Cheap Meal Ideas – Groceries from Walmart

Macalie Montgomery has run the quickest marathons of her life in recent times. She certified for the Olympic Trials in 2020, ending thirtieth, and later in 2020 set her PR, 2:34:36, within the marathon mission. In late 2021, she ran 2:35:01 on the California Worldwide Marathon.

All of her races and coaching are fueled by groceries from Walmart.

Montgomery, 37, lives in Stillwater, Oklahoma, the place she is an assistant professor of dietary sciences at Oklahoma State College. Though she and her husband, Scott, a software program engineer, have reached a degree of their careers the place they will afford to purchase costly meals from time to time, they keep away from it. She mentioned it was their nature to be “frugal.”

Her habits have been along with her all her life. I grew up in rural Fairfax, Oklahoma, the place the closest grocery retailer — Walmart — was 40 miles away. Her dad and mom would store at Greenback Basic and eat greens they grew of their backyard. When Montgomery went to varsity on a scholarship, she did not have quite a lot of more money in her finances to purchase snacks or eat out, and that continued into graduate college.

The primary time she went to a Complete Meals, Montgomery was in her 20s. “It was like heaven to me,” she mentioned. “I had by no means seen something prefer it. Then I noticed the costs, and I needed to catch my breath.”

She clings to previous patterns she established when she was in class. For instance, you continue to season your chili with additional crimson pepper flakes from Pizza Hut. “I form of received used to purchasing low-cost stuff,” she mentioned.

As meals costs have risen in latest months, Montgomery has been maintaining an in depth eye on her household’s payments. She is aware of she has a bonus: as a professor with a Ph.D. Within the subject of diet, she is well-versed in the way to fill her meals with wholesome, reasonably priced substances.

McCallie Montgomery

Kevin Morris

Makali Montgomery is working within the elite-only street race, The Marathon Challenge in 2020.

However you do not want a doctorate. To learn from its methods. Here is how Montgomery feeds herself, her husband, and her 3-year-old daughter on about $125 every week:

→ Embrace leftovers: She cooks dinner for a household of 4, though she says they eat like a household of two and a half. Her daughter does not eat a full grownup portion, however Montgomery at all times packs leftovers for lunch the following day.

One retailer per week: Friday evening is grocery buying evening. “I run 20 miles on Saturdays and Sundays to prepare once more,” she mentioned. “So I am going Friday evening.” You are much less more likely to must struggle via crowds on Friday evenings.

Menu structure: Montgomery goes to Walmart armed with a meal plan and a listing of all of the substances she’ll want for the meals she’s making that week. “After I go to the grocery retailer, I do know what we’ll have for dinner all through the following week. Planning helps you get monetary savings. You make much less impulse purchases.

Purchase contemporary produce you may use: Montgomery hates losing meals, so she makes positive what she buys is contemporary. She’ll purchase bagged salads for her lunches (for leftovers), and at all times checks the date to verify they’re going to final all week. She additionally needs to present herself some freedom, so if she comes residence from work one evening and has a coupon for pizza, she will be able to purchase it, with out worrying about losing her contemporary produce.

Take note of the fundamental supplies of the runner: With regards to bananas, Montgomery buys half a bunch of yellow bananas, and half a bunch of inexperienced ones, which is able to ripen later within the week.

Make capsules last more: Her favourite cereal is Kashi Go Lean Crunch, which is now $5.68 a field. To make it last more, you may combine it with Walmart’s Nice Worth Shredded Wheat, the shop’s model, which prices $1.98 per can. “They mix collectively very nicely,” Montgomery mentioned.

Take it your self: She by no means pays for supply, not for groceries or for pizza.

Eat crimson meat sparsely: The Montgomerys eat crimson meat solely a few times every week, based on American Institute for Most cancers Analysis pointers. It saves cash, and it is more healthy for the planet, too.

