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The only Blue Apron review you need to read: How three years of subscribing saved me time and money *Updated October 2016

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From Amateur Cook to Well-Fed Amateur Cook

***Update 3***

Hi there! Welcome to our site and Blue Apron review which you probably saw on Facebook. We’re all out of free week trials and since there are 30+ people on my list already and I’m unlikely to get more than a few free trials to give out a month, I’m now closing the list. However, Blue Apron customer service was nice enough to send over this link for $30 off your first order (which is 50% off for the two person kit). Enjoy!

***Update 2***

Ok, so this Blue Apron review may have gotten a bit more popular than we intended. We went from about double digit organic views to over a thousand views (5/16 update: 17,000+ and counting!) in the last three days. So as a result, I’m all out of free trials to give away.

***Update 1***

I’ve received a lot of questions from readers about tools that might make the Blue Apron experience even better by boosting cooking efficiency. Here are my top ten picks. These picks are in addition to the Zester which is very useful for making the lemon zest and Chef’n Veggie chopper which is very useful for celery and carrots that I discuss in the body of the review below:

  1. Splatter Screen: many BA recipes call for cooking chicken or pork in a frying pan which inevitably leads to oil splatter. The recipes suggest using a sheet of aluminum foil but I’ve found that to be fairly ineffective. A splatter screen does wonders to help keep oil in the pan and keep you from a messy stove clean up job.
  2. Garlic Press: hate small dicing or mincing garlic? I do too. Get one of these and never manually mince garlic again.
  3. Silicone Spatula: have you melted plastic spatulas? or scraped up your expensive non-stick span with a metal spatula? Get a relatively melt resistant and non-scratching spatula.
  4. Nesting Prep Bowls: save space on your cutting board and in your cabinet with silicone prep bowls.
  5. Tongs: don’t like to flip your salmon steaks or porkchops because it causes splatter? Use tongs!
  6. Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls: if you need to make a salad and mix a crust or batter layer for the chicken in the meal, it really helps to have more than one mixing bowl. These are easy to clean and non-slip.
  7. Cutting Board: there’s no need to break the bank on this one. A plastic utility board will be easy on your knife and you can make it non-slip by folding a paper towel into quarters, soaking it in water, and putting it underneath your cutting board.
  8. Aprons: I used to think, “I don’t need an apron!” And then I started cooking with one (and keeping a towel tied behind me, for wiping hands) and I realized that aprons aren’t just for keeping your clothes clean. Get two so that you have one on hand when the other is in the wash.
  9. Smartphone: keep it around so that you can time things. Even better: get an Amazon Echo which you can verbally tell to time things when your hands are occupied.
  10. Wok: some of the meals required putting everything into a large pot for simmering, mixing, or cooking. We almost always found it advantageous to cook in a wok, since it has a larger capacity and doesn’t require you to contort you arms over the edge of the large pot.

Read on for my three year review of Blue Apron. Please enjoy! And if you want to try, follow the link at the top of this post!

How We Got Started on Blue Apron

Meredith (my spouse) and I returned from Iraq in late 2011 which marked the end of a combined four tours for the two of us. We were hiking in Acadia National Park in Maine when we decided that we were so sick of KBR cooking we would rededicate ourselves to eating fresh, home-cooked meals. So began our journey to becoming better at cooking.

Meredith has always been better at the mechanics of cooking than me, a fact for which my stomach is eternally grateful. We have a few recipe books (The Joy of Cooking being one) that we consistently turn to for ideas and meals so branching out really required effort. Somewhere along the way we read a newspaper story about a few dinner kit companies, services that will send you a box full of raw materials so that you can cook during the week. We decided to give Blue Apron a shot. That was two years ago! Here’s the story of how our experiment with dinner kits went– and what we learned about cooking, food, and ourselves in the process.

Why Dinner Kits?

 Like I said in the inaugural post of this blog, I’m very interested in saving time. I’m also not interested in wasting money so there’s a optimal balance point between the two, a sweet spot that I’m trying to reach with every considered purchase. I also need food to be consistent and healthy. There are a ton of Blue Apron reviews online (see here, here, here, here and here) but I think this post is one of the only ones from someone who is a long-time user of the service. Put another way, I’ve had a much larger sample size than most of the early reviewers (here’s one from a reviewer that spent a year on BA). I’ve also seen the service evolve in good ways over time.

The Importance of Saving Money

While we can probably debate this point endlessly, I think the proper comparison price point for dinner kits is restaurant meals. Cooked properly, many of these meals rival most mid-tier restaurants in terms of quality. And because the recipes spell so much out for you, really it is more like a paint-by-numbers exercise than really cooking (at least for the first few times you do it).

