cooking so I spend a lot of time looking at recipes and trying new things. These meals are not a time-saver, and in fact took longer to make than most of the homemade meals I cook after work. Also, although I will say again how good it was, it was way over budget. For $60 you get three meals for two people, which breaks down to $20 per meal. There was no way this meal would cost me that much to make if I were buying the ingredients myself, and we would also get more servings.
I’m not totally against every trying another meal delivery service, I just don’t think this one was the right fit for our family, but hey at least we got a few great meals with recipes that I will (most likely) make again!