Have you been wanting to try one of those “Meals in a Box” companies but you were just too skeptical to take the plunge? Gracie and I dove into a box with Blue Apron this past week. We paid for three meals for two people because we had a reduction of price coupon (40 dollars off the first delivery). Also, we knew we would want to blog about this!
In my last post I joked about still trying to figure out “how many potatoes to buy each week.” So I figured, why not let a supposed-expert do it for me, right? Not only did they hit the mark on exact quantity, but they figured out how to get my nine year old to try new food varieties. Here’s our observations and reflections:
- Pretty arrival PRESENTATION: They packaged the foods like a BIG gift and then a series of “little gifts”(which are cutely labeled Knick-knacks): The produce is fresh, the meats are tightly-leak-proof packaged, all items are portioned then ‘sticker labeled’ to indicate which meal they match. There is a large recipe card accompanying each meal to guide you through the preparation processes. All of that we enjoyed and found helpful.
- Practical PRICE and SCHEDULE: Without a coupon, the cost of three meals for two people is 59.95. That is about $10.00 a meal per person, with no cost on shipping and handling. An average weekly trip to the grocery store runs me about $75.00 to $100.00. What I figured out is that during the summer, my co-parent has Grace for two week night dinner meals. That means that I can logically make three meals a week, save on gas to the grocery store and the risk that “extra unnecessary eats” make it into the cart. You can also SKIP weeks. With vacations or other eating plans for the week, this is a good option. My next shipment (because I did skip a week) is Friday, July 7th. I went on the site to check it out. It has already been processed. Therefore, if you know you will be dining out or headed to a summer cook-out, I think it’s best to know this two weeks in advance and put in for a SKIP when managing your deliveries. Another note about scheduling: before you can view ANY menus, the company does ask for a method of payment to be given up front. So, be sure this is something you are up for trying before you race to the site. For now, we see these scheduling options matching our life-style. I plan on heading to the market tomorrow for three nights of meals for this week. Going to try to do it in less than $50.00! We shall see… Maybe it will be an ‘addendum blog’.
- Pleasant PORTIONS and PREPARATIONS: I managed to get Grace into the kitchen as my helper at least once. She was curious and really wanted to try her knife skills!
This was rewarding for us both, as working as a team is always beneficial to our relationship. Two thumbs up on this aspect. I personally enjoyed “plating” the dishes – something I do NOT normally do, but since the recipe calls for this, I said, “Why the heck not?” Here are our other two PLATED meals:
4. New taste combinations = More ADVENTURE, Better NUTRITION: Let’s face it, I already know how to cook. I know how to add personal zing and zest with adding or leaving out ingredients. And, this is exactly what I did. I added grape tomatoes to the salad, bread to the pasta, and left out the carrots in the cabbage slaw. I knew to go cold with the potato salad and leave out the Cajun on my daughter’s chicken. With healthy drizzles of olive oil (Blue Apron suggested), Greek olives in the pasta, and a colorful palette, Blue Apron can help me maximize the “try it” phrase. And that she did! She even asked, “Can I taste it before you put it on my plate?” That was a first.
Are you thinking you might want to try this experience?
Overall, I would give Blue Apron and the “Meal in Box” adventure a 4 out of 5 stars. The green pepper enclosed was not so pretty looking when it arrived. Luckily, I had a fresh red one waiting in the crisper drawer. I added some red lettuce to the butter lettuce in the above salad for a “crispier” texture. And I do feel the price to be a bit on the high end. However, when you read Blue Apron’s story, they are the only middle-man. They directly source from farms they choose and they base their menus on what is farm available. The thought of all this appeals to the Mother-Earth-lover inside of me. It helps that if you want to recycle all the card board, apparently they will come get it! I sinfully trashed it (sorry). I’m willing to change that, however.
Trying Blue Apron got Grace to eat more varieties of veggies and help more in the kitchen. They didn’t pay me to say that; they don’t even know I wrote this. Those are my honest reflections. I hope one might help you decide if this experience might be right for you!
If you go for it, I’d really love you to hear your reflections, too.
Blessings and Peace,