Cheap Week Meal Plan: $2.10 per meal

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This was a meal prep menu built strictly for one purpose. Get it done cheap. Healthy eating is for EVERYONE. Not just for those who have the perfect meal plan or the means to buy the freshest, specialty ingredients. Keep reading. You can also download the full meal prep menu, recipes and grocery list at the end of the article! BOOM!

I recently read an article that was explaining how hard “eating healthy” was if you did not have access to a variety fresh produce. Seriously, by the time I finished reading I was mad. Our mission with the CK 12 Week Challenge is to make healthy eating easy for anyone. This what we teach and the article just really irritated me. I’m about to bust their bubble!

I’ll admit, having a wide selection of produce from local farmers market or a Whole Foods is ideal when you want to get fancy, but that doesn’t mean it is difficult to eat healthy. I do perfectly fine with my local selection without a Whole Foods (though I dream of the day). And just to prove a point, I decided to go one step further and show how cheaply I can make some CK recipes using a mix of mostly frozen veggies and protein, and some fresh ingredients.

Another “negative” the article said was it is “too expensive” to eat healthy. It’s not expensive if you actually eat the food you buy and do not waste it. If you are looking to eat 3 Clean Kitchen healthy meals per day, it’s less expensive than eating 2 or 3 value meals at your fast food drive thru. The average fast food meal cost between $5-$7. Don’t believe me, check out this site with many fast food restaurant menu prices.

The way I look at it, I am paying for my health through what I eat and not having to medicate. I would much rather spend money on more whole foods than have a sick, achy body as I age. It’s all about your perspective. You can choose to invest now or you will have to pay later.

I spent a grand total of $71.33 (including sales tax) for 34 meals.

I decided to price out 3 meals a day for me and 2 meals for Brian and Bishop, for 5 days. Our typical Clean Kitchen 12 week Challenge client comes to us only eating a couple of meals a day. So this plan is for you. You can easily eat under $100 a week eating 3 healthy meals per day. And if you are not considering your other family members, you would have plenty of food to get you through the week for even less.

  1. I bought frozen protein and veggies if I could. I could buy much more volume and cheaper. And I roasted the veggies just like I roast fresh veggies.
  2. I did not buy organic. If you are looking for “organic” you better move on. We are going cheaper, but not sacrificing taste!
  3. I kept the menu simple. Eating healthy is really simple, you just have to figure out what you need to buy, rather than aimlessly walking around the grocery store, piling you buggy with produce you will probably not eat. Make a plan before you go to the store.

Keep in mind, I did not have to buy spices, oils or other pantry staples I keep on hand. Having staple ingredients that you use regularly will save you money. Don’t buy lots of specialty ingredients you can only use for one recipe. The only “specialty” items I used was for the Kung Pao Turkey, but I promise you will make this over and over again. Many of the CK recipes use some of the same spices and pantry items. You learn how to do all this in the 12 Week Challenge!

Meals I planned for:

  1. Omelettes for breakfast
  2. Chicken Parm Bake
  3. Mel’s Shrimp Scampi
  4. Foil Baked Chicken
  5. Baked Chicken Thighs
  6. Kung Pao Turkey

My Pantry staples:

  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • chili powder
  • beef bullion powder or paste
  • salt
  • extra virgin olive oil or butter
  • chicken stock
  • hot sauce
  • Vinegars
  • low sodium soy sauce (asian food aisle) – Kung Pao Turkey
  • rice vinegar or other white vinegar (asian food aisle)- Kung Pao Turkey
  • sesame seed oil (asian food aisle) – Kung Pao Turkey
  • liquid stevia or sweetener of choice – Kung Pao Turkey
  • tin foil, sheet pans, 9×13 baking dish, skillet cooking pan

The Cost Breakdown: 34 meals = $2.10 per meal

  • 19 meals at dinner (with one portion for 1 lunch the next day)
  • 15 meals at breakfast
  • Give or take a few cents, but I was in Walmart, the Sunday before school started, I don’t know what I was thinking. Trying to dodge carts and compare prices, while logging all this, was a miracle in it’s self.

