Healthy eating doesn't need to cost a fortune. In this meal plan, you'll get a whole week of wholesome meals and snacks which clocks in around $100, so you can feel your best while saving money. All you need to do is print off the shopping list and get cooking!

Emily Lachtrupp, M.S., R.D., C.D.
January 08, 2021
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Clean eating doesn't have to be expensive—in fact, many nutritious foods are exceptionally budget-friendly, like oats, nut butters and beans. Simple steps, like making your own salad dressings and cooking the majority of meals at home, can save a ton of money long-term—even if it feels like an investment up front at the store. In this plan, we included a shopping list and aimed to keep it around $100, with the final number coming in at $112.08, not including pantry staples like oats and olive oil.

For those following this clean-eating meal plan for weight loss on a budget, we set the calorie level at 1,500 calories per day, which is a level where most people will lose weight, plus included modifications for 1,200 and 2,000 calories per day, depending on your needs. (Be sure to check the shopping list if you're making modifications.)

Budget-Friendly Foods

These budget-friendly foods make healthy eating easy and delicious. Pick up some of these key ingredients to stash away in your pantry, fridge or freezer for easy meals.

  • Dried or canned lentils and beans
  • Canned tomatoes
  • Frozen vegetables
  • Bananas
  • Oatmeal
  • Barley
  • Quinoa
  • Whole-wheat spaghetti
  • Whole-wheat bread
  • Peanut butter
  • Carrots
  • Sweet potatoes and white potatoes
  • Brown rice
  • Eggs
  • Canned tuna

Tips for Saving Even More Money:

  1. Shop with a list: You've heard it before, but shopping with a grocery list really can save a lot of money. It helps us stick to what we actually need and avoid impulse buys that can rack up the bill.
  2. Plan ahead: Planning meals ahead is key—it helps prevent food waste because you can transform leftovers into new meals or save leftovers for dinner. Plus, if we already know what's on the menu for dinner, we are less likely to grab takeout on the way home.
  3. Embrace leftovers: Cooking a pot of beans or roasting a chicken to have for the week is super helpful because they're easy to transform into new dishes. Check out our 25 recipes that make great leftovers for more ideas.
  4. Do your own prep: Pre-sliced veggies and fruits are easy and certainly have their place, but if you're trying to stick to a budget then it's better to do the slicing and dicing yourself. Same with some other prep. You'll see on the shopping list that we've replaced some pricier convenience items—e.g., quinoa you can cook yourself rather than a microwaveable packet or chicken breast to poach instead of a rotisserie chicken (you could sub leftovers here too).
  5. Buy in bulk: Check the unit price and buy in bulk whenever possible to save money. This is especially true for spices, which can really add up on your grocery bill. If it's a spice you won't use very often, buy just a little bit in the bulk section to save pantry space and money.
  6. Research: Check out sales in the newspaper and on the grocery stores' websites to see who has the best deals. It takes a little extra time, but it can pay off in the long run.
  7. Choose store brands: When making this grocery list, we chose store-brand items whenever possible. This small switch can add up to big savings over time.
Get the Printable Shopping List Here!

How to Meal-Prep Your Week of Meals:

  1. Make Garlic-Oregano Vinaigrette to have throughout the week.
  2. Prepare Vegan Superfood Buddha Bowl to have for lunch on Days 2 through 5.

Day 1

https://www.eatingwell.com/article/18002/6-carbs-to-add-to-your-diet-to-help-you-stay-slim/attachment/2006057/

Breakfast (296 calories)

Mix apple and chia seeds into the oatmeal.

A.M. Snack (103 calories)

  • 5-oz. container low-fat plain Greek yogurt

Lunch (360 calories)

P.M. Snack (268 calories)

  • 1 medium orange
  • 1/4 cup unsalted dry-roasted almonds

Dinner (485 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,512 calories, 55 g protein, 174 g carbohydrates, 47 g fiber, 74 g fat, 895 mg sodium

To Make It 1,200 Calories: Omit the apple at breakfast and the almonds at the P.M. snack.

To Make It 2,000 Calories: Add 3 Tbsp. chopped walnuts to the A.M. snack and add 1 whole avocado to dinner.

Day 2

https://www.eatingwell.com/article/290093/5-ingredient-spring-dinners/attachment/2012702/

Breakfast (296 calories)

Mix apple and chia seeds into the oatmeal.

A.M. Snack (206 calories)

  • 1/4 cup unsalted dry-roasted almonds

Lunch (381 calories)

P.M. Snack (62 calories)

  • 1 medium orange

Dinner (534 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,479 calories, 80 g protein, 156 g carbohydrates, 38 g fiber, 66 g fat, 1,115 mg sodium

To Make It 1,200 Calories: Omit the apple at breakfast and change the A.M. snack to 1/2 cup sliced cucumber.

To Make It 2,000 Calories: Add 1 medium apple to the A.M. snack, add 1/4 cup unsalted dry-roasted almonds to the P.M. snack and add 1 serving Guacamole Chopped Salad to dinner.

