This week I thought I would do something different. I can talk all I want about eating healthy for cheap, but it’s all talk unless I show you.
I thought that I would share a week’s worth of meals with all of you so that you can see how I create my meals. Some of you may not know how to get started eating real food so I think that this post will help you out! I also am going to share with you what each meal costs so that you can see how I eat healthy AND cheap (AND I SHOP AT WHOLE FOODS)!
I have another post on how to meal plan so that you can see how I plan out the week. For this post, I want to share with you how I plan each meal and what each costs.
For each meal I try to have one protein (meat/fish), one non-starchy vegetable (or two) and one starchy vegetable or very rarely a grain. I explain this in the video below. The reason for this is because the meat provides protein that will keep you full, as well as provides amino-acids that your body needs to repair and rebuild. The non-starchy vegetable provides so many vitamins and minerals that your body needs without contributing a lot of calories, therefore you will feel full. You can pretty much eat as much as you want of these and you won’t put on weight. The starchy vegetable has benefits because of the phytonutrients they contain. These are antioxidants that help your body by teaching it to fight off “invaders”. Starchy vegetables also feed our “good” bacteria in our gut. You might have heard the term “microbiome”, which I will talk about at a later date. There is a lot of evidence these days showing that our gut bacteria (aka microbiome) has a lot to do with our health in terms of our immune system and metabolism. Eating these vegetables is beneficial to our gut bacteria and in turn will be beneficial to our overall health.
So that is just a very basic overview of why I plan my meals like this. Just to note, for a beverage, I always drink water. In the morning I have black coffee, but other than that, it’s water. If you hate water, find ways to teach yourself to like it. Your body NEEDS water. Add some fruit or you can add cucumber to provide some sort of taste.
Below is a week’s worth of meals. The cost total is for 1 serving (person).
Breakfast: Bacon and Egg Cups (2) : $1.24
Lunch: Paleo Vegetable Chili and Salad: $1.50 + $1.00= $2.50
Dinner: Chicken, Roasted Broccoli, Smoothie: $1.50 + Smoothie (~$2.00 or less)
Breakfast: Bacon and Egg Cups (2): $1.24
Lunch: Leftovers (Chicken, Broccoli): $1.50
Dinner: One Pan Sausage and Veggies: $3.17
Breakfast: Smoothie: $2.00
Lunch: Leftovers (Sausage and Veggies): $3.17
Dinner: Leftovers (Sausage and Veggies): $3.17 *
*I didn’t mean to eat this meal for 4 meals, and I don’t normally do it. However, I forgot to half the recipe because I usually make it for me and my husband but it was just for me this particular week! OOPS!
Breakfast: Yogurt and Blueberries (~$1.00 or less)
Lunch:Leftovers (Sausage and Veggies): $3.17
Dinner: Chicken, Rice, Yellow Squash: $2.03
Breakfast: Smoothie: $2.00
Dinner: Leftovers (chicken, rice, squash): $2.03
So you can see that eating healthy does not have to be expensive or hard. Each of these meals probably took 10-15 minutes of prep time and 30- 45 minutes of cook time. It’s also great because these meals are perfect for leftovers and that saves a lot of money! If you want to save even more time, prep your vegetables in advance and have them ready to go in the fridge.
One note, obviously all of these meals have some sort of spices and other ingredients to cook with. I do not add these in with the cost because it is very rare that I have to buy them. Those things last for quite a while and once you build up your pantry with them, you don’t have to spend much money on them anymore.
I think there is a big misconception out there that in order to eat for cheap you have to eat pasta or sandwiches or from the dollar menu at Wendy’s. That is simply not true. I used to think the only way I could eat cheap was if I had macaroni and cheese for dinner. Until I actually tried and looked at what each meal cost, I didn’t think it was possible.
I hope this post helps you get started planning out your meals and encourages you to do it! You CAN be on a budget and eat healthy. I just showed you how.
Remember, healthy doesn’t have to be hard!!
How to eat healthy for under $50 a week (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4nmuzQ5woc)