The total cost of Blue Apron’s most basic boxes is $60, which includes three two-person meals. The per meal cost is $10, which is the cost of probably the least expensive entree at most restaurants. For that price, you get delivery, menus, and most importantly inventive meal planning. I think that’s a really good deal. Also, how many times have you gone out and purchased vegetables, used 1/4 of it for your recipe only to have the rest go to waste? BA’s shipments only have what you need for each recipe, so I’ve found the boxes to cut down on food waste as well.

How A Kit Service Helps You Save Time

I can’t emphasize this point enough. It is so easy to get into a pattern of eating that will eventually make you bored of food. That’s not good. The chefs at Blue Apron are always thinking up new recipes for you and they test them out before they reach your door.I’m excited about IBM’s Watson‘s potential but until IBM starts delivering food to my door, I’ll be sticking with BA. Have you ever randomly pulled a recipe from online, cooked it and found it taste terrible? That has rarely happened with BA, at least in our experience.

Most of the time savings here comes from not having to go to the grocery store, not having to come up with your own recipes, and not having to hunt down weird ingredients for stuff you find inside online recipes and recipe apps.

Eating Healthy

When I served in Korea from 2006-2007, my meal planning was non-existent. I literally subsisted on 80/20 frozen burger patties (my roommate and I kept a Weber grill out in front of our condemned barracks) and Lean Cuisine frozen dinners. I was a geographic bachelor (Meredith was still finishing up at college) and I was usually too tired after work to cook. I think it was hard to maintain peak physical fitness on that kind of diet, which is another major consideration of moving to healthy dinner kits. I still continue to work out every day, a habit leftover from my time in military service, so I very much value a balanced and healthy diet.

Self-satisfaction and learning a new skill

I started out as an amateur cook and still consider myself that even after two years on BA. But I have definitely noticed that I know a lot more (or think I do at least) about how my food is prepared at restaurants, have a greater appreciation for the craft of cooking, and just generally know more about food. You can easily be completely disconnected from the reality of cooking but subsisting on Subway or Chipotle. We still definitely eat at restaurants, but I think we’re much more selective about where and what we eat now that we know what we can whip up in our own kitchen in terms of quality.

I also felt as if cooking got easier and easier, to the point now where I’m anticipating what the instructions will want me to do next. The learning curve wasn’t that steep– after a few weeks it became very natural to read the five to six panel recipes.

There’s also a nice sense of satisfaction that comes along with cooking your own food. In the industries where people are most busy and focused on knowledge creation, feedback loops tend to be long and you often go months without really knowing how well you’re performing. Food gives you a sense of progression and accomplishment that also nourishes. This was an unexpected positive externality from cooking!

So how did it go?!

With all of these benefits in mind, I now present some of the meals we cooked the past two years. Not all dishes are present because, well, sometimes we were so hungry we wound up chowing down before we remembered to take a picture!

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A not-so-random walk through the entire cooking process / experience

Delivery: we’ve lived in DC and Philly over the last six years or so and in that time we’ve had the box delivered mostly by Lasership and sometimes by UPS (in the early days). We’ve had the box stolen off of our front porch exactly twice during that time– once in DC and once in Philly. I’m not sure what the thieves did when they opened the box and found raw vegetables and meat inside the box, but since we haven’t had any repeat thefts, I’m going to assume these boxes don’t interest them much. But, be aware, package theft is an issue, especially if you’re not going to be home when they deliver the box.

The other thing I’ll say about delivery is that I often wish that deliveries could be canceled a little bit later than they allow. Right now if you don’t cancel about a week and a half before the delivery, you can’t cancel. Things come up (e.g. trips out of town, emergencies, forgetfulness, etc.) and it feels like a huge waste to have the box arrive and sit in the fridge for an entire week. Perhaps they could even just build in an option to have the box donated to someone if you forget and truly can’t use it. This isn’t a frequent issue, but sometimes life happens.

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What the Blue Apron box looks like

Refrigeration and packaging

The box is lined with a foil bubble wrap combination liner and Viking Ice Packs. Even on the hottest sunny days with the box sitting outside for 9+ hrs, I’ve never opened a box where all of the ice melted through. The current iteration of packaging is pretty great, especially compared to the old packaging which used something akin to roof insulation. The size of the box has slowly been reduced too, now there’s virtually no wiggle room for the veggies and meat so everything arrives completely intact.

All of the veggies and meats that are needed for the meal arrive in the box. All you need to have on hand is olive oil, salt and pepper. All of the veggies now come in their own packaging for freshness and everything is labeled well. When it comes time to pull your stuff out of the fridge, it usually takes only a few minutes to get all of the raw materials lined up. The meat isn’t quite vacuum sealed but it is close. You want to eat the fish first usually. I’ve had meat last a week, although I don’t recommend waiting that long to cook the meals since the veggies probably don’t look that good a week later.