The 5 Day Meal Plan

Breakfast: 5 days for 2 adults and 1 kid

  • 2 eggs omelet, with peppers, onions and spinach X5 per person (2 adults)
  • 1-2 eggs for Bishop and banana x 5
  • at least 30 eggs, 10 oz box of fresh spinach and 1 bag (22 oz) of frozen mixed pepper and onions.

Everyday I had enough for a two egg omelet with a handful of peppers/onions and handful of spinach.

veggieOmelette

Monday Dinner: Cost $10.63

  • Chicken Parm Bake: 4 servings
  • Roasted Green beans: 4 servings

This was the EASIEST meal eveeeerrrr.

ChickenParmBakeandbeans_Title_IG

 

Tuesday Dinner: Cost $12.48

  • Mels’ Healthy Meals Shrimp Scampi: 3 servings
  • Roasted Okra: 4 servings

Hands down my favorite meal of the week! This recipe is from @melshealthymeals on IG.

shrimpandokra_Title_IG

 

Wednesday Dinner: Cost $9.63

  • Foil Baked Chicken 4-5 servings
  • Roasted broccoli: 4 servings

This is recipe I altered a bit from Pinterest. And it’s not the prettiest. I mainly liked the cooking method, baking the chicken wrapped in foil. You could do this method with a number of marinade combinations.

foilbakedchickenandbroc_Title

 

Thursday Dinner: Cost $9.82

  • Baked Chicken Thighs: 3-4 servings
  • Roasted carrots and broccoli: 4 servings

This is my Baked Drumsticks recipe. I defrosted the chicken thighs in the fridge a couple of days before. Frozen verse fresh was about  $1 cheaper, but I would probably opt for fresh next time only because I can actually see how many thighs or drumsticks I was buying. In the 4 lb frozen bag I could not tell.

chickenthighsandveggies_Title

Friday Dinner: Cost $4.37

  • Kung Pao Chicken over spinach: 4 servings
  • Roasted Sweet potato slices: 4 servings

I had planned for sweet potatoes, but ended up having leftover carrots from the night before so I just used those in my meal. The Kung Pao recipe calls for use of some Asian ingredients. If you do not have those you can always switch this recipe out to do Turkey Taco Salad, which is just as cheap of a meal! All you need is taco seasoning, turkey meat, fat free refried beans, and a few ingredients for your salad (spinach, salsa and greek yogurt). Or try our Sloppy Joe recipe, so cheap!

kungpaoandveggies_Title

 

Lunch: I had 1 serving leftover from the night before for my lunch the next day.

And that’s how its done.

I’ll be honest, I go to the grocery store about every 3 days or so. I buy a lot more groceries than $100 worth for the week. I also eat about 5 or 6 times a day, but that is not the normal for someone looking to “just eat better.” If you are looking to learn how to eat healthy and cheaply for you and your family, sign up for the Clean Kitchen 12 week Challenge. I promise a total brain-retrain on what you think it takes to get there!


If you would like a the complete meal plan with recipes and instructions, download the CheapWeekMealPlan_CleanKitchen PDF. Or find the grocery list and meal plan listed below.

Grocery list

Frozen Produce

  • 1 Frozen 12 oz whole greens beans $1.97/ Fresh 12 oz $2.98
  • 4 Frozen 14 oz Broccoli bags $1.44 (Fresh 12 oz bags $2.24) x 4 = $5.76
  • 1 Frozen 22 oz bag Okra $2.48
  • 1 Frozen 22 oz bag Mixed Pepper and onion $2.38
  • 1 Frozen bag of chopped onions (2 onions) $1.98
  • 2 Frozen bags of carrot chips $.98 x 2 = $1.98
  • Total: $16.55

Fresh Produce

  • 11 oz box of spinach $4.78
  • 3 lb spaghetti squash $4.02
  • 1 lemon $.48
  • 2 sweet potatoes $2.20
  • 1 zucchini $.74
  • 5 bananas $1.48
  • Total: $13.70

