The Blue Apron meal subscription service delivers ready-to-cook dinners packed with fresh ingredients you can cook at home in under 40 minutes. As a subscriber, you receive a weekly assortment of recipes matched to your family's dietary preferences. The service offers a selection of meat and seafood recipes in addition to three vegetarian meals each week. No recipes are repeated during the course of a year, so you always get fresh flavors and exciting ingredient combinations. Costs come in at under $10 per person per meal, making it one of the best values in the market.

With two- and four-person options available for up to four meals per week, Blue Apron helps you juggle a busy weekly schedule without sacrificing delicious, home-cooked dinners with the family. If the pricing fits your budget, the service is well worth trying, especially considering you can pause or cancel your subscription at any time with no minimum commitment.

How Does Blue Apron Work?

Blue Apron offers a standard meal plan for two people and a family plan for four people. As a subscriber, you receive a refrigerated carton with carefully packaged, fresh ingredients each week. You do not have to receive the shipment in person, but you should transfer perishable ingredients to your refrigerator by evening on the day they are delivered. All ingredients are shipped in prime condition and should maintain peak freshness throughout the week; however, it is best to cook meals containing fresh seafood as soon as possible.

All the ingredients you need are provided each week except for salt, pepper and olive oil. Ingredients are individually packaged and labeled, so you easily separate out the items you need for each day's recipe. Each meal shipment also includes a set of illustrated recipe cards with simple, step-by-step cooking instructions. You must have a basic selection of pots, pans and cooking utensils on hand, but no specialized cooking accessories are necessary to complete the recipes.

Subscription Pricing and Details

Blue Apron's standard two-person subscription service delivers three meals per week for $59.94, or $9.99 per person per meal. Depending on the options available in your area, you may be able to select the day of your weekly delivery from Tuesday and Saturday. As of January 2016, you cannot adjust the number of weekly meals provided in this plan.

The Blue Apron family plan provides either two or four four-person meals per week. The two-meal option costs $69.92 per week, or $8.74 per person per meal. The four-meal plan costs $139.84, which also comes out to $8.74 per person. If you opt for the four-meal family plan, you receive two shipments of two meals each week to avoid overstocking your refrigerator.

Other Meal Services

Blue Apron competes primarily with two other national ready-to-cook meal services: HelloFresh and Plated. HelloFresh offers a two-person meal plan providing up to five meals per week and a four-person plan providing either two or three meals per week. Prices vary between $8.75 and $11.50 per person per meal depending on the plan. Weekly recipe options are comparable to Blue Apron.

Plated positions itself as a premium option in the meal delivery market. It offers a single two-person meal plan costing $12 per person per meal. You can opt for between two and seven meals per week, and you can choose your weekly recipes in advance. Plated offers two premium recipes each week, including specialty cuts of meat or premium seafood. These optional recipes cost up to $30 per person depending on the ingredients.

The Blue Apron Business

Blue Apron was founded in New York City in 2012. As of January 2016, the company has received four rounds of funding amounting to $193 million from 16 investors. Its latest round of funding, in June 2015, put a valuation on the company of $2 billion. In June, the company also announced that its monthly meal shipments surpassed 3 million for the first time, nearly triple the volume it had announced only seven months prior. Currently, the company has no public plans to pursue an initial public offering (IPO).