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FullSizeRender (2) Sample menu

Recipe layout and readability

Many of BA’s recipes are available for free online. Here’s one area where I think it would be interesting for there to be more technology involved. The recipes are usually pretty nicely laid out. There are between five and six panels. Within each panel there are, on average, 4-5 steps, although some panels are pretty densely packed. The first two panels are usually prep panels, wash and chop veggies, boil water / pre-heat your oven. The middle three panels involve cooking and the final panel is usually combining everything together and garnishment. The pictures aren’t that helpful to me, I find myself relying on the text a lot. As such, I wonder if it would be possible to have an iPad app or iPhone app that both read the instructions to you (you could turn on voice recognition and have it say “next” so you didn’t have to continue to scroll) or presented the instructions in a step-by-step manner in giant text. Sometimes it is hard to stop cooking to consult the menu if you don’t remember the next step. This is a worse problem for the more complex meals.

A whole bunch of Blue Apron recipes
A whole bunch of Blue Apron recipes

Getting down to cooking

Tools and techniques

Food prep is probably the most time intensive part of the cooking process, other than waiting for something in the oven or for water to boil. I recommend getting a few tools to shorten food preparation time. This chef’n veggie chopper has saved a ton of time, especially with small dicing onions and garlic cloves. This cheap OXO zester is also really good for zesting lemon and orange peels. A good knife is also key, although everyone has their preference on how the knife fits in their hands so I don’t have much in the way of recommendations here. A consumer version Wusthof lasts a long time and won’t set you back too much. Just remember to keep it sharp. A good cutting board does wonders as well. You want one made of wood or plastic, not glass, since glass can harm your knife. Frying pans (don’t get a cheap one, having two on hand is good) and pots (usually two will suffice) are essential as well.

There’s usually a ton of chopping involved with the meals. Improving knife skills (small and medium dicing, chopping herbs, etc) also reduces prep times. Before I got the zester I used to be very annoyed by having to zest but now it isn’t so bad. You have to watch your heat settings for the meat as well since sometimes you’ll cook seven to eight minutes on one side and you risk burning the meat if you put the heat too high.

Ingredients

Overall, I’m really pleased with the quality of ingredients that get sent. The veggies are usually fresh although occasionally we’ve gotten a bad potato or a bunch of scallions that are about to go bad. With avocados ripeness is harder to time, so occasionally you’ll get an avocado that is not ripe enough to eat. The meats, fish in particular, are usually of really high quality. Many of the ingredients carry an organic-certified label although not everything is organic. One cool thing that BA does is it separates out the “knick knacks” into separate bags for each meal. These items such as oils, spices, sauces, butter, etc. are usually quite plentiful.

Usually there’s an ingredient or two in each recipe that is quite… weird. Kohlrabi, fennel, and gold beets are some examples. The recipe inspirations also come from all over. You can have a ramen-based meal one day, a pub-food inspired pretzel burger another day, and a Mexican-inspired fish taco on a third day. So the variety is really something neat and a huge feature of BA meals. I do think that the meat portions are somewhat skimpy at times, the beef here in particular. It seems as if the portion sizing for the meals hews to USDA standards, which is very healthy, but sometimes I felt like eating a little bit more when the meal was over.

In general, the meals run between 500-800 calories per person. This is a super healthy meal / portion-size and I’m glad that they do this, although I can definitely see a larger person wanting more food.

Cook times

This is my primary complaint about BA. The recipe cook times say 25-35 minutes. I’m not sure where they get those numbers from but we’ve timed 20-25 meal preps and I want to say the stated time is usually an underestimate by 10-15 minutes. So percentage-wise we’re talking 25-50% error. Sometimes you get this error rate even if there’s two people doing the prep work and cooking. Otherwise, the cook times are pretty reasonable. I’d estimate it takes between 30-45 minutes to cook, from fridge to dinner table, for the average meal.

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Meredith whipping up a BA meal in our kitchen

Taste!

My guess is 98% of the meals have had me say, “that’s tasty”. The recipes are basically replicable, so we’ve cooked for ourselves the meals we consider the best. I’d say about 50-60% of the meals are ones where I’ve said to myself, “I’d cook this again”.

The meals are certainly comparable to restaurant meals at a mid-tier, 3.5-4.0 Yelp rating restaurant. Look, you’re not going to replicate Le Bernadin in your kitchen, but this is pretty excellent for three times a week eating!

Customer service and I got a cool apron!

Blue Apron sent me a blue apron for being a long-time customer!
Blue Apron sent me a blue apron for being a long-time customer!

The Blue Apron team is generally pretty responsive. The two times my boxes got stolen I got refunds by the following week. Emails and messages sent to their customer service team were usually responded to within 24 hours, much of the time less. If you have a special request that is reasonable (we cooked Blue Apron for Thanksgiving two years ago, it was really nice!) they’ll usually accommodate. For example, we asked for two boxes for Thanksgiving so that the entire extended family would be able to eat Blue Apron and the team happily obliged!

Clean up: how bad is it?