Pantry Items

  • 1 can tomato sauce $.72
  • 1 can diced tomatoes $.72
  • McCormick’s Thick N’ Zesty packet $1.24
  • Parm cheese ($.48 per ounce, 1 cup used = $4)
  • Cottage cheese ($.12 per oz, maybe $1 used)
  • 2 single servings Non fat plain Greek yogurt $2.00
  • Total: $9.68

Protein

  • 18 Egg carton x 2 = $3.66
  • 1 lb ground turkey $2.76
  • 5 lb bag frozen chicken breast (8-10 breast) $10.33
  • 4 lb bag frozen chicken thighs (7-8 thighs) $4.98
  • 1 lb frozen shrimp $5
  • Total: $26.73

Sub Total: $66.66

Tax: 4.67

Grand Total: $71.33

My Pantry staples:

  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • chili powder
  • beef bullion powder or paste
  • salt
  • extra virgin olive oil or butter
  • chicken stock
  • hot sauce
  • Vinegars
  • low sodium soy sauce (asian food aisle) – Kung Pao Turkey
  • rice vinegar or other white vinegar (asian food aisle)- Kung Pao Turkey
  • sesame seed oil (asian food aisle) – Kung Pao Turkey
  • liquid stevia or sweetener of choice – Kung Pao Turkey
  • tin foil, sheet pans, 9×13 baking dish, skillet cooking pan

The 5 Day Meal Plan

Breakfast: 5 days for 2 adults and 1 kid

  • 2 eggs omelet, with peppers, onions and spinach X5 per person (2 adults)
  • 1-2 eggs for Bishop and banana x 5
  • at least 30 eggs, 10 oz box of fresh spinach and 1 bag (22 oz) of frozen mixed pepper and onions.

Everyday I had enough for a two egg omelet with a handful of peppers/onions and handful of spinach.

Monday Dinner: Cost $10.63

  • Chicken Parm Bake: 4 servings
  • Roasted Green beans: 4 servings

This was the EASIEST meal eveeeerrrr.

Ingredients: 

  • 1 bag of frozen whole green beans
  • 4- 5 Frozen- rock-solid chicken breast
  • 1 can of tomato sauce
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 packet of McCormick’s Thick N Zesty
  • 1 cup low fat cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup parmesean cheese (optional)

Directions:

  1. Pre heat over to 425.
  2. Place frozen green beans on pan, spray with cooking oil spray and season. Pop them in the oven.
  3. Mix together 1 can of tomato sauce, 1 can diced tomatoes and 1 packet of McCormick’s Thick N Zesty.
  4. Place 4-5 Frozen (yes frozen like a brick) Chicken breast in a baking dish. Season with salt.
  5. Pour sauce mixture on top.
  6. Top each chicken breast with a dollop of cottage cheese, then sprinkle with a little parm cheese.
  7. Bake (both green beans and chicken) for about 30-35 minutes. DONE.

Tuesday Dinner: Cost $12.48

  • Mels’ Healthy Meals Shrimp Scampi: 3 servings
  • Roasted Okra: 4 servings

Hands down my favorite meal of the week! This recipe is from @melshealthymeals on IG.

Ingredients: 

  • 22 oz bag of frozen okra
  • 1/2 cup frozen chopped onion
  • 1 pound of frozen small, peeled deveined, tail off shrimp
  • 2-3 pound spaghetti squash or whole wheat pasta
  • 1 lemon or lemon juice
  • 1-2 tbs white wine vinegar or stock (used in place of cooking wine)
  • 2 tbs of stock (used in place of cooking wine)
  • 1 tbs butter or olive oil
  • garlic powder
  • salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425. Place frozen okra on pan, spray with cooking spray and season. Pop in oven for about 30-35 minutes.
  2. Boil spaghetti squash or pasta.
  3. Preheat skillet with 1 tbs of butter or oil, medium to high heat, add onions.
  4. Add defrosted shrimp to pan, season with garlic powder and salt to taste. Cook until shrimp is cooked through and brown bits form.
  5. Add vinegar and stock to pan, stir.
  6. Add spaghetti squash “noodles” or pasta to pan, possibly a little more butter or oil if needed. Salt to taste.
  7. Add juice of one lemon to pan, stir. Add lemon zest, optional. Serve and enjoy!

