In a nut shell, these services are essentially the same. They are both home cooked meal delivery programs where YOU do the home cooking. A box arrives at your door on the day of your choosing with the pre-portioned ingredients to make 3 meals of 2-4 servings depending on your selected plan. These types of services seem to be popping up everywhere due to the life style of the average busy American. Lots of people want to cook homemade meals, but don’t have the time to plan for them. Let’s be clear, with Blue Apron and Hello Fresh you still have to find time to actually prepare and cook the food, they just do the planning for you. All the ingredients show up at your doorstep along with step-by-step instructions on how to prepare each meal.
Let’s talk price… about 6 weeks ago I got a coupon for 1/2 off a Blue Apron box, so we decided to give it a try. Blue Apron costs $59/week for the 3 meal, 2 serving option, so we got it for right around $30, $10/meal or $5/serving – a good deal. I waited too long to cancel the next weeks delivery… so we ended up with Blue Apron 2 weeks in a row, 1 week at 1/2 price, 1 week at full. Then the following week Walter got a coupon for a FREE Hello Fresh box – it was 100% free, no shipping charges, no nothing, just free food! Well… wouldn’t you know it, I waited too long to cancel that one too 🙁 and we ended up with a 2nd week of Hello Fresh at full price – $69/week for the 3 meal, 2 serving option. All in all we got a good deal on both. I, however, cannot get over the $10 price difference between Blue Apron and Hello Fresh, I haven’t quite figured out why one would choose to pay more for essentially the same thing.
All of the meals we had are listed below, bolded was our favorite and italicized was our least favorite in each box. Sorry I got lazy about taking pictures near the end…
Seared Salmon Salad with English Peas, Arugula & Pink Lemon
General Tso’s Chicken with Sautéed Snow Peas & Jasmine Rice
Roast Pork & Mashed Potatoes with Molasses-Stewed Collard Greens
Red Curry & Coconut Shrimp Stir-Fry with Rice Noodles and Pea Shoots
Soy-Glazed Meatballs with Swiss Chard, Jasmine Rice & Marinaded Radish
Orzo and Chorizo Casserole with Burst Tomatoes, Mozzarella and Spinach
Serrano Steak with Mango Slaw and Cilantro-Lime Rice
Paprika-Spiked Chicken Thighs with Herby Bulgur & Skinny Slaw
Smoky Beef Tacos with Peppers, Guacamole and Radish
Sriracha Turkey Burgers with Sweet Potato Crisps and Mixed Green Salad
South Indian Shrimp Curry with Coconut Milk and Basmati Rice
(“All I want is 1 bite Dad”)
As a whole we found the Blue Apron meals to be more unique and more flavorful than the Hello Fresh meals. I also prefer the packaging and recipe cards from Blue Apron. The recipe cards are less busy and more professional looking and the packaging seems a bit more environmentally friendly.
Personally I enjoy thinking about what we are going to have for dinner and shopping for the ingredients and I am generally lucky enough to have the time to do so. But there is something about having your meals magically appear at your doorstep that is exciting no matter your lifestyle. It has been fun these past few weeks to try out some different recipes and also spend less time at the grocery store. It definitely gets your mind churning and thinking about different ingredients. Radishes, for example, I never cook with, but they popped up in 2 of our Blue Apron meals and 1 of our Hello Fresh.
Ultimately we decided to fully cancel our Hello Fresh subscription. We are keeping our Blue Apron subscription, but have skipped every week for the foreseeable future. I like the idea of holding onto it and doing it every 8-10 weeks to shake things up a little bit.
If you are curious about trying either of these subscriptions they are ALWAYS running promotions on your first box so check them out!
Have you tried Blue Apron and/or Hello Fresh, what do you think?