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Friday, March 1st
Blue Apron puts a lot of thought into the sourcing of the ingredients in their meal kits and prepared meals. All seafood is sustainable and recommended by Seafood Watch, ingredients are non-GMO, and animal proteins come from livestock that hasn't been fed antibiotics or hormones. They invite you to become a part of building "a food system that's better for everyone" . Also, this is one of the only meal delivery services we found that offers something of a hybrid between recipes you prepare and meals you can just heat and eat. Maybe one day you feel like cooking and the next you only have time to throw something in the microwave. No problem here.
Discounts available - but may be challenging to get
At the time of this evaluation, there was a promotion at the top of the Blue Apron site offering $20 off each of our first four boxes. When we clicked to redeem, we got the predictable "sign up for our emails" requirement. Oddly enough, no matter which email address we tried (from our own to several made-up ones), we were told that it was already taken. Looks like Blue Apron isn't really about that discount after all. But, if you're a teacher, student, military/veteran, medical staff, senior, or first responder, you may have better luck with the discount links at the bottom of the page.
See a full month of menu options
You can preview a whole month's worth of Blue Apron's menus before you even place an order. It's easy to see at a glance which ones are designated as family-friendly or a chef favorite, how long they take to prepare, and even which ones are compatible with WW (formerly known as Weight Watchers) plans. Some of the choices that caught our attention were the Spicy Zucchini Quesadillas, Yuzu-Orange Glazed Salmon, and Calabrian Chile-Glazed Pork Meatloaf with Lemon-Caper Roasted Vegetables.
Meal prices are usually around $7.99/serving
It can be tricky to determine what you'll pay, though. Across the site, it says that Blue Apron meals start at $7.99 per serving, but when we went to order our first box it showed a $6.99 promotional price, discounted from a regular price of $11.99. Then, as we played around with the settings (choosing between two or four servings and then 2-4 meals each week), we saw an even lower price of $6.74. Let's just say that your price may vary, and you'll always pay $9.99 for shipping.
Wide range of delivery days, guaranteed delivery by 8PM
Although we had some issues getting Blue Apron to finally accept our email address, we were excited to see that our account had gone through - and that we could literally choose any day of the week as our regular delivery option in our area. The first available delivery date was just a week away. This is also the only service we've seen that guarantees your box will arrive by 8PM on the given delivery date.
Mediocre listing with the BBB
Blue Apron had earned a "B-" from the Better Business Bureau at the time of this review, with 26 complaints over the last year and just under 90 over three years. That's not a ton, but five of them got no response at all from Blue Apron, which is surprising for a bigger meal delivery service like this one - and they were all in the six months prior to this evaluation.
Recent customer comments are disappointing
That's in line with customer comments we found in other places that said this service has become a hassle. It was particularly frustrating to see so many regular customers describing a decline in service, with problems almost on a weekly basis that get no help from Blue Apron support representatives - or who only offer a credit instead of a refund. One person said that their boxes arrived and all of the ingredients were at room temperature or higher - for five weeks in a row - and instead of offering a solution, Blue Apron canceled the account with no credit or refund in sight. That's just not acceptable, and it's a big reason why this meal delivery company isn't even in the top half of our rankings anymore.
The original - but not the best
Blue Apron starts out strong in theory but falls down quickly in practice. It's remarkable that they've shipped over 465 million meals, but this "original American meal kit" has a lot of competition now - and it looks like many of their customers are turning to more reliable meal delivery options.
Isn't it amazing how many ways we have to make our lives easier, from Instacart grocery deliveries to DoorDash dinners from our favorite restaurants? Meal delivery services fall in the middle of that spectrum: you save the time and hassle of planning a menu and buying the ingredients, while not spending tons of money on weekly (or nightly) take-out meals and the corresponding gratuities. These services include heat-and-eat meals that arrive either fresh or frozen, as well as kits that come with all the ingredients necessary to make a gourmet-style meal right at home.
You may have noticed that meal delivery recipe choices are abundant. From classic, hearty favorites like chicken parm and burgers to exotic dishes from around the world, there's something for everyone. Vegan? No problem. Following a special diet for health or medical reasons, like keto or diabetic-friendly? You've got possibilities!
Many of these services are subscription-based: you choose the types of meals you prefer (or pick specific entrees), how many servings in each one, and how many meals you'd like in a week, and your deliveries will come like clockwork unless you pause your membership, skip a shipment, or cancel altogether. If that's not your preference, there are some meal delivery companies that let you place your orders whenever you like, with no ongoing commitment.
With almost every meal delivery service, you'll get big discounts on your first order (and sometimes several ones thereafter) - you could pay less than $2 per meal at the start. Just be aware that the regular pricing is higher, typically ranging from $6 to $20 per serving; you'll pay more for premium options with higher-quality proteins and ingredients (maybe for a special occasion?).
It's easy to get overwhelmed as you try to figure out which service to pick. Want some help? Here are a few factors to guide your decision:
To help you simplify your life with regular meal deliveries, TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked the most popular services available today. We're confident that this will make it a breeze to choose the one that's right for you. Bon appetit!
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