Anybody try the Blue Apron or the like?

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EdNorton
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Anybody try the Blue Apron or the like?

Post by EdNorton » Mon May 06, 2019 8:52 am

Been thinking about trying Blue Apron out just to try something different from menus the wife and I cook. What are your opinions of it? How long did you use it? What was the cost?
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MI_bogle
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Re: Anybody try the Blue Apron or the like?

Post by MI_bogle » Mon May 06, 2019 8:56 am

Used it for the free trial twice, as several friends had it.

Lots of packaging waste, which I didn't like

Meals were just fine, liked the recipes and the directions.


Between the cost and the packaging waste I concluded it would be much better to just try to expand cooking ideas by looking at stuff online and putting a small effort in, rather than purchasing a delivery meal plan

nexesn
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Re: Anybody try the Blue Apron or the like?

Post by nexesn » Mon May 06, 2019 9:16 am

MI_bogle wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 8:56 am
Used it for the free trial twice, as several friends had it.

Lots of packaging waste, which I didn't like

Meals were just fine, liked the recipes and the directions.


Between the cost and the packaging waste I concluded it would be much better to just try to expand cooking ideas by looking at stuff online and putting a small effort in, rather than purchasing a delivery meal plan
+1

The packaging waste really bothered me; it was hard to justify the amount of food to packaging waste.

Northster
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Re: Anybody try the Blue Apron or the like?

Post by Northster » Mon May 06, 2019 9:24 am

Some good recipes but we felt we were kind of slaves to the constantly arriving packages.

regularguy455
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Re: Anybody try the Blue Apron or the like?

Post by regularguy455 » Mon May 06, 2019 9:25 am

I've been using Blue Apron for about 2.5 years. It solves the problem of meal planning for DW and I. It is and will always be cheaper to plan yourself, but if you are looking for variety (with little to no effort) and don't mind cooking daily, it's a great solution.

stan1
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Re: Anybody try the Blue Apron or the like?

Post by stan1 » Mon May 06, 2019 9:28 am

For me: If I'm going to buy something like this I want it to be ready to go quickly, not have to do the prep myself. Blue Apron offloads planning and shopping. We used delivered meals from Freshly for a few months. Food quality and portion size was fine for the most part although the chicken and stew-like dishes came out better than the steak or pork cuts of meat which is about what I'd expect. As others have said there was A LOT of packaging material. In the case of Freshly a lot of packaging material is not recyclable (ice packs and denim insulation). The denim is from recycled sources but is not itself recyclable.

daheld
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Re: Anybody try the Blue Apron or the like?

Post by daheld » Mon May 06, 2019 9:44 am

We did Homechef as some friends purchased us $50 worth of meals after we had a baby. We used it a few weeks ago. We still had to spend about $10 to get 4 meals (so a total of about $60) for 2 people, which is incredibly, impossibly expensive on a per serving basis.

It was fine. The directions make it simple to quickly throw together a meal. For us, it isn't even close to being worth it and we'll likely never purchase anything like it for ourselves. We like to cook, consider ourselves "foodies", and are happy to spend a little time doing minor prep to make the weeknight meal cooking go more quickly.

peek
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Re: Anybody try the Blue Apron or the like?

Post by peek » Mon May 06, 2019 9:49 am

We used Blue Apron on a trial for a couple months. The food was quite good. I particularly like the recipe cards they provide that are very detailed and easy to follow. We still keep some of the cards and make the recipes provided. In the end for us the cost of the service just didn't save enough time to make it worth it. Everything is provided but you are still chopping ingredients and assembling a meal. It's a great service to get meal ideas and learn to cook new things though. As others have said the packaging is a huge waste. Most is recycle-able but still it's a lot of plastic. We've been considering trying Freshly since all their recipes are gluten free but the cost is pretty high per meal.

HomeStretch
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Re: Anybody try the Blue Apron or the like?

Post by HomeStretch » Mon May 06, 2019 9:52 am

Two weeks (6 meals) free with HelloFresh a year or so ago from friends referrals.
Pros: clear recipes with pictures, high quality ingredients, tasty, reasonable portion sizes.
Cons: packaging waste, high cost per meal compared to DIY, meal prep takes more time than one might think, limited menus for those with food allergies or eat vegan/gluten-free.

