Eating healthy and doing it on a budget can be tricky. Some people believe that you must spend hundreds of dollars to make a tasty and healthy meal, but I’m here to tell you that it is far from the truth. You can still manage to make a meal that your family will enjoy and get the necessary nutrients at a budget of as low as $50.
This article entails a guide of budget meal planning to take your family through a week, all within $50.
Breakfast; Cinnamon and oatmeal
This is a super refreshing breakfast for a week’s start. Making this nutritious and tasty is easy. This is one of those breakfast ideas that ensures that you stay full and energized all day long.
Lunch; Tuna sandwich (you can add pretzels)
You do not need a heavy lunch after having an energizing breakfast. Sandwiches are delicious, and kids take them without having to put much effort into making them eat, and you can, therefore, pack this in their lunch boxes without fear.
Dinner; muffin pizzas and salad
Pizza is life, and muffin pizza is the perfect solution to help you save money while letting your family enjoy the feel of a pizza. This is an easy to prepare dinner yet you go to bed feeling full and comfortable.
Breakfast; Banana with peanut butter toast
The meal is super easy to make, and it is perfect for that Tuesday morning as you are about to head to work and kids to school. It is light but capable of keeping them full for a long time. Also, the nutrients are well-balanced, and all the ingredients are easily accessible.
Lunch; grilled cheese sandwich and peanut butter toast
Kids love anything with cheese. However, ensure that you only use a little of it to maintain a healthy balance. The food is simple yet tasty and will keep you all full for a long time. Being a light meal, you can be assured of comfort as you run your errands through the day.
Dinner; Ravioli with Italian dressing and garlic bread
It is heavy enough for a night after a long day of running up and down, but still, you will not feel uncomfortable in your sleep. It is easy to cook, and all the ingredients are easy to access. Your whole family including the kids will love both the appearance and taste.
Breakfast; Oatmeal with banana
This combination gives you a well-balanced diet. Besides, you do not have to spend hours in the kitchen preparing it. If you are in a hurry to go out, the banana is all ready to eat as it is, and oatmeal takes less than 5 minutes to be prepared. It is ideal for keeping you full for long too.
Lunch; egg salad sandwich on pretzels
You do not need a heavy lunch after a heavy breakfast. This is a simple meal yet very nutritious. Kids love all kind of sandwiches and they will enjoy this and won’t feel hungry till evening hours.
Dinner; spaghetti and meat sauce (you can add garlic bread and side salad)
Dinners are for heavy eating, and this will do just fine. You also want a meal that will keep you full but comfortable through your night sleep. You can go with the spaghetti and meat sauce but if you feel like eating heavy add the garlic bread and side salad for extra nutrients and fill.
Breakfast; scrambled eggs, turkey bacon, and toast
If it is on that day when you feel like you want a heavy breakfast, you cannot go wrong with this menu. For starters, it is well balanced and also, heavy but comfortable. You can never go wrong with eggs and toast and to make it better and tastier, add turkey bacon. However, this is ideal for that when you are not in a hurry to leave the house so you can have enough for preparation.
Lunch; peanut butter, banana sandwiches, and yogurt
You had a heavy breakfast, and it is only normal that you will still be feeling a bit full during the lunch hour. A simple meal like banana sandwiches is a good top-up. Add peanut butter and yogurt to make it tastier and more nutritious.
Dinner; Ground beef sandwich and potato chips
You can cheat a little and let your family enjoy the feel of a snack-like meal on a Thursday night. It is an ideal meal for those days when you somehow feel tired and do not want to be in the kitchen for long. Also, things like these make kids happy.
Breakfast; eggs with a burrito, salsa and cheese, and turkey bacon
Take a heavy breakfast that can sustain you for the whole day even if you decided to go for the rest of the day without a meal. Fridays are demanding and you might not get enough time to take lunch, but you will have much time to prepare and eat a heavy breakfast.
You can go for a mix of raw vegetables and fruits. Remember you had a heavy breakfast and you do not want to add more on top rest you have a lazy day. Here you can choose spinach, tomatoes, apple, watermelon or any other combination of your choice.
Dinner; cheesy rice and chicken casserole
It is time to recharge after a day of having almost no lunch. Everyone loves rice and chicken goes well with nearly every meal. It is easy to make meal so at least you can eat early and get enough time to rest and recharge for the weekend.
