When budgets are tight and your pants are too, you might be wondering how you can cook foods you actually enjoy eating without going broke. It’s easy to make excuses for a busy routine that leaves you with little time or the cost it takes to upkeep a healthy lifestyle through good foods.
Luckily, there are some easy hacks to keeping you within a budget of $20 per week that taste great. Below, you’ll find a sample meal plan to help you get through a week of cooked-at-home meals that you’ll enjoy eating that keeps your grocery budget at just $20.
It’s meant to serve as a guide though our first tip is that you look for coupons or promotions at your local store or online which will help you save even more. Apps like Peapod can even bring your groceries right to your door at the lowest rate so you don’t even have to spend time at the store or worse, be tempted by extras!
Your shopping list for a week can be as follows:
· 1 dozen eggs: $1.26
· 1 jar of peanut butter: $1.98
· 1 container of oatmeal: $1.35
· 1 package of frozen spinach: $.99
· 1 bag of brown rice: $1.17
· 1 bag of frozen mixed veggies: $.99
· 2 pounds of chicken breast: $3.76
· 1 bag of dried beans: $1.49
· 1 Loaf of bread, $1
· 1 bag of dried lentils: $1.39
· 1 bag of apples (1 pound): $1.99
· 1/4 lb. thin-sliced deli ham, $2
Now here’s how to use these items for healthy and delicious meals that you can make all week for around $20.
Breakfast: Oatmeal with apples. Prepare the oatmeal as directed. Meanwhile, lightly sauté one chopped apple with cinnamon, then add them on top. Need coffee? Get the 7-Eleven app and snag a free cup of coffee to go with it!
Lunch: Toasted ham and egg sandwich. Toast 2 slices of bread. As they toast, fry up one egg. Prepare the egg and a slice of ham on the toast slices.
Dinner: Chicken, veggies, and rice. Cook half of one of your chicken breasts along with the frozen veggies. Meanwhile, cook up the rice. Top your chicken and veggies onto the rice.
Breakfast: Poached eggs with spinach and toast. This simple breakfast is healthy and delicious!
Lunch: Rice and beans. Hearty and filling, make more rice for this and you’ll use the leftovers of it plus last night’s rice for tonight’s dinner.
Dinner: Veggie fried rice. Take all your leftover cooked rice for this. Blend one egg with a fork and stir-fry it with your rice. Add in the veggies, and if you have any leftover chicken, you can use it too.
Breakfast: Toast slice with peanut butter. Want a treat? Download the Panera Bread app and score yourself a free pastry!
Lunch: Leftover fried rice. Eat an apple for dessert!
Dinner: White chicken chili. All you need is chicken stock, shredded cooked chicken, beans, salsa verde, and cumin!
Breakfast: Hard-boiled eggs with apple slices and peanut butter.
Lunch: Leftover white chicken chili. Make some rice to go with it to have an extra-filling meal.
Dinner: Vegetarian Sloppy Joe’s. You can make these with your beans and use your bread to sandwich it!
Breakfast: Egg in a hole. Cut a hole out of a slice of bread, put it in the pan, and crack an egg in the center.
Lunch: Leftover Sloppy Joe’s. Enjoy an apple afterward!
Dinner: Ham and spinach rice with lentil gravy.
Breakfast: Ham and spinach omelet.
Lunch: Peanut butter and apple sandwich.
Dinner: Baked chicken with vegetables, lentils, and rice.
Breakfast: Eggs and a side of oatmeal.
Lunch: Two soft-boiled eggs on toast with spinach.
Dinner: Oat-crusted baked chicken breast with veggies and rice.
And that’s how you eat healthfully for just $20 per week. You can sub out other cheap food options if you don’t like something, like say tomatoes instead of spinach. If you have any other suggestions, please enlighten us in the comments below!