healthy eating on a budget: week 2 // cait's plate

Another week down!

If you haven’t read the first part – check out Healthy Eating on a Budget – Week One.

I did a lot better this week in terms of budget but still a bit higher than I wanted to be.  Still though, my takeaways from last week helped a lot and I definitely feel confident that I can get down even more!

Healthy Eating on a Budget Week 2:

Money Spent: $43.44

Groceries Bought:

Produce: 2 peaches, 2 apples, 2 oranges, pint of strawberries, 1 bag of grapes, 1 medium sweet potato

Protein: 1 can of black beans, 1 can of kidney beans, 1 small can of enchilada sauce, 1 can of corn (no salt added)

Pantry Items: Box of Quaker Oatmeal Squares (on sale for $2.50!), box of brown rice, package of whole wheat wraps, bag of blue corn chips

Dairy Items: 3 6 oz. containers of greek yogurt, bag of shredded reduced-fat mexican blend cheese

Condiments: Hot sauce, salsa, enchilada sauce

Misc.: Pre-made guacamole (they were out of avocados!)

Things I had Leftover from Week One: carton of 4 eggs, remainder of my whole wheat loaf (which I froze), 1 multigrain naan (which I froze), remaining frozen broccoli and corn, carton of soymilk, hummus, mozzarella cheese (about 1/4 cup), coffee, oatmeal, chia seeds, mustard, block of firm tofu, whole wheat pasta, carrots, 2 chicken sausages and all my nut butters, chocolate chips


Day One:

Breakfast #1: plain greek yogurt mixed with chia seeds, topped with fresh strawberries, cereal and sunflower seed butter plus coffee with soymilk on the side.

Lunch #1: Baked sweet potato topped with chipotle chicken sausage, broccoli, corn and a sprinkling of cheese.

Dinner #1: 2 slices of toasted whole wheat bread, 2 hard boiled eggs, carrot sticks and an orange

Day Two:

Breakfast #2: 1/2 cup old fashioned oats mixed with 1 tbsp. chia seeds, diced gala apple and drizzled with peanut butter.  Coffee with soymilk on the side.

Lunch #2: Double bean and corn over brown rice burrito bowl with guacamole, plain greek yogurt and chipotle hot sauce plus blue corn chips for scooping.

Dinner #2: double bean and corn enchiladas with guacamole, plain greek yogurt and brown rice

Day Three:

Breakfast #3: brown sugar quaker oatmeal squares with soymilk, red grapes on the side and coffee with soymilk.

Lunch #3: 2 egg and broccoli scramble with 2 slices of whole wheat toast and a fresh peach.

Dinner #3: re-purposed my double bean and corn enchiladas (recipe here) into an enchilada bowl that I topped with plain greek yogurt, guacamole and served with blue corn chips.

Day Four:

Breakfast #4: 1/3 cup oatmeal mixed with 1 tbsp. chia seed topped with a diced peach, granola oats with a spoonful of melty sunflower seed butter plus coffee with soymilk.

Lunch #4: Roasted tofu bowl with brown rice, broccoli and hummus plus grapes and a cranberry lime seltzer on the side

Dinner #4: used my leftover double bean and corn filling from my enchiladas to make a naan pizza with mexican blend cheese and chipotle hot sauce plus plain greek yogurt, guacamole and salsa for dipping.  despite the terrible lighting – this dinner was actually really good!

Day Five:

Breakfast #5: two slices of toasted whole wheat bread topped with peanut butter, plain greek yogurt mixed with chia seeds and diced apples with coffee on the side

Lunch #5: used my leftover penne pasta, frozen corn and broccoli (which I roasted) and baked tofu for one big strange-but-good pasta dish all topped with hummus and served with an orange.

Snacks: I made a batch of my peanut butter chocolate chip energy bites (WAY cheaper than buying a bar!) to have for snacks and enjoyed two while rolling the dough 🙂

Dinner #5: The last of my whole wheat double bean and corn enchiladas. served over brown rice with plain greek yogurt and guacamole for dipping and blue corn chips for scooping.

