Commonly Asked Questions About Blue Apron Alternatives
If you’re looking for a smart and easy way to eat great food and save yourself time and money, then meal delivery plans are a great choice. These meal delivery companies deliver fresh ingredients and clear recipes, straight to your doorstep, allowing you to cook chef-inspired meals with ease.
But with so many options out there, it can be difficult to find the best meal plan for you, especially when you consider unique tastes, preferences, and dietary restrictions. Below we take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions about meal delivery alternatives to Blue Apron and what you should be looking for in a meal plan.
What is Blue Apron?
Blue Apron is a meal kit service provider that pioneered the business of selling pre-portioned food ingredients on a subscription basis. To receive their services, you start by checking what dishes they have on a certain week. The company lists all their meals and services online.
If there is a meal you love, specify how many servings you want to be delivered and on how many occasions per week. Each serving feeds two people. Blue Apron charges $59.94 per week for a serving of two delivered three times a week. A serving of four people delivered three times costs $95.88.
Why Look for an Alternative to Blue Apron?
On the surface, Blue Apron looks like a great meal kit service provider and it is for many people. However, they are not the best meal kit solution for everyone and many alternative meal kits exist to best suit your needs.
For example, if you have a food allergy, count Blue Apron out. The company category states it does not cater to people with allergies on their family plans. If you need a special recipe, find an alternative. Another problem with Blue Apron is the size of their meals; customers have complained that they are often too small and not filling.
Blue Apron may be cheaper than some of the meal kit services you get out there, but the company has several major drawbacks. For example, when you sign up to their services, you are promised no contracts and are given the ability to cancel your weekly plans any time. However, in reality, canceling your plan is hectic. It requires you that you email Blue Apron a request and then wait until they reply to you and give you a guide on how to cancel your plan. The whole process can take more than a week and lead to unnecessary charges.
What to Look for When Choosing an Alternative to Blue Apron?
- Variety of Meals: The average meal kit provider lists 4-10 meals per week. The best Blue Apron alternative offers meals meant for different people. There will be a couple of vegan dishes, gluten-free meals, balanced diets with meal or chicken or Paleo meals. The wider the variety, the better for you since you have more options to choose from.
- Pricing: Dinnerly is the clear winner for anyone looking for the cheapest meal kit company. Hello Fresh comes in second and Martha & Marley Spoon third. If you are single, pick companies whose servings cost $10 or lower. Keep in mind you’ll have to pay shipping fees. For families, choose companies that charge less than $100 per week.
- Quality of Ingredients: While they flood their websites with images of fresh, healthy dishes, not all companies mean good for your health. Some meal kit services sell high-carb dishes, which may be bad for your health. Read online reviews to determine which company offers the healthiest, organic, non-GMO foods.
- Variety of Plans: Count Hello Fresh out if you want Paleo or vegan meals. The company offers great recipes for meat-eating customers but is very limited options on the special plans sides. If you love vegan, Paleo, and other special dishes; visit Sun Basket, Home Chef or Martha & Marley Spoon. These companies offer healthy meals and regularly have meals for people with special diets.
- Nutritional Value: Most meal kit services share this one benefit. They find recipes for balanced diets. So, while the value of nutrition differs, buying food from meal kit companies guarantees you more nutritious foods. Still, you can check what each company offers to determine which is the healthiest.
- Style and Complexity of Dishes: Home Chef is the best company for meals that take the least time to cook. Some of their meals are pre-cooked and only require 5-10 minutes of cooking. Dinnerly offers your average 30-40 minutes meals, best suited for families.
- Portion Size: While the standard meaning of a serving is food for two, not every company adheres to this. With some providers, you get food for one when you request one serving. This boils down to companies always trying to decrease their portion sizes. Work with companies known to offer enough food to satisfy your family members.
- Terms of Subscription: Often, meal plan cancellation fees are buried deep into the terms of subscription section. The companies know that few people read them. But considering this can cost you later, always read the terms. If the language used is vague and some issues are not properly highlighted, talk to the company. Only pay once you understand all of the company policies.
What are the Best Blue Apron Alternatives?
The following are some of the best Blue Apron alternatives, with information on their pricing plans, reputation, and more.
Although many companies like Blue Apron promise to deliver healthy meals, most of them don’t. And that’s where Home Chef succeeds. When you subscribe to their services, you don’t receive just about any kind of meal. The company strives in not only feeding your family but also in helping everyone stay healthy.
The cheapest plan on Home Chef’s menu cost $9.90 per serving, for a fruit basket. No kidding! Standard meals cost $19.90 for a serving of two and $39.80 for a serving of four. There is also a flat shipping fee of $10 for all meals that cost less than $45.
Hello Fresh is one of the biggest meal kit companies in the world. They offer services worldwide with recipes that cost as low as $6.99. For comparison purposed, Blue Apron’s cheapest plan costs $8.99. With both plans, a shipping fee of $7.99 is applied.
Still, on pricing, Hello Fresh regularly run promotions that come with free shipping for all meals and discounted plans costing as low as $5.66 per serving. The plans change per week, but they help you save a lot if you choose to become a regular company.
Fresh organic ingredients prepped and delivered to your doorsteps in time. That’s what Sun Basket promises and what many reviews claim online. When it comes to food variety, Sun Basket lists 18 recipes each week. That’s more than twice what services like Blue Apron provide. The meals are also categorized in multiple ways. Choose from Paleo, Mediterranean or carb-conscious diets. Go with vegetarian or gluten-free diets. The meals are designed with all kinds of consumers in mind.
