Are recipe delivery services more expensive than the grocery store?

A friend was recently telling me how her brother is really into Blue Apron and has been trying to get her family to try it, but she hasn’t wanted to spend the money. So it got me wondering – are recipe delivery services really any more expensive than going to the store and buying everything yourself?

One of the things I like about services like Blue Apron is that they only send you the exact quantity of the ingredients you’ll need (i.e., no waste), which, as you know, is not always possible when you’re doing the shopping. Unless you’re a master at using up random ingredients in the kitchen, the rest of that bunch of green onions or that bag of kale sometimes ends up going in the trash.

Is Blue Apron More Expensive Than The Grocery Store on 100 Days of #RealFood

So for today’s sponsored post, I set out to do a little cost comparison with a meal Blue Apron recently sent us, and below are the results.

Cost Comparison

>> Steak Fajitas with Guacamole & Roasted Zucchini Rounds

Blue Apron Price for 4 people Grocery Store Price for 4 people
$34.96 TOTAL (shipping is free) $51.65 TOTAL ($33.36 with spices excluded)

Are recipe delivery services more expensive than the grocery store? on 100 Days of #RealFood

I priced out the grocery store portion for this meal at the health food store where I usually do my shopping each week. I realize these prices might not be exactly the same as your store (some will find cheaper prices at mainstream stores and some will find higher prices where the cost of living is higher than in Charlotte), but just for comparison sake, the following is a breakdown of the prices I collected:

>>Steak Fajitas with Guacamole & Roasted Zucchini Rounds – Grocery Store Price Breakdown

Food Item Price
1 Pound Stir-Fry Cut Beef $8.99
Corn Tortillas (pack of 12) $3.69
2 Green Bell Peppers $4.00
2 Zucchinis $3.00
1 Avocado $1.25
1 Lime $0.60
1 Onion $2.00
1 Large Bunch Cilantro $2.00
Queso Fresco $5.99
Tomato Paste $1.19
Chili Powder* $5.99
Cumin* $3.98
Oregano* $3.98
Garlic Powder* $3.98
GRAND TOTAL (includes 2% food tax) $51.65*

*Since some people already have a variety of spices on hand, I also wanted so show an alternate total without purchasing the four spices listed: $33.36 (includes 2% food tax).

Is Blue Apron More Expensive Than The Grocery Store on 100 Days of #RealFood

Conclusion & Special Deal!

So as you can see, even if you just bought the fresh ingredients and already had the spices on hand, the Blue Apron meal cost is still pretty competitive when compared to my grocery store. And the nice thing about their spices is that they’re already measured out and mixed together in a little bag for you. Not that measuring and mixing spices is a hard job, but some days every minute counts. :)

Of course, there are many other aspects of meal delivery service aside from price that we could compare, but the moral of the story here is that if price is the only thing in your way, then it’s time to reconsider. While these types of services are not for everyone, I think if it gets more people in the kitchen cooking from scratch and sharing wholesome meals around the dinner table with their family, then it’s a win-win in my book.

If you want to give Blue Apron a go you might like to know…

  • Their recipes and ingredients are delivered in a refrigerated box so ingredients will stay fresh even if you’re not home to receive the package.
  • You can skip weeks or cancel the service at any time.
  • All meals can be prepared in 40 minutes or less.
  • The first 100 readers that sign up will get three meals off their first Blue Apron order free!

Enjoy! :)

Is Blue Apron More Expensive Than The Grocery Store on 100 Days of #RealFood

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92 thoughts on “Are recipe delivery services more expensive than the grocery store?”

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  1. In total, the cost per meal is fine. It’s not amazing, but it’s not a ripoff either. You’re paying for food, delivery, and for freedom from the mental effort of planning meals and using up leftovers.

  2. I live north of Minneapolis, and those grocery prices seem sky high. I get a little irked by all the ads saying its cheaper than the grocery store, when I can buy the stuff for less than half the cost of their meals.
    Not really sure what the Tortillas/Zuccininis/cheese cost, but the rest of the stuff would cost me no more than about $14
    1 Pound Stir-Fry Cut Beef $5.00 (I just got a 2lb roast for $3.50/lb – depends on the cut)
    Corn Tortillas (pack of 12) ?
    2 Green Bell Peppers $2.00 (0.75 to $1.25 each)
    2 Zucchinis ?
    1 Avocado $1.00 ($.75 to $1.50 each)
    1 Lime $0.33 (lot of times 2 or 3 for a buck)
    1 Onion $0.30 (gas station sells them for $.38/lb)
    1 Large Bunch Cilantro $0.90 ($.75 to $1.50)
    Queso Fresco ?
    Tomato Paste $0.75 (Depends on brand/size. No more than $1.25 for the small can)
    Chili Powder* $1.00 (Durkee/McCormick is expensive, Spice Supreme will run you a $1/each for a standard size bottle)
    Cumin* $1.00
    Oregano* $1.00
    Garlic Powder* $1.00

  3. I like Blue Apron because I’ve been able to prepare great recipes that I never would have otherwise. However, I agree that it is a lot of food for a single person. The flexibility of skipping and coming back when you want to is a good thing. To be sure, I’ve learned to cook and acquire new tastes that I can use for future dishes, thanks to Blue Apron.

  4. i was actually pleasantly surprised when my order came (on time :) as the amount of much more than i expected. quality was excellent. i’ve only ordered twice but i am delighted with BlueApron. i would like to give a kudos to WeHomeDeliver site as this is how i found out about BA.

  5. 56.00 or 34.00 for 1 meal to me seems hi,,,i can make something lot cheaper then that… when you on a budget 34.00 x30 days is a lot of money for just 1 meal.. where does your breakfast and lunch come in….. this might be good but too me its too high for my budget..

  6. I have always wanted to try this since I love to cook. I coupon and I rarely spend over $60 a week for groceries. So for me this service is very expensive for what you get. I know it is great because it saves time but for me couponing and cooking is just a better deal!

  7. I like the idea of Blue Apron, as a fill in on those days where you don’t have time to plan a meal However, due to all my food allergies, I can’t eat their meals.

  8. Jennifer La Pietra

    The prices, especially for produce are MUCH higher than at my grocery store (Michigan) at any time of year. 2 green peppers go for anywhere from $1-2 and a whole bag of yellow onions is under $1.50, just as an example. While I don’t doubt that your store may be higher where you live, Whether these delivery services are a good value will depend upon where you live and shop.

  9. I loved the Blue Apron service and food quality. It was just too much food for a single person and I was having to cook more than I wanted. I recommend it to anyone.