Overall I was pretty happy with this week.  Mostly because I more than cut my bill in half and, despite some temptation to walk into the grocery store every day on my way home, I managed to stay committed to using what I had!

This week, even more than last week, really showed me how easy it is to convince myself to pick up little things here and there that really add up.

Post-Week Takeaways:

  • Frozen veggies are key!  I currently only have corn and broccoli which limited my ability to get super creative.  I think stocking up on others, as well as frozen fruit.
  • I need to make some more breakfast options – (waffles or pancakes for example) to freeze so I can have a bit more variety and am not forced to just rotate cereal, yogurt, oatmeal and toast.
  • While I really love the enchiladas, I had a tougher time translating them into other meals than I did the Italian theme from last week which meant a lot of repeats.  Perhaps if I do it again I won’t make the whole batch or I will freeze some for the future – three meals of them in one week was tough for me.

And that pretty much wraps up week 2 – time to go brainstorm what my main meal should be for next week!  Happy weekend everyone 🙂

disclaimer: i share these meals for inspiration and because i’m often asked for the recipes on instagram.  please note that i do not share these meals with the intention of them being prescriptive or because you should eat exactly what i eat.  everyone is different and requires different calories and nutrition.  if you’re seeking an individualized plan for you, consult a dietitian in your area.



    • I’m so glad you like them! It definitely helps me out to see it all in front of me to learn what I can do better so I’m happy they help you guys too!

      And thank you! It’s my newest addition – just a serving tray I got from TJ Maxx!

  1. I love that you are doing this series! Grocery budgeting can be pretty challenging, so loving these ideas. I definitely learned living on my own that frozen veggies (on Sale) are so key.. produce can really eat up a budget, at least here in Canada!
    I am wondering though, is your budget/shopping list just for you? Or is this a weekly plan/list for 2?

    • Haha yes! Frozen veggies are definitely key (and on sale is even better!) And right now I do the budgeting just for me. I transferred into a program in a different city from my boyfriend so I do the budgeting/weekday meals just for me.

  2. Oh wow! You are such an inspiration. I really need to follow suit. I mean, less than $50 for the week. That’s unheard of and amazing! I think the biggest help for me is to have some meal planning done on Sunday. Having stuff ready to go when I come through the door will help prevent unwarranted shopping on my way home. All too often, I get off track and allow myself to purchase lunch here and there during the week. It’s the worst too because even though we have a fairly decent place to purchase a salad from at work, it’s never as delicious and hearty as a homemade one and I am always kicking myself at spending somewhere in the range of $8 for a salad I could have made for home way cheaper.

    Absolutely love these posts and love seeing the variety that you can come up with as well! 🙂

    • I’m so happy to hear that you like them and that you find them useful! And I totally hear you – it’s easy to make those little stops and not even realize how much it adds up! I’ve never really done the “food prep” thing but I find I actually really enjoy it – especially being so busy in school, it’s nice to just have something hearty and homemade to heat up and eat!

  3. I love these posts! $43 bucks is amazing! We try to keep it around $80 for the three of us per week…and it is a CHALLENGE. Like you said, lots of repeats and things get scarce by Sunday evening, but it always feels good to stay within a budget!

    Happy weekend, friend.

    • $80 for three people is AMAZING. I would love to eventually get there (and hopefully I will!). And thank you my dear friend, I hope you enjoyed yours! I was thinking how much I miss you now that you’re not on Instagram! I hope you’re safe from all those crazy floods! Love you!

  4. Food looks awesome and that is not a bad haul for $43. The key to eating on a budget is that you have to know that you are going to take a hit on the first go round and then you will have leftovers and your refrigerator and pantry will gain items.

    From there it is a matter of making a shopping list of things as you run out of them that you want to repeat. This way you avoid buying things you do not want/need or doubling up (that is the worst.)

    Maybe you could get your costs down further by making your own oatmeal bars? You will have left over items that you can use in the future but on a per bar price you will most likely come out ahead.

  5. These are AMAZING! I just found your website while at work and let me tell you, I am ready to take off on my lunch break to go grocery shopping and start making these meals!! These are incredible. Thank you so much for sharing 🙂


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