Hello Fresh vs. Blue Apron

As you can tell by now, I really enjoy spending time in the kitchen, creating meals, and feeding my people. But, let’s be real – there are some days, even weeks when the last thing I want to do is plan out a week of meals, go grocery shopping, and then go grocery shopping again a couple of days later to a different store in order to get all of the items that we need.

Potential solution? Meal delivery services. There are so many options these days for companies that will deliver fresh, portioned ingredients directly to your door with step by step instructions on how to create a complete meal. I recently tried out two of the more well known companies – Hello Fresh and Blue Apron. Here’s what I thought..

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Blue Apron

Cost: 2 people, 3 meals = $59.94

Packaging: Delivered in a cardboard box, filled with insulation and ice packs. Produce and meat individually wrapped and labeled, but loose in the box. Not divided up by meal, with the exception of a few small ingredients.

Flavor: Incredible flavor on every meal that we tried.

Time: Very time intensive. The prep work (washing/chopping produce) could take 30+ minutes, alone.  I found their estimated cook time to be much shorter than the time it actually took me to prepare the meals. The actual time was sometimes double the estimated.

Quantity: Generous quantities of food. Patrick was always satisfied with his portion. I was typically able to make mine into two meals.

Favorite meal: Brown Butter Cod with Corn, Shishito Peppers & Purple Potatoes – This was honestly one of the best seafood dishes I’ve ever eaten. The cod sautéed in brown butter was ridiculous. We made it again the very next week!

Biggest Pro: Everything tasted incredible! I would definitely make all of the meals again. 

Biggest Con: Almost every meal took far longer than expected to make. 

 

Hello Fresh

Cost: 2 people, 3 meals = $69

Packaging: Delivered in a cardboard box, filled with insulation and ice packs. Each meal individually boxed and labeled.

Flavor: We had a shrimp risotto that was rather bland and lacking in flavor, which was most likely a lack of salt and pepper on my part. However, everything else was very flavorful.

Time: Moderately time intensive. Their estimated cook time was pretty much on point.

Quantity: Generous quantities of food. Patrick was always satisfied with his portion. I was typically able to make mine into two meals.

Favorite meal: Caramelized Pineapple Burgers with Monterey Jack Cheese & Red Cabbage Slaw

Biggest Pro: Meals were much quicker to prepare than Blue Apron. 

Biggest Con: Everything had to be pan-fried, which meant more time over the stove and my house smelling like grease for a week. 


In my opinion..

Hello Fresh is more expensive and not as tasty as Blue Apron. However, their meals were simpler and quicker to prepare. In fact, the first meal we cooked with Hello Fresh was Jamie Oliver’s Oozy Shrimp Risotto. It was labeled at a Difficulty Level of 3 out of 3, yet I found it to be easier than any of the Blue Apron meals we tried. I also really liked how the ingredients all came individually boxed by meal instead of all thrown into one big box. Hello Fresh seemed to use less ingredients per meal, which meant less meal prep.

Blue Apron is less expensive (by $1.51 per meal, per person) and overall more flavorful than Hello Fresh. However, Blue Apron’s meals took much longer to prepare. In all fairness, I am not the fastest cook around, so you might not find the cook time to be as long for you. I like to take my time, but at the same time, I don’t always have hours to spend in the kitchen, especially on a weeknight.

Overall, I enjoyed making meals that were vastly different than my usual go-to recipes. If you are in a cooking rut and want to try new meals or if you just really do not enjoy meal planning and grocery shopping, a meal delivery service may be perfect for you. Paying around $10 per meal, per person is pretty reasonable when you consider the quality of the ingredients, along with the convenience of having it shipped straight to your door. It’s definitely a great deal if your alternative is eating out. But, if like most of us, you’re working on a tighter budget or have a bigger family to feed, $10 per meal adds up quickly.

If these meal plans came with a few less ingredients and took about half the time, I may be tempted to use them somewhat regularly. But, in reality I love making simple, healthy and quick meals. And not just making, but creating them. I realized that I don’t necessarily want to follow step by step instructions or have someone else tell me what to cook each week. All in all, I found that both companies provided high quality, delicious meals, but ultimately they took far too long to prepare.


What about you? Have you tried Hello Fresh, Blue Apron, or any other meal delivery service? What are your opinions? Pros and cons? I’d love to hear your thoughts or answer any questions you might have.

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Happy stirring! 

xoxo, Stacey

 

 

 


4 thoughts on “Hello Fresh vs. Blue Apron

  1. Thank you for an excellent review. I have been curious about these services, and you answered all of the questions I had about them. The price for the quality of the food and convienience is surprising.

    Like

  2. Hi there all!

    I just signed up for Hello Fresh and I LOVE it! I’m finally cooking at home most nights instead of paying to go out for unhealthy prepared meals! I recommend it for sure. I used the code 86F7PB and even got $40 off my first box (code never expires, so you can too!) ^_^

    Happy cooking!
    Clare

    Like

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