The $5 Meal Plan Dinner Recipes REVIEW
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Meal planning can be very time consuming. And without a meal plan you either spend a lot of money on groceries, or you are tempted to hit the drive through. If you are struggling with meal planning, I have the perfect solution for you today.
I found the $5 meal plan and tested it for free 14 days. If you are not interested in the review and want to start your free trial yourself, you can head over to sign up by clicking on the picture below.
What is the $5 Meal Plan?
The $5 Meal Plan was hand crafted by a mother of 4 to take stress out of getting dinner ready and also to save money on groceries. This plan will provide 7 Dinner Recipes PLUS lunch recipes AND the shopping list. It will get sent to your email every week.
You can print the plan with the shopping list and have a dinner recipe ready for every night serving 4 people. This meal plan is supposed to take the stress away and bring the fun back into grocery shopping and cooking for your family.
How much does it cost?
The $5 meal plan is a classic meal plan that will cost you $5 a month. This includes a dinner recipe for every day serving 4 people, plus more recipes for lunch and grocery coupons. You can also pick the gluten free version for purchase instead.
The $5 Meal Plan also offers specialty meal plans as a one time purchase. For $8-$10 you will get a 6 week meal plan in any of the following categories: Slow Cooker Meal Plan, Paleo/Whole 30 Meal Plan, Vegetarian Meal Plan, 30-Minute Meals Plan and Summer Slow Cooker Recipes Meal Plan. These are one-time purchase packages which means you get everything right away, instead of a weekly email.
How easy are the recipes?
I signed up for the classic $5 dinner meal plan and every meal I cooked so far did not take me longer than 20 minutes to prepare. Of course the cooking time was longer for a soup, a stew or the chicken in the oven. But preparing was super quick and easy.
The recipes do not require complicated and fancy ingredients which saves you money and time. It was so much more fun to cook, because I did not have to search long for my items. This is great for families.
How to try the $5 Meal Plan for FREE
This meal plan offers you a 14 day trial where you get 2-3 meal plans for free. All you have to do is put your information into the form. You will not get billed. It is 100% risk free.
I signed up, got 3 meal plans, and canceled before my trial period ended to test this for you and I can promise that you will not get charged anything.
When you are signed up, log in and either download the $5 meal plan or wait until you will get it in your email to download. Then you can simply open your plan.
How can I cancel the service?
Canceling is very easy. Either before your trial period ends or anytime you don’t like the paid service anymore. Log in to your account, select HOME and you will see on the right side bar a cancelation button.
After you selected “cancel your account” you will see “cancel membership” in the middle.
All you have to do now is hit this button and you will receive this notification.
$5 Meal Plan in Action
When you open your meal plan you can see little signs at the top bar. These indicate the features of the meal like a 20 minute recipe, a freezer or slow cooker recipe. Some recipes in your plan are slow cooker recipes. I don’t have a slow cooker so I simply made the same meal in a pan or pot on the stove on low for 1-1.5 hours.
I am reviewing 5 meals, the price and tips so you can see how this meal plan works and if it would be something for you. The calculation for the price per meal can vary a little, because some products I already had at home like mustard, salt and pepper but some ingredients I bought but will last me longer than just for the one meal.
So the price mentioned below should be pretty accurate. It is also important to mention that I bought everything at Aldi.
Meal #1: Honey Mustard Chicken
The first meal was a very simple easy and classic meal. It took me only 6 minutes to prepare and of course longer to bake the chicken in the oven. I put the dinner rolls with the chicken into the oven at the last 10 minutes of baking time.
If you don’t like the mustard sauce just season the chicken with salt and pepper or your favorite seasoning. One plate costs around $1.35 depending where you buy the chicken and how much you will serve per plate. My family liked this meal a lot. It was healthy and the mustard sauce gave it a good taste.
Meal #2: Minestrone Soup
This meal is perfect for fall. You can top it with cheese if you want and it tastes almost like spaghetti. I love the variety in ingredients. A very healthy, quick and cheap meal. It took me about 18 minutes to get it ready and one big bowl or two small bowls cost around $0.79(without the parmesan)!!
