Barb also does portrait work. Last spring, she did a photo shoot of me with my dog Lady. I was so happy with her work! Two favorite shots have been been on my personal Facebook page ever since. I can't bear to take them down!
Anyway, Blue Apron! When Barb mentioned on Facebook that she and her husband had signed up for the subscription meal-kit service Blue Apron, right away, I had the idea that after a few months, others might be interested in her experience. Truth be told? When I asked her about sharing her experience, I didn't even know if she would offer thumbs up or thumbs down!
You see, cooking is just not Barb's thing. She's a photographer, not a foodie. We laugh how cooking-wise, we have so little in common. In fact, I'm laughing again now, putting together this post, because all Barb says about Blue Apron's food is that "it's good" – that's compared to my fellow food bloggers who go on and on about quality ingredients and good cooking techniques.
Spoiler Alert? Barb's experience is overall positive! And for anyone who's wondering? This is NOT a sponsored post.
My Experience with Blue Apronby Barb Kellogg
My husband and I signed up with Blue Apron about six months ago. I knew from other friends that it was an interesting option for healthy meals. As soon as it was available in our area, I signed up to give it a try.
A little background about us. We aren't people who enjoy the act of cooking, quick and easy is more our style. We try to choose healthier frozen food but in the end, frozen food is still processed food. At Blue Apron, we signed up for the Two Person plan. In a week, that's three recipes to serve two people.
Blue Apron CON'SI'll start with the cons first, just because for me, the pros far outweight the cons.
Long Prep and Cook Times Each Blue Apron recipe comes with estimated prep and cook times but we pretty much double those estimates. Maybe you're like a pro chef chopping things with a knife. But not us. (Remember, we're the ones who are kind of like non-cooks.) After your first few meals, you'll get a feel for how close to the estimate your actual prep and cook times are.
Delivery Packaging I appreciate Blue Apron's eco-friendly box and packing materials but wouldn't want that box of food sitting outside for very long on a cold or hot day. In the summer months, the freezer packs are often partially thawed by the time the box reaches our front step. And in the winter, the more fragile vegetables wouldn't handle our Minnesota subzero weather. We're usually home to bring the Blue Apron box inside right away and unpack the meats and vegetables. But if we weren't, I'd really be concerned. (Now Blue Apron does have several delivery-day options, including Saturday. But to unpack your food, you still need to be home when the UPS truck arrives.)
Cost This could be a pro or a con, depending upon how much food you eat. We often get three servings from each recipe, and you can extend it more by adding your own salad and vegetables. I also appreciate not having to go to the grocery store as often. For me, Blue Apron's cost isn't a negative. [Blue Apron pricing]
Blue Apron PRO'SWe are still signed up for Blue Apron, so that should tell you I like them!
Convenience All the ingredients are dropped off right to your front door, way easier than going to the grocery store – and you get just what you need, nothing more.
Trying New Foods I'm eating food combinations that I wouldn't be able to eat at my local restaurants. For example, a bunch of times, lemon and lemon zest have been part of the Blue Apron recipe. I'd think, "Really?" but then the lemon made the recipe taste really, really good. Who knew lemon was a great way to bring even simple pasta up a notch?!
Variety In the Two Person plan, there are six meals to choose from each week, both traditional and vegetarian options. I haven't seen any repeat recipes in six months.
Flexibility I really like being able to decide when/when not to use Blue Apron meals. If I don't like that week's meals or if we're really busy, it's easy to just skip a week. Being able to skip weeks when we don't have time for this kind of meal preparation or we're not home, is a real plus.
Eating Real Food The main reason I put up with the long prep and cook time (not to mention ALL the dirty dishes) is I know I'm eating real food. Fresh meats. Fresh vegetables. Plus, I can control the amount of salt that's added, unlike store-bought, prepared foods. The food is good. [Blue Apron menus]
The Bottom LinePros and Cons, we'll be staying on with Blue Apron for the foreseeable future!
Would a Blue Apron service work for you? Is it an intriguing idea? Can you imagine a time in your cooking life where it might work? Chime in! Also if you have any questions, Barb will be happy to answer! Just leave a comment/question below. I cook almost seven days a week (and love shopping for groceries) but must admit, I'm intrigued, especially for an egalitarian "date night" or to expand our food horizons.
Inside Blue Apron and the Meal Kit Rush from Forbes
Why Would Someone Like Me Use Blue Apron? from food blogger & recipe developer Dine & Dish
Easy Dinners with Blue Apron from Two Peas & Their Pod
Winter Date Night with Blue Apron from food blogger & registered dietician Kath Eats Real Food
Cooking Dinner with Blue Apron from Food In Jars
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from Kitchen Parade, my food column
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