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Eating healthy on a budget doesn’t have to be tasteless or boring. This week’s meal plan included breakfast casserole, black bean & sweet potato enchilada skillet, grilled foil packets, honey sesame noodle bowls, Chinese chicken salad, and sloppy joes.
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 Eating
Budget tips for the week:
- Buy meat in bulk. Now by “bulk”, I don’t necessarily mean Costco-sized packages! I just mean buy more than one pound at a time. When I buy ground beef, it’s usually in a 3-pound package and I usually get 5-6 pounds of chicken breast at once and then freeze whatever I don’t need in individual packages.
- You’re allowed to make substitutions. Monday’s recipe this week called for cherry tomatoes, but a package of cherry tomatoes was $2.99 while red tomatoes on the vine were on sale for 88 cents a pound. Not all substitutions work well, but most do!
Breakfasts & Lunches
This week’s breakfasts:
I tweaked the recipe by:
- using my brother-in-law’s homemade venison sausage instead of ground turkey
- skipping the spices (because the sausage has amazing spices in it already!)
- adding a bit more spinach that I tore up as I added
- using shredded sweet potato instead of thin slices
(a staple of mine!)
Sunday Meal Prep:
I’m a huge fan of making food on Sunday that we can eat throughout the week. I’m also a huge fan of these storage containers that make it so easy for me to prep 6 servings of ready-to-grab breakfasts so I don’t have to think in the morning (mornings are not my strong suit).
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.
I also send him with a piece of fruit (usually an apple, peach, strawberries, or grapes – whatever is on sale) and a Nature Valley Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Protein Bar to snack on during the day.
Loved this! I added zucchini and left out the tomatoes and it was absolutely delicious.
*Healthy Tip – instead of sour cream, I use plain Greek yogurt, which helps to tone done the spice a little (which I appreciate as a spice-wuss!) and add creaminess.
Grilled foil packets of smoked turkey sausage, carrots, and red potatoes
This is such a simple summer meal that doesn’t heat up the kitchen.
*Healthy Tip – Make sure you are using enough spices. Instead of adding butter, oil, or cheese for more flavor, just bump up the spices for a lower calorie option. I used Weber’s Smoky Mesquite Seasoning with a little bit of avocado oil (to avoid sticking) to season this.
Confession – my head was not in the game this night and I totally messed up this recipe. It’s quite easy to make, but I ended up forgetting to add the noodles, then adding double the noodles than the recipe called for, then trying to salvage it all by throwing together things to add more sauce.
Let’s just say, I’m excited to try this recipe again and actually make it according to the instructions. Even after I screwed it up so many times, it still tasted pretty darn good!
Chinese Chicken Salad w/ cherries
This is one of our family’s favorite summer recipes! We ate this all the time growing up and we all still enjoy it just as much.
My mom had brought this over after she’d made too much for a dinner party she threw. We had my niece over for a sleepover this evening and she loves it just as much as we do, so it was happily devoured.
*Healthy tip – If you want to avoid the MSG in the Ramen seasoning packet, feel free to use a teaspoon of granulated chicken bouillon instead.
Sloppy Joes, Sweet Corn Summer Salad, Homemade Pico, chips, and fruit salad w/ Pig Pickin’ Cake for dessert
This is our family dinner night, so my parents, my sister’s family, and Adam and I always contribue something to the meal.
My mom brought sloppy joes. She made them healthier by:
- using wheat buns
- mixing some bulgur into the meat (I couldn’t even tell it was there!)
- adding in lots of diced bell peppers, onions, and celery into the meat mixture
My sister made the corn salad (it had cucumber, sweet corn, and bell pepper with seasonings), the homemade pico, and the fruit salad.
I made Bunny’s Warm Oven’s Pig Pickin’ Cake for us for dessert (and brought it over in my new personalized cake pan that my new sister-in-law gave me for our wedding).
It was so light and delicious! I don’t usually healthify desserts much, so the only thing I did was use Lite Cool Whip instead of regular, but next time I wouldn’t use the instant pudding in the frosting. It made it too sweet for us.
Kitchen Accessories I Used This Week
Don’t Miss A Meal Plan!
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