If you’re like me then you have dreams of being some gourmet glamour girl. Hair in-tact, flawless makeup, rocking a perfectly pressed apron, feet in stilettos, cooking up delicious meals in a gorgeous kitchen.
In reality, you’re in sweats, house wrecked, hair a mess, barefaced, standing in your god awful kitchen and pulling crumpled, stained pizza place coupons out of the junk drawer.
“That was last week. For real, this week will be different.” At least, that was what I thought to myself when the first Blue Apron box arrived on my doorstep.
Blue Apron’s concept is genius: meal prep service that delivers a box of fresh ingredients to your door every week. Each box contains enough for two people to eat three meals.
I first noticed Blue Apron while reading about a local meal delivery service that delivers “heat and eat” meals to your doorstep. I loved this concept because it erased the need to cook period. However, if I want my dreams of being a Chrissy Teigen, Ayesha Curry and Rachael Ray-type home chef to come true, then I have to actually COOK.
So I tried Blue Apron for two weeks.
First, I’ll tell you the pros and cons. Then I’ll explain why I canceled the service.
PRO #1 – Blue Apron Delivers Fresh Ingredients and Enough To Feed Two People
For me, one of the hardest parts of cooking is shopping for the ingredients.
Bump into me at Kroger and you’ll see a confused woman, probably blocking the aisle, leaning on her shopping cart, head bowed, furiously typing into the Google search app on her phone: “where is ‘canned artichokes’ in the grocery store?” or “what is the difference between whipped cream and heavy cream?” or “what is pancetta?”. (Google has ALL of the answers, by the way.)
The worst is that sinking feeling after I get home and realize I didn’t purchase a key ingredient like eggs, milk, pasta sauce or some other essential because I assumed I already had some at home. OR the annoyed feeling when I realize I’ve just purchased a third jar of minced garlic because I forgot I had some at home already. (Seriously, I have about seven packages of shredded cheeses as we speak.)
Blue Apron eliminates all of this headache by delivering the exact ingredients you need to your house. This also eliminates a ton of waste – especially considering I’m only cooking for two. I can’t even tell you how many tubs of sour cream I’ve bought just because the recipe calls for one teaspoon and stores only sell family sized portions.
CON #1 – Blue Apron Only Delivers Enough Ingredients For Two People
This pro is also a con. I was trying to make quesadillas and after I scorched the first one, I only had enough ingredients to make one more. (You always toss the first pancake right?) I nailed the second one, but since I only had enough ingredients to make two, I gave my husband the perfect quesadilla and then I ate the ingredients from inside the “blackened” one. In a regular situation, I would have had an entire pack of tortillas and could have made another quesadilla easily.
PRO #2 – Blue Apron’s Recipes Are EASY To Follow
The recipes are step by step and they even have a few how to videos on their website along with the recipes. Be warned though, if you’re a rookie in the kitchen (like I am), it’s a little tougher than someone who cooks all the time and therefore can look at a block of cheese and know if it’s two ounces or not. I had to Google several things while cooking despite their clear instructions, BUT I’ll blame that on my own inexperience.
CON #2 Blue Apron Meal Prep Takes Forever
Earlier, I said ONE of the hardest parts of cooking is shopping. Another hard part is prep and Blue Apron definitely does NOT make it easy.
When I’m making a typical recipe, I read it over and inevitably find steps that I can skip. For instance, if the recipe calls for cut corn, I buy corn precut. Blue Apron gives you a corn on the cob! Seriously, for one recipe, I was literally cutting the corn from the cob! I have never done that before. Thankfully the online version of their recipe includes a how-to video. It was crazy cutting all of that corn and it was spilling everywhere! I did feel pretty accomplished after I was done, though.
Because Blue Apron delivers fresh ingredients, it makes it difficult to skip steps to make the prep process go faster. (In Blue Apron’s defense, cheese you’ve shredded by hand at home tastes MUCH better than the bagged shredded cheese from Kraft.)
PRO #3 Blue Apron Encourages You to Try New Meals
It requires you to get out of your comfort zone when it comes to cooking. For instance, I love pasta (both making it and eating it but mostly making it.) Pasta dishes are the easiest thing to make. I could make pasta every single day — if I felt like cooking that often. However there are tons of great non-pasta dishes to make out there and Blue Apron forces me out of that rut.
Con #4 Blue Apron’s System Forces You To Cook the Food Right Away
The ingredients are fresh, which is FANTASTIC. However, if you’re having a crazy week with no time to cook three meals, then the food will go to waste. (Most of the food needs to be cooked right away.) Plus, another box of ingredients are already on the way!
Pro # 4 – Blue Apron Makes You Feel Like A Chef
The food really does come out JUST LIKE the picture and it tastes really good!
So here’s why I canceled Blue Apron.
Someone purchased the first box for me as a gift. To receive the gift, I had to sign up on the website and enter my credit card information. All good. Well, a few days after I received my first box, I got an email from Blue Apron. I get a million emails per day (not really, but you know what I mean), so I forgot about the email. When I opened the email a few days later, it said I needed to pick my next three meals or they would send me the default recipe. So, I clicked over to their website to pick my meals and it was TOO LATE!
My second box arrived a few days later with three meals I wasn’t at all interested in. And I’d just paid $60! I was livid. It’s not 100% their fault. But I was new to the company and didn’t realize how the process worked. Mind you, when my friend sent me the gift subscription, it took me about a month to redeem it. They kept emailing me to remind me to redeem it and I finally did. However, for the second box, I got one email, ignored it and BAM $60 gone and a new box was on my doorstep.
So, I called Blue Apron and canceled.
The customer service lady was very nice and even refunded my money. That’s major cool points for them. M A J O R.
I still get Blue Apron emails constantly. I may go back to the service one day soon (especially considering my experience with their customer service), but for now, I think I’ll stick to cooking sporadically. Right now, I’m obsessed with Chrissy Teigen’s Cravings Cookbook. (The Lemony Arugula Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe Recipe and Stretchy Artichoke, Spinach and Buffalo Chicken Dip are to DIE for, but that’s another blog post.)