In popular opinion, it seems that Blue Apron is leading the pack in the home food delivery business. They are widely known and have the cheapest price per meal. I decided to give their services a try with the free trial. No one is paying me or giving me anything free for this post. The free trial was received through an invitation from a friend who is already using Blue Apron. Once I signed up using the invitation, I get 3 meals for two people while my friend gets $20 off his next shipment. Anyone can get this deal if they know a current Blue Apron user. The reviews stated below are all my own opinion.
Here's a YouTube video I made of the unboxing when Blue Apron delivered to our house on a Wednesday night. Excuse the poor camera quality. I am recording with iPhone.
My purpose for trying Blue Apron was to get my husband to learn how to cook. He is so lost in the kitchen and now that I'm busy with baby chores, it would be nice if he had the skills to do more than sous chef for me. Let's see how this went.
We had pork meatballs in butter lettuce cups the first night. He cooked the rice in a rice cooker rather than a pot on the stove as directed. The meatballs were delicious. There were about 8-10 cups like the one pictured above. It was not enough for two people. I think it was more like an appetizer and I can't imagine anyone getting full off the amount given.
Taste was great. Easy to make. Portion was small.
The second night, we made jamaican jerk chicken with plantains and collard greens sautee. This meal had a slightly larger portion size than the meatballs. It took a bit more time to prepare. The plantains were the best part. The chicken was quite plain, even with the seasoning. The meal used up more pots and pans than desired.
Taste was ok. Plantains were especially yummy. Not too difficult but it does take a few more steps. Portion size was ok - low carb but decent.
Taste was excelent. Fairly quick and easy to prepare. Portion was good. Plenty of meat and quite filling because there was bread.
What did we learn about Blue Apron?
Some meals are better than others but nothing was inedible. The menu is set for the week so you can only pick in terms of skipping or accepting your shipment for the week. You cannot choose individual meals. The directions are easy to follow, especially with ingredients measured out already. You do not need to use as many dishes and containers as the directions require. For example, all greens can be cut on the same cutting board and just put in a corner. The directions ask you to put each in an ingredient bowl which is unnecessary.
The delivery is convenient. Not having to grocery shop is extremely convenient. The portions are too small for the price. $9.99 per meal isn't too bad if you compare with dining out. But it is too expensive when compared with traditional home cooking which we do. When I grocery shop and cook weekly, I can buy enough to make dinner and have leftover for lunch. I can make large batches and not have to cook again for a few days. Buying in bulk allows me to hunt for bargains. This is not possible with Blue Apron.
Actually I am quite pleased with my Blue Apron experience. If I were someone who valued my time more than my money, Blue Apron is worth it. The people who will get the most value out of this service are ones who rarely have time to grocery shop and who don't want to think about building a menu. As a compromise, if you sign up for Blue Apron but only want to use it casually, make sure you skip all weeks and unskip the weeks you actually want a delivery.
FYI, there is no button to cancel your Blue Apron account online. You must send an email to their cancellation address.