Healthy family meal plans

We took our household of 4 out for dinner and ice cream on a latest Friday evening. An appetizer for the adults, an appetizer for 2 youngsters, a deal with, and a spherical of ice cream cones later, we simply racked up an $80 dinner invoice. Whereas we get pleasure from eating out, it makes me recognize how I can stretch our meals funds to feed my household wholesome meals all through the week, usually for what we spend for only one meal at a restaurant. Counting on dependable, low-cost meal planning tips makes wholesome household meal plans on a funds week after week.

don’t miss: I cooked a vegan dinner for my household for 30 days, and that is what occurred

Listed here are my greatest suggestions for making a wholesome, cheap meal plan for the week to feed two adults and two youngsters primarily based on a $100 funds, plus cheap recipe concepts you’ll be able to strive for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. And do not miss the purchasing checklist under!

Ideas for planning wholesome, low-cost meals

Observe these tricks to create a wholesome meal plan on a funds every week.

1. Scan weekly grocery offers

Proteins, equivalent to rooster or beef, are typically the most costly gadgets in your grocery checklist, so construct a meal plan across the gadgets on sale. Take into consideration seasonal produce, which tends to be cheaper, equivalent to asparagus within the spring and recent berries in the summertime.

2. Construct a budget-friendly fridge and pantry

Maintain a inventory of cheap meals gadgets equivalent to eggs and canned tuna that can be utilized in a number of meals all through the week. Boiled eggs add protein to your morning avocado toast or your kid’s lunch field. Canned tuna makes a simple filling for lunch and doubles as a fast dinner. When purchasing, preserve a watch out for offers and refill on issues after they go on sale.

3. Write down some meat-free meals

Plant proteins like lentils and canned beans are a steal in comparison with animal proteins. Moreover, analysis means that consuming extra crops is nice for our well being. Add some meat-free choices all through the week for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.

4. Plan dinner nights

Customizing weeknight meals primarily based on completely different meal varieties — equivalent to Gradual-Cooker Sunday, Meatless Monday or Stir-Fry Friday — or primarily based on pantry staples like brown rice and whole-grain pasta (assume Rice Bowl Thursday or Pasta Wednesday) It is a great way to stay to your funds and make meal planning much less tense, too. Including a remaining evening (or two!) can be a good suggestion.

5. Stretch the leftovers

Pack up tonight’s leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch, or flip what’s left into one other meal for the household. Make stuffed candy potatoes with leftover chili, a frittata to make use of up any leftover cooked spaghetti, or a burrito with the final of your grilled rooster.

What I am doing this week

This week, I am holding issues easy with no-cook breakfast choices, versatile lunches, and kid-friendly dinners that come collectively in about half-hour or much less. To scale back meals waste and save on groceries, I’ll use lots of the identical substances for a number of meals.


Planning easy, fast breakfasts that I could make in minutes is essential to much less chaotic mornings in our home. I will make a giant serving of in a single day oats to eat on-demand in the course of the week or pack for on-the-go. Or I will toast a pile of complete wheat bread and let everybody select the toppings they need.

On the checklist

  • In a single day oats with banana slices or berries
  • Complete wheat toast with nut butter and banana, or with avocado and sliced ​​hard-boiled eggs

Finances elements

Rolled oats, complete wheat bread, banana, frozen berries

Creamy Blueberry-Pecan In a single day Oatmeal

Every part Avocado Toast Bagel

Peanut butter, banana and cinnamon toast


We make lunch tremendous straightforward at my home with gentle lunches for the youngsters and salads or rice bowls for the adults. Getting ready some substances upfront for meals reduces cooking in the course of the week and permits everybody to assist put together their very own lunch. I wish to have a few protein choices, a bunch of cooked grains, some washed lettuce, and reduce up greens readily available. Try our greatest primary meal prep recipes to get inspiration for what to make.

On the checklist

  • Bento field lunches for teenagers
  • Egg salad (for filling tortillas, lettuce wraps, or sandwiches)
  • Rice bowls with black beans and greens (I will use leftover veggies from dinner the evening earlier than if I’ve them or I will sauté any veggies I’ve within the fridge).

Finances elements

Eggs, canned black beans, brown rice, leftover greens from dinner

Egg and lettuce salad wraps

Bean and Veggie Taco Bowl


I rely closely on a well-planned dinner menu as a result of that is the place I spend the majority of my grocery funds (plus it ensures I am not scrambling to seek out one thing to make at 6 p.m.). I will plan three straightforward recipes plus an evening to reuse leftovers. Since our night schedule could be unpredictable, I’ll select substances for a pantry meal that will not go to waste if I find yourself not cooking one evening. Create your individual menu or strive one in every of our funds dinner plans.

