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My Completely Honest Experience With Blue Apron

We recently had the opportunity to try out — a subscription service that ships farm-fresh ingredients right to your doorstep, in exactly the right proportions so you can make home-cooked dinners for your family.

 goal is to make it easy for you to . I’ve heard a lot about this service and have always been curious about it and whether it would be a good fit for our family or not.

I was so excited to get to and see what they sent us! The ingredients were very, very fresh. The ingredients were delivered in a refrigerated box and I was impressed with how fresh they were for being sent by UPS!

One of the drawbacks I immediately noticed when I opened the box, though, was that there was a LOT of packaging. Each food item was packaged securely. There was extra packaging and ice in the box itself.

I was honestly surprised about how much packaging there was and, even though there was no food waste, there was a lot of packaging waste, in my opinion. Gratefully, however, they do offer a a recycling program now and you can . This made me feel better about all of the packaging!

They sent us the ingredients to make two different recipes:  and .

I loved that they allowed you some choice in what kinds of recipes you would and wouldn’t like (you could choose not to have fish or shellfish, etc.) and I also loved that the recipes and ingredients they sent us were for recipes that were outside our usual fare. Some of the ingredients were even for things we had never even bought or tried before!

I loved that there isn’t wasted food with the . They send you the exact amount of everything you need to make the recipe — so you don’t end up throwing out the extra food because you don’t have another recipe that calls for that ingredient before it goes bad!

offers a large selection of different recipes — all that are between 500 and 800 calories each. They are always adding new recipes to their line-up and do not repeat any of the same recipes for at least a year.

Jesse does a lot of the cooking around our house and he loves trying new recipes, so he was really excited to get to make the . He had fun experimenting with some of the new ingredients and said that he thought the recipes were really easy to make and follow.

They say that all of the recipes can be made in 40 minutes or less. I think that’s about how long it took him, so it seems like the estimation is right on.

offers two types of plans: The 2-person plan and the Family Plan. You can in the past .

I loved that you can choose what day they will deliver your box of food, too. This guarantees that it will be on a day when it’s convenient for you.

Personally, I thought the prices were really expensive — especially if you usually cook from scratch and make simple meals like we do.

However, if you love to buy expensive and unique ingredients or you typically go out to dinner multiple times per week, it’s very possible you could save money and eat more healthfully by using . Plus, it could also save you time and effort when it comes to grocery shopping and meal-planning.

Would you like to try out Blue Apron?

The first 50 readers to will get two free meals with their first Blue Apron order.

By the way, there’s no long-term commitment once you sign up for Blue Apron. You can cancel your subscription or skip weeks at any time.

Have you tried Blue Apron before? If so, I’d love to hear what you thought of it!

(This post is underwritten by Blue Apron. Read our disclosure policy here.)

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81 Comments

  • says:

    Great post, thanks for sharing! It would definitely be too pricey for me as well. I do like the recycling option.

  • says:

    I was also curious about the service as well. Thanks for your honest opinions! The food looks delicious and I agree, I see how someone who eats out a lot would save money with this service, but it wouldn’t work for our big family. However, I think it’s a great concept – all the fresh ingredients and healthy meals.

  • chantel says:

    I tried Hello Fresh and it was a nightmare. They sent me meals 2 weeks when I specifically requested that that those weeks be skipped, there was NO choices in the family plan meaning you got what they sent for that week, and I was billed inaccurately. They did refund my credit card for the errors eventually, though. The meals were very expensive compared to what I normally spend on groceries. My husband and I thought the meals were ok but my 3 kiddos wouldn’t eat even half of the meals sent. I’m curious about Blue Apron but not willing to chance another hassle.

    • Jo says:

      Ugh! I’m so sorry you had a frustrating experience with Hello Fresh! 🙁

    • Emily Bacon says:

      We had the same experience with hello fresh… My two year old wouldn’t eat any of the food. Also, you couldn’t pick the foods you liked with hello fresh. That’s why we switched to blue apron and it has been awesome! My two year eats it and everyone knows how picky toddlers are!

    • Beth says:

      We tried both Blue Apron & Hello Fresh from groupons we purchased awhile back. Blue Apron won hands down!! Much better quality produce and the opportunity to pick meals out of the list. Hello Fresh sent wilted basil and we had to accept what was coming that week. Granted, we could have skipped the week but if you were expecting meals delivered and you have to cancel since you don’t eat fish, doesn’t seem like a good plan. Both are equally expensive in my mind and not an every week thing for us. However, both times we make it a family cooking party and the kids (6 and 8) had a blast… so good for entertainment too!

