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An (Unpaid) Review of Blue Apron.

Hello strangers! How are y’all doing?  It’s been awhile…

Okay, it’s been a damn long time and I’m sorry. 😦  I don’t really have many excuses this time.  Honestly, I just haven’t been in the mood to cook…or write…or express feelings…or to be on social media.  I simply needed a break from it all.

And I’m learning that that’s okay.  

Forgive me? 😉

Instead of getting wrapped up in media, I’ve been spending a lot of time enjoying things that I love: Bryan, nature & animals, the pups, yoga…

Not that I don’t love food and cooking, but sometimes it’s nice to take a break and simplify by having someone else do most (or all) of the work for you which is precisely what I want to talk about in this post…

I want to talk about Blue Apron– a delivery service that sends you a box of pre-portioned restaurant style meal ingredients, with recipes.  You’ve probably heard of some of the other biggest names in the business like Plated and Hello Fresh.  The clear demand for a home-cooked meal without the hassle has led to the launch of more competitors.  I heard about Blue Apron from our roommate Carrie, who I rarely used to see in the kitchen, but now that she has started getting Blue Apron deliveries, she spends almost every evening in the kitchen cooking one of these delicious meals.  When she told me about it, I knew I had to try it (especially since the first delivery was FREE!). Can’t say no to that.

I like the concept of having healthy ingredients delivered to my doorstep, but I was hung up on two things: the cost (it runs about $9-10 per person, per meal), and whether or not the meals would be palatable.

Bryan and I spend about $100.00 every week – week and a half on groceries, so the thought of spending $60.00 for three meals seemed crazy.

But again, how do you say no to a free trial?  I set up my account (which took five minutes), put in my preferences, and voila! My first shipment was scheduled to arrive a week later.

My first box was delivered on Thursday morning.  I felt a sense of relief when I realized I had three meals almost prepared for me.  And you may not know this about me but I love Christmas so opening up my first beautifully packaged box was rather exciting.

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Each ingredient is separated by biodegradable packaging which was excellent, but I would have preferred them to be divided by meal, instead of being all thrown in together.  Am I being too picky?

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Each recipe has a gorgeous page, full-color card with the final dish on the front with which ingredients you need, and then on the back there are step-by-step instructions with photos of how to make the meal. These were our three meals for the week.  They look tasty right? 

Unfortunately, it was only 10am when the box was delivered, so it was too early to start preparing dinner, but I still had fun taking all the ingredients out and squeezing them into our refrigerator.

After I unpacked the first box, I headed to work for the day.  Throughout the day I kept thinking about which recipe I wanted to prepare…

Then guess what?  I came home to this waiting for me…

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Seared Salmon

What a good boyfriend I have. 🙂 I think I’ll keep him. I don’t know about you, but nothing beats coming home from a long day at work, to dinner (and a glass of wine) on the table.

I asked Bryan how difficult the meal was to make and he said, “it took forever, and there was a lot of chopping involved.” Bryan was right.  All six meals required a lot of chopping.

Uhhhhhh- lot. 

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Ricotta & Beet Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Fennel Salad – my favorite recipe

Bryan and I both agreed that the salmon was good, but it wasn’t a lot of food.  After he was finished eating it he said, “okay, so what’s for dinner?”  It was plenty for me, but he has a big appetite, so he ended up preparing a second dinner for himself.

My favorite recipe was the Ricotta and Beet Grilled Cheese Sandwich (pictured above).  I am not a huge fan of beets and I loved this sandwich.  I plan on keeping the recipe card and making it again and again.

So what did I think about Blue Apron overall?

I loved trying new recipes and using new ingredients, and it’s really nice to have all the ingredients just show up on your doorstep.

I feel like a lot of the reviews I’ve read about Blue Apron talks about how generous the serving sizes are. I completely disagree. I feel like we eat fairly modestly (I do at least. The fish dish, especially felt very small. You’re legitimately getting one meal for two people – I wouldn’t count on stretching it through the week.

I also didn’t think they were complete meals.  I typically like to have at least two side dishes, and all of these meals only came with one.

What I loved most was not having to plan what we were eating three nights a week, but I still had to plan for the other four.  I also think it’s impossible to avoid grocery shopping by doing just Blue Apron, unless you only eat 2-3 times a week. Who can survive on that?

Plus, there is a fair amount of waste, since everything is individually packaged and you have the big box with multiple (large) ice packs. Most of it you can recycle, but recycling still isn’t nearly as good as not having had the packaging in the first place.  The ice packs were my biggest concern.

Finally, I simply cannot justify the cost. I can make meals that we like more, provide leftovers for lunch, and that use less dishes for a lot less than $10 a meal.  Honestly, I’d rather spend my $60 a week and go out to dinner a few times a week (something we rarely do).

It was fun to try out and I was a little sad to cancel my account at the end of the week, but I would never pay for it myself. (Bryan, on the other hand, I could tell was fairly relieved it was all over – he was never thrilled with any of the meals and complained almost every meal that something wasn’t right, he was happy to go back to our regular eating).

That said, I highly recommend trying it out.  The customer service is fantastic and you never know, y’all might love it.  My roommate does.

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Hope everyone is having a great week so far.  I’ll try not to be such a stranger anymore. 🙂

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