Cooking with Blue Apron can generate a lot of dishes. We usually find it takes 10 minutes or so to clean up the dishes and get the dishwasher loaded. Yes, it is a pain in the butt. No it can’t be avoided. We have found that if two people are available to cook, cleaning up along the way makes cleaning up after dinner go more quickly.

How much did we cook last year?

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The Blue Apron folks made an infographic of our cooking which is pretty neat. I didn’t realize we minced so many garlic cloves last year. Wow.

What do you cook when you don’t have Blue Apron?

We usually cook a combination of crock pot meals (e.g. beef and chicken stews), things that can be cooked in the rice cooker, etc. I work near a bunch of food trucks so for lunch I usually will grab a $5 sub or some falafel.

The verdict

My sense is that we’ll never go back to “unassisted” cooking again. It is just so convenient to have this service. Perhaps some competitor will come along and woo us away, but for now we’re sticking with proven quality. You really have to be impressed that I haven’t cooked a repeat meal with them in two years and I’ve only had two meals where I’ve said, this isn’t very good. The rest of the meals have been pretty good to really really good.

Another Update: More Meal Pictures And Blue Apron Wine!

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Interested in giving Blue Apron a try? Get a free week of food or at least a discount on your delivery below

For anyone who wants to try this service, here’s a link that the Blue Apron marketing team shared with me which will give anyone who clicks a discounted first box. And for as long as I have invitations, if you email buyswithfriends-at-gmail.com and sign up for our newsletter, I’ll send you an invite for a free week of Blue Apron. I currently have five and they’ll be given out on a first-come-first-serve.

Thanks for reading my Blue Apron Review!

Do you use Blue Apron or another service like Plated or HelloFresh? How do you like it? Put your comments below! We’d love to hear from you.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I am not getting paid for this review– and I have no stake in Blue Apron’s success other than as a customer who wants the service to continue. I did, however, go to high school with one of the co-founders Matt Salzberg. Here’s a picture the two of us (yes, I had long-ish hair in my days of youthful idiocy) that you can easily find on the internet. The bottom line is that I really like Blue Apron’s product, but there are obviously ways they can improve and I hope I gave you an honest appraisal of what I think are the costs/benefits of outsourcing your cooking to a dinner kit service. Besides, does a company with a reported valuation north of $500 million really need my help? 🙂

Yes, I was (am) a huge nerd on the HS quiz team.
Yes, I was (am) a huge nerd on the HS quiz team.

230 thoughts to “The only Blue Apron review you need to read: How three years of subscribing saved me time and money *Updated October 2016”

  1. Thanks for this great detailed review of BA – my wife and I have been enjoying BA for almost a year now and it’s interesting to see that others like this service as much as we do.

    We are also trying Home Chef and so far so good but will continue with BA as we consistently enjoy restaurant quality food at home and the pride of having cooked it ourselves!

    Thanks again and looking forward to more of your posts!!!

    Gary and Kym Hackle ( Ohio )

  2. Hi, I live in Canada but I am close to the New York borders of Plattsgurgh and Massena. I would love to try this. Do you still have any invites for a free week of Blue Apron available?

    1. Hi Deborah,

      I have two left but I’m not sure that Blue Apron ships to Canada. Regardless, I sent you one of the invites– maybe they will expand soon? Thanks for reading!

      Best,
      Welton

      1. Hi Welton,

        Thank you very much for such a quick response and thank you for the invite. My intention is to use a U S address and pick up the shipment from there. Wish me luck. I can’t wait to try this.

        I never did learn to cook growing up being the youngest of 8 kids. I do, however, love to follow simple recipes. My problem is I have a hard time with finding all the ingredinece when I do find a recipe I like. Blue Apron sounds like the perfect solution.

        Thanks again, From Canada,
        Deborah

  3. Hi! Thanks for your detailed review. After reading this I am really interested in trying this out; do you have any invites for a free week left?

      1. Hello….just read your post about blue apron. I would love to try this. Any free one week deals left ?

        Thanks, Miriam

        1. The line is pretty long now (about seven people ahead of you) but I highly encourage trying the $30 off coupon at the top of the post! Definitely worth it.

      2. Hello from San Antonio, Texas. I see the dates on these comments were some time ago. Do you have any week trials available? Also, are their any MSG in your sauces/spices and is gluten free options available?

        1. Greetings Laura from San Antonio! I can add you to the list, which is pretty long. I’m only able to give out three free trials a week so it takes a bit of time to get down the list.

          There’s no MSG as far as I can tell. The spices / blends are all really really top notch. But if there’s any spice you don’t want, you can simply leave it out of the recipe, they are always separately packaged.