Good program for those who want to cook at home more and develop some kitchen skills or to save time in sourcing ingredients. Fun way to cook with kids.

For me-
Packaging waste and regular cost was not appealing.
I like to cook meals at home so the only real time saver for me was not having to source meal ingredients. Trying some new recipes was fun.
Last edited by HomeStretch on Mon May 06, 2019 10:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

runner3081
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Re: Anybody try the Blue Apron or the like?

Post by runner3081 » Mon May 06, 2019 9:53 am

We tried Blue Apron and Hello Fresh, they were both on free trials.

The food was good, but honestly, we kind of dreaded them. So much prep, cooking and cleaning involved. Just not feasible most nights.

ohai
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Re: Anybody try the Blue Apron or the like?

Post by ohai » Mon May 06, 2019 10:10 am

These plans sound pretty stressful, to be honest. I don't want to receive three or four scheduled boxes a week and have an obligation to follow this regiment. Even if you like cooking, it will be a chore after a while. Doing it for one month is not the same as integrating it into your lifestyle for the long term.

atdharris
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Re: Anybody try the Blue Apron or the like?

Post by atdharris » Mon May 06, 2019 10:12 am

I use HelloFresh occasionally, but as others have said, sometimes I feel like a slave to the box, and end up taking breaks. It's tough to have them come every week because if something comes up and you have little time to cook, then you are faced with wasting the meal

kmurp
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Re: Anybody try the Blue Apron or the like?

Post by kmurp » Mon May 06, 2019 10:21 am

Hello Fresh for a few months now. It’s just wife and I at home now. We buy less groceries but more importantly , for us, we are throwing away much less. These meals are just about right for two of us so we have little food waste.

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8foot7
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Re: Anybody try the Blue Apron or the like?

Post by 8foot7 » Mon May 06, 2019 10:24 am

We used the Martha Stewart one, Marley Spoon.

I liked it a lot but we did discontinue it. We did it for several months, 3 meals per week. I loved most of the dishes and I learned a lot about cooking. However, a small but substantial enough portion of the meals (say 20%) required a LOT of prep, which I define as taking me more than 25 minutes before actually starting to cook. Chopping greens, mixing this, shaving that, etc. Those meals ended up requiring about an hour+ of concentrated time and on weeknights that's not always possible. Some meals were very quick and easy, most all of them were delicious - out of about 60 or so there were only a couple that were not good. Sometimes we would skip a week here and there when the menu preview revealed things that were not in our taste.

The packaging was a bit of a concern although we are less sensitive than some on that. I saved a lot of the freezer packs to use in our lunch bags, but we did reach a point where we needed no more. We asked if there was a way to return them, and the company said we could ship them back, but it would be at our expense and they would not offer any compensation for it--not even an account credit. Sorry, the service is expensive enough, we're not going to ship heavy items back to you at our expense to reduce your costs.

There also were hardly ever enough for leftovers, and we depend on leftovers for next-day lunches as well as filling some dinner gaps during the week. When each meal costs you $35 for four then not having leftovers does change the economics.

All in all, it solved *some* of the problem of cooking at home--planning the meals and grocery shopping--but the inconsistent and sometimes heavy prep times along with the cost (it ended up being similar to eating out with no drinks at a fast casual place once you consider the time + cost of delivery but without leftovers) led us to stop it.
Last edited by 8foot7 on Mon May 06, 2019 10:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

renue74
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Re: Anybody try the Blue Apron or the like?

Post by renue74 » Mon May 06, 2019 10:26 am

We tried Blue Apron and I gave it as a Xmas present to an employee.

Meals are fine, but we stopped it. Some days you just want to go home and eat Frosted Flakes for dinner. :D

BTW, all the Blue Apron recipes are online. You could go to the store and buy the ingredients.

https://www.blueapron.com/cookbook

anil686
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Re: Anybody try the Blue Apron or the like?

