Ingredients arrived packaged and measured. Knick Knacks are the spices, vinegars, butter, or other small ingredients.
Recipes include pictures to help guide preparation.
^^This picture is missing Harper crying at my feet while cooking
^^I prepared a chicken stir fry with green beans and squash – everyone loved it!
I am right there with every other mom when I struggle with what to make for dinner. I try my hardest to stay on top of my meal planning…but even with that, I still have frequent nights where I don’t know what I am making for dinner. When I finally decide what we will have, odds of my having all needed ingredients on hand are as likely that all 3 kids will love what I make. I got in a bit of a rut this summer and decided to give Blue Apron a shot. After using Blue Apron for over three months now, I am excited to give you my honest, mom’s review of this meal delivery.
After signing up, you set your food and delivery preferences. We chose to have 2 meals per week delivered – with the family meal plan, you can select 2 or 4 meals per week. You can also tailor your menu and exclude meal options due to allergies or preferences. There is also the option to skip a delivery if you do not like what is planned or you will not have the ability to cook them that particular week. The meal is delivered to your front door on your delivery date. It arrives in a box with a cooler style bag filled with ice packs. You can then refrigerate your ingredients for up to a week prior to cooking.
Each meal comes with detailed directions that include pictures. It also gives you time approximations for prep and cook times – I found these to be pretty accurate (note: they do not factor in interruptions from crying toddlers or fighting siblings. The meals include all ingredients you will need – even the basics like butter, flour, garlic cloves, herbs, and spices. The only ingredient not included is olive oil.
-Generous servings – the family meals serve 4. I found these to be very generous servings and was able to feed all 5 (2 adults, 2 kids, 1 toddler) with each meal.
-Detailed and easy to follow directions – I felt as though the directions were detailed enough for me to have a very good understanding of each step in the meal preparation. The directions tell you which dish or side to make while another is cooking. I also really appreciated having the pictures along with the meals.
-We loved most of the meals – In the many meals we have prepared, there have been only a couple that were not hits. I found these to be some of the fish recipes (cod and catfish). We love fish at our house, but found these dishes to not be as appealing as the others. I have since specified no fish on our menu options.
-Kids found it exciting – I was surprised how excited the older kids got over these meals. I think they were kind of like me and very excited about them when they were new. The newness has since worn off for all of us But they have gotten in the habit of helping with these meals, which can slow/speed me up depending on the task.
-Diversified our menu – We definitely tried lots of new foods during this experience. I have used lots of ingredients that I do not tend to use in my go-to meals. This was one of my favorite parts – I have learned some new recipes and really enjoyed getting out of our regular meals and exposing the kids to different tastes.
-All needed ingredients measured and packaged together – You really can’t beat having all of the ingredients needed for a meal delivered to your front door. I have not ever had a delivery missing any ingredients for the meal (but did read reviews where this has happened).
-Easy to skip meals – The app for Blue Apron does make it very easy to manage your menu. By pulling up your scheduled delivery dates, you are able to select deliveries that you want/need to skip.
-You feel gourmet – Boy does this make you feel gourmet. You are making everything from scratch and preparing meals like pork meatballs with beet & cranberry agrodolce (I did not know what agrodolce was prior to Blue Apron). And there is something about plating it pretty like they show on the menu cards that makes you feel like a 4 star chef
-The time – This is my biggest draw back. The meals take a long time to make…I would say average of 10 minutes prep and 30-40minutes cooking. That is a long time when you have little kids and trying to get dinner on the table. Add in a crying toddler, and those 30 minutes of cooking feel like eternity.
-The time – This is such a big one, that I feel like I need to discuss it twice. As I mentioned above, everything is from scratch. And while this makes you feel gourmet, it takes up a lot of time. There are nights (most) I would rather open a jar of spaghetti sauce, rather than make the sauce from scratch.
-No prepare and bake recipes – Some (most) days, I want to prepare a meal during nap time and then put it in the oven or crockpot and be able to play with the kids or continue on with our day. Sure I still have to prepare a side or two, but this usually takes me 10 minutes or so before we sit down to eat. I love the “set and forget” cooking and wish Blue Apron offered more meals that you could simply put in the oven to bake.
-Price?? – I don’t know that this is really a con…it may actually be a pro… The meals each cost $34.96. Which in comparison to eating out or fast food, this is a bargain. Especially when the quality of food you are serving your family is so much better than fast food. If you compare it to grocery shopping…you are probably spending a little more. But, I do remind myself, that I am using ingredients/spices that I would not normally have in my fridge or pantry. So I think the cost is more than what you would spend if you stuck to your usual, go-to menu. But, if you are subbing your meals you grab on the go with Blue Apron, you are likely saving money.
Overall, I have been happy with our Blue Apron process. I would definitely recommend it to a friend to try (there are lots of offers online to try free meals). We loved almost all of our meals and were happy with the quality. I love that it exposes our kids to different recipes and tastes. The biggest drawback is the amount of time it takes to cook the meal – I can’t commit to this 2 times every week. I have edited our delivery schedule to receive the meal one week out of the month. It doesn’t seem like much, but we have found it to be the right amount for our family. If you are thinking about it, I would definitely try it out!!