  4. Hello and thank you both for your service! I enjoyed your review of your time using Blue Apron and was wondering if you have any of the free week invites left. Thanks!
    Theresa

  5. Hi,
    Thanks both gor your service and this BA review. I signed up for BA yesterday (wish I would have read your blog first and perhaps get a free trial!). We went with the Family plan at 4 meals prr week. Should I have subscribed for the 2 meals instead since we only have two children (8 and 10)? Also, ate there leftovers to take to school/work the next day? Based on your experience, are the prices comprable to the ones at Publix, Spouts, etc? Also, do the ingredients come grouped by recipe? Sorry for the many questions, but I am always anxious when I dive head first into something completely new.

    1. I’m not sure about the family option since I’ve never tried it unfortunately. On the leftovers– I think it depends on how much you normally eat. There are usually no leftovers from my part of the meal, although sometimes my wife does have leftovers. I wish that BA did group things by meal– although most of the “knick knacks” or smaller ingredients do come grouped in a brown paper bag. The larger vegetables and meats do not.

  6. Great review. We used Blue Apron last year for ~30 weeks and Home Chef for 4 or 5 weeks. Home Chef recipes are easier to assemble, have special diet labels (GF, low calorie, nut fee, etc) and have at least 12 choices each week. However, they use canned foods occasionally and always familiar ingredients.
    In contrast, Blue Apron introduced my picky eaters to new foods each week, expanding our palates and helped us find new, healthier options in weekly meal planning. I’ve gone on and reused ~1/3 of the recipes, a few (soups and chilies) I’ve tripled and made for extended family! Love Blue Apron!

  7. Am interested in trying blue apron since I have to cook for my kids while my wife is out of and would love the free week. Thanks

  8. Hi there I’d love to give blue apron a try! I am a new mommy and could use any help when it comes to saving money and meal time convience!!! If you have a code you can spare please share!

  9. I would love to try blue apron I have seen a lot of advertisements about it. Im interested! Please add me to your trial list!

  10. Super interested in trying Blue Apron and loved your article! Please add me to the free trial list!

  11. I loved the review. We’ve been using BA for about 6 months. Thanks for mentioning splatter guards. I had no idea such a thing existed and my floor and stove always seem coated with olive oil from all the pan frying. I’m getting faster at chopping but still find most meals take me 1-1.5 hours with prep time. It’s alright though. On BA nights, hubby has to watch the kiddo and I get alone time in the kitchen!

    PS – your review was on a BA sponsored ad on my FB!! Welcome to your 15 minutes of fame! 🙂

    1. Hi there! Will add. At this point I can’t promise anything since there are so many requests! But I’ll see what I can do!

  12. I’ve tried Plated before, that was nice and this sounds similar, but maybe more interesting cuisine? I’d love a trial.

    1. Meal kit delivery services seem to be an increasingly competitive space, at least in the last few years. One of the other guys in our group did Purple Carrot for a while, a meal kit service for vegans. Will add you.

  13. Thank you for the review! I’d love to be added to your free trial list. 🙂

    Thank you for your service!

  14. Thank you very much for taking the time to prepare the review. I have debated on trying Blue Apron for a long time now, and your review has me taking the step to try it. If you have any left, I would love to be added to the free trial. Thanks.

    1. Very cool! I hope others get something out of the review, even if they don’t agree or wind up trying it. I’ll add you to the list, unfortunately I don’t have any more to give out right at this moment.

    1. We have good friends who order the vegetarian options. They have two kids, 2 and 3 1/2 yrs old. The kids seem to like some recipes but not others. Probably depends on what else people cook in the house? Some of the more traditional meal selections are probably good for kids, might stay away from the more exotic stuff and spicier recipes? They post all of the recipes online for free.

  15. I would love to try out Blue Apron! I assume you can customize some of the ingredients for dietary restrictions?!

    1. Yes! Adding to the list (getting longer)!

      You can set your dietary profile to one of five settings, including pescetarian and vegetarian. They ask you if you want to opt out from receiving beef, pork, fish, shellfish, poultry and lamb. Not sure about peanut allergies or other allergies, although the ingredients come separately packaged so you can decide not to cook with some items.

  16. My 3.5 year old will always eat the meat, no matter the sauce. He isn’t a fan of noodles or rice though. So, I just have a veggie on hand for him if it’s too mixed. Last week there was a broccoli rice recipe with chicken. I just saved some of the plain broccoli for him and he ate half of a chicken breast!

        1. Nice! We’re not affiliated with BA but they are offering $30 off your first box (top link of the post). Thanks for reading!

  17. I’d like a free trial. I know your list is long and it may be a while (if ever!), but I’m patient. 🙂 Thank you!

    1. Added you to the list! I’m hoping I can get BA customer service to send me some additional invites to send to people. Fingers crossed…

  18. I would love to try it please! Been wondering about this and would be amazing to try before subscribing fully! Thank you for the offer to try it!

  19. Just landed a new job and found that with my busy schedule by the time I go shopping I am too tired to cook. I am a family of five haven’t tried for fear that the portion size would not be large enough or the cost would be excessive to feed the family this way. Thoughts? Options?