Breakfast; banana bread
The weekend is over, and now it’s time to use any ingredients that could be getting spoilt by now. Select the bananas that have already start spoiling and make as much banana bread as you can and let your family enjoy. The chances are that you will not be leaving the house any time soon and you will all have time to eat as much as one wants and cheat a little.
Saturday lunches are for leftovers. You have probably been piling leftovers for the week in the fridge, and now it is time to make good use of them. You can combine them or let everyone choose their favorite, warm them and enjoy your lunch. Remember you are trying to save money and therefore food wastage is not a choice in this.
Dinner; Tilapia fillets with creamy spinach and herb rice
You will probably have a lot of time to cook for your family considering it is a weekend. Take your time and prepare something that they haven’t had for a week. Ensure it is well balanced too and this combination will do you good.
Breakfast; scrambled eggs, pancakes and turkey bacon
Again, it is on a home day, and you have all the time to prepare whatever kind of breakfast you wish. This combination entails budget friendly and easy to access ingredients. It is healthy and well balanced, and now that you have a variety, everyone can get a chance to eat what they want.
Lunch; macaroni with cheese
Give your kids that weekend treat and let them enjoy a little bit of cheese on macaroni. You will be having a light lunch which they can all term as a little kind of treat.
Dinner; corn salsa and chicken quesadillas
Finish your week in style and include corn salsa in your meal to wind up as you await a fresh week.
Things you will need
- Rolled oats – $1.99
- Eggs – $0.69
- Frozen blueberries (could be fresh too) – $0.87
- A can of solid white tuna – $1.00 each
- Whole grain bread – $1.19
- Lettuce leaf – $2.21
- Medium tomatoes
- Ground black pepper to taste
- Buttermilk – $1.99
- Milk – $1.69
- Sour cream – $1.00
- Tortillas – $1.00
- Skinless chicken breasts cut into thin strips – $1.49 each
- A can of frozen or fresh chopped spinach (thawed and well-drained) – $0.49
- Salsa – $1.34
- Sharp shredded cheese – $1.98
- Taco seasoning – $0.39
- Bananas – $0.88 for two pounds
- Tomato soup – $ 3.15 for four cans
- Potato chips – $1.19
- Pretzels – $1.29
- Hamburger buns – $0.69
- Sandwich sauce – $0.79
- Pepperonis – $1.49
- Pasta – $1.19
- Cucumbers – $0.29
- Spam – $1.79
- Broccoli – $0.95
- Frozen corn – $0.95
- Frozen ravioli – $2.29
- Rice – $1.59
- Macaroni and cheese – $0.39
- Yoghurt – $0.34 each
- Ground beef for the sandwich – $2.29 for one lb
- Pasta sauce for 2 – $2.29
- Garlic bread – $1.29
- Cream for chicken and broccoli cheese – $1.59
- Tilapia fillets – $4 for one lb
Other items that you may need in wholesale include fresh lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil, medium celery stalk, red onion, and red bell pepper.
Related: Top Meal Planner App to Try in 2019
What are some of the tips to stay in the $50 budget?
The goal is to stay healthy on a budget, and you have to follow some budget meal planning tips to ensure that you stay on the right track. Some tips are;
Shop in wholesale:
Buying groceries in wholesale ensures that you get them at a lower price than the actual buying price. Bulky purchase not only saves you money but time as well since get ample supply meaning that you do not have to keep on heading to the shop every now and then. Also, ensure that you do shopping early and that you have everything well listed. You can go to the store with a list of all the things you need for the week ensuring that they fit in the budget.
Buy fresh goods:
You do not want anything going to waste, and you must, therefore, buy fresh produce to keep you through the week.
Make use of leftovers:
Avoid food wastage and use leftovers to your advantage. Only prepare what you feel you can comfortably consume without leftovers but in a situation where it happens, do not throw them away but instead store them safely in containers and wait for the leftovers day. This is mostly on weekends. This tip will ensure that no coin goes to waste.
Buy lots of fruits and vegetables:
Spare a good amount of the money to get fruits and vegetables. These are ideal for making salads. Salads are the best snacks to take in between meals so you can keep feeling full for a longer time. They are healthy too, and if you missed any nutrient in the core meals, the salad would come in handy.
These are the four main tips to help you stay on your budget; rest assured that your family will enjoy every single meal for the whole week. Also, you can buy coconut water which comes at a pretty affordable price, add it to every meal. It has some extra nutrients benefits that your kids will need. All the best in your plan!