*Please note: I am not affiliated with Blue Apron and all opinions are my own.
We did it, people. We subscribed to a food box. And the short of it is, it’s amazing.
“Is this really for us?”
If you’ve been following along for awhile, you know how much I loathe the grocery store. Lately I’ve been feeling better about it because we moved to a quieter part of town and our new store isn’t so crowded, but still. I avoid it as much as I can.
It is my belief that the best food lies around the edges of the grocery store, and the stuff to avoid is in the aisles. That’s where the processed junk is. Lucky for the processed junk, though, it is loaded with preservatives and lasts a long time, which is a quality the fresh food lacks. It’s pretty frustrating when you want to eat healthy but you’re on a budget and you can’t afford to splurge on veggies because you know it’s not worth your money when half of them go bad.
I also found that we were getting stuck in cooking ruts. We’d be eating the same meals on rotation and I was just getting tired of it. When it comes to cooking, it should be as fun and interesting as possible. I also secretly always imagined cooking ethnic meals for my family someday, and learning a little bit about the world as I do.
Blue Apron seemed like an obvious solution to these problems, so when we got the opportunity to try it thanks to a friend (thank you again Kaela!) I was so excited. And then I was immediately hooked.
If it helps me avoid the grocery store, I’m in.
Like I’ve said a hundred times, I hate the grocery store. It is a trigger for my anxiety and while I can go, I prefer not to. I have to strategize when I go in order to minimize my anxiety about it. I’ve never had a terrible grocery experience, it’s just one of those things. *shrugs*
Right off the bat, Blue Apron solved that problem for me. FedEx arrived as scheduled with a big blue box on a Tuesday, and I was immediately impressed. It was packed well with ice packs and in a big insulated pouch.
Blue Apron has the Earth’s back.
Their packaging is completely recyclable. They also partner with sustainable farmers, which provides the consumer with high-quality non-GMO ingredients and a market for the producers of those ingredients. You can imagine the cycle this creates with the higher demand for sustainable farming. They also believe in “regenerative agriculture” which basically means giving back more to the Earth than you take from it. I can totally get on board with that.
There are also perks when it comes to getting the food directly from the farms Blue Apron has partnered with- it basically eliminates time spent going through the grocery store (aka, the middlemen) chain of wholesale, warehouse, store, table and you get food directly from the farm to Blue Apron to your table. The food is fresher and picked at a better time. It also eliminates the some of the carbon emissions from transporting the food from place to place.
But is it worth it?
I had my reservations about signing up for Blue Apron, and they started with the money. $10 a meal seemed pretty steep, especially when you’re twenty-something starting out
and student loan debts eat at your soul every month.
The price of Blue Apron is approximately $10 per meal per person, so $60 a week for three different dinner entrees for a family of two. They also have an option for a family of four.
But then, as luck would have it, a golden angel descended from the Heavens with a free coupon for a week’s trial. And we were hooked.
The biggest perk of Blue Apron, in my opinion, isn’t that you get food dropped off at your door; it’s the fact that they give you the exact amount that you need. There is very little food waste- although they tend to overdo it on the garlic, but it’s okay because you can plant the cloves you don’t use. There is very-little to no food waste.
Ultimately, because of this, I think it is saving us money. Whenever I threw away uneaten food, I literally felt like I was throwing money away and it made my skin crawl. I don’t get that feeling anymore. I know you can avoid this with good planning, but I’m not there in my adulting yet. 😛
I love the fact that all the ingredients are fresh. I love cooking from scratch, and Blue Apron makes it easy for me to do just that. There’s no guesswork involved. I’ve noticed you only need to have three extra basic things in your kitchen as far as ingredients go to make the meals: salt, pepper and olive oil. Easy!
Not eating the same things over and over again.
It gets a little boring using the same ingredients over and over, don’t you think? That’s another advantage of Blue Apron; you get different meals from all over the world and like I said before, they only send you as much as you need. You don’t need to keep reusing celery in your meals just because you bought a bunch. We’ve made meals from Italy, the Middle East, Laos, Japan, and Mexico. Over the course of a year they won’t send the same meal twice, so there’s a ton of variety.
Since they send you a variety of different meals, you also learn a variety of different cooking techniques. Having a basic understanding of cooking helps, but you don’t need to know anything fancy. Blue Apron breaks it down with their extra-large recipe cards, which include pictures.
It also makes cooking really fun- I look forward to my Blue Apron nights. I put on a little music and dance around the kitchen while the house smells amazing. It is a treat for all five senses.
I’m a vegetarian, and while there is an option for vegetarian-only meals, you only get three choices each week. Meat-eaters have six choices, three of them being vegetarian options, and three of them having meat. I suppose you could order the meat option and just not add it to your plate, but then I feel the meal would be lacking. If you’re not an adventurous eater, you might have difficulty with some of the meals. Be open-minded and you’ll be fine! If you don’t like something, tell Blue Apron so they know what not to send you.
Blue Apron is amazing, and I think it is completely worth the price. It is also a company I feel good supporting because of their ethical practices, not to mention their contribution to our healthy lifestyle. My husband likes the subscription food concept so much, he signed up for graze., the subscription healthy snack service. Our first box is due today, so I’ll have to let you know how that goes! (Maybe someday I’ll eliminate the need for the grocery store all together – wouldn’t that be the dream!)
Want to try Blue Apron yourself?
I have a couple coupon codes! I’ll be giving away TWO free boxes of Blue Apron to try to my blog readers. Just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “Blue Apron, please!” and I’ll send along the invitation!* If you don’t want to continue with Blue Apron, just be sure to cancel it once you receive your box.
*When the trials have been claimed, I’ll be back to cross this offer off, so you’ll know. 🙂
Would you try Blue Apron?