When I was working at Google last year, the commute could easily become 1.5-2 hours each way on a bus. So I’d end up leaving on a 6:40am bus, coming home around 6-7pm, even 8pm at times. So naturally, Brian and I ended up eating out a ton. The price and calories start to add up, and you have no control over the ingredients going into your body.
I have a few recipes that I do well, and I sort of just rotate them without experimenting much. When I try something new, I usually do a cost/time analysis. I ask myself How much time and money will it require to make, and will the finished product taste better and be more convenient than if I were to order it out? For example, I love Pad See Ew with crispy tofu, but we live walking distance to at least 5 Thai restaurants, where the meal for two is around $20. Therefore, this is not something I make at home. Does that make sense?
A dear friend recommended Blue Apron, and I figured it was worth a shot. I like the concept: A box arrives one day per week (we picked Wednesday) with the ingredients to make three meals during the week. Everything from a pinch of oregano (which we actually don’t even have stocked) to a couple of cage-free eggs or a cup of organic milk. It arrives in the cutest containers, with color-coded stickers for each of the three meals.
The meals for our week were:
Spiced Salmon & Cranberry Chutney with Parsnip, Sweet Potato & Clementine Sauté
Cavatappi Mac & Cheese with Purple Top Turnip & Kale
Roasted Cauliflower Steaks with Browned Butter-Grape Sauce & Farro
What I love about Blue Apron is the creativity of the meals. Each recipe has a beautiful card with a picture of the dish on the front (and the ingredients you need) and step-by-step instructions with photos of how to make the meal on the back.
The price for two people to make three meals per week is $60, which ends up costing roughly $20/meal (or $10/serving). This is about what we’d spend out on a quick week night meal out, so I’d say it’s a pretty fair price. The serving sizes are on the larger side, and we were satisfied after each meal.
- Creative meals that I wouldn’t have thought of myself (they have a culinary team & renowned guest chefs working on recipes)
- Having the exact amount of ingredients for each meal
- Knowing exactly what’s going into your body
- Each serving is between 500-800 calories
- Spending time cooking with your significant other
- Weekly choices aren’t always the best (especially if you don’t eat meat)
- Lots of waste (cardboard box, ice packs, excess packaging)
- Took us a little longer than the instructions suggested (1 hour or more for each meal)
- The mountain of dishes to do afterwards
Do I continue to use Blue Apron? When the recipes for the week are outstanding, you bet! If I could order one or two recipes per week, I’d probably do it more often, but three per week is a lot for us. Now that I’m not enjoying the Google perks of breakfast, lunch, and snacks anymore, I’m not able to skip the grocery store completely. So in that respect it just makes sense to plan our own meals.
However, if you’re looking for the perfect housewarming or back to school gift, I’d highly recommend gifting a week of these meals. It’s great if you love to cook or for a fun date/girls night.
If you have any experience with Blue Apron or any other meal service, I’d love to hear about your experience. Any others I should try?