Vegan Weight-Loss Meal Plan on a Budget

By: Victoria Seaver, M.S., R.D., Digital Meal Plan Editor

Lose weight—and save yourself money in the process—with this budget-friendly vegan meal plan.

Lose weight the right way and save money at the same time with this budget-friendly vegan meal plan. With this 1,200-calorie meal plan, you're on track to lose a healthy 1 to 2 pounds per week without feeling like you're breaking the bank on specialty "diet" foods. The meals and snacks in this plan feature healthy plant-based whole foods that are high in protein and fiber, like beans, edamame and tofu, to help you feel satisfied while cutting calories.

Read More: Tips for How to Live & Eat Well on a Budget

By simply eating vegan you're saving money, as meat and other animal products tend to be the most expensive part of meals. We also tailored this plan to cut costs by strategically using ingredients and leftovers in different ways throughout the week to keep the per-serving cost for the whole week at $50. Be sure to read the Budget-Saving Tips throughout the plan for other cost-saving ideas to keep your grocery bill low.

How to Meal-Prep Your Week of Meals


1. Make a batch of the Vegan Banana Bread to have for breakfast on Days 1, 5 & 7. Individually wrap 2 slices of bread and freeze for breakfast on Days 5 & 7. Any remaining bread can be frozen for up to 3 months.
2. Prep 2 servings of the Apple-Cinnamon Overnight Oats (through Step 1) and refrigerate until breakfast on Days 2 and 4.
3. Prep 2 servings of the Blueberry Almond Chia Pudding (through Step 1) and refrigerate until breakfast on Days 3 and 6.
4. When making the Roasted Veggie Brown Rice Buddha Bowl for dinner on Day 1, prepare the associated recipes linked to on the recipe page (Easy Brown Rice, Colorful Roasted Sheet-Pan Veggies, Soy-Lime Roasted Tofu and Creamy Vegan Cashew Sauce). You'll use the leftovers in different meals throughout the week.
5. Make the Citrus-Lime Vinaigrette for lunch on Days 2 and 4. You'll use it for some morning snacks too. You could also use this dressing on the Green Salad with Edamame & Beets (lunch, Days 1 and 7), in place of the simple oil-and-vinegar dressing suggested in the recipe, if desired.

Day 1

Budget-Saving Tip:

Put in the Prep Work—Preprepped ingredients are convenient but they're also more expensive. Save yourself the money and prep your own veggies, make sauces and dressings from pantry staples (like oil, vinegar, herbs and spices) and cook a big batch of brown rice to use throughout the week rather than buying precooked packets.

Breakfast (312 calories)

• 1 slice Vegan Banana Bread
• 1 Tbsp. peanut butter

A.M. Snack (95 calories)

• 1 medium apple

Lunch (325 calories)

• 4 cups Green Salad with Edamame & Beets

Use the Citrus-Lime Vinaigrette to dress the salad in place of the red-wine vinegar and olive oil dressing.

P.M. Snack (35 calories)

• 1 clementine

Dinner (454 calories)

• 2 1/2 cups Roasted Veggie Brown Rice Buddha Bowl

Meal-Prep Tip: Save the broccoli stems when making the Colorful Roasted Sheet-Pan Veggies for tonight's dinner to use in place of the kohlrabi in the Thai Peanut Curry Noodles recipe on Day 5.

 

Daily Cost per Serving: $6.36

Daily Totals: 1,221 calories, 52 g protein, 140 g carbohydrates, 28 g fiber, 55 g fat, 1,290 mg sodium.

 

Day 2

Budget-Saving Tip:

Reuse Ingredients—The meals and snacks in this plan reuse many of the same ingredients to keep your shopping list short and your bill under budget. You can scan the meal plan further to see how you can pare down your shopping list even more to save money. For example, skip the pecans in the Apple-Cinnamon Overnight Oats and the pumpkin seeds in the Citrus Lime Tofu Salad and just use almonds so you don't need to buy so many different varieties of expensive nuts and seeds.

Breakfast (215 calories)

• 1 1/2 cups Apple-Cinnamon Overnight Oats

A.M. Snack (112 calories)

• 1/4 cup hummus
• 1/2 cup cucumber slices

Lunch (390 calories)

• 4 cups Citrus Lime Tofu Salad

P.M. Snack (30 calories)

• 1 plum

Dinner (471 calories)

• 1 serving Vegan Coconut Chickpea Curry

Use 2 cups of the Easy Brown Rice you made on Day 1 in place of the precooked brown rice packages noted in this recipe.

 

Daily Cost per Serving: $8.07

Daily Totals: 1,218 calories, 48 g protein, 145 g carbohydrates, 29 g fiber, 56 g fat, 1,412 mg sodium.

 

Day 3

Budget-Saving Tip:

Shop in the Bulk Section—If your grocery store has a bulk section, head there for your spices, dry goods, nuts and seeds and more. This way, you're only buying exactly what you need, which is much more economical.

Breakfast (229 calories)

• 1 cup Blueberry Almond Chia Pudding

A.M. Snack (141 calories)

• 1/2 cup edamame
• 1/2 cup diced cucumber
• 1 Tbsp. Citrus-Lime Vinaigrette

Combine edamame and cucumber in a bowl; toss with vinaigrette.

