I can’t imagine my routine without this trusty meal delivery service.

By Lauren Phillips
Updated April 02, 2020
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Advertisement
Credit: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

I never thought I’d be the type to get hooked on a food subscription box—I actually kind of like going to the grocery store—but soon after I began living in New York City, I realized that my old method of food prep wasn’t going to cut it. Going to the grocery store every other day is a lot tougher in New York than in other places I’ve lived: New York grocery stores tend to have long lines (even lines to get in) during peak hours, run out of popular items by the end of the day, and cost a lot of money.

Beyond that, as a vegetable-averse individual, I tend to avoid veggie-heavy meals: Starting the Blue Apron meal delivery service was my attempt to both eat better and make cooking easier. It’s served me well in regular life, but during the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent social distancing, it’s served me even better.

In a time when grocery shopping feels perilous and stocking up on one or two weeks’ worth of nonperishables means forgoing fresh produce and non-frozen meat, Blue Apron continues to deliver fresh food to my door each week. Each meal contains fresh, high-quality produce and interesting recipes, same as always, so I can have a small dose of normalcy—and excellent food—in the midst of all this pandemic madness.

Beyond its reliability during a crisis, there’s a lot to love about Blue Apron. (Truly, I talk it up to everyone I know.) The ingredients are high quality. There’s enough variety that I get some options when I choose my meals for the week, but not so much that I’m overwhelmed. (Recipe decision paralysis was my greatest enemy when I tried meal-prepping and creative cooking before Blue Apron.) The recipes are delicious: I actively crave the pizza dough that goes into pizza, flatbread, and Stromboli recipes and get excited when I see particularly amazing dishes, like the quiches, pop up on my queue. I’ve tried ingredients I never thought I’d like—hi, shishito peppers!—and even expanded my culinary palate.

I’ve never been disappointed by the quality of my Blue Apron ingredients, though I have certainly enjoyed some recipes less than others. (That’s the risk of trying new dishes.) And when things go wrong—my box isn’t delivered, an ingredient is missing, whatever—the Blue Apron customer service team has my back. When my box arrived without chicken and I had a chicken recipe, they gave me credit for my next order; when a storm swept through New York City and my box never arrived, they refunded my money. They’re quick and responsive, and while I rarely need their help, I’m never worried about reaching out.

Postponing my box when I’m on vacation is easy, as is redirecting my box to a new address if I’m not home to receive it. From picking recipes to recycling the packaging, I’m happy with Blue Apron from start to finish, and I can’t imagine going back to how I used to grocery shop, especially when meals are as low as $7.49 per serving. (Try finding a NYC eatery with those sorts of prices.) Overall, I probably spend the same amount of money on groceries that I did before, but I eat much, much better.

The food subscription service has admittedly received an unexpected rush of sign-ups and orders during the coronavirus crisis, but I’ve been impressed with how the company has communicated with customers and stuck to its commitment to providing quality food, even if recipe variety is limited. I used Blue Apron before this crisis, I’ll use it through it, and I’ll continue to order after: I truly can’t imagine going without it.

Prices range from $47.95 to $119.84 per week, depending on how many meals you require, and how many people you are serving. You can check out all the options at blueapron.com.