Wednesday: Cost $9.63

  • “Melt in your mouth Chicken” 4-5 servings
  • Roasted broccoli: 4 servings

This is recipe I altered a bit from Pinterest. I mainly liked the cooking method, baking the chicken wrapped in foil. You could do this method with a number of marinade combinations.

Ingredients: 

  • 2 bags (12 oz) of frozen broccoli
  • 4- 5 Frozen- rock-solid chicken breast
  • 1 cup greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup parm cheese (or other)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • I used a dash of paprika (optional) or make it spicy with some red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425. Place frozen broccoli on pan, spray with cooking spray and season.
  2. Mix yogurt, parm cheese, seasonings together.
  3. Slather frozen chicken breast with mix and place individually in tin foil.
  4. Pop everything in oven for about 30-35 minutes.

Thursday: Cost $9.82

  • Baked Chicken Thighs: 3-4 servings
  • Roasted carrots and broccoli: 4 servings

This is my Baked Drumsticks recipe. I defrosted the chicken thighs in the fridge a couple of days before. Frozen verse fresh was about  $1 cheaper, but I would probably opt for fresh next time only because I can actually see how many thighs or drumsticks I was buying. In the 4 lb frozen bag I could not tell.

Ingredients: 

  • 2 bags (12 oz) of frozen broccoli
  • 2 bags (12 oz) of frozen carrots
  • 7-8 defrosted chicken thighs (I peeled the skin off)
  • Ingredients used in the Baked Drumsticks Recipe here

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Place frozen broccoli on pan, spray with cooking spray and season.
  3. Place frozen carrot slices on pan, season with salt a garlic powder, and toss with 1-2 tbs olive oil. I even drizzled mine with some basalmic vinegar.
  4. Prep chicken thighs using the Baked Drumsticks Recipe here.
  5. Bake everything in the oven, take out veggies after about 30-40 minutes. Continue to cook chicken.

Friday: Cost $4.37

  • Kung Pao Chicken over spinach: 4 servings
  • Roasted Sweet potato slices: 4 servings

I had planned for sweet potatoes, but ended up having leftover carrots from the night before so I just used those in my meal. The Kung Pao recipe calls for use of some Asian ingredients. If you do not have those you can always switch this recipe out to do Turkey Taco Salad, which is just as cheap of a meal! All you need is taco seasoning, turkey meat, fat free refried beans, and a few ingredients for your salad (spinach, salsa and greek yogurt). Or try our Sloppy Joe recipe, so cheap!

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups  frozen pepper and onion mix
  • 1 chopped zuchinni (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 pound ground turkey meat- tubed meat is a little over $1 cheaper than the boxed kind, but is higher fat. Not a deal breaker though.
  • Sauce mixture:
    • 3 tbs soy sauce
    • 2 tbs rice vinegar (found on Asian food aisle)
    • 1 tbs hot sauce
    • 1 tsp sesame seed oil
    • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
    • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
    • 1/8 +/- tsp liquid stevia (or sweetener of choice)
    • 2 tsp of arrowroot powder or cornstarch

Directions:

  1. I used two skillet pans, one to cook the meat and one to cook the veggies.
  2. Preheat 2 pans with 1 tbs of  oil, medium heat.
  3. Add frozen peppers and onions, with chopped zucchini to one pan. Add turkey meat to the other pan. Season both with garlic powder and salt.
  4. Cook until meat is brown, then drain juices.
  5. Once veggies are soft, add meat to the veggie pan, stir.
  6. Add Kung Pao sauce mixture to the pan and stir until thickened.
  7. Eat over a handful of fresh spinach.
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