$5 Meal PlanHave you ever lived paycheck to paycheck? Seems like we’ve all been there. One thing that is so helpful nowadays is the wonderful world of blogging and the internet. Seems like there are so many new resources to learn how to save money out there.

One way I just learned about saving money on groceries is through the $5 Meal Plan. Since it’s new to me, I wanted to get a couple peoples’ stories on how they use it and how it saves them money.

Before you read how they’re using it, here’s a little bit about the plan to give you some context.

$5 Meal Plan is:

  • A weekly menu that costs $5 per month to get.
  • You get 5 dinner entrees with sides (1 freezer friendly, 1 slow cooker, and 1 20-minute),1 lunch, 1 breakfast, and 1 random weekly goodie.
  • You can use the pre-made weekly meal plan and shopping list or a drag and drop Meal Plan Builder (which allows for dietary preferences, which I love).

Okay, now that you know what the plan is, here is what Andy and Jessica had to say about their experience with it.

Andy

  1. What were your meals like before using the $5 Meal Plan? 

I kind of winged it each week. I would look at recipe items and think, “that sounds good.” But, then, I would buy extra “just in case” groceries. I normally ended up with spoiled leftovers and produce that spoiled before I ever got the chance to use it. Not to mention, my grocery bills were higher than they’d ever been.

  1. Why did you start the $5 Meal Plan? 

My main reason to begin the $5 Meal Plan was to try and save money on groceries. I’m happy to say that’s definitely happening! And now, my family is being introduced to new recipes and ways to eat meals, which they have been thoroughly enjoying.

  1. How do you use it? 

I use the meal plan five to six times a week. I think I’m on week 41, but only because I started with the most recent. I’ve been building my own meal plans, but only because we haven’t always used all the previous weeks’ recipes and since I already have those ingredients, I want to be sure nothing goes bad!

  1. What are your meals like now? 

Our meals are amazing. Most of the time, I will tweak them. They’re definitely easier, especially since I know exactly what we’re eating each night.

I am saving a ton of money with the $5 Meal Plan. My grocery bill has dropped down about $50 each week.

  1. What are the biggest benefits you see from this plan? 
  • Knowing what we’re eating.
  • Knowing we have the ingredients.
  • Knowing they’re simple enough that our kids could also make them (when they ask to help).
  • Knowing I’m saving my family money.
  1. What do you like best about the $5 Meal Plan? 

My favorite part is the variety of meals.

  1. Any downsides? 

I wish they came out on Thursday instead of Friday.

  1. Who would you recommend this to? 

Everyone (and I do!).

Jessica

  1. What were your meals like before using $5 Meal Plan? 

Before $5 Meal Plan, the meals I cooked at home and meals were still balanced and healthy, but they took forever to plan. I would shop on Sundays and look at the weekly ad. From the weekly ad, I would look up recipes that went with the proteins/ingredients that were on sale. And then I would make a list based off of those recipes, and finally head to the store. (Not to mention, look for coupons on top of the weekly ad sales.) Planning a grocery trip would take 2-3 hours.

  1. Why did you start the $5 Meal Plan? 

I started the $5 Meal Plan because of an ad on Facebook. I clicked on it and looked at the video, along with some of the sample lists and recipes. It honestly just seemed like a total time saver! And with the price point being only $5/month, I knew that if it wasn’t working out and I needed to try something different, I could back out if need be. So, I ordered my first plan and went from there!

  1. How do you use it? 

I am using the Classic plan and I use it for most meals of the week. (I do not use the dessert recipes or the lunch recipes, usually, but tend to use most or all of the dinner recipes.) It is just my husband and I in the house, so I cook the meals as directed, and we bring the leftovers for lunch the next day. I am a teacher and can’t leave the building for lunch, so it works out for me. If the protein or main ingredient in the recipe is not on sale, I usually substitute it for something else. (i.e. a whole chicken instead of a pork roast.)

  1. What are your meals like now? 

My meals are awesome! My husband is constantly going for seconds and is always giving me compliments. Plus, it’s saving me a huge amount of time planning the grocery store trips! I no longer have to search and search for recipes. I’m spending about the same money at the store (I wasn’t spending much before the plan), but it’s cutting down on SO much time!

  1. What are the biggest benefits you see from this plan? 

I truly see this plan as a way for people to save money, save time, and eat healthier! A lot of these meals are healthy for every member of the family and they use basic ingredients that you probably already have on hand.

  1. What do you like best about the $5 Meal Plan? 

I really like the new Meal Plan Builder option. If I don’t like one of the recipes on the current plan (which is rare, but sometimes happens!) then I can swap it out with one I like using the same main ingredient. Again, such a time saver!

  1. Any downsides? 

The only downside to this is sometimes the portion sizes are way off. They are all supposed to feed a family of 4, but sometimes we have way more leftovers than for just one day.

  1. Who would you recommend this to? 

I would recommend this to anyone with a family or anyone who is trying to find an easier way to cook at home, rather than resorting to fast food or take out every night. It really has helped our family.

A Final Note!

Also, there’s an option for dietary preferences, which is really important to me since I don’t eat meat or dairy (or sweets now, too!).

Jessica and Andy have had great experiences from it, and I love hearing first-hand how it’s saving them both time and money, while bringing in good food into their homes.

Cheers to spending less and eating better! 🙂