  • says:

    Very interesting! The concept is genius and I could see how this would have been beneficial for my husband and I when we were both working full time and it was just the two of us. Now that we are down to one income (a teacher’s salary), I just don’t see how this could fit into our budget. I’d love to give it a try sometime though, even if for just a couple of meals. I can imagine it might be a treat to have everything come to your door with the exact ingredients you need! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    • Kristy says:

      I did the free trial. Agree that the ingredients and recipes are amazing. We did the family size and it just was not enough food. We have 2 adults, 2 kids and 2 1-year-olds. So to me, way too expensive for not enough food. Also, with my twins I can’t spend 40 mins most days on dinner prep. Anyway, good product just not for us.

    • Jo says:

      Yes, I agree that it would a great option if both of you were working full-time and it was the two of you!

  • Kristy says:

    Oops, didn’t mean to reply this to the comment above. Anyway:

    I did the free trial. Agree that the ingredients and recipes are amazing. We did the family size and it just was not enough food. We have 2 adults, 2 kids and 2 1-year-olds. So to me, way too expensive for not enough food. Also, with my twins I can’t spend 40 mins most days on dinner prep. Anyway, good product just not for us.

    • Jo says:

      Thanks so much for the honest thoughts! Great feedback!

    • Anne says:

      Our Fred Meyer (Kroger) has a new service where you can order online and pick up at the store. I’m going to do that when baby is born in about 10 weeks. It takes my husband 2-3 times as long to shop as it takes me because he can’t remember where things are. This will save his sanity and keep me out of the store while healing.

  • says:

    Interesting!! I’m with you on the price- expensive compared to what we’re normally able to swing. But I’m considering trying it for post baby a couple times!! Our 3rd is on the way & our oldest is 3…. Sooo …. A pre planned pre measured recipe would be nice!

    However- idk about you but a couple of our local grocery stores are offering delivery service now on orders of 100+ … Cost wise, it’d make more sense to spend $100 on a couple weeks of groceries and have them all delivered! It’s not quite the same idea as having the recipes provided and exact quantities prepared but it’s super Convenient and cost efficient!

    • Jo says:

      I LOVE the idea of a grocery store delivery service! I hope that comes to our area sometime!!

      • says:

        Amazon Prime Now App does this in some areas! I order from Sprouts through the app and there is no fee but a minimum order of $35 is required and normally a tip, although that is optional. 2 hours later. ..BAM! Groceries at my door. Best. Thing. Ever.

        • Jo says:

          I JUST saw that on Amazon — it’s showing up that it’s only in CA right now? I’m really hopeful it becomes nationwide!

          • says:

            Ah, yes I’m a So Caler (I just made that up! :)) It is so great. If they’re beta testing us for the rest of the country, I’m keeping the them afloat!

          • Kelly says:

            Amazon Prime Now delivers to the Nashville, TN area, free within a couple of hours, on orders over $20 or so. Also, Shipt is a great service for grocery delivery and they deliver groceries free (with a yearly membership fee) on orders over $35, again, in the Nashville area. I think they’re also in Texas and some other areas. Although yearly subscription fees gave me pause, I purchased on Black Friday and the fee was $49 for the year then. (Normally, it’s $99/year). Also, current Shipt members can give you a code for a free trial and a small amount of money off on groceries ($10-20). I don’t work for either service or mean to post a plug, but it may be looking into if you would prefer more ‘on-demand’ options for deliveries.

            • Jo says:

              The new Amazon Grocery Service is only in CA right now — but I’m hoping it is eventually rolled out nationwide! Thanks for the recommendation on Shipt! I’ve never heard of it before!!

              • says:

                My friend in Portland, OR was just sharing her Amazon Prime Now experience yesterday; she got ice cream and coffee creamer.

      • Jen says:

        Check out Instacart.

  • Joy says:

    Just placed my order with the 2-meal discount you offered. Always wanted to try Blue Apron, even though they’re way out of my budget. It is for my DH and me only, so that is a better value. Even with its “amazingness”, I don’t think it’s something we could sustain. We rarely go out (3 or 4 times a year); and I usually cook “bulk” and freeze our dinner portions. I end up cooking about 4 times each month. Still… the “exoticness” will be fun! Thanks for this opportunity! 🙂

  • says:

    I tried Hello Fresh at a deeply discounted rate and felt much the same way! Honestly the recipes were too fancy for us and way too expensive. It was fun to try once but that was enough for me. Maybe someone should come up with a less expensive more down to earth plan! If you go to my blog and search “Hello Fresh” you can read my 2 posts reviewing it.

