Join $5 Meal Plan? (Our Detailed Review for 2019)
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Are you sick of working late hours and ordering take out?
Meal planning can help!
Do you miss family dinners with your kids?
Meal planning can help!
Instead of spending one or two days each week scouring websites and cookbooks for recipe ideas… $5 Meal Plan will send you an email every week, providing you with:
- 6-7 seasonally relevant dinner recipes
- 1-2 bonus lunch, breakfast, dessert recipes
- 1-2 side dish or “other” recipes
- A categorized shopping list
Deliciousness delivered right to your inbox… doesn’t get much more convenient than that!
What You Will Learn
How does $5 Meal Plans work?
So here’s how it works.
You simply visit the $5 Meal Plans website and click on the green “start my free trial today!” button.
You will be redirected to a signup page for the 14-day free trial of the Classic Meal Plan. There is a gluten free option as well.
After the two weeks is up, you will be automatically upgraded to the monthly payment plan, where you pay just $5 a month to continue receiving the recipes and grocery lists. If you don’t like what you see, $5 Meal Plan allows you to cancel at any time. The bonuses are yours to keep. The satisfaction guarantee is proudly displayed on the signup page.
Once you sign up, you are immediately given the option to receive your meal plans.
Meal plans are delivered via email every Friday morning… so you can do your shopping over the weekend if that suits you.
When my first meal plan arrived, I couldn’t help but noticed it was titled “Week 26”. The next “Week 27”….
Each meal plan coincides with its week of the year, which I thought was particularly great.
Afterall, who wants to bake in a hot oven indoors when it’s beautiful summer grilling weather outside?
This also means the recipes will feature seasonal ingredients (ie… summer squash and mango in July).
How complicated are the $5 Meal Plan recipes?
So, I’m going to go out a limb here and assume that you don’t want to spend an hour or more in the kitchen prepping recipes… and another 30 minutes getting them cooked and onto the table?
You yearn for meals that are quick…
Maybe they can even be frozen for later?
The $5 Meal Plan recipes range from 5-20 minutes of prep time, and 0-20 minutes cook time (0 minutes being for a salad or cold side, typically).
On average, my $5 Meal Plan dinners went from kitchen to table within 25 minutes.
25 minutes for a homemade, well balanced meal the entire family can eat together. Each recipe is designed for 4 servings.
Obviously, you can double that for more people… or simply cut it in half for 2. Or make the full amount for you and your spouse and have yummy leftovers for later in the week.
It’s a win/win.
Adding to the simplicity of $5 Meal Plans are the grocery lists.
I loved loved loved the layout of the shopping list!
The ingredients for every single recipe on your meal plan are all placed on one list for the week, and separated by categories:
- Pantry Staples (such as honey, olive oil, spicy mustard)
- Produce (fruits and veggies, fresh herbs)
- Other Ingredients (marsala cooking wine, salsa verde)
Having all 7+ meals on one list makes life a snap! I’ll even be as bold as to say it cuts shopping time in half.
I don’t know about you, but my least favorite part about researching recipes is having to make a list as I go along… and then having to make a second list when you’re ready to shop in the store, based on ingredient location.
The $5 Meal Plan shopping list creator does all of the work for you. Everything you will need to make everything on the meal plan is there.
Why is $5 Meal Plan so inexpensive?
$5 Meal Plan is simplistic. It doesn’t come with the bells and whistles that some of the other meal planning services offer.
There is no pre-packed and portioned food being delivered to your door.
But… it’s also $5 per month.
And feeds four people.
So what if you need to go to the grocery store?
I can’t stress how easy the lists make it.
Add to that the ingredient cost, which the founder of $5 Meal Plan alleges averages about $2 per person, and in most cases less.
In fact, she claims to feed her own family of 6 for $5 per meal!What?
It must be all chicken and pasta then, right?
The cheap stuff.
That’s what my husband speculated when I told him about $5 Meal Plan.
Boy, was he wrong!
From the first plan, our senses were overrun with not just chicken and pasta (sure, there was some)… but also shrimp, beef, pork, salmon, sausage.
Mouthwatering recipes like:
- Grilled Summer Squash Quesadillas
- Slopp-Cheesy Joe Sliders
- Slow Cooker Cilantro-Lime Shredded Chicken
- Jambalaya Kebabs
- Grilled Honey Mustarrd Pork Chops
- Mac N Cheese Muffins
- Chicken Cordon Bleu Grilled Cheese
Getting hungry yet?
