Five months into Blue Apron

A tip from me to you: do not instantly remove all of your food from its protective wrapping as the people who took this promo photo did. the fish won't stay good for long. and look at those ramen noodles. what're they gonna do, just leave that shit in the fridge like that?

A tip from me to you: do not instantly remove all of your food from its protective wrapping as the people who took this promo photo did. the fish won't stay good for long. and look at those ramen noodles. what're they gonna do, just leave that shit in the fridge like that?

Katie and I signed up for Blue Apron in February, when it was cold as heck toward the "end" of winter in Brooklyn and we got tired of the pretty limited produce supply at our local spots. You can only make chili so many times before you become annoyed by the lack of ready-to-eat avocados.

Blue Apron costs $60 per week, and for that price you get three meals big enough to feed two people. So, $30 per person, for three dinners. More physically, what you get for that price is a large box delivered to your door that contains all the ingredients you're going to be putting too much salt on that week (seriously, if you used as much salt as Blue Apron tells you to use, you'd mainly be eating salt). It also comes with directions for each recipe printed out on a piece of paper, and two ice packs which you now have to be annoyed about throwing away every 7 days.

This is a great deal for us. Sometimes I think it's an unfathomably good deal and I have to remind myself that it isn't this good of a deal for everyone. Most Blue Apron ingredients are organic or locally grown, and that stuff costs a lot of money in New York City. It's especially difficult to find decently priced organic beef, chicken and pork where we live, and fish is also quite expensive here. The regularity with which a Blue Apron meal contains some type of meat or fish is very high; at least two of the three meals will normally have a meat/fish component unless Katie has selected all-veggie options for us (we do this every few weeks). Being forced to eat three dinners at home also obviously cuts down on the likelihood that you'll get lazy and either order Seamless or eat out, which saves some cash.

We made this one a while back. it was delicious. i didn't take this photo -- my apartment isn't this well lit.

We made this one a while back. it was delicious. i didn't take this photo -- my apartment isn't this well lit.

So right off the bat, I feel like we're getting a great deal on the meats and fishes. It's really, really easy to surpass $20 for meal ingredients in NYC when you've got a meat/fish component in there. Additionally, you don't have to purchase some things in relative bulk: You just get two scallions or two ounces of a sauce, etc, where they're required in your dishes instead of having to buy a whole bunch of scallions or a whole jar of sauce or oil that you don't normally use. This really helps keep costs down and avoids your refrigerator being cluttered with jars and cans of things you used once to try that one dish. The other advantage here is you're not wasting produce by throwing away leftovers, since the portioning is really well done.

Above all this, though, is my personal favorite part of Blue Apron: We're trying all of these recipes that we would probably never choose for ourselves on a recipe website when looking up something to cook, and it's really, really fun to make new things. I think Katie and I have both become better cooks since we started doing this just because we've expanded our horizons a bit. Previously, even though we probably still cooked a similar amount at home (about three nights a week, maybe five to seven meals in total if you include weekends), we would often return to the same standard dishes or the things we like to eat the most. And best of all, we're pretty consistently wowed by the flavor of the dishes; I can remember only two dishes in the past five months that I haven't cared for, and many more times where I've been legitimately surprised at how awesome the food was.

That the recipes get sent to you without you having to walk to the grocery store (or even look them up online) only continues to sweeten the deal. If you're living in NYC or another big city, and especially if you live relatively far from a grocery store, it's easy for me to highly recommend Blue Apron for its combo of affordability, convenience and taste. This is not even a sponsored post! I just like it a lot. That being said, we do have a few free meals to send out -- Blue Apron gives you a couple of codes every so often -- so if you like the sound of this you can tweet me @ThomasNassiff to ask for one.