Post by anil686 » Mon May 06, 2019 10:45 am

Tried Hello Fresh for a few months followed by a six month break and then Plated for about 6 months. Agree with much of the above - packaging really bothered me. Our family have healthy appetites (probably too healthy) and Hello Fresh dinners for four were not enough food for us. Plated was very generous in the serving sizes - our experience was left overs for four was a routine occurrence. Recipes were generally easy - the biggest advantages we saw were not forgetting stuff on the grocery list and the small sized spice pouches for spices that were cheap but sold in larger quantities in the store. For example cumin or tumeric or five spice - cheap to buy but we would not use there commonly and they would sit in the kitchen for months or years until thrown out. Other advantage to some extent were the tips on the placards giving you "hacks" on prepping or cooking that are probably well known by real cooks out there but for novices are like mindblowing. We recently stopped Plated because we were doing two meals a week and have a ton of recipes that we have tried and liked. We will probably go another couple of years mixing these into our standard rotation of grilling, quick cooking.

You can sometimes find the Plated ones in the local Albertson which may be less expensive and allow you to try it before you sign up or just do it when you feel like it FWIW...

mayday23
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Re: Anybody try the Blue Apron or the like?

Post by mayday23 » Mon May 06, 2019 10:51 am

I equate blue apron to business class meals on a flight. Better than economy (fast food),but not that great.

anil686
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Re: Anybody try the Blue Apron or the like?

Post by anil686 » Mon May 06, 2019 10:58 am

mayday23 wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 10:51 am
I equate blue apron to business class meals on a flight. Better than economy (fast food),but not that great.
I think it depends on the meal prepared personally. There were many meals we made that were, I would say, better than restaurant quality of really unique and interesting dishes. Of course they offer traditional pastas and stuff too, but we made an African chicken curry, Indian food, Chinese food, Korean BBQ noodles, several French and German dishes. I would say that a vast majority of them were better than the food I have ate at sit down restaurants listed above. Now is it better than family made Indian food - no it was not. But I clearly found it on par with going to a restaurant that served that cuisine and having a meal that would rival what was served. JMO though...

stan1
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Re: Anybody try the Blue Apron or the like?

Post by stan1 » Mon May 06, 2019 11:06 am

mayday23 wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 10:51 am
I equate blue apron to business class meals on a flight. Better than economy (fast food),but not that great.
I'm not sure I'd agree with that comparison. Blue Apron is fresh ingredients. You might prefer a different source of meat but the produce and spices would be similar to what you'd get from your local grocery store. You'd be free to add additional spices or whatever you wanted to it.

Freshly (prepared) is probably closer to business class version of a frozen dinner. There are several frozen meal brands including Evol and Healthy Choice Power Bowls that are flavorful and we keep a few in the freezer for times when we need a quick meal. They are a fraction of the cost of a Freshly meal.

A440
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Re: Anybody try the Blue Apron or the like?

Post by A440 » Mon May 06, 2019 11:23 am

We have used the food service that comes mostly prepared and you just need to cook it or provide minimal prep. We used the service to provide food for aging parents when they were dealing with medical issues and didn't have the time to shop for groceries and cook meals, or wished to have them eat healthier than going out to eat for their meals.
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profet
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Re: Anybody try the Blue Apron or the like?

Post by profet » Mon May 06, 2019 11:29 am

Tried blue apron a few years ago, the meals were... fine...

Although we did find that many of the meals were soups. Which I find ok once in a while, but eating soup for dinner multiple times per week was just a no go for us.

youngt2
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Re: Anybody try the Blue Apron or the like?

Post by youngt2 » Mon May 06, 2019 11:51 am

We often use Blue Apron or one of the many other services. If you decide to use it a heads up trick that we tend to use is to cancel your subscription, change to another one, and then wait for the first one to email you a special offer to 'come back'. Between my wife and I we almost never pay full price for the meals. They will often have come back and get $20 off next 3 weeks, or come back and get a free meal (or even week).

Can be a hassle switching, but worth the savings IMO. 3 days of meals for 2 people for $40 (with discount) cannot be beat. Just don't accidentally order 2 kits in one week...

SeaToTheBay
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Re: Anybody try the Blue Apron or the like?

