WFMY -- Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, Plated: You've probably seen them or even tried them. They're meal delivery services that ship your dinner ingredients right to your front door and save you a trip to the grocery store.
But do they really save you time or money? And is it healthier to make a meal on your own? WFMY News 2's Lauren Melvin teamed up with Rima Kleiner, nutrition expert and busy mom, to put Blue Apron to the test.
Lauren teamed up with Rima Kleiner, nutrition expert and busy mom, to break down the Blue Apron box versus grocery shopping.
For starters, they compared the groceries versus the ingredients that came in the Blue Apron box.
"One of the things I'm noticing is that you had to purchase larger amounts of these ingredients versus what came in the package," said Kleiner.
I think there are definitely some pros and cons, you have ingredients to use at a different meal, which may help to balance out the cost later. However, that's only good if you actually do use those ingredients and they don't wilt in the fridge."
Lauren bought all the same ingredients that came in the delivery box at the grocery store.
Lauren spent about $80 on groceries. The Blue Apron delivery cost about $60. So the groceries cost about $20 more than the meal kit delivery service.
Next, Kleiner looked at the recipes to see if they incorporated enough protein, vegetables and healthy carbohydrates.
She said two of the three recipes included in the delivery were the right portion sizes of each food group, but one recipe lacked vegetables.
After that, they prepared one of the dinner dishes. It took them about 45 minutes to make Blue Apron's Orange & Mirin-Glazed Cod recipe.
"You saved yourself an hour at the grocery store, but you'll still have to prep all the food which is time-consuming," said Kleiner.
Kleiner said the mail order meal kits can help get you out of a cooking rut, so you're trying new ingredients.
"You're trying new foods that maybe you wouldn't have tried if you're just making a meal you tend to make every week off the top of your head," she said.
After cooking the Blue Apron meal, Kleiner said the portion sizes are spot on.
"I think if you're cooking from scratch, you can't go wrong. But with Blue Apron, you get the set portion sizes and you have the ingredients sent to you," she said. "There's still a lot of prep involved. But it saves you that trip to the grocery store."
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