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Blue Apron

Blue Apron

Reviewed March 2022

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What is Blue Apron?

Blue Apron is a meal kit program that conveniently delivers ingredients and chef-created recipes to your doorstep each week. The name Blue Apron comes from the blue aprons worn by chefs while learning how to cook. You too can be a chef by cooking their easy-to-follow recipes.

Blue Apron kit

Who is Blue Apron best for?

Blue Apron offers a variety of meals for different tastes. The service is especially good for people on the WW program (formerly known as Weight Watchers). Blue Apron works with the WW program to create “Wellness” meals that meet WW guidelines. This will make it easier to keep track of your WW points.

What are some examples of Blue Apron meals?

The recipe options change weekly. Here are a few of the meals that we enjoyed.

Tilapia Piccata

Pan-fried seasoned tilapia with tangy capers and a side of orzo with sautéed zucchini and sweet bell peppers.

talapia

Sweet and Spicy Chicken

Seared chicken breast topped with a black bean-chile sauce and served with a side of roasted potatoes and sauteed kale

chicken

Orange Salmon and Fried Rice

Seared salmon fillets topped with an orange soy glaze and served with a side of savory fried rice with mushrooms and bok choy

salmon

Does Blue Apron taste good?

The meals were good, but to be honest, they weren’t as good as the HelloFresh meals. Some of the meals seemed sort of bland. I found myself wanting to adapt them to make them tastier.

How long does it take to prepare a Blue Apron meal?

The meal-prep time varies depending on the recipe. The range for the meals that I selected was from 15 to 50 minutes. You can select meals with short prep times when you order your meals if that’s what you’re looking for.

cooking

Does Blue Apron save you time?

Blue Apron, and all meal kit programs, will save you time because you don’t have to go to the grocery store or plan meals. As you know, it takes a while to look through recipe books, figure out what ingredients you need to buy, make a grocery list and then go to the store and find everything. It’s so nice just getting everything delivered to my door without having to think about it.

Is Blue Apron easy?

I found the recipes to be easy to make. The ingredients for each recipe are listed on the front of the recipe card so you begin by pulling those out of the fridge. Most ingredients come pre-measured which is very convenient. The instructions are easy to follow and even have pictures to illustrate the steps.

recipes

How much is Blue Apron shipping?

There is a flat $9.99 shipping fee. Blue Apron ships via FedEx, OnTrac or regional couriers. You select a convenient delivery day when you order. You can select a day that you are off work or have them deliver your box to work or some other location where someone can receive it.

You don’t need to sign for it, but I don’t recommend leaving it sitting on your porch for too long. The ice packs will keep it cold for a while, however. You could even track your delivery using the link that they send in the delivery email. When you see that it’s been delivered, you can hurry home and put the ingredients in the fridge.

box

Where is Blue Apron available?

Blue Apron can deliver anywhere in the contiguous United States.

What packaging does Blue Apron use?

Everything is delivered in a big cardboard box with blocks of ice and insulation. Smaller items are packaged together in a plastic bag.

packaging

Can I recycle Blue Apron packaging?

According to their website, over 85% of Blue Apron packaging is recyclable, and by 2025 they say it will be 100% recyclable! The packaging includes cardboard and plastic. The gel inside the ice pack is listed as being safe to pour down the drain when melted, or the package even says that you can put it on your plants or lawn. The label says that it contains nitrogen which is beneficial for the soil.

ice block

Does Blue Apron have dietary options?

When you register, you select one of the following options.

  • Signature – a variety of kinds of meals that include meat, seafood and vegetables
  • Wellness – healthier options including WW (Weight Watchers) recommended meals
  • Vegetarian – meat-free dishes

Can you lose weight with Blue Apron?

Meal kit programs make it very easy and convenient to lose weight because you know exactly how many calories are in a meal. Blue Apron’s partnership with WW (Weight Watchers) makes it even easier because you can keep track of your WW points in addition to your calorie intake. If you want to lose weight, just select the “Wellness” program when you sign up, and they’ll take care of the rest.

Is Blue Apron healthy?

The program can be healthy if you sign up for the “Wellness” program. You will be sent low-calorie nutritionist-approved meals. If you want to increase your vegetable intake, you could select the vegetarian option.