The only thing I would say I did not like too much is that I was hungry after a while again. Either because I did not eat enough of it or because I was missing the meat. But soups in general don’t fill me as much anyway. So it could just be me.
If you feel like testing this meal plan yourself head over to the $5 meal plan and sign up for your free trial.
Meal #3: Beef Tacos
This is all around a great meal for anytime, because you can vary it so much. The recipe required beef chuck roast, which I didn’t find at Aldi, so I bough stew meat. I was supposed to cook it in the slow cooker, but since I don’t have one I just cooked it on low on the stove top for about 1 hour, then shredded it. You can also just use ground beef or turkey instead.
For the topping I decided to go with cheese, avocado and tomatoes. You can add so much more, even use leftovers. As you can see this meal is very variable and if you want to go as cheap as possible I would suggest to go with ground turkey and for topping lettuce and tomatoes.
My version (with 1/2 lbs. beef stew) cost around $1.70 per plate. Just the preparation time was 15 minutes.
In the right picture you can see how my husband made it into a “taco salad”. He just crushes the taco shells with a fork and mixes it all up.
Meal #4: Balsamic Pork Chops
To prepare this dinner I marinated the pork chops and put them into the oven for 30 minutes. In the meantime I was cooking the rice and preparing the vegetables. Super easy! The meat came out very soft and delicious. I added some butter, parsley and salt to the rice. All in all a very good, healthy dinner meal for the whole family for around $2 a plate.
Meal #5: Chicken Marsala
This recipe is my absolute favorite from that week’s plan. It tasted so delicious and was very easy to prepare. As you can see I used two different noodle types, because I still had them left over, so I just tossed them together. I also had some green beans leftover. The recipe required marsala cooking wine. I did not have that so I just used whatever red wine I found in my cabinet.
As you can see, you can really vary this meal and use a lot of leftovers, which saves more money, yet it still came out tasting wonderful. If you buy all ingredients new, one plate (without the wine) would cost only 1.50. You can also vary the amount of shredded chicken, if you want to make the meal even more affordable!
Positives and Negatives
Easy sign up
Signing up and canceling is very easy. The 14-day trial is totally free without any charge and you get so many recipes already. I like that you can also pay via PayPal on their page. Great options are the special meal plans in case you only cook gluten free, or you want quick recipes that are done in under 30 minutes. And if it all gets to confusing the 5$ meal plan will provide videos to make it as easy as possible.
Simplicity and time saving
Not just that the meal planning is quicker, finding simple ingredients at a small store makes life just so much easier. The plan provides a serving of 4 for each dinner. In case you are cooking for just yourself and one more person, you can always store one half of the recipe in the fridge and eat it later the week. Just another way to save money and time. I picked 5 recipes out of the meal plan and they lasted 10 days for my husband, our toddler and me.
Also the recipes are not complicated and definitely great for people who are not the greatest cook. If you cancel you membership you will still have all your meal plans stored and/or printed. That way you can just repeat the plan and rotate the dinner recipes.
The most positive to me is that I had such an easy time preparing the dinner. I was actually excited to cook because I knew it would not take too long and to much concentrating. Also it is so easy to change up a recipe!
You can half the meat to make it even cheaper or switch from a slow cooker to a normal pot. The plan varies between different meats (pork, chicken and beef) and sides (noodles, rice, dinner rolls). I love this part, because your dinners won’t be boring and you have a better nutrition.
Definitely money saving
When it comes to money saving I would say you can’t cook cheaper than this. I spent $40 at Aldi for 5 meals plus some leftover item which equals less than $2 a plate. And if you want to save even more you can pick different meats or include less meat in your meal. Your membership provides you with a lot of coupons that you can use for more money saving!
What I don’t like so much about the $5 meal plan is their shopping list. It is very big to print and in case I don’t want to cook all of the recipes that are on the plan, I can not just erase those items. So when I picked my 5 recipes to try I had to write the shopping list separately. Which makes more sense anyway, because some things I already had on hand.
Now if you have anymore questions feel free to comment below or shoot me an email. I would be glad to help!