Simplify and Streamline Your Meal Planning

posted by Andrea | 05/12/2015
Print pageEmail page

simplify meal planning

You all know how much I LOVE to systematize things so they take less time and run more efficiently… right?

And if you’ve been reading my blog for more than a couple of months, you also know how much I absolutely detest shopping — unless it can be done online!

Currently, the only in-person shopping I do is my weekly grocery store run — and I do everything humanly possible to get in and out as fast as I can (including writing my detailed list in the exact order the food is shelved in the stores so I never need to backtrack!)

I know, I’m crazy… but shopping just gives me anxiety.

I’ve often said that if we ever get a local grocery store who offers an online shopping service with curbside pickup, I would gladly pay the extra price to simply be able to pull up to the door and have them load in my goods — no schlepping of children in and out of car seats required!

Unfortunately, we still don’t have any local stores that offer this service; however, thanks to the amazingness of the internet, I can do one better!

I can have pre-measured farm-fresh ingredients for delicious chef-inspired recipes delivered straight to my doorstep in a refrigerated box, WITH THE RECIPE… so all I need to do is open the box, prepare the food, and dinner is served!

Nope, I’m not joking!

Interested? Keep reading for an opportunity to win FREE meals!!! 

Recently, I had the opportunity to try out Blue Apron, a fabulous online service that allows you to choose from several amazingly gourmet-tasting meals each week and have the high-quality ingredients for those meals delivered directly to your home.

Depending on the size of your family, you can opt for the 2-person plan or the family-plan. And the prices are super reasonable for the quality and quantity of food you get (at least in my opinion). The 2-person plan ends up running around $9.99 per person per meal and the family plan runs around $8.74 per person, per meal. Shipping is always free!

This isn’t something Dave and I would do every single day or even every single week; but boy is it a nice treat for busy weeks — or the week you get back from vacation and don’t feel like grocery shopping or meal planning!

Thankfully, Blue Apron requires absolutely NO commitment. You can use their services for one week, take 5 or 6 weeks off, then order for a couple more weeks, etc. Or you can faithfully get 2 or 3 meals week after week after week. It doesn’t matter.

You can also schedule the delivery dates to fit with your schedule and choose meals based on your dietary preferences and needs.

blue apron meals

A Few More Reasons I’m Loving Blue Apron:

1. It allows me to easily experiment with new recipes and new ingredients I would have NEVER tried before.

Dave and I have eaten a huge variety of foods we’ve never eaten before (I hadn’t even heard of some of the ingredients before). Things like Beef Dukbokki, Matzoh-Crusted Chicken, and Lentil-Crusted Salmon — all of which were delicious.

enu ideas

They also have other more “tame” recipes like Chicken and Drop Biscuit Casserole or Seared Flank Steak.

It has been SO fun for me to try out new recipes though — especially since I don’t need to go out and buy a huge bottle of a random spice or seasoning, and then hang onto it forever because I’ll only use it for this one recipe. Instead, I get just the right amount I need for my specific recipe.

2. It’s FAST… and nearly fool-proof!

Since everything is pre-measured and ready to go, all the recipes can be prepared in less than 40 minutes.

Every recipe also comes with a full-color recipe guide with step-by-step instructions and photos showing you what to do. There are even video tutorials available online to walk you through each step!

Even though I had never made anything like these recipes before, I could still easily manage with Nora “helping” and Simon snacking nearby!

3. Everything is so healthy and flavorful!

All the Blue Apron meals are between 500-700 calories per serving, and they make a point to choose fresh ingredients from quality suppliers.

And since I usually don’t use a ton of spices and seasonings when I cook, it has been a real treat to expand my horizons and try all sorts of flavors I might not necessarily buy from the store.

For the record, Garlic Black Bean Sauce is really good!

4. The process is SO simple and streamlined!

If you want to get started with Blue Apron, simply set up an account, pick your meals, choose your delivery date, and wait for your package to arrive.

You’ll never be left guessing when the package will arrive or what to do when it does arrive because Blue Apron is totally on-top of everything. They send out helpful emails to remind you when your package will arrive, let you know when your next shipment is scheduled, and remind you to pick out meals if you haven’t yet.

And as I mentioned earlier, the cooking process really can’t get much simpler or streamlined… just dump the pre-measured ingredients in and follow the clearly laid-out instructions!

5. Everything tastes amazing! 

Dave and I are not picky eaters, but I was still a bit apprehensive to branch out of our comfort zone and try so many new recipes. However, every single recipe we’ve tried has continued to satisfy and impress us.

They might not be meals I would normally put into our menu rotation, but they are absolutely delicious — and such a nice change of pace from our more traditional meals (pasta, breakfast, Mexican, etc.)

The recipes even come with garnishes (something I never take the time to do) so we feel just a little bit more gourmet when we’re eating our Blue Apron meals 🙂

It’s been a real treat to sample some of Blue Apron’s delicious recipes… which is why I’m excited to share this online service with you!

Get 2 FREE Meals!

If this sounds like something you’d love to try and something that would help to simplify your meal planning, grocery shopping, and weeknight dinners, I would highly encourage you to sign up and try Blue Apron for a week.

As an extra incentive, Blue Apron is offering the 2 FREE meals to the first 50 people who place their first order with Blue Apron via this link!!

You really have nothing to lose (except your grocery list!) because there is no commitment and you’re not tied down to any sort of contract.

So why not try simplifying and streamlining  your meal plan with Blue Apron!