    • Jo says:

      Thanks so much for sharing! And YES! I’d love to see someone come up with a less expensive and simpler plan… I’d be all over that! 🙂

  • Amy M says:

    So what was your opinion of the taste of the food?

  • says:

    Thanks for the review. Did you say what you thought about the food? I’m curious if you liked the meals.

  • Pam says:

    Our neighbor has it delivered once a week to her house. They are empty nesters and she said it is perfect for them. It got her interested in cooking again. She likes that everything is laid out in the correct proportions and they get to try some “new to them” recipes.

    I also know someone else who gets it for the budding chef in their family. The child gets to follow a recipe with everything laid out for them. It might be a good grandparent to grandchild gift or the other way around. Get a few weeks delivery – like Kiwi Crate but for someone older.

  • Chelsea says:

    I’ve never done Blue Apron or Hello Fresh, but we have ordered the meal kits from Peapod grocery delivery. They work the same way — I go on the app and look at the meal kits available and I pick what I want. They are pretty affordable — I usually pick meals that cost $13.99 for 4 people. Much cheaper than ordering a pizza or going through a drive-thru for all of us. I also love that there is not subscription or commitment. I only use the service when I actually want it.

  • says:

    I haven’t tried Hello Fresh but I have been doing Plated.com for over a year and absolutely love it. I always tell people it works best if there are two of you or your single (lunch the next day), you are willing to try a variety of food and aren’t looking to save money.

    When we started doing it we were either eating out A LOT or were eating the same things over and over so we didn’t mind the money. The one thing that did take us a while to get use to was the lack of left overs. My husband is a big eater and I find that I usually end up giving him part of my portions. It’s enough, just nothing left.

    At some point I’ll probably try Hello Fresh to see the different options.

  • MomofTwoPreciousGirls says:

    I received a 3 meal gift from someone. I’m a picky eater, so not being able to pick what I wanted to eat was the first problem for me. I made the meals and tried them even though they weren’t things I would normally eat. If you’re trying to cut back your portions it’s good but my hubby did not have enough to eat. Luckily I wasn’t thrilled with the taste so eat mine! (I must reiterate that I am VERY PICKY…He thought the meals were delicious just not enough to fill him up). I also found the meals to be complicated to make or take too many dishes. I think for a once in a while thing or an at home cook together date night it could be nice if you aren’t like me!

  • Tracy says:

    I have been using Blue Apron for over a year and am very pleased with the service. I agree the meals are a little pricey, but is has been a great opportunity to try new things. My kids (6 y/o and 9 y/o) and I prep and prepare the meals together. They have enjoyed most of the meals. You can skip weeks you do not want the delivery for no charge. We have a box delivered once a month depending on our schedule. You can also go to their website and download any of the recipes you want. We have found some favorites that we remake from the recipe cards. My kids will try most things, so this has been a fun experience for us.

  • Amy says:

    We tried the family option and had 2 meals for four people, sent 2 weeks in a row. We were not impressed. Out of 4 meals, 3 recipes required frying- something we’re not fond of doing. We also did not find any time savings. While each recipe is written with 6 numbered instructions (making it appear “quick & easy”), there were actually many multiple steps within each numbered instruction. Frankly, I think going to the store and shopping for my own ingredients is much easier, and less expensive. I didn’t find the process to be convenient at all.

  • says:

    My mouth was watering the entire time while reading this! And I love that Jesse does the cooking. Brent loves to cook too! OOOO, I have an idea… double date night – the boys cook for us. I mean, come on!

  • Emilee says:

    I’ve seen Blue Apron before and wanted to try it and this post put me over the edge… My husband and I end up in meal-planning ruts and end up having the same 4 or 5 meals over and over again. As much as we love to spend as little as possible on groceries, eating just for the function of eating without actually enjoying our food doesn’t really make it worth it. This will be nice every few weeks or so to have something to change it up and try things we wouldn’t normally pick out at the grocery store. Well worth it to spend a little extra money to break up the meal planning monotony.

  • Patty says:

    As a single, working mom, I’d love the convenience. But at that price? No way is it possible.

    Are there any less expensive services that still provide quality food?

