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Our Blue Apron Anniversary

 

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This post is sponsored by Blue Apron

So we've been Blue Apron members for...wow, three full years now, officially. Every Monday, two boxes show up on our doorstep. (We find that two boxes of the 2-person plan feeds our 5-person family perfectly, often with leftovers. Blue Apron also has a 4-person family plan but we found the portions a touch smaller and the meals more kid-friendly than our kids really need. YMMV.) We unload the ingredients, pull out the recipe cards, map out when we'll make what, and bam. Our dinner menu planning and shopping is done for the week, in less than 10 minutes. 

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We have tried other meal delivery services in that time, but have always returned to Blue Apron time and time again. Some are just too expensive and/or the prices advertised don't include the shipping costs (tricksy hobbits). Others consistently sent us rotten ingredients and reaching customer service was a labyrinth of response-less frustration. (BA lets me report missing or damaged ingredients directly from their app, and I always hear back with an account credit within a day. Their customer service is fabulous.)  Another one promised super fast, zero-prep meals but relied heavily on processed foods full of HFCS or artificial flavors and colors. NOPE. And most of the time, we just found the meals kind of boring and repetitive. 

And then we'd look at the upcoming BA menu and be like...

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Paneer and lentil masala with spinach and lime rice?

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Cajun-spiced catfish sandwiches with roasted broccoli? 

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Sweet pepper chicken with ditali & spinach?

Seared barramundi with avocado tempura? Spiced chicken and honeynut squash tostadas? Pretzel burgers with cheddar cheese sauce? Seared steaks with balsamic-glazed mushrooms?

AAAAHHHHHHH WANT SO HUNGRY NOW

Why even bother ordering anything else? Stick with what works! (And with what you know will actually, like work.)

And yes, my kids really did eat and enjoy all of the above, including all the vegetables. That said, they are still kids, and the presence of the buttery cheesy pasta with that chicken dish caused an impromptu celebratory dab fest at dinner.

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A couple things HAVE changed at Blue Apron recently -- if you tried them out and were frustrated that not all recipe combinations were available (i.e., if you wanted the steak but skipped the fish you were limited to only one of the vegetarian options), or didn't always want to commit to three meals each week, great news! The two-person plan now allows you to select two OR three meals (without making any account changes, though note that there are shipping costs on a two-meal box) and you can select ANY RECIPE COMBINATION that you want. AND there are now EIGHT recipes to choose from instead of six. AND at least three of those recipes can be made in 30 minutes or less. 

(DABS)

So yeah! We were happy with Blue Apron before; with the added flexibility and extra choices we're pretty much thrilled. Tonight we're making Korean beef steam buns, tomorrow it's Tuscan-style pork chops. Next week we're going to try broccoli and cheddar turnovers with a pea green and apple salad. My kids are definitely going to happy-dance over that one. I might join in too. 

Want to give Blue Apron a try? Yeah, you should. The first 50 readers can get $30 off your first order using this link.  

Comments

Katie H.

I really wish my family wasn't so picky! Every time you write about Blue Apron I drool and wish we could do it as well. Nice to hear such a good company is doing well. :)

Sara D.

I am going to give them another go. We had stopped because of the lack of variety and that the family plan was too kid-friendly for our kid. I am so glad you mentioned that you do two boxes of the two person meals. We're going to give the two person meal plan a try (especially since they have a two meal a week option now!).

Jenny

Blue apron can credit you with me subscribing for over 2 years. I honestly don’t know what I’d do without it at this point. Every once in a while I think about skipping a week but then I get discouraged thinking about what to eat all week.

I’m pretty thrilled with the 8 choices now too.

Bev

My husband and I loved Blue Apron all last winter & spring. When we returned to the Chicago area for the summer though we cancelled after two weeks because the fresh produce was damaged by heavy cans placed on top of produce and/or there were missing ingredients. Now that we have returned to the Phoenix area, we excitedly signed up again today! I only mention that here because some folks may not have the same wonderful experience depending on the fulfillment center and how careful they are when packing the week's box of ingredients. I suggest contacting them immediately if you are unhappy; we did not because our summer is busy and fresh salads, grilling meats, etc are quick and easy. We love Blue Apron! Thanks for exposing us to this wonderful solution to mealtime dilemmas.

Lori

Are the 30 minute meals really 30 minutes? We loved all of the food when we were doing it, but I never, ever could do all of the things they wanted me to do in the allotted time (while the pasta cooks, do these 15 steps!) so I'd end up having to do all of the prep stuff during my toddler's nap time and it still took me a while to get made. We've got another baby on the way in January and I'd love to have dinner come to us, but it was just too much of a time commitment for me and that was with just one kid. But if they were true 30 minute meals, I'd sign back up in a heartbeat.

Lauren A

I loved blue apron, and used it so I wouldn't have to drag a newborn to the grocery store in the months after she was born. I seriously credit Blue Apron with the no baby colds in those first few months! Seriously- Blue Apron is a good option for new parents, I recommend it. (A sleeping baby in a baby Bjorn is LIKE an apron...)

All that said... I've discontinued mine. I live in central Texas and we have access to so much good produce during the spring and summer I usually don't bother getting it freighted in. BUT- come December I will be renewing my subscription again for a month or so!

I also learned about Blue Apron from Amy, and I actually really enjoy reading these posts... they've made me renew for a couple of weeks here and there in the past as well! And it was SUCH a nice way to break the monotony of how I was cooking: lemon chicken, meatloaf, spaghetti, shrimp scampi... wash and repeat ad nauseam until I started blue apron- have so many of their recipes on rotation now!

Dianne

I used Blue Apron off and on for a couple of years - until I too found the recipes to be repetitive. But now we live in Hawaii, and no food service delivers here anyway. And believe it or not, the produce here isn't all that great...most things are shipped in from the mainland and 5 days old by the time it gets here anyway. But I loved the convenience of BA.

Megan

I'm a big Blue Apron fan; I gave it a try because of one of your posts years back, and have consistently had great service and great food! There's a roasted carrot/green olive/citrus fruit salad that I could have never imagined being a good combo, but now it's my all-time favorite side dish.

Kristen

Dangit, Amy. I had kicked the BA habit and they just got me again w this post.


say no to wine.. say no to the wine.. say no to the wine...

Lisa

I just came here looking for your posts on how you got your boys to start eating and being less picky, I remember you recommended a book. But for the life of me I cannot remember the name or its author. I’ve looked both on the smack down and here, could you point me in the right direction? Thank you!

Liz Carter

I stopped Blue Apron because I was told they would no longer do two boxes of the two person meal over a year ago. We are a family of 4 and I found the family options to be too boring or too similar to my regular meals. I wonder if it is a California rule - that you can't get two boxes of the two person menu? I tried more than once to have them let me do it again. Or did you figure out a way around it - like you and Jason have separate accounts? How do you get them to do that for you or is it just not an issue where you live? If I could, I would be back on that bandwagon!

LC

I printed and tried several Blue Apron recipes this summer... I bought the ingredients and just used the recipe card. We discovered at least one meal that we now love (how had I never tried dumplings before?) and I thought that the instructions were the best cooking instructions I've ever followed. But for me, the cooking process was just too long for the average weeknight and I couldn't envision that pre-portioned ingredients would really help unless they were also pre-chopped. I'm considering taking a knife skills class because I know that I'm a really slow chopper.

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