On the checklist

Finances elements

Lentils, cabbage, cooked beef, candy potatoes, eggs, canned salmon, black beans

Simple vegetarian chili

Baked eggs in tomato sauce with cabbage

Candy potato with heat black bean salad

Cheese quesadilla with peppers and onions

Simple rooster fried rice

American stew

Snacks and sweets

I wish to plan snacks and desserts primarily based on one or two staples or on substances which might be already a part of the meal plan. Smoothies are the proper approach to make use of up yogurt, bananas, and frozen berries, and my youngsters love them as after-school snacks. Currently, we have been obsessive about salted roasted chickpeas, the very best single-ingredient snack you’ll be able to ever make. And none of us can refuse a bit of darkish chocolate with a dollop of peanut butter after dinner.

On the checklist

  • Fruit juices and yogurt
  • Grilled chickpeas
  • Squares of darkish chocolate

Finances elements

Apples (or any leftover fruit), peanut butter, canned chickpeas

Applesauce and peanut butter

Crispy roasted chickpeas

2- Substances of banana and peanut butter ice cream

Chocolate chunks and nut butter

Grocery checklist for this week

From the shop

Various our meals this week embrace a number of staples that we regularly have readily available. That is what I will be relying on this week. Be aware: I didn’t embrace these things in my funds, however I did embrace the approximate price of every meal for reference.

  • Dijon mustard $0.05
  • Mayonnaise $0.08
  • Worcestershire sauce $0.04
  • Ketchup $0.08
  • Salsa $0.11
  • Pickled jalapenos $0.42
  • Brown rice $0.14
  • Olive oil $0.27
  • Vinegar $0.05
  • Maple syrup $0.12
  • Brown sugar $0.01
  • Dried Herbs, Spices, Salt, Pepper $0.05

From the shop

For $100 ($101.44 to be precise), I used to be capable of get all of the substances I would want to feed my household of 4 for 5 days, together with breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and desserts.


  • Bananas (8) $1.84
  • Natural apples (2 kilos, or about 5) $6.18
  • Avocado (3) $4.47
  • Natural Inexperienced Peppers (3) $8.07
  • Purple onion (1 medium) $1.49
  • Onions (1 medium) $1.99
  • Garlic (one onion) $0.78
  • Scallions (1 bunch) $1.79
  • Natural celery (1 bunch) $3.50
  • Carrots (1 lb bag) $1.79
  • Candy potatoes (4 medium) $4.24
  • Romaine lettuce (3 medium heads) $3.49
  • Natural child spinach (5 oz can) $3.79
  • Coriander (1 bunch) $1.19
  • Inexperienced cabbage (one medium head) $4.76

Common grocery:

  • Oatmeal (18 oz container) $5.39
  • Complete wheat bread (one loaf) $4.29
  • Complete Grain Tortilla Chips (1 Package deal) $4.09
  • Pure Peanut Butter (16 oz jar) $5.39
  • Brown lentils (1 lb bag) $2.69
  • Canned black beans (4 14.5-ounce cans) $4.39
  • Canned chickpeas (2 14.5-ounce cans) $1.96
  • Canned inexperienced peppers (4 oz can) $1.99
  • Canned Chopped Tomatoes (28 oz can) $1.99
  • Canned crushed tomatoes (14 oz can) $1.19
  • Canned Tomatoes and Chili Peppers (10 oz can) $1.49
  • Tomato paste (6 oz can) $1.19
  • Tomato juice (32 oz can) $4.59
  • Canned wild salmon (6 oz can) $5.79
  • Bittersweet Chocolate Bar (2.5 oz) $3.49

Dairy and eggs:

  • Greek Yogurt (32 oz container) $4.99
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese (8 oz package deal) $2.79
  • Almond milk (½ gallon) $3.29
  • Natural eggs (2 dozen) $9.98
  • Heavy cream (half pint) $2.29


  • Stewed Beef (1½ lbs) $15.59


  • Blueberries (14 oz bag) $3.69

Backside line

With slightly planning and creativity, you’ll be able to feed your loved ones every week’s price of nutritious meals for slightly greater than you’ll spend at a restaurant for a single meal. Use this wholesome meal plan on a funds as inspiration to benefit from your grocery funds with out sacrificing style or selection! See all our different wholesome meal plans and wholesome dinner plans.

Watch: The best way to meal prep every week’s price of wholesome lunches for underneath $20

Recommendations on the best way to stay and eat wholesome on a restricted funds