Before I begin with my review on these meal kit delivery services, I should probably let you know that when I first heard about these things I did a massive eye roll. I did the same when I heard you could have your groceries delivered as well. But, guess who now participates in both activities?
So, why the initial snobbish disdain, you ask? Because, I thought I should be “Super Mom” 24/7. I could handle working full time, taking care of the kids and animals and husband and still plan what to eat, when to eat and when to buy the things we eat. I did not need someone to deliver all that to me and I certainly did not need someone to pack it all up in a nice little box with instructions on how to cook it.
I still don’t need it, but by God, I want it and I am no longer afraid to admit that sometimes, I need a little help. That simple question, “what’s for dinner?” would weigh on me (and my husband) unnecessarily for years. I remember coming home from work one evening (later than usual) to a house in disarray because my husband had picked up the kids, had to go to the store, spent who knows how long there trying to decide what to make for dinner, then came home and cooked it. All of this took about two hours and he was unbelievably stressed after it all plus he got virtually no quality time with the kids or me.
I totally identified with that, I’ve been there more times than I could count. My husband really is Super Dad in the flesh, so if he was stressed to the max, I knew we needed to try something new. Cue the idea of trying a meal kit delivery service.
Blue Apron Review – Delicious with a side of customer service!
Our first try was with Blue Apron, I had read as many reviews as I could find and this was the one everyone raved about. We got the first two weeks for free, the third week was half price. After that, we received three days worth of meals with two servings each for $59.94 (six meals at a little less than $10 each). You can refer others and get that price knocked down as well, if you choose.
When you first sign up, you give your info (yes, credit card info as well) and let them know what types of things you and your family does or doesn’t care for and then pick your first week of meals. You choose from roughly eight recipes every week, they have vegan options as well and you also choose the day you receive it. I did not love that you couldn’t get delivery over the weekends or on Fridays but it seems that is their policy so we get our deliveries on Tuesday.
Blue Apron also has an easy to use app that allows you to pick your meals three to four weeks out, you can also skip a week (or weeks) anytime you want to. There is no limit to how many times you can skip a week. The app also allows you to contact customer service at anytime and make changes to your profile information.
Our very first week, I learned to cook something new and my husband and I were pleasantly surprised with how delicious everything tasted. Just about every recipe we have tried was absolutely delicious. I can only recall maybe two or three that we did not care for. The flavors and ingredients chosen always go so well together and the recipes are easy to follow.
You truly make everything from scratch, the meats are of excellent quality and the vegetables are always fresh. As a matter of fact, every recipe has had fresh vegetables as a part of the kit and we have been eating much healthier because of that simple addition.
We have had a few issues with Blue Apron, one being that we moved and changing our address took a couple of times to get it right which meant one of our deliveries went to our old address once. However, customer service credited us for a free week ($59.94) because they do charge before they ship.
Another time, our box was missing one recipe and they also included a recipe that was not what we had chosen. We were promptly credited for the two meals we were missing. In my opinion, customer service is top-notch. Their reps were always quick to respond, understanding and willing to help in order to make the customer happy.
Home Chef Review – More choices, flexibility + organization!
We decided to give Home Chef a try about three months in to using Blue Apron because I wanted to check the costs of other meal kits. The sign up process was essentially the same as with Blue Apron and delivery days were also during the week and not available on the weekend so we started alternating weeks between Blue Apron and Home Chef.
The first week of Home Chef was free but then we paid $30 for the second week and then the full $60 for the third. Kits arrived with fresh veggies and everything was to be made from scratch. One difference between the two was that with Home Chef, each recipe came in its own bag. Blue Apron ships all of its ingredients together inside a box and you have to sort it out on your own between the recipes. Not a big deal but having them already sorted was a bit of a time saver.
When choosing your meals on the Home Chef app (similar to Blue Apron’s), there are upgrades available. For example, if you wanted a steak of better quality, you could choose this and pay a little extra per serving. There were also options to have lunches or desserts included in your kit for an additional fee. We never did this as I felt the cost was a bit much ($7.99/serving approximately for lunches) but they did look good.
When it comes to taste, we prefer Blue Apron over Home Chef. Home Chef’s recipes were good but they just weren’t great. The combination of flavors and ingredients were a bit more basic and would probably be great for families with younger kids or individuals that are picky eaters. For the same price, we have chosen the taste of Blue Apron’s recipes and have therefore paused our Home Chef account.
To those of you still on the fence…
I know there are a million ways to save on groceries; coupons, weekly ads, weekly-advance-frozen-whatever else meal prepping…all of these things would be marvelous if I had the time to do it. I will make a quick comment on the fact that the companies send you exactly the right amount of every ingredient that you will need. Therefore, you are not going out for an entire bottle of soy sauce when you only need a teaspoon. And I feel like that saves us money and from being wasteful.
I am not sure that I could say for sure whether these kits save you money or not. For us, it is probably about the same but that is something you will have to decide for yourself via your own finances and how stressful (or not) dinner time is for you.
We don’t order every week, sometimes we take a month off if we are out of town or just don’t want any of the recipes on the list for that week. The weeks we do use the kit are significantly less stressful and I always know the food will be fantastic.
In the end, it’s your choice on consistently using something like a meal kit delivery service but I would suggest at least trying it out to see how it fits into your routine. You may find that it works for you or that it just isn’t in your budget. I am sure we will try some other companies in the future and I will be sure to write about those when we do.
Do you agree or disagree with my reviews on Blue Apron and Home Chef? Are there any meal kits you have used in the past or use on a weekly basis? Leave a comment and tell us about it!