Money

Healthy Eating on a Budget

Eating on a budget takes effort.

Eating on a budget can be a serious challenge. But it’s not impossible. Follow these rules and I promise you can fulfill your nutritional needs and eat cheaply.

  • Rule 1: Drink Water and lots of it! Cut out sodas, juice, coffee and alcohol and replace with water. Other beverages contain empty calories.
  • Rule 2: Eat suggested serving sizes. This will help you conserve your food and eat healthier.
  • Rule 3: Buy generic. Usually you can’t taste the difference, so there’s no reason to pay for brand names!
  • Rule 4: Shop sales and use coupons when you can. A little planning can go a long way when saving money.
  • Rule 5: Don’t buy prepackaged meals. Replace frozen meals with generic pasta, sauce and frozen vegetables. You’ll only spend $3.00 for four to five servings.
  • Rule 6: Replace packaged junk foods with fruits and vegetables. Reach for a piece of fruit or a bag of veggies instead; they fill you up and are low on fat and calories.
  • Rule 7: Eat everything in your fridge. Throwing food out is the same as throwing away money. Prioritize cooking or consuming things that are going bad.
  • Rule 8: If you’re planning to be price conscious, take the time to add as you shop. You could buy a package of soda for $4.00 or you could get four boxes of pasta!
  • Rule 9: Never eat out. Eating out is expensive, don’t do it. Invite people over instead 
  • Rule 10: Pick something to splurge on once a week. See a movie or head to a happy hour; it will go a long ways to making you feel less like you’re living on a confined budget.
Sample Meal Plan

Breakfast

Meal Option 1: Oatmeal and one piece of fruit

Meal Option 2: Cereal and Skim Milk

  • Bananas: $1.50 for 6
  • Oatmeal*: $1.50 for box of 6
  • Cereal*: $1.50 (10 servings)
  • Skim Milk: $1.50/.5 gallon (8 servings)
  • Total: $6.00 (16 meals)

Lunch

Meal Option 1: PB&J with Apple

Meal Option 2: Leftovers from dinner

  • Loaf of bread*: $1.50 (15 servings)
  • Peanut Butter*: $2.00/jar
  • Jelly*:  $2.00/jar
  • Apples: $3.00 for 5
  • Total: $8.50 (5 meals + leftovers)

Dinner

Meal Option 1: Alfredo fetuccini with mixed veggies

Meal Option 2: Chicken, rice and veggies

  • Pasta*: $1.00 (8 servings)
  • Sauce*:  $1.50 (8 servings)
  • Veggies*: $1.00 (4 servings)
  • Chicken tenderloins: $4.00 (4 servings)
  • Rice*: $1.50 (4-5 servings)
  • Veggies*: $1.00 (4-5 servings)
  • Total: $10.00 (12 meals)

 Snacks

  • Oranges: $.60 x 4= $2.40 (4 servings)
  • Carrots: $1.50/bag (6 servings)
  • Granola Bars*: 1 box of 18 for $2.00 (18 servings)
  • Total: $5.90 (28 snacks)

 

Total for the week: $30.40 for 33 meals and 28 snacks

* all brands are Walmart‘s Great Value brand