Cheap Plant-Based Meal Plan

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My husband started teaching a new class at our church this weekend. It’s a six-week stewardship class using the book Money: God or Gift.

People come to the class for many reasons, some come because they want to learn to budget, other want to get out of debt and other want to learn to trust God in a new way, with their finances.

During the class today I started thinking about different ways to save money, actually just ways to spend less money and the grocery budget is one of the best I can think of.

Think about it for a minute, you can’t really change your mortgage/rent payment, insurance, etc. mostly stay the same. Some utilities vary by season like the electric bill or gas. The grocery bill can fluctuate based on what you choose to buy.

Get this FREE Plant-Based Meal Plan of Fall Recipes

The Cheapest Plant-Based Meal Plan

A few years ago I created a really cheap plant-based meal plan. Unlike my normal weekly meal plans this meal plan was designed for a family of four (two adult and two children) for seven days. This meal plan also includes a shopping list to feed your family for $55 or less per week!

I’ll admit that you may have to alter this meal plan a bit, especially if you have food allergies. The goal of it was to eat an inexpensively as possible, not as healthy as possible Still, I think it is a great start for anyone trying to cut your food budget.

Stretch Even Further

Prices will vary based on where you live and what stores you have available. If you are really struggling financially you can make this spread even further by getting a food box from a local food pantry.

I personally know some people who are really struggling financial and they refuse to ask for help. Let me say this very clearly. There is no shame in getting help. Most of us have donated to food drives or to charities. Everyone struggles from time to time. If you need help ask for it. Don’t be ashamed, don’t be too proud.

It has been over a year since my husband lost his job. In some ways it seems like it was only yesterday and in other ways it seems like a lifetime ago. Our life has changed a lot since then including a role reversal at home. I went to work full-time and Jim is the stay at home dad. We both have side business’ but haven’t replaced the income we lost in August of 2014.

Get the Meal Plan Free

I’m offering this meal plan for FREE. Why? Because I want to prove you don’t have to be rich to eat healthy.

The pdf includes meals planned for breakfast, lunch and dinner, links to recipes and a shopping list. It is only 5 pages (you can skip printing the cover).

All you have to do is to sign up for my newsletter and you’ll get your FREE copy.

You don’t have to be plant-based to use this meal plan. Sure, you won’t find meat or dairy but you will find filling, healthy inexpensive food. I challenge anyone trying to save money on their grocery bill to try this.

Advice Wanted

What advice do you have for someone trying to trim their budget, food or otherwise? Have you lost a job and had to get by on a lot less? Share you stories, you never know who you may encourage.


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  1. Firstly, thank you for posting your meal plan free of cost. It’s nice to see what others are doing under tight means. We have been on a single income (incl. unemployment and student loans) for the last 7 years since the auto industry’s crash took my husband’s good paying job out-of-country. For 5 of those 7 years, we lived on less than 10K/yr. Raising 3 children. I feed my family on $200/mo out of necessity.

    I guess if I had to offer advice, it would be to train yourself to be content with what you have. It can always be worse (don’t believe me: search YouTube for the vids of Haitian children eating mud). Learn to cook. Forget the fads and focus on the wholesome foods that your grandmother would have made- homemade bread, big pots of beans, baked potatoes, simple seasonal vegetable soups, etc. Buy staples like rice, flour, beans in big bulk bags. Watch for great sales seasonally- after Halloween, I’ve gotten pumpkins from Walmart for $.03/lb and yams after Thanksgiving for $.04/lb. Substitute for more expensive ingredients (i.e., sunflower seeds instead of almonds, raisins instead of dried apricots). Check out your local ethnic grocers or Amish markets for good prices on basic foods, like rice, noodles, spices. Get/make an easy-wash tablecloth, put a vase of wildflowers on the table, make your simple meals a big deal. Eat with gratitude, everything tastes better. Never say no to free food; just this year we’ve been given 3 bushels of apples, a bushel each of beets and tomatoes, and bag after bag of zucchini- all frozen or canned into applesauce- all free for the taking, as they would have rotted otherwise.

    In the realm of not-food things: forget paying for tv, forgo internet if you can (we homeschool, so require it), make do with 1 car and make fewer trips to town-or walk more often. Look for free days at your local theatre, local events at the park, the public library has many free programs for the whole family. Read. Take up useful hobbies, like sewing or gardening, and let your kids learn with you. Clean your home with baking soda and a gallon jug of white vinegar.

    You can live with (or without) almost anything, if you have a positive attitude.

    Thanks again 🙂

    • Oh, and I totally forgot to mention the method that I use to stay at $200/mo: I shop monthly, not weekly. It takes a little practice, but it saves so much. Basically, I keep a rough list of my “staples” (pulses, rice, oats) and purchase them in the largest quantity I can afford.

      Example: this month I ordered 25lb of brown lentils from my local Mennonite store for $29. Next month, I won’t need lentils, so I’ll buy a 50lb bag of rolled oats for $25. Month after? Maybe 50lb of potatoes or whatever else is a good deal that stores well.

      If apples are on super sale (usually un-advertised) for $.25/lb, I buy enough to get through the month, and either skip the $.99/lb pears entirely or only buy a few of those. If split peas are marked down to $.79/bag, I grab 10 bags. When Aldi has mushrooms marked at $.59/8oz, I carry off as many as I can fit in the freezer. And so on…

      Eventually, you build up a nice little pantry of whole foods bought at the cheapest prices. Then I figure my menu from what I have on hand. Very rarely do I buy something just for a specific recipe. It’s fun to play “Chopped” with a handful of sale items. Never know what you might try and love!

      • Tegan both of your comments were great advice! I used to ship exactly your style. I do it a little differently now but that way is the best for cost savings!
        And plant a garden if you are able!

        Thanks for the advise! It’s right on!

    • Hi! This response is a long time after you originally posted, but WOW! What a great pep-talk/sermon-of-sorts! My takeaway: “Eat with gratitude, everything tastes better..” So so true.

      Thank you for sharing this and all of these tips! 🙂

  2. I tried to get the free meal plan by subscribing and confirming my email. Is there any reason as to why I have not received it yet?

    • Hi Victoria,
      After confirming your subscription you should have received an email that thanked your for subscribing with a link to the meal plan. It could have gone to a junk mail file or your promotions folder. I just sent you the pdf via email. Let me know if you don’t get it and we will figure out something else.

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