    1. Hi Lori, so I wouldn’t recommend BA if you don’t have any time (at all) to cook. You might look in to Homebistro or another service like that. BA is designed for a family of four, but what we’ve done in the past when we had guests was go out and buy additional ingredients to “extend” the recipe.

      1. I would love a free trial. I’m single but think I could freeze an extra meal or take it to work the next day.

        1. Hi Linda we are all out of free trials but there is a link for $30 off your first box! Saving a meal for lunch or dinner the next day is what I usually do when I cook a BA meal as a singleton.

  20. I want to try the free trial… are there meal options for pescatarians? Do please let me know!

    1. Hi Brenda, yes you can choose a pescetarian diet profile on the site. I’ve added you to the list. We’ve sent out about 19 free trials so far and have made contact with BA customer service so hopefully there will be more to come.

  21. Thanks for the review. As a 100% disabled veteran, going to the store a pain (literally) and I end up ordering in too much. Any chance you have one of those free weeks left?

    1. Hi Samuel,

      I completely understand. I’m an Army vet (two Iraq tours) and have added you to the list. I’ve sent free trials out to everyone on the comment list (with the help of BwF reader Jeanie and friends of BwF Cindy and Hannah) up to Courtney Betsinger. Going to email BA customer service about getting a few more!

  22. Hi. If you’re still accepting them, I’d love to be added to your waitlist for a free trial as they come available. Thanks!

  23. This sounds like you would save a lot of time NOT going to the store.

    We don’t eat any meat of any kind, so if there is a meat-free delivery option, we’d love a try. Understand that you have 5K waiting, no big deal if you are out! Thanks for sharing the info.

    1. Yes there’s the ability to set in your profile whether you eat meat or not. I’ve added you to the list!

    1. Sure! Added. Hopefully I can get more from BA customer service. They’ve been really good about sending me some more (got three more yesterday).

  24. Since this is designed for two people, how do you think it would work for a single person? May I be added to the fre trial list? Thanks so much for the detailed review. I’ve been interested but never have taken the plunge.

    1. Yes, BA is designed for two people. What I’ve done in the past when I’ve gotten boxes and Meredith has not been around is that I’ll cook a meal and take the second portion and pack it for lunch. Of course, you’d have to be willing to eat the same thing two days in a row. So basically, you’re able to stretch the meals out for the entire week if you’re just one person. One thing I don’t really like about that is that you’re also cooking as one person. Certainly the recipes are easier to tackle with another pair of hands.

      Sure, I’ve added you to the evergrowing list! There are about 13 people ahead of you right now, just so you’re aware.

  25. I would love to try Blue Apron! Your review is amazing. My husband is a diabetic, so cooking can be a struggle. I would enjoy eating healthy again since I’ve gotten busy with life.

    1. Added you to the list! Yes, these meals are generally healthy and of course you can control what goes into the recipes ultimately.

    1. In account settings, they allow you to set your profile for your specific diet. So you’d uncheck the meat boxes. It works well for our friends who are pescetarians and vegetarians.

  26. How do you compare to fresh kitchen and I can’t think of the other one names. Hesitant to try since I get mirgrain from stuff. We’re limited to where we can eat out and stuff . Is your stuff organic or home grown ? Do you have anything to where someone like me could try it and see.

    1. I’ve never tried Fresh Kitchen. Most of the ingredients from BA are organic and fresh, as far as I can tell.

  27. If you ever get another coupon I’d love to use it and try BA.

    Your posts have been very helpful in providing the information I sought to decide if I would try this service.

    I will try it now: Because of your sharings.

    Blue Apron should reward you..and if you are truly just a person… and not a marketing strategy…Blue Apron got LUCKY and needs to hire you for all their social media management!

    Otherwise; brilliant marketing concept and superior execution!

    Thank you kindly for the detail and assistance with understanding this service!

    1. Thanks Jade. You’re very kind. I’m all out of free trials but I’ll add your name to the list.

      And yes, we’re just three guys who write about things that we own (check out our other reviews) so that other people can get an idea of what they’re sinking their money in to. And it isn’t like BA needs our help, really!

  28. I would love this! Ill pay, i just want to try it out!! Just had a baby, I need to eat healthy but dont even have the time to go to the grocery store. Schwans man has been my savior, haha…I need to eat better! I planted a garden, so hopefully that helps too.

  29. Would love to be added to the list. I’ve read articles, have a friend that uses BA and I’ve been thinking about it. P,ease add me. Thank you for a great review.

  30. Hello. I’d love to try it out. 3 people in my family, including a 2 year old. We stopped eating beef and chicken. Just seafood. Can it still work for us? If so, I’d like a pass.

    1. I’m all out but can add you to the growing list. If you don’t want to wait, just use the $30 off link in the post. They have pescetarian as an option in profile settings.

  31. Just had major knee surgery and I am stressing about not being able to keep up my fitness or cook healthy meals. This seems like a great solution. Do you have any free trials or invites? I NEED this right now; sounds great!