Lunch (353 calories)

• 1/3 cup canned black beans, rinsed
• 1/2 cup Easy Brown Rice
• 1 cup Colorful Roasted Sheet-Pan Veggies
• 2 Tbsp. Creamy Vegan Cashew Sauce

Combine beans, rice and vegetables in a bowl. Top with the cashew sauce.

P.M. Snack (30 calories)

• 1 medium plum

Dinner (450 calories)

• 1 serving Vegan Cauliflower Fried Rice
• 1 cup Soy-Lime Roasted Tofu

 

Daily Cost per Serving: $7.79

Daily Totals: 1,203 calories, 54 g protein, 121 g carbohydrates, 32 g fiber, 60 g fat, 1,029 mg sodium.

 

Day 4

Budget-Saving Tip:

Rely on Pantry Staples—Check to see what you already have on hand and find ways to use up those ingredients before buying new. If you have a can of chickpeas handy, sub them in for the black beans in tonight's Stuffed Sweet Potato with Hummus Dressing recipe. Don't have avocado oil in your pantry? Use whatever neutral oil you do have (like canola oil or peanut oil) as an alternative when making the Vegan BLATs recipe on Day 7.

Breakfast (215 calories)

• 1 1/2 cups Apple-Cinnamon Overnight Oats

A.M. Snack (70 calories)

• 2 clementines

Lunch (390 calories)

• 4 cups Citrus Lime Tofu Salad

P.M. Snack (42 calories)

• 1/2 cup blueberries

Dinner (472 calories)

• 1 serving Stuffed Sweet Potato with Hummus Dressing

 

Daily Cost per Serving: $7.06

Daily Totals: 1,189 calories, 54 g protein, 174 g carbohydrates, 40 g fiber, 39 g fat, 1,090 mg sodium.

 

Day 5

Budget-Saving Tip:

Cook Once, Eat Twice (or More!)—Save a serving of dinner to have for lunch the next day or batch-cook items at the beginning of the week and repurpose them in different ways (like we do in this meal plan) for quick, easy and affordable meals.

Breakfast (207 calories)

• 1 slice Vegan Banana Bread
• 1 Tbsp. peanut butter

A.M. Snack (107 calories)

• 1/3 cup edamame
• 1/2 cup diced cucumber
• 1 Tbsp. Citrus-Lime Vinaigrette

Combine edamame and cucumber in a bowl; toss with vinaigrette.

Lunch (306 calories)

• 2 cups mixed greens
• 1/2 cup Colorful Roasted Sheet-Pan Veggies
• 1 cup Soy-Lime Roasted Tofu
• 2 Tbsp. Creamy Vegan Cashew Sauce

Combine greens, roasted vegetables and tofu in a bowl and toss with the dressing.

P.M. Snack (28 calories)

• 1/3 cup blueberries

Dinner (471 calories)

• 1 3/4 cups Thai Peanut Curry Noodles

Meal-Prep Tip: Save 3/4 cup of the Thai Peanut Curry Noodles to have for lunch on Day 6.

 

Daily Cost per Serving: $4.96

Daily Totals: 1,224 calories, 54 g protein, 122 g carbohydrates, 24 g fiber, 62 g fat, 1,176 mg sodium.

 

Day 6

Budget-Saving Tip:

Make a Shopping List and Stick to It—Write out everything you'll need for the week, make sure to check your pantry before shopping (so you don't end up buying stuff you already have) and stick to the list when you're in the store. A sure way to blow your budget is to enter a grocery store without a shopping list.

Breakfast (229 calories)

• 1 cup Blueberry Almond Chia Pudding

A.M. Snack (121 calories)

• 1 slice whole-wheat bread
• 2 Tbsp. hummus

Toast bread and top with hummus. Season with a pinch each of salt and pepper.

Lunch (376 calories)

• Generous 3/4 cup Thai Peanut Curry Noodles
• 1/2 cup edamame
• 1/2 cup diced cucumber
• 1 Tbsp. Citrus-Lime Vinaigrette

Combine edamame and cucumber in a bowl and toss with vinaigrette. Serve alongside the noodles.

Dinner (472 calories)

• 1 serving Stuffed Sweet Potato with Hummus Dressing

 

Daily Cost per Serving: $7.34

Daily Totals: 1,198 calories, 50 g protein, 170 g carbohydrates, 45 g fiber, 39 g fat, 1,295 mg sodium.

 

Day 7

Budget-Saving Tip:

Don't Buy Organic Everything—You can feel good about buying certain fruits and vegetables conventional if you are trying to stick to a budget, as some are less likely than others to be contaminated with pesticides. Read more about the foods you don't need to buy organic.

Breakfast (312 calories)

• 1 slice Vegan Banana Bread
• 1 Tbsp. peanut butter

A.M. Snack (162 calories)

• 2/3 cup edamame
• 1/2 cup diced cucumber
• 1 Tbsp. Citrus-Lime Vinaigrette

Combine edamame and cucumber in a bowl and toss with vinaigrette.

Lunch (325 calories)

• 4 cups Green Salad with Edamame & Beets

Dinner (425 calories)

• 1 serving Vegan BLATs (BLT with Avocado)
• 1/4 cup hummus
• 2 medium carrots, cut into sticks

 

Daily Cost per Serving: $9.62

Daily Totals: 1,224 calories, 49 g protein, 119 g carbohydrates, 35 g fiber, 62 g fat, 1,852 mg sodium.

 

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