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I am super excited to share about a meal program I have been loving for the past five weeks — 5Dinners1Hour or 5 Dinners in 1 Hour. I was nervous to sign up for any meal program because I was afraid the meals were going to be gross or cause unwanted weight gain. Thankfully, neither has been the case, and I am going to give you a detailed look at the program so you can determine if it will help your family too.
*Use Coupon Code: PUMPKINPATCH for 20% off quarterly menus from Sept 26- Oct 4.
What is 5Dinners1Hour?
5 Dinners in 1 Hour was started by Michelle, a busy wife and mother, who was sick of overpaying for greasy fast food on busy weeknights. She created the system in the fall 2010, and it has been a success for thousands of families since.
Each week comes with five meals, a shopping list, and assembly and cooking directions. Meals are labeled with letters, so if you want to leave out a meal from your prep, you can easily eliminate items you don’t need from the shopping list.
The custom meal plans are very organized and simple to follow. However, as a member, you can also customize the meals and select which dinners you want to prep.
Does It Really Take One Hour?
Yes! To assemble all five meals (sometimes six) in one go usually takes me 50-60 minutes, depending on how many interruptions I face. Many times I will double a meal that is freezable and that adds on only a few minutes since I am doing two of the same bag at once.
I use Walmart or Aldi grocery pick up, so inputting my grocery list and driving to the store takes another 30 minutes (most of that time is to drive to the store). Then when it comes to preparing the meal of the night, I usually only need to spend another 5-10 minutes in the kitchen.
How Much Does 5 Dinners in 1 Hour Cost?
There are three different levels of membership:
- Classic for $3/week
- Clean Eating for $3/week
- Combo Family Plan for $4.25/week
I currently have the Clean Eating plan and signed up with a coupon code making my total $27 for my first three months, or $9 per month. I also bought several of the bundle deals on top of that to have access to more recipes. There are several bundles individuals can buy and use without a monthly membership.
Is 5Dinners1Hour Worth the Cost?
I would consider dinner prep a huge pain point for me. I feel like I am a good cook and can whip up many meals quickly, but I also get in a rut or just feel exhausted by the time 4 p.m. rolls around. Another huge issue was that I felt like every time I made a meal, I was stuck with a huge clean up afterward.
I have been using 5Dinners1Hour for a little over a month and I am loving it. Clean up on prep day and each night has been very simple, and I usually can get it done while the meal is cooking. No more scrubbing down the kitchen for 30 minutes after dinner! Even if the program saved me only 15 minutes five times per week, that equates to 300 minutes saved during the month! Yes, I will gladly pay $12 to get back 4-5 hours of my month!
Not only has the meal plan saved me time, but I am also saving money at the grocery store. Even when I made detailed meal plans and saved recipes in the past, mid-week would come and making that meal no longer sounded appealing. I was getting in that dreaded rut of wasting precious food while still feeling like I needed to go to the grocery store more than once a week.
My last grocery bill was $73, and that was with a $1.99 fee to pick it up from Aldis. Fifty dollars of that went to my meals, and the rest went to breakfasts, lunches, and snacks. I prep six servings of each meal for my family of five to have a leftover lunch for myself or my husband. And of course, I have leftover ingredients, so the full $50 didn’t go to five dinners.
The thing I like the most about 5 Dinners in 1 Hour is that I decide once what we are having for dinner and then I just pull it out of the fridge, fully prepped the day of cooking. Once I was going to be late coming home from the beach with the kids, and it was simple to tell my husband what to do – that was the one thing I love about Hello Fresh – more help in the kitchen.
But How Do the 5Dinners1Hour Meals Taste?
The taste was my biggest concern when I signed up for the program. Some of the meals looked too simple to be tasty. So far, I am happy with the number of tasty meals to the number of meals we didn’t love.
I bought a Keto Instant Pot bundle alongside my monthly membership, and hated four of the four meals I tried from that bundle.
As far as other meals I didn’t love from the monthly menus, it is hard to tell what is user/ingredient error. For example, I made a Tropical Chicken for the crockpot from the August plan. Someone from the Facebook group said it tasted as good as eating out. I thought it was gross. I don’t know if maybe it was my chicken quality or the salsa brand I bought. It is always a bummer to have a gross meal, but we all know this happens from other cookbooks and plans too.
With that being said, I do stick with meals that I think we will like. There is usually one seafood dish each week, and I will either skip it or use chicken instead. Similarly, if a recipe calls for mushrooms or bell peppers, I just omit it.
The meals my family has loved and I will put into regular rotation are:
- Chicken Pesto Soup
- Everything But the Bagel Chicken
- Asian Grilled Steak
- Korean Beef
- Slow-Cooked Chipotle Maple Beef
- One Sheet Shrimp Fajitas (with chicken for the grown-ups because the kids don’t love peppers)
You can save your favorite meals, and they will remain on your member dashboard even when the old menus expire. You can also download all of your menus and save them. When you sign up, you have access to three month’s worth of meals at a time. So, if you signed up in September, you would also be able to view and download the August and July menu for no additional cost.
If you are still unsure if this meal plan would work for you, you can purchase a sample meal plan for $2. It comes with 10 dinners and 4 lunches so you can see if 5 Dinners in 1 Hour is a good fit for you and your family.