    1. I don’t have any right now and probably won’t even be able to get them all to the list I’ve been compiling. But $30 off isn’t bad!

    1. I don’t have any free trials left but there is a $30 coupon link at the beginning of the post. Thanks for reading!

  32. I have 2 free meal codes in my app, Mr. Chang. Want to use them to send? Not sure how to do it since I’ve never sent one. Haha

    1. Sure! Go for it! I think it works the same way as the site, you just need to input the person’s email address, first and last names.

  33. I just clicked on the link at the top you added. It shows me 3 free meals as the offer. (Assuming that’s the 2 person plan)

    1. Yup! That’s the easiest thing to do right now, they are basically offering 50% off the 2-person boxes!

  34. Any chance you have any trials left? Have heard about this but was unsure about how it worked. Great review.

    1. Hi Marc, I don’t have any trials left unfortunately (I gave out 20+ in the last few days). But the link at the top of the post will give you 50% off your first box if you get the 2-person package.

  35. This looks awesome. I’ve been wanting to try this for a while now. Thanks for posting this seemingly honest review and giving tips on kitchen tools to have on hand.

    1. No problem! Thanks for reading. We only write about stuff we actually use and buy on the site. No endorsements or quid pro quos here. Probably not popular enough to get offered free stuff yet. 🙂

        1. Ok but I’m all out of additional free trials, but you might try the $30 off link at the top of the page!

  36. I am very interested in trying BA. We live a busy lifestyle so we don’t always have time for healthy home cooked meals. Any free trials left?

    1. Unfortunately I’m all out of free trials, but the $30 off coupon is pretty good too. Thanks for reading!

  37. Loved the review. Would be interested in trying it and a discount coupon would be appreciated if there are any left. We are empty nesters and I never learned to cook for less than 5 people so we throw away a lot of leftovers. I am starting a new business and will be working long hours – I am not going to be spending time cooking and planning meals so it will be BA or restaurant food or PBJ.

  38. So am I right that BA doesn’t provide a gluten free menu? If that’s true, why on earth not?? I had some recent free meals from them, and had to waste the breaded items. When I signed up and picked my preferences, I didn’t see any GF options. Did I miss something?

  39. Thanks for your detailed review. Please add me to your list for a free week of BA when more offers are available.

    1. Hi Donna, unfortunately I don’t have any free trials remaining (I’m slowly working through the backlog of folks in the above comment thread who’ve asked for free trials) but you and your daughter can both use the link in the top section of the review and get $30 off your first boxes. Thanks for reading!

    1. Sorry I’m all out but please check out the link at the top of the post to get $30 off your first box!

  40. Great review! Thank you for serving our country!
    I startedBlye Apron about 4 weeks ago. Once I did I chose to come visit my daughter where I am now in Utah. It was so easy to get online and change the delivery address. My daughter is a CrossFit trainer/competitor. She is very choosy about what goes in her body. Since I have been here she has cooked all the meals delivered by BA. She absolutely loves preparing and cooking and especially the presenting. (She like you snaps a photo of every meal) I think every meal so far has been outstanding. She tells all her friends of the convenience and ease of preparation and the healthy foods in the recipes. She is going to miss the service when I go back home. She lives alone and really cannot justify the cost. However she is trying.
    Thank you again for a great review. I forwarded to some of my skeptical friends.

    1. That’s awesome! Totally agree about being really careful about what goes in your body. For the most part, BA is pretty healthy. And the meals are photogenic!

    1. Hi Michelle, still working through the backlog of folks who requested free weeks. Have five left on the list. In the meantime, use the link at the top of the page to get 50% your first box.

  41. Thank you for the detailed review. I’ve been on the fence about giving it a try for quite a while – after reading this I would love a free trial. My family has an extremely busy life and this would be perfect.

  42. We have a son who is allergic to Dairy. I would love a free trial- when you are offering again. A variety of healthy, tasty meals are very challenging for Michael… Looking forward to it!!

  43. I would like to give this as a gift to my daughters. Of course that would depend on the amount it would cost for 2 at different address. I will start with one that has a birthday coming, Can you please send me a free trial. Also her boyfriend is allergic to beans, so, no beans.

  44. We are recently retired and recent empty-nesters. We would love to give BA a try and would appreciate it if you could add us to your list. By the way, a friend uses BA and loves it.

  45. We are recent empty-nesters and retirees. We’d love to try BA. Could you add us to your list? By the way, a friend uses BA and loves it!

  46. Call me curious.
    Grocery prices everywhere are over the top. Whole Foods has proven disappointing in the quality of their fresh foods. Living in the city and being car-less, I’m somewhat limited in my options of neighborhood stores. I often need to venture out and have groceries delivered so…
    I’d love to venture into your world and give it a whirl.

    Thanks for the wonderful blog.