Add extra greens and beans: Doing it will mean you can use much less meat in recipes. Montgomery prepares the cheesesteaks (recipe beneath) with extra peppers and onions, which reduces the quantity of meat you want.

The gradual cooker is your pal: Powerful, cheap cuts of meat grow to be tender within the gradual cooker.

Frozen meals are good alternate options in the course of the winter: Supply vans take a very long time to get from California to Oklahoma within the winter, and so they do not pay $6 for a field of blueberries or strawberries. At these instances, you substitute frozen as a substitute.

Bear in mind the fundamentals of portray: Runners want twice as a lot protein as sedentary folks, and about half of their plates must be fruits or greens. Montgomery herself goals to get 100 grams of protein a day, and appears for cheap sources, like protein-rich pancakes, eggs, and beans.

5 weekend dinners on a finances

Philly Cheesesteaks

A complete Philly cheesesteak sandwich and the ingredients needed to prepare it

Courtesy McCallie Montgomery


  • 1 pound of cooked meat
  • 1 10 oz. A can of French onion soup
  • 1 inexperienced pepper, minimize into cubes
  • 1 small yellow onion, minimize into cubes
  • 1 tablespoon. canola oil
  • 4 slices of provolone cheese
  • 4 muffins
  • Candy Potatoes / 1 can of frozen candy potatoes

Place the cooked meat within the gradual cooker, and add a can of French onion soup. Prepare dinner on low warmth for 5-6 hours or on excessive warmth for 2-3 hours till the meat is finished.

Fry peppers and onions in 1 oil for five minutes. Add the cooked stew meat and proceed cooking for one more 10 minutes.

Divide the meat combination equally between 4 muffins. High with provolone cheese. Grill for 1 minute till the cheese melts. Leftover gradual cooker French onion soup can be utilized as a dipping sauce.

Submit solutions: Candy potatoes on the facet supply added vitamin A and fiber. Frozen candy potatoes prepare dinner quicker.

  1. recommendation: She makes a sandwich that is half greens and half meat, however the provolone cheese hides these greens for these in her household who hate greens.

Complete value: $3.48 per serving

Kung pao rooster over fried rice

Cooking Kung Pao Fried Chicken and the ingredients needed to prepare it

Courtesy McCallie Montgomery


  • 1 pound of rooster: about 2 giant boneless breasts or 4 rooster thighs
  • 1 Nice Worth Kung Pao Hen Equipment (incorporates garlic paste, kung pao sauce, and two dried crimson chili peppers)
  • 1 package deal of frozen broccoli stir-fry greens is a superb worth
  • 2 cups instantaneous brown rice
  • ½ cup of chopped onion
  • 3 tablespoons. Of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon. canola oil
  • Elective: peanuts, for garnish

Coat rooster in garlic paste. Place the rooster within the gradual cooker. High with the Kung Pao sauce from the Kung Pao Hen vary, then add the crimson chili pepper. Simmer for 4-6 hours. Discard the chili peppers, shred the rooster, add the frozen greens and prepare dinner over excessive warmth for one more half-hour.

For fried rice

Prepare dinner the rice based on the directions on the package deal. Fry the chopped onion in oil till it turns into translucent. Add cooked rice and soy sauce. Proceed cooking, stirring consistently, for one more 5 minutes.

Serve the rooster over rice, including peanuts, if desired


  1. Select your favourite mixture of frozen greens. I like this colourful mix as a result of every colour represents a unique phytochemical (the pure bioactive compounds that give vegatables and fruits their colours) that has a uniquely useful well being property. For instance, crimson peppers are excessive in nutritional vitamins A and C, potassium, and antioxidants. White greens are useful for immune well being and ldl cholesterol management.
  2. It’s not essential to fry the rice, however doing so provides quite a lot of additional taste.

