A Blue Apron Review: Is It Really Worth It?

BY: Sarah Gorr | Nov 21, 2017

If you listen to podcasts, you've no doubt heard about a thousand commercials for Blue Apron. The ads seem to be ubiquitous, no matter what show you're listening to be it news or a bunch of jokes about horse ghosts, there they are. Since launching in 2012, the company has spawned half a dozen competitors at least, which means the meal-kit trend is showing no signs of slowing down. But whenever you see a Blue Apron Groupon, you're probably hungry for a Blue Apron review to answer your one burning question: is it actually worth it?

The short answer is yes!

I gave in and tried it not once, not twice, but I've been a regular subscriber since 2015. I'm clearly on board, but that doesn't mean it's perfect for everyone. Whether Blue Apron is worth it for you and your family is going to depend a lot on what you want to get out of it. To help you decide, here's my thorough Blue Apron review, outlining what you should ask yourself before diving in as well as the answers to a few FAQs! But first things first...

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How does Blue Apron Work?

Blue Apron is a subscription service that delivers recipe kits for customers to cook healthy meals at home. After you sign up, you'll be able to customize your personal account. There, you'll get to personalize all kinds of things, like: what day you want your box delivered; whether you want meat dishes, vegetarian, or a mix; and even which specific recipes you'd like to receive (out of the eight you can choose from every week). Then, you'll get a box packed with recipe cards and all the necessary ingredients shipped straight to your door! Pause your subscription whenever you want to ensure you're only getting deliveries when it suits you.

Who should sign up for Blue Apron?

There are a few key things you'll want to consider before agreeing to regular shipments:

1. Are you trying to cut your grocery bill or your takeout bills?

If you want to lower your grocery bill, I'm sorry to say Blue Apron can't help you there. It's just cheaper to buy things at the store. However, if you want to reduce your takeout and restaurant bills, then Blue Apron can really save the day! At about $10 per meal per person, I find it's a bit cheaper than ordering takeout and it's definitely cheaper than dining out.

2. Do you want to learn how to cook?

Blue Apron is actually pretty good in this respect, as my husband can testify. The step-by-step instructions and preportioned ingredients makes things a lot easier for him. Though I should point out that every once in a while, a recipe will include a slightly more advanced step that can throw him for a bit of a loop (the instructions on making a roux, for example, aren't necessarily the clearest for a total beginner). That said, it's still a great way for beginners to start getting more comfortable in the kitchen.

3. Are you trying to save on time?

This is actually the main reason I'm a fan of Blue Apron. Menu planning and shopping can be a pain, so having a couple meals a week already figured out really helps me out, especially when my schedule gets hectic. The actually cooking part is also pretty speedy, with most recipes only requiring about 40 minutes of effort from prep to serving time.

4. How many people do you need to feed?

If you're looking to feed more than three or four people, then Blue Apron isn't for you. Their family boxes feed up to four, but depending on the recipe, how old your kids are, and what your appetites are like, you might still fall a little short. My husband and I use the two-person plan, which occasionally makes a bit extra, but if you regularly count on leftovers for lunch, you'll be out of luck.

Do recipes repeat?

No! Two years in, and I can count one one hand the number of times I recall receiving the same recipe (though never in the same calendar year), and the only reason those stood out was because I was excited to get a second chance at a favorite. Speaking of which, definitely make the pretzel burgers with hoppy cheddar sauce if it pops up in your rotation.

Do the ingredients stay fresh?

For the most part, yes. The individual packaging, while annoying and a bit wasteful, does help the ingredients last. That said, I've learned to make recipes using fresh spinach first because it's the most likely to go bad if you wait until the end of the week.

Are the recipes really that interesting?

Yep, this is another place where Blue Apron's marketing isn't leading you astray: recipes pull inspiration from all over the world to create truly inventive flavor combos. There are definitely a good portion on the simpler side of things (think steak and potatoes), but I've found that Blue Apron includes enough out of my comofort zone (Thai khao soy, Korean rice cakes and spicy pork, Japanese sesame soba noodles) that it more than makes up for it.

More Blue Apron Reviews

Our customers have rated Blue Apron 4.2/5 stars. Here's some more of what they've had to say:

"Lots of fun and an opportunity to try new dishes that I never would have cooked. The one thing to consider is that these are meals from scratch, so even though they provide all of the ingredients, some of them require an investment in time!" – Vanina M.

"We have had 4 deliveries so far and they have all been great meals (we use the vegetarian plan). Fresh ingredients, delicious variety and I actually ENJOY cooking now. I like that they source unique items for their recipes like pink lemons, coconut milk yogurt and specialty spice blends from all over the world. We are hooked!" – Roberta M.

"Great, fresh food, proportioned additions, and clear directions. Was fun as an at-home date night." – Janel L.