In a world where grocery bills seem to be constantly on the rise, finding the best ways to stretch your food budget can feel like an ongoing battle. However, there is a great way to maintain a healthy meal plan without sacrificing nutrition or breaking the bank
With the right approach, a well-thought-out budget meal plan can not only save you money but also become a gateway to a healthier lifestyle. Contrary to popular belief, eating nutritious meals doesn’t have to cost a fortune. By strategically selecting ingredients and planning your meals in advance, you can make the most out of every dollar spent at the grocery store. And can I just add that making the most of every dollar brings me such joy. I’m a nerd for saving money on groceries.
Weekly Meal Plan On A Tight Budget
According the the USDA the average for two adults buying groceries on a low-cost plan comes out to around $115 per week.
I have put together a weekly menu for you that should cost close to $75 for the week when feeding two adults. Keep in mind that prices may vary depending on your location and the store you shop at. It’s also a good idea to check for any local sales or discounts to maximize your budget.
This weekly menu is $40 less than the estimated average from the USDA. I did this intentionally to build in some wiggle room to account for the difference in prices based on location and local grocery stores. You will also notice that I did not plan meals for Saturday or Sunday. I did that to give you space in the week for leftovers. Using your leftovers is one of several effective ways to stretch your dollar and avoid food waste.
Budget-Friendly Meal Planning
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- Monday: Scrambled eggs with whole wheat toast and sliced avocado.
- Tuesday: Overnight oats with berries and a drizzle of honey.
- Wednesday: Breakfast burritos with scrambled eggs, black beans, and salsa.
- Thursday: Greek yogurt with granola and mixed fruit.
- Friday: Veggie omelette with spinach, bell peppers, and cheese.
- Monday: Quinoa salad with mixed vegetables and a lemon-tahini dressing.
- Tuesday: Tuna salad wraps with lettuce and tomato.
- Wednesday: Chickpea and vegetable curry with brown rice.
- Thursday: Turkey and cheese sandwich with carrot sticks.
- Friday: Caprese salad with mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil.
- Monday: Baked chicken breasts with roasted potatoes and steamed broccoli.
- Tuesday: Lentil soup with a side of garlic bread.
- Wednesday: Spaghetti with marinara sauce and a side salad.
- Thursday: Beef stir-fry with mixed vegetables and brown rice.
- Friday: Black bean and vegetable enchiladas with a side of Mexican rice.
- Carrot sticks with hummus.
- Apple slices with peanut butter.
- Greek yogurt with a sprinkle of granola.
- Chicken breasts
- Tuna (canned)
- Ground turkey
- Black beans (canned)
- Whole wheat bread
- Whole wheat tortillas
- Brown rice
- Garlic bread
Fruits and Vegetables:
- Berries (e.g., strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)
- Mixed vegetables (fresh or frozen)
- Bell peppers
- Mozzarella cheese
- Tomatoes (for caprese salad)
- Basil (for caprese salad)
- Mixed fruit (e.g., apples, oranges, grapes)
- Olive oil
- Marinara sauce (canned or jarred)
- Curry powder
- Garlic powder
- Black bean enchilada sauce (canned or jarred)
- Mexican rice mix
- Popcorn kernels
- Peanut butter
Remember to check your pantry for any items you may already have to avoid unnecessary purchases. Additionally, be open to substituting ingredients based on sales or discounts available at your local grocery store.
Different Recipes For The Month At No Extra Cost
If you are wanting more healthy meals to add to your shopping list one of the easiest ways is to take this same menu and slightly alter the easy recipes in order to add some variety. You can use these same easy meals that gave you a week’s worth of healthy eating on a budget and vary them slightly so that your menu plan will last for an entire month. For example, try different vegetables in the stir-fry or experiment with different flavors in the salads and dressings. This will keep the meals interesting while staying within your budget.
More Meal Ideas To Save Your Grocery Bill
- Slow cooker chili with ground beef, beans, and chili powder.
