Monday, September 5, 2016

Is a meal delivery service right for you? (plus, a Blue Apron review)

My kids are pretty good eaters—when they like what they're eating. At the ages of two and four, they are getting pickier and pickier by the day. Couple this challenge with an evening work schedule that's crazy, and a desire to constantly serve up healthy (and easy) meals...well, meal planning is quite helpful in our house. But I must say, I sometimes get into a rut with recipes. So when a Blue Apron coupon showed up in my mailbox a week ago, I put it to good use in the name of #whynot.

My food box showed up on Friday.

meal delivery, recipe box, food review
I spent about $25 of my own money on enough ingredients for three meals that will ultimately serve two people, my husband and myself. I could've purchased a family meal, but again—picky kids, so I opted to get the most out of the money I was willing to spend.

Is a meal delivery service right for you? A Blue Apron review.
When you set up your Blue Apron account, you can choose between meals for two or family meals that serve four people. From there, you can decide how many meals you'd like to receive each week (the price of each plan will adjust accordingly). So, without the discount, I would have spent around $60 for three meals. We'll get to that later.

Once you choose your plan, you can then pick which meals you'd like to receive. I chose to receive three meals, and was able to pick from five different options:

I'm not sure we'll like the tostadas. I may swap out the eggplant for chicken, but we'll see. I opted to start with the Porchetta-Style Sandwiches with Baby Kale Pesto and Marinated Cucumber Salad. It ended up being quite delicious:

Is a meal delivery service right for you? A Blue Apron Recipe Box Review
Now, in addition to the ingredients, you get step-by-step instructions. Many people told me that these were long and involved, but that wasn't my impression (at least not with this recipe). I followed the recipe easily, and was able to keep moving from one step to the next fairly smoothly. Word of advice, though: It never hurts to read through the recipe before you start cooking, just so you're slightly familiar with the process ahead of you.

Is a meal delivery service right for you? (plus, a Blue Apron review)
Long story short, I had fun prepping this meal. This kids would not have eaten it, that's for sure, but the husband did. And his initial response when I showed him the recipe card was "I will make it work." But he ended up liking it, too (minus the lemon flavor, which was subtle but strong enough to make a non-lemon fan cringe slightly).

Here's the thing, though. As much as I liked this meal, and as fun as it was to get the box and prep the ingredients, I'm not entirely convinced a meal delivery service is right for me. So, here:

recipe box, mail order food, fresh ingredients, delicious dinners
Is a meal delivery service like Blue Apron right for you? Here are a few things to consider:

1) A meal delivery service will introduce you to new foods.
But, fair warning, you don't always get to pick the meals you receive. So you have to be open to getting foods that might not appeal to your palate. This can be troublesome if you have picky eaters in the house. But it can be quite helpful if you're in a food rut. So if you want to try a delivery service that lets you pick the meals, Blue Apron might work. Hello Fresh might not.

2) A meal delivery service will streamline your dinners.
Everything you need to make a few delicious meals will arrive in a cold-packed box. All you have to do is pay for the service and (obviously) cook the meal. So if meal prep and grocery shopping stress you out, a few clicks of your mouse will ultimately help you out.

3) A meal delivery service might not mesh with food allergies.
Some of the services are very good at working with food allergies, others make no guarantees. And when it comes to food allergies, one can never be too cautious. So putting your meals in the hands of a delivery service might seem daunting and, well...might not be smart. Do your research. Always smart.

4) A meal delivery service can be expensive.
Had I not used a coupon, I would have spent around $60 for three meals that will feed two people per meal. I hit the grocery store weekly to purchase food for my family of four, and $60 could typically pay for half of what goes into my cart. So from my perspective, meal delivery services are expensive. With the discount, it seemed silly to not give it a try. Without the discount, it seems silly to continue. 

So when does it make sense to sign up for Blue Apron, or any other meal delivery service?

If you want to get out of a food rut. If you want a personal chef, but have time to make your own meals. If you know you won't be able to hit the grocery store for a week or two. If you don't have kids that are picky. Or, there's this: I think recipe box subscriptions make great gifts!

Is anyone else hungry?
We have two Blue Apron meals left.
I think it's a past night...

Question: Have you ever tried a recipe box subscription? Which one? Was it right for you? Why or why not?

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...