Is Blue Apron as Good as It Sounds?
The short answer is: We'd use Blue Apron again, but we weren't swept off our feet.
My life is crazy; probably like yours. Mornings are often rushed, days are work, work, errands, more work and then traffic getting home. If you've ever been in DC, you can understand that "traffic" can mean an hour to go 15 miles! By the time I'm home, I want to veg for a while. Problem is, we're hungry! It's so easy these days to do the drive-thru dinner, have the same ol' same ol' every night, or just order pizza. We've all had those times where we stand in the kitchen, look in the fridge and scowl. Next step, go out for dinner. Expensive habit...
While looking for some simple recipes (and by that I mean quick to prepare and healthy ingredients), I came across a Blue Apron ad. I could try it and save on our first order; it seemed to be easy to prepare meals; they send all the ingredients in the quantity I need and the meals looked healthy and delicious; ah yes, and I could cancel any time. I was sold.
It seemed like a good option so I signed up and we chose our delivery day which I really liked. We get Blue Apron delivered on Sundays: three meals for two people. This way we can have three homemade meals during the week and we can still enjoy a weekend out if we want.
The delivery has gone smooth every time; usually arriving in the evening when we tend to be home. The food is securely wrapped with awesome "ice packs" (it isn't really ice, but it works like a charm) to keep the meats cold. They also separate meat from vegetables and other ingredients that I appreciate.
Opening the box, you'll find everything labeled and packaged individually in the appropriate portion sizes. So cool! It's really quite impressive how they put it all together. You get great 8 1/2 x 11 full color recipe and ingredient pages that we decided to 3-hole punch and file. Each card walks you through preparing the ingredients for cooking each recipe and has step-by-step instructions on preparing the meal. If you follow what they suggest, everything should go smooth.
*** I feel compelled to add a side note here. I'm a follow-direction kind of woman; my hubby likes to wing it and thinks instructions are optional and don't need to be read. We've agreed to do the recipe cards as suggested, and it's gone pretty smooth. Fast forward: he had a few days where I was gone, and he cooked one of the meals on his own. Let's just say, it's MUCH easier with two people working together. He was cruising and, while it all turned out great, his comment after a huge sigh of relief was, "Wow was this easier with your help."
Do I love it?
Not love per se, but would definitely use again. We've received fresh ingredients and well packaged products with every delivery. I'd like to say it's been perfect so far, but nope. Our last delivery came with ingredients that went with a recipe we didn't get; that meant the recipe we did have was missing pertinent ingredients. How was this handled? While we were short a meal and disappointed, we could still use the ingredients included to make something else, and to our pleasant surprise, customer service credited us the cost of that meal and apologized for the mistake with full sincerity. Because they package everything fresh, they were unable to send the same meal so we'll have to wait to try it another time...
All-in-all, my husband and I love Blue Apron. Why? The meals are a bit "fancier" than we typically make at home, but it reminds us of dining out so we eat it up! (No pun intended!) I do wish we could choose the meals we want delivered (another similar company has that option) but the surprise is nice too and truthfully, gets us out of our comfort zone. The cost is comparable if not less, to dining out and we don't have leftovers or ingredients that sit in the fridge and change color (you know what I'm talking about) from lack of use - i.e. wasted money. Most importantly, it brings us together in the kitchen doing something we both enjoy - cooking!
I give Blue Apron 4/5 stars because they do have room for improvement, like letting customers select meals and verifying packing accuracy. They handle errors with professionalism, but errors means no meal unfortunately. I think we'll try another company as well to see the differences, but as of today, we're going to continue using Blue Apron.