- Simple homemade sloppy joes with ground beef and tomato sauce.
- Pasta dish with marinara sauce, ground beef, and black pepper.
- Easy homemade pizzas using pre-made pizza dough and favorite toppings.
- Budget-friendly lunch: Cheese sandwiches with generic brands.
- Quick and tasty scrambled eggs with shredded cheddar cheese.
- Slow cooker pot roast with potatoes, carrots, and onions.
- Budget-friendly taco night with ground beef, refried beans, and cheddar cheese.
- Sheet pan roasted chicken with green beans and potatoes.
- Weeknight stir-fry with budget-friendly vegetables and a soy sauce-based sauce.
- Delicious and affordable vegetable curry with rice.
- Baked chicken thighs with a side of whole grains and steamed vegetables.
- Budget-friendly shepherd’s pie with ground beef, mashed potatoes, and mixed vegetables.
- One-pan sausage and vegetable medley, seasoned with black pepper and garlic.
- Simple dish: Grilled cheese sandwiches with a side of tomato soup.
- Slow cooker beef stew with potatoes, carrots, and onions.
- Budget-friendly breakfast: Egg and cheese breakfast burritos with salsa.
- Quick and easy tuna salad wraps with lettuce and lunch meat.
- Budget-friendly fajitas with sliced chicken, bell peppers, and onions.
- Sheet pan roasted vegetables with olive oil, black pepper, and a sprinkle of chili powder.
- Cheesy baked ziti with ground beef, marinara sauce, and mozzarella cheese.
- Budget-friendly chicken and rice casserole with frozen vegetables.
- Bean and cheese quesadillas with sour cream and salsa.
- Classic spaghetti with meat sauce and a side salad.
- Baked salmon with lemon and dill, served with roasted potatoes.
- Budget-friendly breakfast: Pancakes with fresh fruits and a drizzle of maple syrup.
- Budget-friendly vegetable stir-fry with tofu and soy sauce.
- Tuna pasta salad with mixed vegetables and a creamy dressing.
- Budget-friendly grilled chicken Caesar salad with homemade croutons.
- Chicken and vegetable curry with coconut milk and spices.
- Budget-friendly loaded baked potatoes with cheese, sour cream, and green onions.
- Budget-friendly lentil soup with whole grain bread.
- Oven-baked pork chops with apples and sweet potatoes.
- Budget-friendly breakfast: Oatmeal with fresh fruits and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
- Budget-friendly stuffed bell peppers with ground beef, rice, and cheese.
- Bean burritos with refried beans, cheddar cheese, and salsa.
- Budget-friendly chicken and broccoli stir-fry with a soy sauce-based sauce.
- One-pan roasted sausage and potatoes with mixed vegetables.
- Budget-friendly tuna casserole with pasta, canned tuna, and peas.
- Baked meatballs with marinara sauce and a side of whole grain spaghetti.
- Budget-friendly chicken quesadillas with cheddar cheese, bell peppers, and onions.
- One-pot chicken and rice with frozen mixed vegetables.
- Budget-friendly vegetable omelette with cheese and a side of whole grain toast.
- Baked sweet potatoes topped with black beans, salsa, and sour cream.
- Budget-friendly beef and vegetable stir-fry with a teriyaki sauce.
- Budget-friendly homemade pizza bagels with cheese and favorite toppings.
- Baked chicken drumsticks with a side of roasted vegetables.
- Budget-friendly egg fried rice with mixed vegetables.
- Budget-friendly BLT sandwiches with lettuce, tomato, and lunch meat.
- Budget-friendly vegetable lasagna with whole grain noodles and marinara sauce.
Remember, you can mix and match these ideas to create a week’s menu or customize them according to your preferences and available ingredients. Use these suggestions as a starting point for your own meal plans, incorporating good buys and generic brands to save money. With a little time and planning, you can enjoy delicious and nutritious meals on a budget.