Sample Meal Plan on a Budget


Here’s an example meal plan that shows how to stick to the budget and feed well throughout a week. Below is a shopping list as well as a pricing breakdown.

This meal plan costs $124.08 to feed two adults for five days, with an average cost-per-meal of $4.14, assuming you have basic kitchen basics like salt, pepper, and olive oil on hand.

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We calculated those statistics using Walmart prices, and the meals following are based on a typical American diet. Walmart is, without a doubt, one of the most cost-effective places to buy, but its low costs can occasionally come at the expense of nutritional content and product quality.

We’ve also chosen to place a strong emphasis on price. For instance, a loaf of full wheat bread costs $1.48 on our list. This is from the bread aisle, not the bakery, therefore it contains more preservatives.

The latter is the healthier option, although it costs roughly $4 on average. If your budget allows it, this is an excellent illustration of when to replace up (rather than down).

You’ll also notice that there isn’t a lot of meat on this menu. Meat is one of the most expensive products on your shopping list, so if you’re a dedicated carnivore or follow a protein-rich diet like paleo, your prices will be higher and you’ll have to make adjustments to keep under $5 each meal.

With that stated, you should have a little bit of inspiration and a roadmap to working with when it comes to creating inexpensive, healthy meals. Also, we’ve presented it in list format (rather than the table above) to make it as easy to read on mobile devices as possible.


Oatmeal with blueberries, almonds, and honey for breakfast. Milk in a glass of milk in a bowl

Salad with chickpeas from the Mediterranean (cucumbers, chickpeas, garlic, red onions, olives, olive oil, salt, tomatoes, balsamic vinaigrette).

Sliced peaches as a snack

Whole chicken with brown rice pilaf and green beans for dinner (brown rice, frozen green beans, garlic, onion, salt, whole fryer chicken, vegetable broth).


Eggs with avocado toast and orange slices for breakfast (eggs, avocado, oranges, whole wheat bread).

Tacos de tomahawk de tomahawk de (avocados, cheddar cheese, ground turkey, lettuce, olives, taco seasoning, tomatoes, whole wheat tortillas).

Carrots with ranch dressing as a snack

Dinner: Vegetarian Chili in a Slow Cooker (black beans, brown lentils, canned diced tomatoes, chili seasoning, garlic, red beans, tomato paste, oil, onions, vegetable broth, and cheese for topping if desired).

Read: 10 Ingenious Ways to Avoid Weight Gain: Late Night Meals 


Breakfast hash with roasted sweet potatoes, kale, and eggs (bell peppers, cumin, eggs, kale, oil, paprika, salt, sweet potatoes).

Wrapped balsamic chicken breast for lunch (balsamic vinaigrette dressing, fryer chicken, lettuce, onions, tomatoes, whole wheat tortillas).

Cottage cheese and pineapple as a snack

Whole-wheat pasta with turkey meatballs for dinner (eggs, garlic, ground turkey, Italian style bread crumbs, tomato sauce, whole-wheat spaghetti).


Breakfast: Egg and cheese breakfast sandwich with pineapple (whole-wheat toast, cheese, eggs, oil/butter, pineapple, salt).

Salad tacos for lunch (bell peppers, cheese, lettuce, ranch dressing, onions, taco meat from Tuesday, tomatoes).

Apples and almonds as a snack

Teriyaki chicken breast stir fry for dinner (brown rice, frozen stir fry vegetable blend, fryer chicken, teriyaki sauce).

Check Out: 5 Steps For Eating Healthy On A Budget


Smoothie with blueberries and peaches for breakfast (blueberries, honey, milk, oatmeal, peaches, yogurt).

Lentils from Madras served with rice for lunch (brown rice, canned tomatoes, cream or substitute, cumin, green chiles, garlic, lentils, oil, onions, red beans, salt).

Bananas and almonds as a snack

Dinner: Chili and cottage cheese-loaded baked sweet potato (butter/oil, Tuesday’s chili, cottage cheese, sweet potato).

Feeding on a budget is possible, this sample will help you know what to eat and when to eat it.

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