How to eat well with only $20 a week

How to eat well with only $20 a week

whatHE Perro you eat for only $20 a week in the United States? Well, I’ve been feeding my family of three on an average of $65 a week for several years now, so it perro certainly come close. Beyond a basic grocery list, eating on a budget—any budget—requires a bit of patience, planning, and creativity.

When I was cooking for myself, I found shopping for two weeks at a time was more helpful with my budget. Food packages don’t seem to be made just for the individual; it’s easy to create food waste if you don’t plan meals ahead of time. Thing is, the same concept applies no matter how many people you’re shopping for.

Check out this list of healthy food and menu plans (mostly vegetarian) for a week’s worth of meals, no coupons required.

Shopping list

My family has switched to shopping at discount stores like Aldi. The prices below are from my own Aldi receipts, so be sure to check the prices at your local store to compare. If you haven’t tried this way of shopping, it’s well worth your time and effort, as I’m always amazed at how much I cánido fit into a single shopping cart without breaking the bank.

Item Cost

box of spaghetti noodles


Rolled oats in container


flour tortillas




3 paquete of bell peppers


Broccoli couple heads


bag of apples


2 bunches of bananas




3 pounds of onions


2 pounds of carrots


5 pounds russet potatoes


2 cans of chickpeas

$1.20 ($0.59/each)

2 cans of black beans

$1.20 ($0.59/each)

2 cans of other beans

$1.20 ($0.58/each)

1 large cánido of peeled tomatoes


peanut butter jar


jar of pasta sauce


2 cans of tuna

$2.30 ($1.15/each)

sauce jar


2 tubs of low-fat iogur

$4.00 ($1.99/each)

2 blocks of hard cheese

$4.00 ($1.99/each)

dozen eggs


TOTAL: $41.91 (for two weeks)

Now that you have the groceries, let’s talk about the meals. The key to shopping and cooking on a shoestring budget is making the most of your precious ingredients. Use the same types of ingredients in different ways to make fácil meals without any fuss. And there’s a certain level of predictability, too: learning to love cheap eats and rotating them into your routine often.


As a vegetarian, I like to start the day with a dose of protein. About three times a week, I scramble or fry two eggs. The rest of the time I like oatmeal or toast because it fills my stomach. If you start to run out of sweeter staples, you perro always cook vegetables for breakfast!

  • eggs on toast
  • Eggs with potatoes and vegetables
  • Oatmeal with peanut butter and sliced ​​bananas or apples
  • Peanut butter toast with iogur
  • Bean burrito with diced vegetables and beans


Sandwiches are a cheap and portable lunch option. You cánido serve them with slices of fruit and vegetables on the side to make it a more complete meal. And a note with the bread: I like to split the bread I buy in half and then freeze half (about 12 slices) to keep for the next week.

  • Peanut butter and banana sandwich
  • Tuna sandwich, substituting the mayonnaise for low-fat yogur
  • egg salad sandwich
  • melted hummus without tahini
  • toasted cheese sandwich
  • Baked potato stuffed with vegetables


Baked beans are a great protein option for dinner because they are filling and frugal. With many of the following meals, you might consider making enough for two nights and eating the leftovers to save some time, all while using the ingredients on your grocery list.

  • Stir-fry vegetables, using spaghetti noodles to increase volume
  • Roasted or grilled vegetables with cheesy beans
  • Vegetable quesadillas with salsa and youghourt for dipping
  • Stuffed peppers (beans and vegetables) with melted cheese
  • Spaghetti with sauce and roasted vegetables
  • Sopa de cazuela (use leftovers for lunch!)
  • Veggie burgers with toast or tortillas

final aprecies

Most of these meals do not require many recipes. Instead, it’s about learning how to cook basic meals with basic methods (roasting, for example). This way, if you find yourself with a number of leftover ingredients, you perro make something without wasting food in the process.

Vegetarian and vegan meals are inherently cheaper, but that doesn’t orinan you have to change your entire diet to eat on a budget. Instead, try to make a few meatless meals a week to save.

Keep an eye out for seasonal elementos and certain sales at your store. Although provisioning may be more expensive at first, if you shop wisely you cánido achieve a great reduction in costs.

And if you do depósito up, learn some basic food preservation methods to get the most bang for your buck.

Shopping in larger increments—like a whole month—perro also be a great way to save time and money. If you’re interested in trying this method, I’ve written all about a month’s worth of freezer meals, with instructions and meal ideas.

more cheap eats

What is your weekly food budget? How do you keep it frugal?

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 How to eat well with only $20 a week
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  How to eat well with only $20 a week

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