  • Kris says:

    I’ve never tried Blue Apron, but I got Door to Door Organics for a couple of years. It’s not meal planning, but I loved getting fresh organic produce delivered to my door. Unfortunately, I had to suspend my subscription due to circumstances that reduced our income. I hope to resubscribe at some point. From the comments, it sounds as if Blue Apron would not be a good option for my family because I have too many people with big appetites to feed and a limited budget.

    • Kris says:

      I love Door to Door Organics, but I also had to cancel our subscription due to circumstances. Blue Apron would be way out of our price range and sounds like not enough food for my family.

  • Kris Cali says:

    I purchased a week’s worth of Blue Apron meals as a birthday present for my 22 year old son. He and his girlfriend enjoy learning to cook and trying new recipes. They enjoyed the food and said it was a wonderful experience. I doubt they would continue it on their own. I considered the family plan but I love to cook from scratch and it was too expensive to do for my large family on a regularlar basis.

    • Danie says:

      That is a great present idea! I might do that for my 20 year old daughter. She is shopping on a college budget and may enjoy something new and fun. Thanks for the idea

  • Katie says:

    Thank you for this honest review! I have been super curious about blue apron and have thought about trying it out before. I actually started doing Wildtree freezer meals a few months ago and have loved the organic, healthy products and the convenience of having meals already in the freezer!

  • Tami says:

    I tried it this week and loved it. I enjoyed cooking again without the hassle of shopping for ingredients. I also ate things and used flavors and spices I wouldn’t normally try to use otherwise. My son who is kind of picky actually liked the food too. I find it is also teaching me some cooking techniques. I won’t do it every week because of price and I’m not always find of every meal on the menu (wish you could have a little more control over the 3 meals you get), but will continue to use once or twice a month!

  • Dianne says:

    I was excited to try it, too. I signed up for the 4 person plan, even though we are a family of five. I figured I could just add a bit of my own twist to stretch it. My first shipment came and I was stunned at all the packaging. There is more packaging than food! Sadly, several ingredients were missing for both my meals – including the bag that holds all the spices and smaller ingredients. While the proteins were there, I was unable to make the side dishes or the sauce for the catfish. I was really disappointed. I ed Blue Apron and they apologized and offered me a credit of one 2 person meal. I was actually surprised that they didn’t just ship me the missing ingredients – one of which was saffron and I didn’t want to buy saffron for one meal! Now I have a credit on my account for a 2 person meal and I’m now sure how to proceed. I thought it was very bad quality control and I was a first time customer – you think they would do better. My mom and dad also tried them the week before I did and they were missing 2 limes and the flour. It is way too expensive and I make from scratch anyway. Fun to try but since they didn’t send all the ingredients necessary and the packaging was too wasteful – I am not interested in trying them again.

  • Jana says:

    We have tried Blue Apron – our first (and free week) had the exact same meals as you. While everyone loved the recipes and my husband enjoyed cooking them, I agree the prices are pretty high if you typically eat at home. I did not cancel in time so we got our second week as well and paid for it. My husband came home from work and wanted to make one so maybe the money is worth it to get a couple nights off off cooking per week! We also used to use a service called Plated and enjoyed their meals as an alternative to going out to eat once in awhile but when they became subscription based rather than “order” based, I canceled with them as well. Overall, we do like Blue Apron and similar services but I prefer to order on an as needed basis rather than have to remember to skip weeks.

  • Tonya says:

    looks yummy and convenient but my family is bigger than 4.

  • Addy says:

    Sounds like a nice treat, but honestly, if I am going to pay that much for a meal, then I don’t want to have to cook it! We have a cool local option – there is a small company in our area that prepares meals, delivers them to your door (frozen) weekly and then you heat up according to instructions whenever you wish. They offer several options every week and everything is chef-made with fresh ingredients and very tasty. You can order a week’s worth (or more) or just one meal. Aside from the convenience factor for ourselves, we have used them to send meals to someone with a new baby, illness or death in the family or “just because”.

  • Courtney says:

    How did everything taste?

    • Courtney says:

      Sorry, just saw where you already answered this…more than once 😉 Thanks for this post! I’ve been curious about Blue Apron.

  • Carol Muska says:

    I was stuck in a rut so I loved not having to plan meals. The ingredients are VERY fresh and usually arrived with the ice packs still frozen. As a very good added bonus is my husband who has diabetes found that the meals allowed him to keep his blood sugar low, so they have been diabetic healthy.
    My only negative is that the spices seem a bit too heavy and on the middle eastern side? The dishes with tomato have been very dark and heavy with tomato sauce. We loved the cod and fish meals.
    I also woul like a monthly invoice that shows what was charged.

