Eating healthy on a budget doesn’t have to be tasteless or boring. This weekly meal plan includes oatmeal power bites, black bean burgers, asparagus salmon packs, Instant Pot chicken gyros, spaghetti, and more!
As someone who has lost 100 pounds, healthy eating is important to me, but I also don’t want to spend a fortune doing it. Here is my weekly meal plan – how I can maintain my weight loss with healthy eating on a budget.
It’s just my husband and I eating most nights, so we always have leftover nights planned in and I will be the first person to admit that my meals are only healthy-ish.
I try to eat balanced meals with lots of veggies, but I also don’t like feeling deprived. I love to eat a variety of different flavors, proteins, fruits, and veggies and this is what works for me to maintain my weight loss.
I modify recipes all the time to fit my tastes, my budget, and make them healthier, so I include tips for that, as well.
Affordable Healthy Meal Plan
Budget tips for the week:
- Buy meat when it’s on sale. I utilize every inch of freezer space I have to be able to buy meat while it’s on sale – lean ground beef, ground turkey, chicken, and more.
- Make food from scratch. It cost me $6 to make 68 ounces of yogurt from scratch. Buying the same amount of Chobani would be about $13 (assuming they are $1 each). Saving half the cost on a food we eat almost daily? Worth it.
- Happily accept others’ overflow. My brother-in-law hunts and got a deer last year. My sister doesn’t like the taste, so they have venison sausage coming out of their ears. We love the stuff and happily took a bag off of their hands. My dad just brought back over 30 pounds of salmon from an Alaskan fishing trip and is sharing his bounty with my sister and I. Fish is expensive, so that’s a huge savings!
Breakfasts & Lunches
This week’s breakfasts:
Cold-start Instant Pot yogurt is a game-changer for me. I used the boil method first, but it was more labor intensive. Cold-start
This has become a staple in our fridge because it makes such a great healthy breakfast and snack to have read-to-eat.
The power oatmeal bites are awesome! They taste like baked oatmeal bites. They are healthy and filling and go perfectly with homemade yogurt!
If you have an Instant Pot, but don’t have these silicone egg bite pans, go get some now!
They are great for egg bites, oatmeal bites, pancake bites, mini meatloaves…it’s fantastic for making perfect little portion sizes of anything!
Sunday Meal Prep
This Sunday, to get ready for the week, I prepped:
- Yogurt. I actually made this on Saturday since it only took a few minutes to mix, pour, and start the yogurt setting. Before I went to bed, I put it in the fridge and it was ready to eat!
- Power oatmeal bites
- Cut up watermelon for the week
I eat leftovers every day for lunch and so does Adam unless we don’t have them available (which usually only happens once or twice a month).
In that case, Adam loves eating the Starkist tuna creation pouches on multigrain bread with a little bit of mayo.
I usually go for veggies and roasted red pepper hummus.
The Pioneer Woman’s Black Bean Burgers, sweet potato fries, and peas and carrots
I was so excited to have another excuse to use my new cast iron skillet!
*Healthy tip – use shredded cheese instead of slices. You can usually cover the area more evenly with less cheese (which is usually still plenty).
I use roasted garlic & herb spice on my sweet potato fries and they are all kinds of amazing.
*Healthy tip – Leave the skin on your sweet potato fries. It takes out the peeling step and adds nutrients!
Spend With Pennies’ Asparagus Salmon Packets & watermelon
I followed her cooking instructions, but really just used lemon pepper seasoning and it was delicious!
These pieces of salmon are a bit thinner, so I need to lower the cooking time next time.
I am becoming a huge fan of foil packets – both on the grill and in the oven.
It makes cleanup so simple and it’s kind of like a different version of a one-pot meal.
I used my Instant Pot a ton this week. It has been saving me so much time and I love that I don’t have to babysit anything on the stove.
*Healthy tip – I used brown rice instead of white rice for the Spanakorizo. Because brown rice takes much longer to cook, I made it in my rice cooker with the chicken broth, then stirred in the rest of the ingredients afterward.
Instant Pot spaghetti, homemade whole wheat rolls, peas & carrots
Instant Pot spaghetti is so stinkin’ easy! And, again, just one pot to clean!
I just browned 1 onion, 1 pound lean ground beef, and 1 Tbs minced garlic. Added the broken thin spaghetti noodles, poured over 24 oz spaghetti sauce, then added 1 1/2 jars water (using the sauce jar). Cook for half the time on the pasta package, quick release, and stir.
*Healthy tip – use whole wheat pasta, and either lean ground beef or lean ground turkey breast. Make sure to add lots of spices because the Instant Pot can dull flavors during cooking.
Also, these rolls are my favorite. I used to use all white flour, but now I substitute 1 1/2 cups of the white flour for white whole wheat.
White whole wheat flour adds the same nutritional punch as wheat flour, but it keeps baked goods so much lighter, which is what I love about these rolls!
Fluffy bread = <3
Grilled chicken (using Happily Unprocessed’s marinade), red potatoes & onions, zucchini, watermelon, and leftover rolls
The marinade on this chicken was SO good! I think it was the dijon mustard. I will definitely be making that one again.
I’ve been using (and reusing) a disposable foil pan for grilled potato this summer. This is just a chopped onion, 3 pounds of diced red potatoes, and roasted garlic & herb spice. Adam grills it over medium for 30-45 minutes.
The zucchini were just chopped into spears and seasoned with salt and pepper.
My sister brought dessert to family dinner this week and it was outstanding!
She brought a cannoli dip with pieces of waffle cone and key lime pie dip with honey graham cracker sticks.
It was such a light, perfectly sweet summer dessert! And so creative. My sister is pretty awesome.