It’s so simple, no coupon clipping or deal crunching. Just a good old fashioned shopping list and menu plan.
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Even though that particular plan wouldn’t work for us because of Gabriel’s food allergies (specifically, he’s allergic to gluten), I knew there had to be a few substitutions we could use to still come up with a bare bones, $30 or less gluten-free recipe meal plan.
After some more thought, (about the fact that I function so much better on a relatively high protein diet) I got to wondering how much protein I could pack into such a tight grocery budget.
With that in mind, I drug Gabriel and the kids through the store, where I basically wrote down how much everything cost, then we went home and crunched a bunch of numbers.
I’m so excited to report that you can have a healthy diet for a mere $20.00 per week!
Here are the differences between my list, and Money Saving Mom’s:
- My feeds two people based on a 2,000 calorie per day diet – which is why this actual list totals $40.
- It’s gluten-free
- It Provides a daily average of 117 grams of protein per person.
- Is all real food. I suppose some folks might consider packaged corn tortillas to be manufactured food, but they’re basically made with masa and water. By the way, if you have time and inclination, you could buy a bag of masa and make your own tortillas instead. They’ll be cheaper, and taste way, way better.
- Can easily be made dairy-free by swapping out the butter for another cooking oil, and the cheese for your preference of substitute.
So here we go.
A Healthy Diet For $20 A Week
The shopping list:
**these prices are all real, current prices from grocery stores in the greater Nashville area**
- Eggs, 2 1/2 dozen. $2.69
- Potatoes, 10 lbs. $2.89
- Carrots, 2lbs. $0.99
- Cabbage, 2 heads. $1.98
- Onions, 3lbs. $0.69
- Corn tortillas, 2pkgs (60). $2.56
- Pinto beans, 2lbs. $1.78
- Salsa, 1 jar. $1.69
- Shredded cheese, 1lb. $2.88
- Rice, 2lbs. $1.50
- Chicken leg quarters, 8lbs. $7.60
- Apples, 3lbs. $3.00
- Bananas, $2.00
- Butter, 1lb. $2.39
- Frozen veggies, 3 bags, $2.97 (See why I buy frozen veggies)
- Oatmeal, 1 carton, $2.39
- eggs, oatmeal (with butter and fruit) or hash browns/fried potatoes
- Bean and cheese burritos with salsa.(make refried beans in the crockpot at the beginning of the week to cut out prep time).
- Beans and rice.
- Stir-Fry (cabbage, onion, and carrots), with chicken and rice
- Chicken-veggie soup (carrots, onions, potatoes, rice).
- Chicken with steamed veggies.
- Chicken tacos.
- Potato and broccoli soup (using broth from chicken you’ve cooked previously), devilled eggs.
- chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy (make sure to use the broth from your chicken in the gravy!)
- Baked (or slow cooked) chicken and rice, veggies.
Also see: The $20 meal plan for more recipe ideas.
There are endless variations you can make on these. Get creative! Add different spices, makes casseroles, etc. it doesn’t have to be the same meal every night.
The idea with this menu is to keep your grocery expenditure down as low as possible, so that you can save as much of your grocery budget back as you can to take advantage of sales and such to create a stockpile so that eventually you’re eating a much wider variety of things, but still not spending a lot.
I’ll be honest though, I like this menu a lot the way it is! Although I do think I’d like some beef eventually.
What do you think?
Does the $20 grocery budget still work? A lot of you have left some very heated comments here, and I do realize that every area differs in the prices you will find, but I whole-heartedly believe that even the biggest skeptic will be surprised by how cheaply they can get groceries if they broaden their shopping habits a little.
Proof? Here’s a snapshot of our shopping receipt from yesterday. Obviously, we no longer live in Nashville, as you can see looking at the receipt, and we bought butter for less than $2 per pound! (I folded the receipt so you couldn’t see how much chocolate I bought. Just kidding! I folded it because it was too long to take a picture of otherwise.)
Is that a normal price? Well, that depends. It’s NOT a normal price for any other store I’ve been to in a 100 mile radius of that Aldi. But it’s normal for THAT ALDI.
So every time we go (it’s 60 miles away, so not often!), we stock up, and as a result, the butter we use every day costs us less than $2/lb.So YES this shopping plan does work – but not if you shop at Kroger or Whole Foods.
Learn how to go Gluten-Free on a budget!
We could all you some great ideas for how to save money on groceries, right? And I want to make it as doable for you as possible, so for those of you coming from this page, I’m offering a $2.00 discount on my book Affordable Gluten-Free Living. I’m just nice like that. 😉 Just enter the code 20dollars at checkout!
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