Blue Apron Review
I was fortunate enough to mention Blue Apron to one of my old friends/yoga students and she ended up sending me a free week of the meals! Amazing! I will almost never turn down free food (or most things that are free, really).
My relationship started out rocky, with my package being delivered to the front office of my apartment complex--convenient? Not so much, since they delivered an hour before the office closed and I was away teaching yoga. I was able to get my package fortunately, but it would have been pretty inconvenient for my seafood and meat if I wasn't able to finagle a way to get to the box.
Once I actually had the package, I was impressed. All the ingredients were kept at temperature by large ice packs, and the raw meat was separated from the other ingredients and vacuum-sealed. I threw almost everything in the fridge, and looked through my recipe cards. I was impressed with the information and the layout -- it was easy to follow and the pictures were great. I think they need to improve how they phrase "prep time" and "cook time" because you're prepping while cooking sometimes, but they don't seem to account for that... I always ended up spending longer than the recipe card stated making any of the dishes. It's important to remember too that you're expected to have the basics like olive oil, salt, pepper, etc on hand. They will provide most other things (unless they forget an ingredient, which didn't happen to me but seems to be a common thread through other reviews).
I was also pleased with a substitution they made, adjusting for the crops provided to them by farmers (snap peas for green beans because the green bean crop wasn't as strong as expected). This adaptation displays an actual relationship with suppliers/growers, instead of just reaching out elsewhere to get the exact ingredient on the recipe card.
The recipes were very good, overall. I was a little peeved that I spent more time cooking than expected (I'm a busy girl, okay). The meat was very tender and seemed to be sourced well, although labels can be misleading, and all the produce came fresh.
I did continue for another week, but recently cancelled my subscription. I really liked the service overall, but the delivery schedule just wasn't convenient for me (seriously, please deliver on Tuesday!), and I kind of cook on a sporadic schedule. Usually I will only buy fresh food from the grocery store I plan to use in the next 2-3 days because I live so close to Kroger, so it was inconvenient to know I had to cook these more elaborate meals three nights in a row. It provided great lunch for work the next day though. Teaching yoga in the evening interferes with my dinner schedule sometimes, or I make plans with friends, so Blue Apron just doesn't fit into my lifestyle right now. Especially because $60 for three lunches and three dinners doesn't quite cut it -- that's just under my grocery budget for the entire week.
Blue Apron is a great service, and can be really convenient if you have a hard time getting to the grocery store on a regular basis. Having said that, I also don't think the "meals for two" plan would have fed my boyfriend adequately, but it was good enough for me to have two meals. The recipes were easy to follow, and took around 45-60 minutes each from when I started to when I sat down with my meal. You cannot combine any three meals you want out of the six they are making (I'm not sure why since you don't really cross-use ingredients at all), which I wasn't a fan of.
7/10 stars, would recommend