Hello Fresh And Blue Apron: Dinner Delivered To Your Doorstep

One of the main reasons I wanted to start blogging was because I wanted to help people. That’s an ambiguous statement considering the fact that I don’t have an exact niche for this site. However, I do find value in talking about my life. Telling my story, past or present, is hopefully a helpful service regardless of what I talk about. The piece I am about to get into can be filed under the “want to help people” category as much as anything else I’ve done.

When I started this site, one of the topics I wanted to cover (somewhat) is cooking, recipes, and healthy eating. So far, I haven’t really covered those topics very much. However, these have been pretty big areas of focus over the past few years. I’m not perfect, but have come a long way. When my wife and I were introduced to Hello Fresh and Blue Apron, it really took our healthy eating goals to another level and really helped to simplify that part of our life. This piece is just a small sample of how these products have impacted our life.

We All Lead Busy Lives

The heading says it all. We all tend to lead very busy lives nowadays. Not many of us have the fortune of having a spouse who stays home all day and keeps the house in order. Many families and couples need multiple incomes in order to enjoy life and keep up with the bills. The desire to pay for necessities and enjoy the more frivolous things life has to offer leads us to have more money, but maybe not as much time. For me and my wife, this is a lesson we’ve come to learn over the past few years. While weekly chores like taking out the trash can be fit in at any time, preparing meals is a different story. Either you make dinner or you don’t.

There was a time when my wife and I would opt not to make dinner more than we did. We tried making our meals in bulk for the week, but even that required spending a lot of money on ingredients in hopes that we would eat it all by the end of the week. Although this concept is enough and is practiced by many busy families, it wound up not being a good system for us. We needed something a little simpler than that. Something that didn’t require us to spend a lot of time in the kitchen and didn’t put us in a situation where food got wasted. Little did we know that there were very good products out there that would meet our specific needs.

How It All Got Started

The concept of having dinner delivered to my door every week was a strange idea when it was introduced to me. My wife and I crossed paths with a former co-worker of hers at a party last spring. Somehow the topic of dinner was brought up during the conversation. This lead to them highly recommending a service called Hello Fresh. With our free trial, we would receive three meals at a discounted rate during our first week. While my wife completely understood it, I felt completely lost. I had no idea how something like this would work. It seemed very strange compared to the more traditional shop and eat process. However, being the openminded guy I am (and awesome hubby for that matter) I decided to go with it. It would prove to be a decision I didn’t regret.

The concept of having our meals shipped to us seemed weird at first, but it quickly became something I grew to love.

How Does All Of This Work?

Before I talk about the product itself, i’ll explain how services like Hello Fresh and Blue Apron tend to work. Typically, you will need to login to their app and choose 3-5 meals you’d like to cook during the upcoming week. There is no need to worry about selecting ingredients for your meal. Pretty much everything you need will be delivered. The only thing you won’t get that they usually ask for in the recipes are olive oil, salt, and pepper. After you select your meals for the week, you will just have to look for the box on your doorstep on Tuesday. From there you just have to store the food in the refrigerator and make sure you don’t throw the recipe cards away.

What Hello Fresh Has Added To Our Lives

I have to admit, the dinner at your doorstep concept is something I didn’t think we’d stick with. It seemed like more of a novelty to me than anything else. That is, until we made a few of the meals. Sure, the meals they give you are delicious and healthy. A traditional offering of potato/rice, veggie, fish/meat is typically what you can expect from either service. However, while the meals may sound time consuming and complex, they are actually quite simple to make. Between pictures and easy to follow directions, Hello Fresh and Blue Apron both make the idea of cooking dinner a joy. This is coming from somebody who never liked to cook before we started doing this. The format both companies use makes preparing a nice meal easy for a beginner to do.

This is just one of the many examples of the quality of food you can expect from Hello Fresh or Blue Apron

I have very few complaints about making dinner this way. Although the recipes are easy to follow, you will have to educate yourself. If you don’t understand what it means to zest a lemon, like I did in the beginning, you may find yourself feeling lost. The best advice I can give you is to keep Google handy in case you come across lingo and/or direction you don’t understand. They also tend to ask for a lot of salt and pepper in these meals. While you certainly have a choice in the matter, I kind of wish they would lay off on these ingredients a little bit. Overall, these are very healthy dinners, but beware that they might ask for these ingredients to be added often. Use your best judgement when adding them in.

Hello Fresh vs Blue Apron

As you’ve noticed my wife and I decided to switch to Blue Apron after using Hello Fresh for several months. The change wasn’t necessarily due to anything Hello Fresh did. Much like Hello Fresh, Blue Apron had a discounted meal offer that we decided to try. We were curious to see what the difference would be. At this point, we don’t seem to have any desire to go back to Hello Fresh. It didn’t take long for us to find out that Blue Apron’s meals were a little easier to follow and take less time than Hello Fresh. We’ve also found Blue Apron to be a little healthier than Hello Fresh. This may seem a little unfair since both services are very good in that regard. However, there seems to be less of an emphasis on salt and pepper which is a good thing.

Although there are some key differences, you can’t go wrong with Blue Apron (left) or Hello Fresh (right).

Another difference is the amount of food we receive. While Blue Apron’s packaging could be better, the end product is always more than what Hello Fresh offered. While we understand that the end goal is to eat healthier, we also want to make sure that we don’t walk away from dinner still feeling hungry. With Blue Apron I feel like we get a proper amount of food to eat and also manage to keep things healthy. This is a big plus for us. You might even find that some of the differences explained here are trivial. However, as somebody who doesn’t consider themselves the most experienced chef, the simplicity of Blue Apron’s recipes alone has won me over.

You Can’t Go Wrong Either Way

When it comes to dinner at your doorstep options, Blue Apron appears to be the winner for a number of reasons. However, Hello Fresh is also a solid option. If you’re looking to simplify your meals, add variety to your menu, and keep you and your family eating healthy, then this is the way to eat. Regardless of which service you favor, there is one thing I can promise: the food will taste good. I’ve found that excellent flavoring is the key to both of these products. It doesn’t seem to matter what we make, the meal is always filled with flavor. That’s more than I can say for food I’ve had at many restaurants.

My wife used to do all of the cooking, but nowadays these duties are much more shared. She appreciates it very much!

The pricing and value is pretty much the same for both services. $60 for three meals that come with exact ingredients already prepared for you is a pretty good value. The quality of the food is pretty much the same for both as well. Although we have found some key differences between Hello Fresh and Blue Apron, I can’t recommend cooking this way enough. These meals have really helped to simplify our lives. Not only that, but I really enjoy cooking. This is something I wouldn’t have said a year ago. These recipes have helped me to learn so much about cooking. It’s actually the best way for a beginner to learn and develop an appreciation for the kitchen. So, to all of you who are living very busy lives, I say give one of these options a try. The food is delicious, nutritious, saves you time, and will really simplify your life!

2 Responses

  1. Irene says:

    Now I am hungry…. LOL Great post Marc!!

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