Post by SeaToTheBay » Mon May 06, 2019 1:49 pm

I did a trial of one - forget which one - but haven't continued. It was delicious but I had a few issues with it.

-Regular cost is about the same as an inexpensive - but not fast food - takeout (think Chipotle, various Asian cuisine, etc.). However, with the meal kits, I still have to cook and do dishes. The cooking part still took me a good half hour - I have many dishes in my repertoire that I can put together in that amount of time or less.

-Cooking to food yield ratio. I spent 30min or so making it (don't forget unpacking everything, disposing of it, etc.), and in the end had two servings but no leftovers. I'd rather spend a similar amount of time making my own dishes and having enough to eat again the next day for lunch or dinner, or freezing some.

-Packaging waste is significant.

-My wife doesn't eat meat (does eat seafood), so that limits options.

-Health/nutrition can vary a LOT. I looked at some Plated kits at the grocery store, and all of them were LOADED with fat, sodium, etc. and many had an excess of protein (Americans tend to have very meat-heavy preferences). Even seemingly healthy-sounding dishes had 2/3rds of your daily saturated fat, and one dish - sliders - had 165% of your saturated fat in one serving! That sets a low bar for cooking or getting takeout.

mayday23
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Re: Anybody try the Blue Apron or the like?

Post by mayday23 » Mon May 06, 2019 1:50 pm

stan1 wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 11:06 am
mayday23 wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 10:51 am
I equate blue apron to business class meals on a flight. Better than economy (fast food),but not that great.
I'm not sure I'd agree with that comparison. Blue Apron is fresh ingredients. You might prefer a different source of meat but the produce and spices would be similar to what you'd get from your local grocery store. You'd be free to add additional spices or whatever you wanted to it.

Freshly (prepared) is probably closer to business class version of a frozen dinner. There are several frozen meal brands including Evol and Healthy Choice Power Bowls that are flavorful and we keep a few in the freezer for times when we need a quick meal. They are a fraction of the cost of a Freshly meal.
That's fair pushback. The veges/spices were fine, but the meats just felt too rubbery to us.

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09deaconX
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Re: Anybody try the Blue Apron or the like?

Post by 09deaconX » Mon May 06, 2019 2:23 pm

youngt2 wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 11:51 am
We often use Blue Apron or one of the many other services. If you decide to use it a heads up trick that we tend to use is to cancel your subscription, change to another one, and then wait for the first one to email you a special offer to 'come back'. Between my wife and I we almost never pay full price for the meals. They will often have come back and get $20 off next 3 weeks, or come back and get a free meal (or even week).

Can be a hassle switching, but worth the savings IMO. 3 days of meals for 2 people for $40 (with discount) cannot be beat. Just don't accidentally order 2 kits in one week...
This is the correct response. I have a friend at one of these shops; she will tell you while they all skew a bit in differently in who they target and what they're about, in the end they're all very similar. Switch around and take advantage of the introductory offers.

As an aside, this strategy has made it a pretty tough industry. Switching costs are low, so customer retention is very low.

123
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Re: Anybody try the Blue Apron or the like?

Post by 123 » Mon May 06, 2019 2:43 pm

We tried Blue Apron for a few weeks but then canceled it.

Things we noticed:
Ordering involves planning a week or more ahead.
Delivery works best if someone is home during the day to accept box.
Delivery boxes can be quite heavy if you have to move them any distance (stairs).
There is a lot of packaging material, including cold/ice packs.
Preparation took up 45 - 60 minutes for each meal versus 20 minutes they typically estimated.
Some preparation steps are tedious but could be useful to get children involved.
Meals seemed modest in size, therefore no left-overs.
No extras included, like extra rolls, extra bread sticks etc.
Meals had more variety than our typical regimen.
In our family the cook didn't care for them (based on the effort they required), those that just ate them liked them.
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ohai
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Re: Anybody try the Blue Apron or the like?

Post by ohai » Mon May 06, 2019 3:00 pm

Extra preparation time can probably be attributed to the need to learn the recipe when you receive the box. If you make a meatloaf for the first time, it will take a long time. It's only when you make the same thing repeatedly that you become efficient.

niceguy7376
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Re: Anybody try the Blue Apron or the like?