How do you order from Blue Apron?

Ordering from Blue Apron is easy. You simply create an account with your basic information (name, address, etc.) and then select your meal program (Signature, Wellness or Vegetarian). You select how many meals a week you want and how many servings per meal. We signed up for three meals a week of four servings. Even if you are single, you could sign up for the two-serving option and have leftovers the next day. If you are going to have guests for dinner, you can order extra servings of a particular meal.

After selecting your meal program, they will automatically select meals each week based on your preferences. You can review their selection before the deadline and swap out any meal for another recipe that sounds more appealing to you.

ordering

How much is Blue Apron?

The cost per serving depends on how many servings you order and how many meals each week. The range is currently $7.49 to $9.99 per serving. Our 4-person 3-meal per week plan was $7.99 per serving.

Does Blue Apron save you money?

Blue Apron will absolutely save you money if the alternative is eating out. Even if you were previously shopping for your own ingredients and cooking, it will probably save you money by eliminating food waste. You save money by not having to buy quantities of ingredients that are larger than what you need. If you buy a whole bottle of something but you only need a teaspoon, that will drive up your cost of cooking on your own. Also, when talking about savings, what about the time that you save? How much is your time worth?

Pros

  • Easy recipes – The recipes were simple with detailed descriptions and photos.
  • Recyclable ice packs and packaging - The ice packs were more environmentally-friendly than HelloFresh's.
  • Convenient - You can skip a delivery when you go on vacation or cancel at any time (before the cutoff date for delivery).
  • Everything included - All ingredients are included except for salt, pepper, and olive oil.
  • Add-ons – You can have appetizers, side dishes and desserts delivered along with your meals.
  • WW Partnership - Blue Apron offers "Wellness" meals that meet the guidelines of the WW program (formerly known as Weight Watchers) and calculate how many WW points recipes have.
  • App – You can use the app to change meal preference or plan size, update delivery address or personal details, swap out meals or skip a delivery.
  • Meal Prep Bundles - The Meal Prep plan allows you to prepare 8 servings of meals in 90 minutes or less and enjoy them throughout the week. This is great for people who want to do all their cooking on the weekend and just reheat during the week.
  • Discounts - Medical workers and first responders get a discount on their first order.
  • Butcher bundles – High-quality meats or seafood can be included in your box.
  • Wine pairings – You can have wines delivered that are specially chosen to go with the recipes that you selected. The wines currently only cost $10 a bottle.
  • “Heat and Eat” meals - These are ready-made single-serving meals that can be heated in the microwave for a quick dinner.
  • Blue Apron Customized - You can customize some of the recipes to your tastes. For example, there may be the option to substitute one meat for another. There is an extra charge if it is a more expensive ingredient.

Cons

  • No points or calories on recipe cards - Oddly, neither the WW points nor the calories are listed on the printed recipes that you get with the kit. You have to look for this information online.
  • Some special diets not listed - There is no vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free or nut-free diet programs. You have to read the ingredients to figure out which meals you can eat.
  • Be careful of up-charges - Extra charges are identified, but make sure you take note that “premium” meals cost extra.
  • Not as good as HelloFresh - The meals seemed a little bland compared to the ones we received from HelloFresh.
  • Not as organized - The produce is loose in the box, so you need to figure out what goes with which recipe. Only small things like spices are in a separate bag labeled with the recipe name. Also, with the produce loose in the refrigerator, you risk someone in your household eating it before you use it for your recipe. It was easier with HelloFresh having everything for a recipe in a labeled paper bag.
  • Fewer choices - There were not as many choices of recipes as HelloFresh had and some sounded like recycled ones (similar to what I had a previous week).
  • Mistakes - A few recipes had what I thought were mistakes or unclear instructions. For example, the red potatoes in one of the pictures were peeled, but it never said to peel them, and it didn’t seem to make sense to peel small red potatoes. On another recipe the Brussel sprouts and carrots were to be cooked together on a cookie sheet. The Brussel sprouts started burning, and the carrots were still not fully cooked. Finally, in one recipe they pictured a red onion but gave me a yellow one.

 

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