The company’s pricing isn’t friendly to one-time buyers though. Their plans are structured on a weekly basis and delivered thrice. The cheapest plan cost $87.92 per week for a serving of four people.
While many alternatives to Blue Apron promote low prices, Dinnerly is likely the cheapest all-around option. The company’s cheapest plan costs $5, much lower than all other meal kit providers offer.
How does it achieve to keep its prices that low? They don't engage in expensive ad campaigns. They use fewer ingredients, simple packages, and digital recipe cards. While that implies their meal portions are often smaller than what competitors offer, most reviews say the differences are minor.
Martha & Marley Spoon
You know Martha Stewart, right? She started from the bottom cooking meals for her family. She didn’t attend a fancy culinary school, but she is one of the most famous celebrity chefs today. Her show is famous and so is her meal kit company she co-owns with international meal delivery brand, Marley Spoon.
Martha & Marley Spoon focuses on Stewart’s favorite culinary and plenty more handpicked by her nutrition advisers. The company has been featured on the covers of The New York Times and Fortune Magazine thanks to its nutritious meals and great prices.
Blue Apron is not the worst meal kit delivery brand out there. But it’s also not the best. If you don’t like any of their services, Hello Fresh and the rest of the brands reviewed above are great alternatives. Each company is unique, but they are all honest with their policies, and cancellation plans. They deliver meals with all ingredients included, and some have customer support teams available 24/7.
Looking for some more information?
Which kind of services do meal delivery plans offer?
In general, a meal delivery plan lets customers choose from a variety of dishes and choose how frequently they want these meals delivered to them. The company will then deliver the food and recipe to your home with instructions for preparation. Some meal plan companies even offer prepared meals which don’t require any cooking whatsoever. These meals will either come frozen or sealed in refrigerated containers.
How much do meal delivery plans cost?
Each meal delivery plan offers different pricing models. Pricing is usually based on a subscription model where you are charged monthly, though some delivery plans allow you to try meals a la carte, meaning as a one-time meal. Furthermore, when considering pricing, be sure to also look at extra charges for shipping and delivery. Our comparison table makes it easy to see the pricing of different meal delivery plans side-by-side, helping you compare plans and costs.
What factors should I consider when choosing a plan?
Aside from price, there are several other factors to consider such as delivery and shipping. When it comes to delivery and shipping, be sure to consider costs and make sure, of course, that you live within the delivery area of the meal delivery service. Furthermore, we strongly recommend taking a look at the delivery dates and times and making sure this matches up with your schedule.
Do meal delivery plans cater to dietary restrictions and preferences
There are many different types of meal delivery services and each company has different options to accommodate dietary restrictions and preferences. Below are some of the most popular options.
Not all meal delivery companies offer uniquely vegan meal plans so it’s best to check out their plans before ordering. Some companies may offer vegetarian options which can easily be turned vegan by swapping one or two ingredients. If you are looking for an exclusively vegan meal plan, check out our list of the top vegan meal plans.
Vegetarians have more food options than their vegan counterparts, but still, not all meal delivery companies have robust vegetarian menus. Many sites have helpful filters, allowing you to avoid food items such as eggs, fish, dairy, and more. Sun Basket even offers a dedicated vegetarian meal plan with 3 weekly vegetarian options.
Meals made with organic food have become increasingly popular as people seek healthy and sustainable meals. In general, organic food is grown naturally without the use of pesticides and to ensure its organic quality, it should be certified as organic. Sun Basket guarantees that over 99% of their produce is USDA-certified organic, and also offers responsibly raised meat and poultry, and sustainably-sourced seafood. If eating organic food is important to you, check out the top organic meal plans.
Meal delivery kits can be an exciting event for the whole family, as they can mean delicious family dinners with new and exciting recipes. Furthermore, the cooking process itself can be a fun and safe way for the kids to get involved in the kitchen, helping cook and prepare the food. As such, some meal delivery companies offer kid-friendly recipes that are not only easy to make but also offer a variety of kid-friendly food options.
Focusing on foods available during the Paleolithic era, modern Paleo diets usually cut out all processed food as well as dairy, salt, refined sugar, and more. Paleo diets are often heavy on fruit, vegetables, and meat, and are touted as having numerous health benefits. Several meal delivery companies offer Paleo food options, but luckily, almost every company clearly lists their ingredients, empowering you to decide whether or not a meal option is up to your Paleo standards.
Most meal delivery companies deliver pre-portioned food and clear ingredients, leaving the cooking and prep up to you. For some, this is a great option and will teach you a variety of new cooking skills. For others, however, having to prepare a meal can be stressful, time-consuming, and even dangerous. For example, new mothers, grieving families, or senior citizens will all appreciate a delicious meal plan but may not be able to do the preparation necessary. For this reason several meal delivery companies such as Freshly and Babeth's Feast offer fully-cooked meals which can be heated up and served within minutes. For more on prepared meal plans, check out the top prepared meal delivery plans.
Eating healthy can mean different things to different people, and almost every meal delivery service offers healthy meal options. Home Chef, for example, allows you to choose low-calorie and/or low-carb meals which will help you eat right. They also allow you to view the calorie and nutritional information of each meal, a key component of healthy eating. Check out the top healthy meal delivery plans here.
Eating right and losing weight using a traditional meal plan is certainly possible, as long as you maintain a healthy lifestyle and choose healthy meals. For weight loss specific meal plans though, we suggest taking a look at weight loss meal plans, or diet meal plans, which usually offer pre-made meals as well as snacks and shakes that keep you healthy, full, and energized. There are many weight loss plans on the market, so to determine which ones to trust, be sure to check out our top weight loss plans.