Blue Apron

This was a sponsored post on behalf of Blue Apron. All opinions are my own. 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Filed under: FoodMeal PlanningTips and Tools

 
 

Leave a comment

26 comments

  1. Jennifer

    05/15/2015

    Love this idea! My question is: do you get pick your meals or is it a surprise at your doorstep? 🙂 with 2- four year olds who are a little picky I want to make sure its something they will enjoy! Thanks for your site! I enjoy reading your posts!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Jennifer,
    You do get to choose what recipes you get — but you need to choose from a pre-set group of recipes each week (usually around 6-8 recipes to choose from). However, if you don’t like the choices, you can always just skip that week and wait for the next week.

    Dave and I just do the 2 person meals because there is plenty for both of us and to give a little to Nora. Simon doesn’t really eat it yet and we usually make salads or have fruit along with it.

    [Reply]

  2. Amanda

    05/15/2015

    I would love to try this. Any thoughts on how this could work with a family of 8? 😉

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Hey Amanda, I’d honestly say that it probably would not work with a family of 8 — unless you can purchase 2 family packages each week (which would be pretty pricy in my opinion).

    The program is geared towards smaller families, couples, and singles so I really don’t know how it would work with bigger families. You could always email their contact support email and ask them directly — see what they say??

    [Reply]

  3. Debbie

    05/13/2015

    I just signed up! I was hoping to start the first delivery when the day after Memorial Day but it looks like delivery dates are one day behind because of this holiday. It would have been nice to have it at our doorstep that Monday or Tuesday so we can have food right away, after coming back from vacay. Still, I’m willing to wait until the following weekend. I hope I don’t forget to cancel deliveries before deadline dates. This is one of the reasons I don’t like signing up for memberships that has regular deliveries. I just know that I will either forget to cancel and I’ll be stuck with the expense forever and ever. 🙂

    [Reply]

    Avia Reply:

    That’s my fear too. I wish you could just go on and order a week whenever you want to instead of signing up for every week delivery.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    They send at least 2 emails reminding you of upcoming orders so you have PLENTY of time to skip a week if you don’t like the recipes or don’t want to be charged.

    [Reply]

    Avia Reply:

    Good to know! I went ahead and signed up. Can’t wait!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yay — hope you enjoy it!

    [Reply]

  4. Erin

    05/13/2015

    I signed up! Thanks! This post was the push I needed to try it out. I love how honest you always are. It’s really appreciated.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yay — hope you love it… and enjoy your free meals 🙂

    [Reply]

  5. lyss

    05/13/2015

    This is an awesome idea! Unfortunately way out of the budget. Even the “free” meals would cost at least $40, because you can’t just get 2 meals. Oh, well. Nice for those who would spend that much on eating out anyways, though.

    [Reply]

  6. Jennifer

    05/13/2015

    I have been using Blue Apron for a year and a half. It’s a life saver. And I’m a better cook now because of it. I love trying all the different spices and vegetables that I would usually never know what to do with.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Glad to hear from more of a long-term user. It’s only been a few months for us but I’m really liking it!

    [Reply]

  7. Stephenie

    05/13/2015

    I’m all for stuff like this, but wanted you to know that Meijer (piloted at the Knapp corner one) offers curbside pick up now. I know its further for you, but some of your readers might appreciate knowing. Also, the fee would be a savings when compared too. Even with the gas. They used to do this when my youngest, of 3, was born and I used it regularly.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Stephenie! Another reader told me about the Knapp corner Meijer, but that is a pretty long drive for me at this point. Hopefully the Grandville Meijer will hop on board soon 🙂

    [Reply]

  8. Darla Trendler

    05/12/2015

    My husband and I have been talking a lot about things we can “outsource” to create more time for the things we really want to do. He said he wanted to outsource cleaning and I said cooking. This isn’t cooking but the meal prep and shopping is done. I just placed my first order and am super excited to try it out. Thanks so much for sharing your experience. It’s always nice to have someone’s perspective on a service.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Yes, Dave and I are kind of to the point where “outsourcing” has become essential for us to accomplish everything we want to do. We are outsourcing some of our house and yard projects this year… and using Blue Apron has also been fabulous!

    [Reply]

  9. Heather

    05/12/2015

    while that looks like a great idea with amazing food, I can’t get over your earlier comment. You can’t order groceries online? Really? Is this a U.S. thing, because I’ve been ordering our groceries online in the UK for over two years, and the next day they get delivered to our door. Easy and quick, I can even do my grocery shopping at work!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I know — we’re totally behind!

    I can order non-perishable food (like cereal and granola bars) via Amazon.com, but nothing like fruit, veggies, dairy, etc. Maybe sometime soon we’ll catch on over here 🙂

    [Reply]

  10. Laura

    05/12/2015

    They don’t ship to my area yet, but I LOVE this idea!

    [Reply]

  11. Trisha

    05/12/2015

    I just read this earlier this week! Might be kind of a hike for you now, but maybe the Meijer near us will start this too!! One can only hope!

    http://grkids.com/an-open-letter-to-meijer-thank-you-for-changing-my-life/

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks for sharing Trisha!

    [Reply]

  12. Julie H

    05/12/2015

    Awesome! I’m trying it! Thanks!

    [Reply]

  13. Patti Trevino

    05/12/2015

    Trying this out… Thanks Andrea!! Our household just decreased from 3 to 2 of us, so this is probably going to be a really helpful service for me…. It’s hard for me to just cook for two.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Hope you love it. They have some really fun meals that I would have never made on my own so it had been fun to try new things!

    [Reply]