  47. Hi, I have a question, would Blue Apron work for someone who has food allergies? I am lactose intolerant & gluten sensitive. I would love to give it a try, is the free week trial still available?
    Thanks,
    Catherine

    1. I don’t think they have gluten free or lactose free meals. What they do recommend is replacing items in their kits so that the meal is tailored to your needs. Of course, that depends on you to do it though. They do have pescetarian and vegetarian options, and you can choose to exclude certain classes of meats (pork, beef, chicken).

    2. My family has one GF member, as well as several allergies, including a severe shrimp allergy.
      I’m using Home Chef, only because they put on the menu whatever allergens are in each recipe.
      If you’d like a $30 off coupon, I only need your email address. I have quite a few of those discount coupons.

    1. BA subscribers typically get free weeks to give out. I’m not affiliated with BA in any way, but they did send over a $30 off coupon which is at the top of the post.

    1. Sure! The list is getting long again so if you can’t wait, just use the $30 off coupon at the top of the post.

    1. Sure, and I’m going to close the list for now since it’ll take a little bit to work through it. Highly encourage using the coupon at the top of the post if you can’t wait.

    1. Will try! Just sent some out but there are 12 ahead on the list. If you can’t wait, highly recommend just using the coupon at the top of the post.

  48. Hi busywithfriends! I did come across your article on fb:) My question/concern has to do with how much money I would save in regards to how much food I throw away!! I think I throw too much food away, fresh and cooked leftovers every week!! I have so much guilt over this, too. It is such a waste of time and money…not to mention the pure selfishness of tossing food when I know there are so many people less fortunate than me, who don’t even have enough money to put food on their tables:( I guess, it’s kind of a toss up…I’d be spending more money on our food, but possibly tossing less in the garbage with Blue Apron. We eat/cook at home daily and eat out about once or twice a month on average (including vacations). Mainly, there are not the caliber of restaurants in our area that we want to spend our money on (there’s that money thing again!!). I would love to hear your input/insight on this! Thanks for the post.

    1. One of the main benefits of BA is that you never have leftover ingredients and rarely have leftover food. Leftover ingredients can be such a pain– how many recipes need 1/4 cup of cilantro but you can only buy a pound of it? What to do with the rest? You can try to cook another recipe with it or throw it out. On leftover food, I’ve found it works great for lunch.

  49. Hi
    Would love to try the free trial, if you could add me to the list that would be great!
    Son has just left for college so planning meals will be challenging for me (not cooking for an army and wasting food!)
    Many thanks!

  50. A debt of gratitude is in order for this incredible point by point audit of BA – my significant other and I have been appreciating BA for very nearly a year now and it’s intriguing to see that others like this administration as much as we do.

    We are additionally attempting Home Chef thus far so great yet will proceed with BA as we reliably appreciate eatery quality sustenance at home and the pride of having cooked it ourselves!

    Much obliged again and anticipating a greater amount of your posts!!!

    1. Thanks Antonio! We hope that our review site is helpful for people. One of us has tried Purple Carrot and I’ve thought about giving Home Chef a try. If you do try BA, come back and let us know how you compare the two!

    1. Hi Kandi, this is from the BA website FAQ–

      Do you accommodate specific diets or allergies?

      We accommodate a variety of dietary preferences – e.g. vegetarians, pescetarians, or if you don’t eat red meat, fish, shellfish, pork, or lamb – and personalize your menu each week based on your preferences. All of our boxes are assembled in the same processing facility, so we don’t recommend ordering Blue Apron if you have a serious food allergy.

      https://www.blueapron.com/pages/pricing

  51. Sounds amazing. I would love a free trial of you have any to spare. Thanks for the article, very informative.

  52. I am currently having to eat cow dairy free, sugar free, grain, potato, corn, pea, soy and GMO free. Would I be able to get meals like that?

  53. Just came across this on FB. I’m a working mom with two kids, 9 and 15. Are there three person kits? Maybe two would be enough, but I thinking recall you saying that the potions could be bigger sometimes.
    I find coming up with an interesting and healthy meal every night (plus shopping for ingredients) quite tiring sometimes, but I home cook 6 out of 7 nights. I’d like to try Blue Apron, but it sounds like the wait list is as long as your arm…
    Thanks for the thorough review.

    1. They don’t have a three person option but they do have a four person one. I’d try this: get the four person option and just pack the (often fantastic) leftovers for lunch. I do think that the portions could be bigger sometimes. Still do.

  54. I like the idea of encouraging people to enjoy and become confident with cooking, but unfortunately the packaging is wasteful…the carbon footprint is high considering everything ships from only two distribution centers…food is not local… and of course the lack of vegan options signals a lack of care for animal lives…

    Here’s my review on Blue Apron from an animal rights and environmental activist point of view.
    http://nynomads.com/2017/01/say-no-to-blue-apron-wasteful-no-vegan-options/

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