Meal subscription services are popping up all over the place now and why wouldn’t they? Services like Hello Fresh and Blue Apron deliver affordable, locally sourced, healthy ingredients and best of all they’re delivered straight to your door! Read on to see my review of Blue Apron and Hello Fresh.
First things first: the cost. They both offer various options for families of two or four. Blue Apron starts at $59.94 for three weekly meals for a two-person plan. Have a family? They offer a four-person meal plan two nights a week for $69.92 or four meals at $139.84. Hello Fresh is a bit more pricey at $69.00 for three meals for two, or $129.00 for three meals for four.
Now On to the boxes:
Hello Fresh – Pros
- Delicious, different meals. My favorite meal by far was the Macadamia crusted Tilapia and forbidden rice. So good!
- Easy to follow, beautifully designed directions. These keep you busy throughout the entire 20-30 minute cook time but it doesn’t feel that long because you’re constantly chopping or stirring.
- Fresh ingredients individually packaged.
- Large portions. I even had enough to bring with me for lunch for two of the three meals the next day.
- Meal Choice – You can pick without restrictions from five meals for the week.
- An interactive website with cooking videos. These can come in quite helpful if you don’t know exactly how to zest a lemon!
Hello Fresh – Cons
- Expense – it’s a bit more expensive than Blue Apron
- Ingredients were fresh but a Mango used in one of the meals was bad by the time I tried to use it. This only happened once but it still bothered me that a large part of my meal was unusable.
Blue Apron – Pros
- Expense – Blue Apron is much more affordable than Hello Fresh.
- Varied recipes – My favorite meal by far was steak with blue mashed potatoes, beyond delicious and simple to make.
- Beautifully designed directions cards with large photos for reference.
- Delicious, fresh ingredients
Blue Apron – Cons
- Meal restrictions – You can choose between two sets of meals. This is great, however, the inability to mix and match is frustrating and it forced me to choose between two sets of meals that each had a meal in them I didn’t particularly want.
- Overly complicated directions – unlike Hello Fresh, the directions seemed less user friendly to me. Maybe if I were a novice cook I would want that level of detail but after the first recipe card I found myself skipping some of the directions because some of the steps seemed drawn out.
- Smaller Portions – while less expensive, I never had left overs with Blue Apron for lunch the next day.
The verdict: For someone like me, who lives in NYC these services are great and I’ll continue to keep using them every so often. The meals are affordable, especially for Manhattan and it’s a great way to learn new recipes!
Have you tried any of these meal services yet?