  • Brittany C. says:

    My parents have had Plated for the past few months. As empty nesters (my sister is about to graduate college and I’m 10 years older than her!), this type option has been great for them! They are in Nashville, so awesome restaurants abound! It was so easy to make an OpenTable reservation for 2 and eat out most nights. For them, they are finally back in the groove of cooking and eating at home again. Great options for people at different stages of life!

  • Mindy says:

    We tried Blue Apron a couple of years ago. The cost of it is beyond our ideal budget/current lifestyle, but I really appreciated the experience of trying it. I think one of the greatest advantages is that you try new cooking skills, ingredients, and techniques with it- Like a cooking adventure. For example, prior to trying Blue Apron I was intimated to cook fish at home. But, we got fish one time, and so I learned it wasn’t as difficult as I thought. Now we usually eat fish a few times a month and that has helped me to be more adventurous in trying other new recipes.

  • says:

    Thank you for taking the time to do such a complete review. I had wondered about this and now all my questions are answered. These kinds of reviews are so helpful to people. Blessings

  • Adrienne says:

    What a neat idea! It’s a great wedding gift or a gift for a first or second time new mom. Or maybe an anniversary gift for date nights in.

  • Nancy says:

    We use Blue Apron occasionally. Although it’s not sustainable ($) for us to order it every week, it really helps when we get into a meal-planning funk. I have found that after getting a Blue Apron order, we seem to get our mojo back and are more willing to plan some of our own meals.

    The food is delicious and my two teenagers eat it happily. I can only think of a couple meals out of three dozen that I thought were just so-so. It is enough food for our family of four.

    I also like that it encourages us to try new foods. Last night we had catfish piccata, which is something we would NEVER have made otherwise. My kids loved it.

    The biggest drawback in my opinion is cost. Although they do offer free recycling, we can recycle most of the packaging (paper, plastic bags, cardboard) locally.

  • Cheryl S says:

    My brother is a divorced dad with a teenage daughter and because he doesn’t cook or have time to research recipes and buy ingredients, they ate a lot of fast food. He decided to try Blue Apron and loves it. He now has a weekly delivery of 2-3 dinners and says while its a bit pricey, he and his daughter eat better, eat foods they would normally not cook, the food tastes great, super easy to follow, and most important, they bond while preparing the food together.

  • Miranda says:

    This sounds so interesting. Did you have to buy any new cooking utensils ? I’m not a big cook so I don’t have too many cooking utensils ( just the basics) Which ones do you think are a must have ?

  • says:

    Just signed up to try it! Thanks, Crystal!

    As a small family (just one tiny child!) I always feel like we waste food and ingredients when I try new recipes. This seems like the perfect way to get that variety into our lives really easily and without being wasteful – can’t wait for our first delivery to arrive!

    Oh, and also – I wanted to comment on the price: when we buy beef or fish at the grocery store here in SoCal, it’s quite pricey (enough fresh salmon fillet for a meal costs about $20) – so these prices seem quite reasonable considering the high-quality meat that comes with the meals.

  • Kathye says:

    I’ve loved reading all the comments. I may try this for my college daughter. She moved out of the dorm and is now not on the full meal plan at school, but she is finding that she doesn’t really have time to grocery shop for good food. With it being just her (and occasionally the boyfriend), this might be a good option for some days during the week.

  • Noel says:

    I totally enjoyed Blue Apron. I wanted to try it out a while back and when i did i was so satisfied with it. I now have a lot of recipe cards and decided to stop the subscription for a while. After trying the subscription for a while Blue Apron actually sends you free meals to send out for others can try out. They send you about 3 meals to send out to others to join. I have yet to try recreating past meals on my own. Since my subscription wasn’t cancel, only put on hold, i will try it again soon.

  • Tara says:

    Hi! When you sign up for Blue Apron, can you customize it? For example, my boyfriend & I only eat chicken, and steak for meat. Are their options in meals you choose?

  • Jennifer says:

    I tried Blue Apron for about 6 weeks. Even with the added cost it was cutting down stress of meal planning and shopping so I thought I would give it a shot. I wanted to love it but three of those meals in a two week time frame were missing ingredients and my shallot was bad. They credited my account for the entire meal the first time it happened but just for the items the next two times. So I still had to go to the store for those missing ingredients. I canceled. It was adding stress and expense. Back to doing it myself, cheaper and faster!

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