Friday, August 12, 2016

Should I be Impressed with Blue Apron?


As you may know, Blue Apron is another one of those Subscription Meal Service, like Hello Fresh.

My Friend Rebecca sent me a coupon so I could try the service for a week, so I did.


When you log onto the site, The menu for the week is already made up.  If you don't like the menu, you have 2 option. Purchase the alternative menu which is vegetarian, or skip that week and order the following week's meal instead.

This was my menu for the week I ordered.
Subscription meal service

Note:  The top row was menu #1 and the bottom row was menu #2.  You get 3 meals.  This is an ALL or Nothing menu. You Can NOT mix and match meals from both menus.

This was back in July when I made the order and by that time we had been burger-ed out and there was NO WAY I wanted Squid Ink Spaghetti, so I opted for menu #2.  Everything in menu #2 looked yummy (except the goat cheese sandwich, I planned to use my own cheese with that one).

So here's what I thought.

1. Well, my shipment came and guess what?  They sent me the wrong meals. They sent me menu #1. I was so turned off at the thought of those meals (and the slight smell that came from the box) that I had a stomach ache all day and really was not looking forward to making any of the meals.

2. In my opinion, each meal was pretty time consuming. It doesn't look like it would be but there was a lot chopping involved and a lot of mixing spices that I wouldn't normally use. It took me over an hour to prepare each meal and I dirty more dishes than I normally would. 

3. Each meal used garlic and my house  smelled for days! I could even smell it in my garage.  (I've never cooked with fresh garlic cloves before and now I know why)!

On the positive side......

The lemon chicken with sauteed green beans and roasted potatoes and squash was amazing!

4.  The meals did end up being tasty. They were definitely restaurant quality.  I did not end up making the squid ink spaghetti meal ( and I also discovered that the black pasta involved wasn't actually made from squid, but I still couldn't bring myself to taste it). The Lemon chicken was our favorite meal.

5.  Unlike the Hello Fresh, The portions in our Blue Apron meals were generous!  Having been a nutrition teacher, I am well aware of how much one portion actually is and there was definitely more than enough for two people.  When we made the burgers, I actually got three good sized burgers out of the ground beef instead of two. Of course there were only 2 chicken breasts, but they were generous and there were more than enough sides.


I did let customer service be aware of the mix up in meals and they were great to work with.  They couldn't send me the meals I actually ordered but they did let me pick out meals for another week. Those meals arrived this week ( the ones pictures above) and my opinion is still the same: Very time consuming, too much garlic, very generous portions, and restaurant quality meals.


Overall, I thought this service would be a convenience since I didn't have to go to the store all week. Now I would call it more of a luxury (not convenience), because you are getting great quality meals but it is very time consuming and the price per meal is pretty high at $10 per serving.  Don't get me wrong, $20 for two people to eat a gourmet meal is not bad at all, but lets face it, we are eating at home and I still have to cook and clean up the dishes afterwards! Truly, I could probably make that same pasta on my own for less that $10 and probably get 6 or more servings.

It was a nice experience because for one it did introduce me to some new recipes, like the lemon chicken (I now know how to make that yummy sauce and will be making it again), but I don't think it was a time saver.  But then again, it's all in what you want out of it. If you loathe going to the store  but enjoy spending an hour or more in the kitchen, then maybe this will work for you!

Side note; when Scott says the blessing before dinner he says "Bless my wife the cook and the people at the Blue Box for the food...."  I keep telling him it's Blue APRON, but hey, he sees it coming in a box, so its all good!  -M

We are linking up with the gals from the Friday 5.

46 comments:

  1. I've done 3 or 4 weeks of Blue Apron and I'll agree that the prep work is crazy. But the meals were awesome, I always had leftovers, and it's nice to get out of my rut sometimes. So yeah, I buy it every once in a while just to have some variety.

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    1. I agree it was nice to learn how to cook some new recipes!

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  2. Our hesitation with trying Blue Apron was also the limited menu options. Good to know the portions are bigger and their customer service is helpful! Too bad about the mix up with the delivering the right meals though.

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    1. We actually ended up getting 3 weeks of meals because of the mess up!

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  3. Thanks so much for your review! I just got a coupon & was considering for when I have to go to my parents after my mom's surgery; guess I'll pass . Although garlic wouldn't be a problem for me -- I love it! I can't believe you haven't used fresh garlic. I typically put in more than a recipe calls for . . .

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    1. Since you have a coupon, it might be worth trying at least once!

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  4. Thanks for the review. My issue is having time to fix dinner after work, so it doesn't sound like this would help much!

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    1. Yea, it's definitely now quick. I actually dreaded dinner time because I knew how long it would take me!

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  5. I have never tried a subscription thing like this...but I'm in agreement with you. I don't like being limited to what's available (and I would also have chosen "option 2"), and all that crazy prep work is not for me. Thanks for the heads-up!!

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    1. It wouldn't have been so bad if the veggies already came chopped and some things were already prepared.

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  6. I thought the meals in these shipments took a long time to prepared as well. Some were much too complicated as well. I can see how others might like them but I'd rather make my own

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    1. I'm glad it wasn't just me! It actually took me a while to read through the recipes to make sure I was doing it right!

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  7. Soooooo.... I had squid ink pasta in Italy and it was actually amazing! Want to send me yours. :-) j/k!
    Thanks for the honest review!!!

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    1. My husband actually had it and said it wasn't bad. I just couldn't do it!

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  8. I haven't tried any of these boxes yet. I'm glad you mentioned how time consuming this box was - I definitely don't have time for all of that! Haha!

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    1. It would be so bad if the produce was already peeled and chopped up, as well as the spices!