And, as I mentioned earlier, there are bonus desserts and sides thrown in… such as:
- Blueberry Lemon Parfait
- Crash Potatoes
Can you do $5 Meal Plans on a diet?
Are the recipes healthy?
This was a genuine concern of mine, as my husband and I have been doing Weight Watchers now for about two months.
So when my publisher asked I give this review a whirl… I was hesitant. Figured I’d just be making the meals for my family and not trying any of them myself.
Where’s the fun in that?
But, work is work.
And then, much to my delight, I noticed a nutritional guide attached to the recipe link.
A Google spreadsheet listing everything I needed to calculate the “smart points” each recipe would cost me on my diet.
This comes in handy for anybody health conscious enough to count their calories, sodium intake, sugar, cholesterol, etc….
I was a fan of this feature.
What are the other advantages to using $5 Meal Plans?
Regardless of whether or not you choose to subscribe to $5 Meal Plans, the website provides a slew of free weekly recipes, printable coupons and newsletters that are worth taking advantage of… especially if you’re a parent.
$5 Dollar Dinners – recipe ideas
Grocery Budget Makeover – an e-course on how to save significant money at the food store
$5 Lunch – fantastic school lunch box ideas
My FreezEasy – 10 freezer meals that take less than one hour to make
Warning! If you love My FreezEasy, there is a monthly fee to enjoy this feature after a free trial period. Fees range from $10-$12 per month.
The paid version offers:
- Access to the app
- Drag and drop, select your favs
- Customized meal plans
- Recipe index
- Grocery lists
There is, however, a recipe index with some cool and free freezer meal ideas.
So unless you want a meal plan similar to the one being offered through $5 Meal Plans, you may not feel the need to pay.
Or, just try it out and then make the call for yourself.
There is something especially comforting about knowing your family has nearly two weeks of homemade meals prepped and ready to go.
A simple defrost on those busy days is all it takes to get the gang together for a great dinner.
So what’s my verdict on $5 Meal Plans?
Well… let’s recap.
$5 Meal Plans is an inexpensive way to ensure that your entire family is getting a tasty, well balanced meal each and every day.
And the effort you are required to put into doing so is minimal.
Minimal time scouring recipes
Minimal time in the grocery store
Minimal prep and cooking time
Minimal money spent on each recipe thanks to the coupons
Minimal is music to this mom’s ears!
I have four young children, so not only is saving money key… but so is saving time.
$5 Meal Plans does both.
I have no interest in meal delivery services that send food to my doorstep. Not because there is anything wrong with them, but primarily because they cost more.
Meal delivery services cost more because:
- They are doing the shopping for you
- They are using premium ingredients they select, rather than sale items you’d find yourself in the grocery market
- They only offer 2-4 meal weekly dinner plans… which means you’re paying a significant amount more per meal (and forget about any bonus breakfasts, sides or desserts!)
Besides the cost factor, I am not a fan of the fact that I have to cook the ingredients these services send within a few days… or else you risk compromising their freshness.
What happens if you don’t make one of the $5 Meal Plans recipes one week??
You just have leftover ingredients for when you do get around to it.
Talk about no stress!
And I’m a fan of removing stress wherever I can.
Finally, I think that some of the meal delivery service recipes I’ve come across are a bit complicated… and a bit too fancy for younger children.
There is little margin for error when you’re making something that is time sensitive and you are being distracted by screams… bites… flying toys… giggles.
Yes, this happens.
I do, however, think that meal delivery services are great for single people or working couples who enjoy cooking at their own pace.
Glass of wine in hand.
So I’m definitely not knocking them… just saying they are not for me.
At this moment.
Maybe in a few years… I’ll reconsider (PS. Blue Apron was one of the better services I have actually tried).
Free trials are everywhere on the web. Discounts are always being offered to try something new.
Heck, there are even discounts to go back to a service you left!
So the best advice I can give you is to seek them out… until you find the one that suits your lifestyle best.
Also be clear on their termination policy.
To sum it up…
$5 Dollar Meal Plans is a low cost, low risk service of convenience… which makes it definitely worth checking out in my book.
Nicole Krause has been writing both personally and professionally for over 20 years. She holds a dual B.A. in English and Film Studies. Her work has appeared in some of the country’s top publications, major news outlets, online publications and blogs. As a happily married (and extremely busy) mother of four… her articles primarily focus on parenting, marriage, family, finance, organization and product reviews.