Post by niceguy7376 » Mon May 06, 2019 3:04 pm

Went to local kroger store this weekend and they had similar packed dinners (need to be cooked at home) for $16 for two people.

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lthenderson
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Re: Anybody try the Blue Apron or the like?

Post by lthenderson » Mon May 06, 2019 3:36 pm

My brother who uses Blue Apron was just talking about his meals to me a couple weeks ago. His biggest complaint besides the packaging issue mentioned above many times was that it really affected their evening spontaneity. If the weather was nice for say grilling out or for impromptu traveling or getting invited over to a friends house, or eating a really large lunch and not wanting to eat dinner, etc., he ended up with meals stacked up by the door and in his refrigerator that he then felt compelled to deal with later. He felt like he was becoming a slave to the box.

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bertilak
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Re: Anybody try the Blue Apron or the like?

Post by bertilak » Mon May 06, 2019 6:32 pm

EdNorton wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 8:52 am
Been thinking about trying Blue Apron out just to try something different from menus the wife and I cook. What are your opinions of it? How long did you use it? What was the cost?
We tried it once. It was interesting and fun for about two deliveries but we (or I, anyway) got bored with it quickly. I guess I'm just not that interested in cooking. The Mrs. has her own way of doing things. She agreed to cancel.

But, for someone who wants to learn about recipes and cooking techniques it seems like a good way to go.
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rgs92
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Re: Anybody try the Blue Apron or the like?

Post by rgs92 » Mon May 06, 2019 7:21 pm

My personal feeling is that these are the equivalent of Timeshares for eating.

Loandapper
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Re: Anybody try the Blue Apron or the like?

Post by Loandapper » Mon May 06, 2019 7:24 pm

If anyone would like a free sample (3 free meals) for Blue Apron, PM me your email. I have five to give away, which I earned from being a subscriber for years.

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Re: Anybody try the Blue Apron or the like?

Post by stoptothink » Mon May 06, 2019 7:27 pm

rgs92 wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 7:21 pm
My personal feeling is that these are the equivalent of Timeshares for eating.
That's an interesting way to put it. Personally, I don't understand the appeal at all. Seems like the worst of all worlds to me; not particularly convenient, expensive, and wasteful. I guess if you would like to learn to cook but don't really know where to start, it is an option; not a cost or time efficient one, but it's an option.

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tooluser
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Re: Anybody try the Blue Apron or the like?

Post by tooluser » Mon May 06, 2019 9:02 pm

As far as packaging waste, I've seen recently some advertisements on TV for a service that sends everything to you already prepared and in a paper cup with a presumably compostable plastic lid. Minimal waste. They show a whole refrigerator lined up with these lidded paper cups, which appear to hold about 24 oz by volume. It looks like you cook some, add water to some, and make smoothies with some.

I find it both intriguing and distasteful. As if one is some sort of science experiment in a lab, deprived of all pleasure save for what is in that cup. I have no idea what the company's name is. They need a better advertising agency. :confused

Paul78
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Re: Anybody try the Blue Apron or the like?

Post by Paul78 » Mon May 06, 2019 9:34 pm

You might be surprised but Blue Apron has actually significantly reducing there packaging/waste. Don't get me wrong there is still a lot of waste in the boxes but if I had to guess I would say it is 50% less than it was 4 years ago when I first started with them.

I used them for a year period or so when I was dieting. It gave me 3 "new" meals a week which made it a lot easier to stick to my diet (the other 4 days would just be common/staple meals I would eat all the time). I lost 50 lbs over that year so it worked out for me.

Not currently using it because the price is simply to high for me to justify. You can make the meals for half the cost (or less) if you just do it yourself. I did keep the recipe cards and occasionally cook some of my favorites. I only currently buy Blue Apron/Hello Fresh/ect when I get coupons for 50% off. Otherwise I just do my own meal planning.

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Re: Anybody try the Blue Apron or the like?

Post by mighty72 » Mon May 06, 2019 9:44 pm

[moved to Personal Consumer Issues]

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Anybody try the Blue Apron or the like?