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  9. I've been curious how they are. They seem convenient with getting everything, but wondered how much goes into the actual cooking. I love to cook, but this does make them sound more luxury then time saving.

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    1. The only time saved was not having to go to the store!

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  10. Aw I love Scott's cute blessing! :)

    Maybe I should not voice my opinion because I never tried these meal delivery services, but considering the food budget we have, ordering from one of these places would be a HUGE splurge. If I am going to splurge on a meal, I would rather spend a little more money and go out to eat, be served, dress up, experience, than spend $20 to eat at home and have to make everything!

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  11. Agreed about the prep - it took WAY too long in my opinion so I decided it wasn't for me!

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    1. It definitely taught me how to make a few things though!

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  12. I've heard similar comments from others about Blue Apron - both the positives and negatives. My father in law said that he thought the recipes were a bit bland and that he needed to add his own spices.

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    1. Oh that's interesting. I thought they were very flavorful! I guess it depends on what you get.

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  13. I have been considering trying Blue Apron (or another meal box service) but my hesitation is that I've heard like you said that the meals are time consuming to make. I do enjoy cooking (and don't enjoy grocery shopping) so it might be nice to have a gourmet meal without the shopping hassle, but I don't have an hour to make dinner on a normal weeknight.

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    1. I wouldn't mind trying a different company and seeing if the prep work is as involved!

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  14. Meranda! now I can't invite you to my house! I am constantly cooking with fresh garlic and onion! my sister says that she can tell when I made tacos, because my apartment smells like it!

    I've been curious about trying it, but like you said, I can do this on my own and probably save money.

    Thanks for the honest review! one other review I read, read more like a "we love to cook, to spend time in the kitchen, to wash dishes and still run 40+ miles per week" type of review, which was an immediate turn off for me, because it sounded fake.

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    1. I do like to cook but in the summer there are so many other things I like to do more and hanging out in the kitchen is not one of them! You can count on me to be honest!

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  15. Yeah - the prep on some of these are CRAZY long - at least for me, someone who isn't a big cook anyways. For someone used to cooking, its probably nothing, but aint no body got time for that.
    As for the garlic - every recipe I've gotten also calls for garlic -I've never ONE TIME used the garlic in ANY of the recipes. I cant handle the smell of it - & it STICKS on me too - so I just dont use it - all the recipes turned out great without it.

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    1. I usually used only half of what the recipe called for and it still smelled bad!

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  16. I've heard of Blue Apron, but since we eat like that normally here it wouldn't be worth it for me just for them to send me the ingredients! I meal plan and shop weekly and that works for us.

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    1. I use to cook every night when we first got married but since then our schedules have become unpredictable and I ended up wasting a lot of food.

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  17. I tried a subscription service years ago when my oldest daughter was a newborn however the food was already prepared and all I had to do was stick it in the oven. There are so many services available now so hopefully you'll find one you like.

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  18. I have a free trial from my aunt. I haven't tried it yet, mostly because it does look rather time consuming. But I love garlic so maybe I need this in my life. Haha.

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  19. Sounds interesting! I like to go grocery shopping - seeing what's available and trying new products, but if I didn't have the time, it might be nice to try one of these programs out for a short time.

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  20. I wouldn't be wild about spending that much time doing food prep but I'd love some menu ideas to add to the rotation. Now I'm wondering what my house smells like to visitors cuz I use fresh garlic all the time!

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  21. Ilike the idea of not having to go shopping or worry about what I am going to make, but at $10 a serving and four people in my house... too expensive! and my husband hates chicken and he hate meals without meat. Also the prep time sounds killer, I want easier not more work!

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  22. I always love to read someone's review. I liked Blue Apron. It does take a little prep work and some clean up because you are actually cooking but I have loved the meals so far- and the change up in our normal schedule.

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  23. Thanks for this honest review. I can't use these services because of Celiac, but I'm always intrigued by them. They seem time-consuming and expensive! It would be nice if you could order like...one meal, once in awhile, for a special occasion or something.

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  24. i've heard so many things about the prep for this. I have yet to try it but maybe one of these years i'll check it out just to see what the fuss is all about.

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  25. Thanks for your review. Although some meals I don't make at home like squid ink pasta (I've eaten that though, it's delicious), I usually make similar meals at home so it doesn't make sense for me to buy the subscription.

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  26. It was great to see a review like this because I usually see so many great things about Blue Apron. My friend tried it in July and she and her boyfriend LOVED it! She said it was a little pricey for her and couldn't do it every week but she liked it. I was intrigued to try it but some of their meals don't sound appealing to me! Thanks for a great review. It is great to hear honesty for all products even when others praise them all the time!

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  27. I really appreciate your review because I've heard great things about Blue Apron but couldn't take the plunge. The expense always kept me away but I don't think I'd like spending so much time prepping each meal and not being able to have flexible options.

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  28. I've done it twice and only when they offered a discount. It's definitely not worth the retail price for me. I love garlic and cook with it in almost every meal, such a flavor enhancer for me. But yeah it took so much prep time for those meals and really isn't convenient at all, except that you don't have to buy the ingredients at the store.

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  29. I think I would rather spend the money to let someone else cook and clean up :) And I would have picked week 2 meals too! Thanks for the honest review.

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Fairytales and Fitness is a personal blog authored and edited by us, Meranda and Lacey. The thoughts expressed here represent only our own and are not meant to be taken as professional advice. Please note that our thoughts and opinions change from time to time. We consider this a necessary consequence of having an open mind in an ever changing society. Any thoughts and opinions expressed within our out-of-date posts may not be the same, nor even similar, to those we may express today.

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