Back in January I posted my review of Plated.com, a delivery service for meals you complete at home. A nutritionist and personal shopper, minus the personal chef. After my trial with Plated.com I decided that although I liked trying new meals I wouldn’t normally make at home, and I enjoyed the smaller portions, paying $58 for two meals seemed too rich for my blood, and I canceled my account.
Around the same time I was deciding not to move forward with Plated I received a Christmas gift of a free trial of Blue Apron – the exact same concept, just a different company. I figured what the hell and ordered my first box. Below is my honest Blue Apron review.
CONS OF BLUE APRON:
- Prep time can be ungodly long. Listen Blue Apron, I get that this is all about me being the chef and making this wonderful meal, but if you tell me the meal calls for chopped peanuts, can you save me a step and just CHOP THEM FOR ME? Why did I need to do that myself? To feel good about my role in this meal? Please help a sister out and decrease any pre-meal chopping when you can. Love, EVERYONE WHO’S EVER USED BLUE APRON.
- Blue Apron is very choosy about what meals you receive. They auto select three meals for you based on the criteria you’ve pre-selected in your account (likes all protein, allergic to X, vegetarian, etc) and then if you don’t like what they are planning to send you and you’d like one of the other options available that week they didn’t pre-select, it’s not just swapping one meal for another. You’ll attempt to click on that tasty soup instead of the chicken they picked and you’ll get a message, “I’m sorry, that meal cannot be selected with X meals.” You can either shift total gears, or just accept the three they originally picked. Feels misleading to say I can “pick” my meals.
- Delivery options. For some reason Wednesday is the earliest day in the week I can get my box. Plated could get me my items on Tuesday, which meant my third meal of the week wasn’t landing on a Friday. Can’t you help a sister out Blue Apron and let me receive my box on Tuesday?
- Too much packaging. Again, a common gripe with any meal delivery service is the packing. I understand they need to keep all that tasty protein cold, but my goodness sometimes I feel bad tossing all that material in the garbage when I’m done.
- Labeling needs work. One of the things I liked about Plated was how each ingredient was listed, and had a list of what meal it went with. It was super easy to open your box and pick out the items for your first meal. Blue Apron only lists the ingredient and you have to rifle through the ingredients to track down the herb that goes with THIS dinner, and not the next dinner. Small thing I know, but Plated did it, and it was a nice feature.
PROS OF BLUE APRON:
- The food is TASTY! Look at some of the amazing things I’ve received in my Blue Apron boxes so far.
- Same as I felt with trying Plated, I like that I am making meals that I wouldn’t normally make at home. I’m cooking with grains and spices I typically only get to eat in a restaurant, and being able to do that at home feels decedent.
- Unlike I felt with my review of Plated, I think the cost for Blue Apron is really fair. For $58 I receive three dinners for two people, coming to about $9.66 per person for each meal. When I’m getting to eat things like Short Rib Burgers on Pretzel Buns with sweet potato chips at home, I’m ok with that. Plated on the other hand had been $58 for only two dinners for two people, which I just didn’t think was worth the cost and the wasted packing materials.
- Portions seem larger than with Plated. I swear I’ve never been hungry after a Blue Apron meal. NEVER.
- Only 500-700 calories per meal that still leaves me feeling full? What’s not to love!
- Perfect mix of protein + heaps of veggies. One of the ways they keep the calories so low for each meal is really heaping on the veggies and whole grains. I really like that most of the meals are basically a meat with a ton of veggies, making me feel like I accidentally stumbled into a loosely based Paleo diet, without all the work.
- Customer service is spot on. When I got my first box it was in the middle of the great Chicago deep freeze, and by the time I opened my box half the produce had been freeze damaged. I contacted Customer Service and they gave me another meal for free. I thought that was super of them and really appreciated that they understood a force of nature destroyed my meal.
- Sending you free trials for your friends! Every couple weeks I get an email from Blue Apron saying I have three free trials to send to my friends. I love being able to post on Facebook that I’ve got some free trials for people and watch as friends snag a free meal. The only thing I think they should do with that is give me a little kickback if my friends go on to order a real meal past their free trial. I mean come on, I’m helping you guys get new members so give a lady some love!
So there you have it. My Blue Apron review. In the end I liked Blue Apron enough that I have not canceled my account after that first free meal and I am receiving a new order every other week. I love that this enables me to have a week where I plan all our meals, spending time browsing my Pinterest boards for the next new item to try, and then I have a week where someone else gets to pick what we’ll be eating.
If you’ve tried Plated or Blue Apron I’d love to hear what you thought of each!