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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 don’t follow a specific diet anymore, though I have tried many of them in the past. 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 (and it helped my husband lose 15 pounds in the 3 weeks following our wedding without adding in any exercise!).
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 Eating
Budget tips for the week:
- Freeze extra portions for later. This week, I bought a bag of spinach, but knew we probably wouldn’t eat all of it before it went bad, so I made freezer bags with spinach and diced onion to use for my Spinach Scrambled Eggs.
- Pair store sales with digital coupons whenever you can. That happened with Steamfresh vegetables this week and it just takes seconds to download the coupon when you’re going through the ad and planning your weekly menu. And a lot of sales ads actually tell you now when you can save even more with a coupon.
Breakfasts & Lunches
This week’s breakfasts:
- Chobani yogurt (a staple of mine!) w/ chia seeds and granola
- Quaker Oatmeal Squares cereal topped with fresh strawberries and skim milk (I don’t get cereal often, but this one has more protein than most. We buy ours from Costco normally unless there is a good sale at the grocery store).
- Peanut butter toast
I eat leftovers every day for lunch and so does Adam unless we don’t have them available. In that case, Adam loves eating the Starkist tuna creation pouches on multigrain bread with a little bit of mayo.
Wonky Wonderful’s Easy Stuffed Cabbage Casserole w/ sliced cucumbers and cherry tomatoes
Adam didn’t eat many vegetables for most of his bachelor life, so he’s still hesitant about some of the dishes he described. When he asked what ingredients were in this one, he was very wary (apparently he thought he didn’t like cabbage).
After tasting it, he said, “It’s not even just tolerable. It’s actually good!” Another win for vegetables!
How to Healthify This Meal:
- I did think it needed a little bit more of a flavor kick, so next time I would sub Ro-Tel for the diced tomatoes
- Use brown rice cooked separately
- Use less cheese (but it helps to use a sharper cheese to keep the same amount of flavor!)
Bratwurst, deviled egg, homemade guacamole, and cucumber salad
We had dinner at my parents’ house this night and my mom had quite the spread for us (as she always does)!
Tips for not going crazy on the chips:
- Fill your plate with all the good stuff first (veggies, protein, fruit). Chips are not going to fill you up until long after you’ve eaten multiple servings. Eat your protein and veggies first, then enjoy your chips when you’re not ravenous and won’t be (as) tempted to overeat.
- Put the amount you are going to eat on your plate. Eating from the bowl is dangerous because you can eat a ton without realizing it!
- Savor them. Chips are created to be addictive with their fried, salty crunchiness, but remember that they are a treat food. They are easy to wolf down, but when you slow down and actually taste them, you can enjoy them all that much more.
*Healthy tip – instead of putting your main dish over rice, pasta, or between a bun, make it a hearty salad.
The homemade taco seasoning for these was amazing and instead of serving them on tortillas, we just put them on a bed of spinach and made it into a chicken fajita salad and topped it with catalina dressing.
Chelsea’s Messy Apron One Skillet Sausage & White Bean Gnocchi w/ watermelon and golden kiwi
This dish was amazing! It was hearty and filling and, oh, how I love gnocchi!
I tried DeLallo’s Mini Potato Gnocchi for the first time and they were delicious and the perfect size! Because they were smaller, I felt like I was eating more of them when it was really just one serving.
I added a bit of extra spinach, but other than that, followed the recipe exactly and will definitely make this one again!
Lauren’s Latest’s Crock Pot Italian Chicken Pasta and Steamfresh Vegetables
This dish was super fast and easy to prepare.
I ended up using 4 oz less cream cheese (only because I hadn’t read the recipe carefully and I hadn’t bought enough), but I really didn’t miss it.
Also, I always buy the Neufchatel 1/3 less fat cream cheese. I’m not a fan of low fat cream cheese because it just doesn’t have the same texture and flavor, but when I use the Neufchatel, it tastes and melts just like the regular stuff, but still with less fat.
This is a dish that you can easily add extra veggies into without it being noticeable.
This is just one shredded zucchini that I added and stirred into the sauce. By the time it was done cooking, I really couldn’t even tell it was in there and I wished I’d added more!
Shredded carrots and zucchini are my two go-tos for hidden vegetables. I try to keep bags of them shredded and ready-to-do in my freezer to add into spaghetti sauce, chili, meatloaf, etc.
Pita chips, hummus, asiago cheese, and strawberries
I didn’t get a picture, but we met with our photographer to look through all of our wedding photos and snacked on this while we chatted. I was sure I was going to be starving later and need something else before bedtime, but it was a surprisingly satisfying meal!
Kitchen Accessories I Used This Week
Don’t Miss A Meal Plan!
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