A few years ago, I was using E-mealz as an alternative way to keep my grocery costs down and to have tasty new recipes to add to my repertoires. I have gone back and forth, several different times with E-mealz, each time finding the recipes tasty and budget friendly, but I never could seem to stick with the program. There were many recipes that didn’t fit our style of cooking, or there were ingredients my family just wouldn’t be caught dead eating and so, for us, it just wasn’t a cost I could continue to pay, be it ever so affordable.
Recently, I have ordered a subscription to Blue Apron on a friend’s recommendation. My friend is a bachelor, and is also quite a financial guru himself. I wouldn’t call him cheap at all, (which worried me a little) so I didn’t know if Blue Apron was right for my family or cost-efficient. However, he and I both have sophisticated pallets (we are foodies by heart) and he swore by their recipes so I thought I’d give it a shot, they charge by the week and you can cancel anytime so I order the 2 meals a week family plan.
How Blue Apron works is they ship you fresh ingredients and recipes for either 2 or 4 meals a week. I will say the prices are not NEARLY as friendly as E-Mealz, but you are of course paying a convenience fee of having the food shipped to you, plus you are getting a high quality product with organic produce, grass fed meats, etc. I am not sure what their profit margin is, but it can’t be outrageous with the quality of products you are getting, so I definitely don’t feel like it’s a rip-off considering you are paying about $8.62 a person per meal, which includes your organic food, nice recipe cards printed on colored card-stock in sturdy boxes filled with several ice packs so your food stays fresh. I am not an affiliate to Blue Apron, this is just my opinion and my list of pros and cons of a Blue Apron subscription.
Here are 20 Pros and Cons of a Blue Apron subscription:
- Pro: The quality is fantastic and the recipes are out of this world good.
- Pro: It is convenient, it’s shipped to your house every week at the same time and same day.
- Con: If you choose a weekend ship date and out of town for the weekend, your box sits there all weekend. (Bonus Pro: I get mine on Saturday, when I get home on Sunday afternoon, it is still cold).
- My grocery bill has stayed at about $250 bi-weekly (every two weeks) including my Blue Apron and my other groceries. Pro: I am spending on average $3.00 less a meal than when I eat out and I have left-overs for lunch the next day. Con: I am spending about $3.00 more a meal than what I usually purchase at the grocery store.
- Pro: We are eating more produce and less processed foods, hence the difference in grocery prices.
- Pro: My 11 year old is actually eating vegetables now
- Pro: My 11 year old will actually try anything from Blue Apron, and with words like “kale” and “hominy” and “Bulgar wheat” on the ingredient list, that’s saying a lot. *hint, I don’t tell him what it is until he tries it.
- Pro: I haven’t found a single recipe we didn’t love (minus sweet potato salad; none of us like sweet potatoes).
- Pro: There is so much variety, I’ve yet to receive the same thing twice.
- Pro: They send each ingredient you’ll need, including the staples. Con: I now have ten heads of garlic sitting next to the stove. Pro: It has gotten to be a joke and I am sending them home with friends so we have fun with it.
- Pro: My husband and I enjoy cooking together, spending more time together and we are learning a more efficient way to cook.
- Con: I only get two meals a week and still have to go to the store for other groceries.
- Pro: I buy less at the store and I buy fresher ingredients and healthier recipes at the store simply based on the influence of Blue Apron meals.
- Pro: All their recipes are on their website for free, I print several off and buy the ingredients at the store to make them for the rest of the week.
- Pro for them, con for you: Not all their ingredients are available at your local store so you have to substitute.
- Pro for you, Con for them: If you buy all the ingredients to their recipes at the store it is a little cheaper than having it shipped to your house. *Don’t be a jerk and just use their recipes without subscribing, it’s a little like stealing.
- Pro: Both my husband and I have lost weight. I can download the recipes into My Fitness Pal app and it will calculate the macros and calories for me, I’ve yet to have a meal that didn’t fit into my daily health goals. This may not be the case for certain dietary needs, but with fresh sides and lean meats, it’s good for most people.
- Pro: You can mark dietary restrictions on the website, my husband and son will not eat fish, so they don’t send us any fish. Bonus Con: You can’t mark sweet potatoes, just thought I’d throw that in there!
- Pro: They will send you a return shipping label for recycling boxes if you so choose. They ask that you ship two boxes together and give you the instructions on how they would like them shipped.
- Pro: They have plans for families of four and for the single folks/couples. Con: If you have five kids to feed, it’s probably not worth your money.
If you would like to try a free meal on Blue Apron, feel free to send me your email address and I’ll send you an invite. Right now I can give away five free meals, first come first serve. Also, I am attaching this link to the press page of Blue Apron if you’d like to read more about their company.