Complete value: $2.52 per serving

Breakfast rivals dinner with pancakes

Pancakes on a baking tray with scrambled egg ingredients

Courtesy McCallie Montgomery


  • 8 eggs, nicely overwhelmed
  • 1 tablespoon. ghee
  • 4 cups contemporary spinach or 2 cups frozen spinach
  • 1 cup of chopped mushrooms
  • ½ – ¾ cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1 field of protein pancake combine, which yields 18-20 pancakes
  • In a big skillet, saute spinach and mushrooms in 1 tablespoon of butter. Add 8 eggs to the spinach and mushrooms and stir consistently till the eggs are utterly cooked.
  • Soften on cheese

Put together pancakes based on package deal directions and serve with eggs. (Crusties are nice as a result of they’re excessive in protein and complete grains)


  1. Spinach is a superb supply of iron, mushrooms enhance the immune system, and eggs present an entire supply of amino acids.
  2. Put together your complete field of pies at one time and retailer within the fridge. Warmth them in a toaster when able to eat.

Complete value: $1.72 per serving

Hen and corn enchiladas

Chicken enchilada on a green plate and ingredients for its preparation

Trevor Raab; Courtesy McCallie Montgomery


  • 1 lb. Hen: 2 giant breasts or 4 rooster thighs
  • 1 15.5 oz. A can of white beans, resembling Nice Northern, Navy, or Cannellini
  • 1 28 oz. A packet of enchilada sauce
  • 1 7 oz. A can of delicate scorching inexperienced pepper
  • 1 8 oz. A field of nice worth low-fat cream cheese
  • 1 8 oz. A package deal of shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 8 mission complete wheat tortilla bread
  • 1 Bundle Inexperienced Large Merely Steamed Honey Roasted Candy Corn

Place rooster, enchilada sauce, inexperienced peppers, and washed and drained beans within the gradual cooker. Simmer for 4-6 hours. Take away the rooster to a chopping board, shred with a fork, and return the minimize rooster to the gradual cooker.

Minimize the cream cheese into 1-inch cubes, and blend with the rooster and bean combination till the cream cheese melts.

Divide the rooster and bean combination evenly into the tortillas. Unwrap and place seam facet down in a 9 x 13-inch baking pan.

High tortillas with shredded pepper jack cheese and remaining sauce from the gradual cooker, if desired.

Bake within the oven at 350 for 15-20 minutes or till performed.

Put together honey roasted candy corn based on package deal directions and function a facet dish.


  1. Including beans to this dish provides fibre, veggies, and protein and permits you to minimize the quantity of meat you’ll usually use in half.
  2. Complete wheat tortilla chips add fiber to the recipe, and leftovers maintain up higher the following day.

Complete value: $2.86 per serving

Pulled pork with broccoli salad

Kung pao chicken, chicken enchiladas, dumplings, eggs, spinach and mushrooms on plates

Courtesy McCallie Montgomery


  • 2- Kilo grilled pork, minimize into small items
  • 1 bottle barbecue sauce
  • Slider rolls, Hawaiian rolls, or rice to serve
  • Facets:
  • 1 package deal of broccoli salad
  • Creamy or candy salad dressing as desired.
  • Cauliflower onion rings

Minimize the pork roast into 2-inch cubes. Add the pork and a full bottle of barbecue sauce to the gradual cooker, and prepare dinner for 6-8 hours on low warmth. Shred the meat with a fork and serve over rolls or rice.

Add the specified quantity of sauce to the broccoli salad, and stir nicely. Prepare dinner the onion and cauliflower rings based on the directions on the bag


  1. The candy, wholesome style of broccoli slaw is a superb supply of vitamin C and enhances the spicy barbecue taste of the pork.
  2. Leftover ham goes nicely with a salad the following day or on nachos or quesadillas. To include extra greens and lengthen leftovers longer, Montgomery will combine half the pork with an equal quantity of black beans.

Complete value: $3.63 per serving

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Sarah Lorge Butler is a author and editor residing in Eugene, Oregon, whose tales about sports activities, its tendencies, and its superb folks have appeared in The world of hostility Since 2005. She is the writer of two standard health books, Run your ass off! And Stroll your butt off!