The Best Meal Planning Service for Busy Moms
Busy moms completely understand the value of time. I barely have enough time to wash my hair, let alone browse Pinterest for recipes and make an extravagant meal plan. I’m all about keeping things simple and efficient. I look for solutions that are going to cause me the least amount of stress, save some money, and most of all don’t take a lot of time.
Enter my favorite meal planning service, the $5 Meal Plan.
At first, I was against meal planning services because it seemed like an unnecessary expense as well as a luxury for moms with bottomless bank accounts. I was trying to save every dollar I could and put towards our debt pay off plan, so why would I pay someone to do something I could do myself?
Friend, let me tell you, if someone has created a service that can do something for you that you don’t love doing (meal planning, etc) and it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, give them your money! The time and stress that $5 Meal Plan has saved me is worth the monthly subscription fee (which is actually inexpensive, by the way)!
The $5 Meal Plan has become one of my favorite tools and here’s why I love it…
1. It’s Affordable.
I was against meal planning services because I thought they were expensive and unnecessary. But when I found out about this one, it blew my mind. Just as the name suggests, the subscription costs only $5 per month. That is incredibly affordable and it doesn’t make me feel like I’m sacrificing other financial goals for this service. I just include the expense as part of our grocery budget the same way I do with grocery store pick up fees. And the return on investment is so good. This service will save you so much time, it’s beyond worth $5 a month.
2. It’s incredibly easy to use.
When you sign up to be a member, you will be sent an email each week with a meal plan that includes 5 dinners (at least one freezer friendly, one slower cooker, and one 20 minute), plus one breakfast and one lunch meal, and a random goodie like a dessert. The weekly meal plan is sent to your email as a pdf available for immediate download so you can print, shop, and cook. The best part is that the pdf includes a shopping list which makes it super easy to get everything you need at the grocery.
3. It’s customizable.
This is probably my favorite feature, and if you live in a house full of picky eaters like I do, this might be your favorite, too. In addition to the weekly meal plan, they have a build your own meal plan tool that allows you to choose the recipes you like (up to 10 at a time) and build your own plan. This works perfectly for our family because although the weekly meal plans are great, I feel confident there will never be one in which my picky eaters would willingly eat every single meal. I like that I can choose the ones I know they will love, drag and drop them into my custom meal plan and use it just like the weekly plan. This also works well for us because we are creatures of habit so I keep some of our all time favorite personal recipes on the menu and add in the $5 Meal Plan recipes so that we get some variety and try new things.
And in the build your own meal plan feature, you can search by type of meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner, etc), cooking method (freezer friendly, instant pot, one-dish dinners, etc), by ingredients (type of meat, pasta, etc), and by dietary preferences (GF, vegetarian, etc). This makes finding what you like so easy and fast.
4. It helps reduce our grocery budget.
Of course I’m going to talk about the budget. We live on a budget because we have a plan for our money and that means we don’t want out of control grocery spending to ruin our plan. Using the $5 Meal Plan helps us be able to try new recipes that are simple, don’t use a ton of ingredients we won’t ever use again, and the meals are cost efficient. I’ve wasted time (before having a kiddo) browsing Pinterest for recipes and only finding things that were super complicated and ended up being somewhat expensive to make. I love that this takes me very little time to find what we like and I already know the recipes will be simple and budget friendly.
So here’s my recommendation:
The $5 Meal Plan service is a great option for families that want to incorporate a little more variety in their meals, enjoy saving money on groceries, and need a simple and efficient way to meal plan. What my family really uses it for is the build your own meal plan tool which gives a little variety from our typical menu, saves me time for finding recipes, and keeps our grocery expenses low. That being said, in all honesty, we plan to use this as a short term subscription only because there is, of course, a limit to how many picky eater recipes we can find (as is always the case with picky eaters)! So our intent is to use the subscription for a few more months as we add in some variety and then we will have those recipes to use in the future. If your eaters are not as picky as mine, this could still be a good long term subscription, I just know my family’s limits. But I do think $5 Meal Plan is an amazing service and worth every penny.
Not sure if it’s worth it for your family even after reading my $5 Meal Plan review? You can get a free 14-day trial, which gives you 2 weeks worth of menus, to test it out for yourself. You can easily cancel at any time, so it’s really no risk at all.
Here’s a few of our favorite recipes (picky eater approved):
Grilled Inside Out Cheesburgers
Bacon Alfredo Pasta
Cajun Pork Roast
Garlic Bread Pizza Grilled Cheese
(You’ll get access to all these recipes when you sign up for the free trial or membership).