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Tue May 07, 2019 12:42 am

I had a similar question a while back:

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=249500

Ultimately I used Hello Fresh for a time. It did the job of getting me back in the pattern of preparing complete meals. Several of the meals I have reused several times. I just made Cherry Balsamic Glazed Pork Chops today.

They and Blue Apron have their weekly offerings online, including full instructions and ingredients. If you don't really need the ingredient portioning and delivery, you can use those for ideas and do your own shopping:

https://www.blueapron.com/pages/sample-recipes

https://www.hellofresh.com/menus/

You can scroll forward and back for other weeks.

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msi
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Re: Anybody try the Blue Apron or the like?

Post by msi » Tue May 07, 2019 12:49 am

We've been using services like these for the past couple of years. Now we're with Home Chef, but in the past we used Blue Apron and Hello Fresh.

The advantage of Home Chef is the choices for low carb/low calorie meals, which are actually flavorful, filling, and come with high quality ingredients.

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Re: Anybody try the Blue Apron or the like?

Post by Freefun » Tue May 07, 2019 5:34 am

I used Personal Trainer Food. If you want to cook or really enjoy meals this is probably not for you. If you want to lose weight - well I lost 60 pounds (now oround 130) and those I referred it to lost weight (“change-your-wardrobe” weight)
Remember when you wanted what you currently have?

Cash
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Re: Anybody try the Blue Apron or the like?

Post by Cash » Tue May 07, 2019 5:49 am

We've been using Blue Apron religiously for about 5 years now. Don't know what we would eat 3 days a week without it. We've seen it go through many iterations, and I think it's currently better than it has ever been, allowing for unfettered customization. We even signed up for the monthly wine shipments before my wife got pregnant. I think now that even allows for customization.

Fresh ingredients, a variety of recipes, lots of customization. What's not to like for those of us who otherwise don't like to shop for groceries and eat leftovers? The 4 nights you're not eating Blue Apron allow for plenty of time for spontaneity.

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damjam
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Re: Anybody try the Blue Apron or the like?

Post by damjam » Tue May 07, 2019 6:32 am

I agree with everyone that the packaging waste is an issue but I live with it.
For us it's a service like this or eating at a restaurant or takeout. Neither one of us enjoys meal planning or grocery shopping so having those aspects taken care of by a service is perfect for us. We've tried several of the services and our favorites are Sun Basket and Plated.

Here's my summary of the services we have tried:

None of the plans offer single serving meals, minimum 2 servings per recipe.
We've never tried the fish with any of the services.
Some of the services, such as Blue Apron and Sun Basket, offer wine pairings - never tried them.
Every week each service sends printed copies of the recipes you need.
You get to select what you want up to 4 or 5 weeks in advance. You can also skip weeks.

Hello Fresh - this is the first we tried. Used it for several months.
It had a weird set up in that you can choose from a "classic plan" with meat or a "veggie plan." In any given week you can't mix and match between veggie and classic - really dumb if you ask me. As far as I can tell it's still like that.
Good number of choices each week for the "classic plan" - currently 17. Only 3 choices per week for the "veggie plan."
It had some fun recipes that we still use.

Blue Apron - Tried this for one week only. The food is good and they support sustainable farming...but the number of choices per week is limited. 8 choices for the "signature menu."
You can get very similar recipes and quality of food with Home Chef and they are more flexible and have more choices per week.
I quickly looked at the Blue Apron website and it seems they changed a bit and are now offering a vegetarian option. Don't know how many choices it offers for this per week.

Home Chef - Used this for several months. Liked the service in general and it's website and app are the easiest to use. Probably the lowest cost. ~$60 a week for 3 meals of 2 servings each.
Current number of choices is 16 recipes. 3 of the recipes are designed to be for lunches - you can put them together in 10 minutes or less - so any meat in the lunch dishes is pre cooked.
The recipes are on the simple side (like Blue Apron). The dinners are typically meat/starch/vegetable type meals.

