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Subscription Meal Boxes- Yay or Nay?

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My mailbox was filling up with free cards and discounts for various meal subscription boxes. I discarded them as a waste of money and not necessary for our family since I really enjoy meal prepping and planning.  But, as they kept coming relentlessly I started to wonder – are they worth it? Would they help me try something new?  Would the kids like it?  So, like every marketer dream – I succumbed. I tried 2 meal subscription services: Hello Fresh and Blue Apron.  Here are my thoughts, reviews and comparisons:

Hello Fresh arrived first, we received three meals to try for free. Overall, the 3 meals were very easy and fast (taking 20-25 minutes total).  My kids loved all 3 meals.  There are veggie plans $7.99 per serving, classic plans $7.99 per serving, and family plans (what we tried!)  for $6.99 per serving.

  • Meatloaf a La Mom  which I had decided I hated prior to even tasting, I will be honest, because I typically think Meatloaf is gross. It has ketchup in it, which YUCK. (I know I am weird; I don’t eat condiments). So, I had my husband take out the ketchup on mine and I liked it!) I’ve been known not to try a recipe if I knew it had a condiment in it so I was pretty proud of myself, #adulting!  (Apologies for no picture, it somehow managed to disappear!)
  • Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Lemony Potatoes and Zucchini This was my fave of the 3 but husband didn’t like it! The lemon / citrus glaze was like Christmas for my taste buds. Reminded me of summer time and a great meal to eat on the back porch during those long summer nights. This was very easy and made plenty of leftovers for lunch the following day. Only complaint about this box was the onion we received was rotten, but we had one on hand and swapped out!
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  • Third was Baked Chicken Parmesan –which was very tasty but was something that we make on our own pretty regularly. The sauce was delish and I was able to make this while holding my 18 month old on my hip since he was pretty darn fussy that evening. Any meal that a mom can make with a kid in tow meets my standards. But, would have been more pleased with a different meal that isn’t something we can easily whip up on our own. (Disappearing picture x2!)

Browse the 2500 recipes available on the Hello Fresh website or their app for great ideas and inspiration. If we kept this subscription weekly for our family of 4, it would equal out to about 28$ a meal or 99$ a week for 3 meals.

Blue Apron was up next for review – 2 meals provided to try. You can use their two person plan for 9.99 a serving or family plan for 8.74 per serving.  So, for 3 meals per week 105$ total.

  • Roasted Turkey and Ferro-Endive Salad – I am now obsessed with the idea of putting fruity flavors in with meat after this meal. The apples were the perfect topping. I will say this meal wasn’t my hands down fave but the apple topping will totally make a comeback at our house.

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Overall in comparison the meals took about 30 minutes to cook and the skill level was a bit higher than Hello Fresh. The meals were more diverse – things that we haven’t cooked at home.  We liked this factor – getting us to step outside of the box to new meals.  Blue Apron would be a great date night in for Parks and I.  We like the challenge of the more difficult boxes, but will admit it’s really hard with our kids (3 & 1) interfering and making requests.  No kids+ adult beverage = would make these meals the perfect date night in for us or having a late dinner after we put them to bed!

Final decision. If I chose one, I would pick Blue Apron. But, overall it’s a nay for us. 100 dollars a week for 3 meals is what we typically spend for the entire week in groceries at Aldi.   It would be a fun date night in or a special occasion but it’s not going to be a regular occurrence at our house anytime soon!

Do you enjoy meal subscription boxes? If so, what’s your fave?

Xoxo,

 

Erin

 

 

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