Day 3

https://www.eatingwell.com/article/292228/heart-healthy-diet-plan-for-fall/attachment/2044477/

Breakfast (296 calories)

Mix apple and chia seeds into the oatmeal.

A.M. Snack (315 calories)

  • 1 medium banana
  • 2 Tbsp. natural peanut butter

Lunch (381 calories)

P.M. Snack (8 calories)

  • 1/2 cup sliced cucumber

Dinner (501 calories)

Meal-Prep Tip: Reserve leftover Chicken, Quinoa & Sweet Potato Casserole to have for dinner tomorrow night.

Daily Totals: 1,500 calories, 57 g protein, 178 g carbohydrates, 39 g fiber, 66 g fat, 913 mg sodium

To Make It 1,200 Calories: Omit the apple at breakfast and change the A.M. snack to 1 medium apple.

To Make It 2,000 Calories: Add 20 unsalted dry-roasted almonds to P.M. snack and add 1 avocado to dinner.

Day 4

https://www.eatingwell.com/article/289961/top-vegetarian-protein-sources/attachment/2008840/

Breakfast (296 calories)

Mix apple and chia seeds into the oatmeal.

A.M. Snack (315 calories)

  • 1 medium banana
  • 2 Tbsp. natural peanut butter

Lunch (381 calories)

P.M. Snack (8 calories)

  • 1/2 cup cucumber, sliced

Dinner (501 calories)

Meal-Prep Tip: Gather ingredients and soak the chickpeas for the Slow-Cooker Mediterranean Chicken & Chickpea Soup so it's ready to get started in the slow cooker tomorrow morning.

Daily Totals: 1,500 calories, 57 g protein, 178 g carbohydrates, 39 g fiber, 66 g fat, 913 mg sodium

To Make It 1,200 Calories: Omit the apple at breakfast and omit the peanut butter at the A.M. snack.

To Make It 2,000 Calories: Add 1/4 cup hummus and 1 medium orange to P.M. snack plus add 1 avocado to dinner.

Day 5

https://www.eatingwell.com/gallery/13610/a-month-of-healthy-family-dinner-ideas-for-spring/attachment/2000382/

Breakfast (296 calories)

Mix apple and chia seeds into the oatmeal.

A.M. Snack (315 calories)

  • 1 medium banana
  • 2 Tbsp. natural peanut butter

Lunch (381 calories)

P.M. Snack (62 calories)

  • 1 medium orange

Dinner (446 calories)

Meal-Prep Tip: Reserve 2 servings Slow-Cooker Mediterranean Chicken & Chickpea Soup to have for lunch on Days 6 and 7.

Daily Totals: 1,499 calories, 89 g protein, 191 g carbohydrates, 45 g fiber, 57 g fat, 1,212 mg sodium

To Make It 1,200 Calories: Omit the apple at breakfast and change the A.M. snack to 1 medium orange.

To Make It 2,000 Calories: Add 1 medium orange to lunch, add 1/4 cup unsalted dry-roasted almonds to P.M. snack, and add 1 serving Guacamole Chopped Salad to dinner.

Day 6

https://www.eatingwell.com/article/7883300/whole-food-plant-based-diet-plan/stuffed-sweet-potato-with-hummus-dressing/

Breakfast (296 calories)

Mix apple and chia seeds into the oatmeal.

A.M. Snack (263 calories)

  • 1 medium banana
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. natural peanut butter

Lunch (446 calories)

P.M. Snack (8 calories)

  • 1/2 cup cucumber, sliced

Dinner (472 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,484 calories, 69 g protein, 218 g carbohydrates, 51 g fiber, 41 g fat, 1,488 mg sodium

To Make It 1,200 Calories: Omit the apple at breakfast and change the A.M. snack to 1 medium orange.

To Make It 2,000 Calories: Increase to 2 Tbsp. peanut butter at A.M. snack, add 1 medium apple to lunch, add 1/4 cup hummus to P.M. snack, and add 1 serving Guacamole Chopped Salad to dinner.

Day 7

https://www.eatingwell.com/article/17537/30-day-healthy-breakfast-challenge/attachment/2009648/

Breakfast (296 calories)

Mix apple and chia seeds into the oatmeal.

A.M. Snack (103 calories)

  • 5-oz. container low-fat plain Greek yogurt

Lunch (446 calories)

P.M. Snack (154 calories)

  • 20 unsalted dry-roasted almonds

Dinner (496 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,495 calories, 84 g protein, 136 g carbohydrates, 35 g fiber, 73 g fat, 1,649 mg sodium

To Make It 1,200 Calories: Omit the apple at breakfast, change the A.M. snack to 1/2 cup sliced cucumber, and change the P.M. snack to 1 medium orange.

To Make It 2,000 Calories: Add 20 unsalted dry-roasted almonds to A.M. snack, add 1 large apple to P.M. snack, add 1 serving Guacamole Chopped Salad to dinner.