Sun Basket - Used this for almost a year. Very good.
Currently 18 choices per week - some vegetarian. Plus 4 more salad choices.
This service is one of the most expensive but worth it. Also there are up charges for certain options like substituting Jumbo shrimp for regular shrimp. Sometimes the weekly bill exceeded $90 for 3 meals of 2 servings each.
The recipes are more imaginative though but not overly complicated.
Sun Basket uses as many organic ingredients as it can.
The only thing I didn't like was the red meat. It was organic and humanely raised - but a little tough and dry. So with this service I stick to poultry, shrimp and vegetarian dishes. Never tried the fish.

Plated. - Currently use this service. $71.70 for 3 meals of 2 servings each.
This week there are 20 recipe choices and 2 more for desert.
This service likes to repeat a couple of the recipes for a few weeks. So if you like a recipe you can have it again.
The recipes are tasty and more interesting than the first three but probably a little less imaginative than Sun Basket.

zeal
Posts: 237
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2018 4:28 pm

Re: Anybody try the Blue Apron or the like?

Post by zeal » Tue May 07, 2019 7:14 am

We've been doing HelloFresh for a couple months. Just my wife & me, and we do the 2 meals/week option. She does the cooking and I do the cleaning. Neither of us have ever really enjoyed cooking, but she has recently said that she does enjoy it now. The reason she likes HelloFresh is because she dreads meal planning, she likes that everything comes in the right portion sizes, and she's very particular about meat (she doesn't like to see any fat at all). The portion sizes are perfect for us--we usually eat everything but sometimes have a small bowl-size amount of leftovers.

I don't like the packaging waste or the cost either, but she enjoys it enough that it's worth the premium. Maybe if I were to become the meal planner and ensure we find quality lean meat, she would be happy with canceling it.

wildkarrde21
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2019 10:54 am

Re: Anybody try the Blue Apron or the like?

Post by wildkarrde21 » Tue May 07, 2019 8:28 am

We periodically re-up our subscription to Hello Fresh whenever we get into a rut with inspiration so we've been with them on and off since their inception (we've also tried Blue Apron, Pampered and HomeChef in the past). Meal planning is my wife's least favorite activity even though she loves to cook butshe is currently pregnant with our second and has really bad hyperemesis gravidarum (think morning sickness on steroids). I'm an okay chef, but more importantly having 3 meals we don't have to think about is really liberating. They seem to have gotten a lot better on how long these meals take to prepare (no more than 40 min in my experience, but YMMV depending on how fast you are at prep) and the flavors are generally pretty good. At the very least it gives us some inspiration for meals after we start weaning off of them again. For us it means we tend to waste less food as we used to do big grocery runs and then get too tired/busy/bored during the week and eat out which ended up with us throwing away produce that went bad.

As others have mentioned, cons are some packaging waste (though a lot of their stuff is recyclable now) and their chicken always seems to leak (which ends up with us getting a $23 credit). Otherwise we're pretty happy with them.

michaeljc70
Posts: 6706
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:53 pm

Re: Anybody try the Blue Apron or the like?

Post by michaeljc70 » Tue May 07, 2019 8:48 am

I did it for a week. Small portions (and we don't eat like pigs). Interesting meals mostly, but when I did Blue Apron you couldn't really pick and choose (though I think you could skip meals). I cook ethnic food and use a lot of less common ingredients. They (Blue Apron) seemed to always try to include lesser known ingredients to make you feel like you were trying something new/unique even if it didn't do much for the dish. I wouldn't call a lot of the dishes quick either. I think that is because if they were so quick and easy, you wouldn't pay them for the service.

Frankly, if you are the type of person that would just go out and eat everyday, it might be worth it. I prefer doing my own shopping, finding my own recipes (or creating my own) and cooking what we want when we want it. I don't find meal planning to be that complicated and it gets easier with practice.

There are always promos for new customers so give it a try. It doesn't cost that much with the promos.

phxjcc
Posts: 360
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2018 3:47 pm

Re: Anybody try the Blue Apron or the like?

Post by phxjcc » Tue May 07, 2019 10:02 am

stoptothink wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 7:27 pm
rgs92 wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 7:21 pm
My personal feeling is that these are the equivalent of Timeshares for eating.
That's an interesting way to put it. Personally, I don't understand the appeal at all. Seems like the worst of all worlds to me; not particularly convenient, expensive, and wasteful. I guess if you would like to learn to cook but don't really know where to start, it is an option; not a cost or time efficient one, but it's an option.
Best match of text with screen name.
:sharebeer

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Rob5TCP
Posts: 3463
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2007 7:34 pm
Location: New York, NY

Re: Anybody try the Blue Apron or the like?

Post by Rob5TCP » Tue May 07, 2019 10:13 am

I used Veestro - which is vegan; but their meals are prepared and frozen.
While the quality doesn't approach the freshly prepared; they are far superior to
any frozen meals (and higher in nutrition) I've bought before.

I get 1 or 2 deliveries a month with 10 frozen meals.

The packaging is mostly recyclable. The small amount of dry ice keeps it
frozen solid (at least in NY - they ship from DE and CA).

newtoseattle
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2016 11:00 am

Re: Anybody try the Blue Apron or the like?

Post by newtoseattle » Tue May 07, 2019 11:05 am

I have used several of these type services. Honestly - I liked them - when I meal plan by myself we eat a lot of chicken and grilled vegetables - it gets boring and so then we go out to restaurants.

But - even with all the "recycled" packaging - it is a lot of packaging waste (and its expensive).

I have no financial interest to disclose - but my cousin told me about "cook smart" - its very similar to all the other services, but they don't send the food. You choose the recipes and it makes a grocery list for you (if you live near a big city there is a link for grocery delivery if you like) - all the recipes modify for vegetarian, etc. I don't love all of them - but its a great compromise because its so much cheaper then the delivery services...

So I'd recommend checking them out

stoptothink
Posts: 7841
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: Anybody try the Blue Apron or the like?

Post by stoptothink » Tue May 07, 2019 11:09 am

newtoseattle wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 11:05 am

I have no financial interest to disclose - but my cousin told me about "cook smart" - its very similar to all the other services, but they don't send the food. You choose the recipes and it makes a grocery list for you (if you live near a big city there is a link for grocery delivery if you like) - all the recipes modify for vegetarian, etc. I don't love all of them - but its a great compromise because its so much cheaper then the delivery services...

So I'd recommend checking them out
Isn't this really easy to do on your own, with a few clicks of a mouse, for free? I have a hard time understanding the hassle of "meal planning" and therefore the value in having someone else do it. I guess it is because it is something that we have totally automated.

michaeljc70
Posts: 6706
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:53 pm

Re: Anybody try the Blue Apron or the like?

Post by michaeljc70 » Tue May 07, 2019 11:16 am

stoptothink wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 11:09 am
newtoseattle wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 11:05 am

I have no financial interest to disclose - but my cousin told me about "cook smart" - its very similar to all the other services, but they don't send the food. You choose the recipes and it makes a grocery list for you (if you live near a big city there is a link for grocery delivery if you like) - all the recipes modify for vegetarian, etc. I don't love all of them - but its a great compromise because its so much cheaper then the delivery services...

So I'd recommend checking them out
Isn't this really easy to do on your own, with a few clicks of a mouse, for free? I have a hard time understanding the hassle of "meal planning" and therefore the value in having someone else do it. I guess it is because it is something that we have totally automated.
Exactly. I think once you start doing it and get used to it, it is easy.

I have a freezer full of poultry, seafood and meats. I always keep garlic, onions (red, yellow, shallots), ginger, potatoes, various cheeses, around 50 spices/herbs, several kinds of rice and many condiments/bases (different mustards, curry pastes, different oils, vinegars, etc). I really only need to restock those things and buy fresh produce. I replenish the freezer when things are on sale. I use fresh meats/seafood/poultry too if on sale when I go to the store.
Last edited by michaeljc70 on Tue May 07, 2019 11:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

SeaToTheBay
Posts: 196
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2017 6:11 pm

Re: Anybody try the Blue Apron or the like?

Post by SeaToTheBay » Tue May 07, 2019 11:22 am

If it's any indication, Blue Apron IPO'd at $10 less than two years ago and is currently trading at $0.955...

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