healthy eating on a budget: week 8 // cait's plate

Whew – It’s been a loooooooong while since I’ve done one of these!  Between finals, winter break, traveling and the start of a brand new semester, life has been a bit of a whirlwind lately.

It definitely feels good be back in the kitchen and getting creative with my meals again.  So without further ado…

Total Spent: $31.05

Groceries Purchased:

Fruits & Veggies: Pears (3), Oranges (1), Grapes (1/2 bag), Raspberries (1/2 pint), Zucchini (2), Cucumber (1), Bag of carrots, Tomatoes (2), Peppers (3)

Dairy: 16 oz. container of Greek Yogurt

Protein: Carton of eggs, Rotisserie chicken, Package of chicken sausage, Jar of peanut butter

Grains: Bag of whole wheat pasta, bag of blue corn chips

Healthy fats: 1 avocado

Freezer Items: Bag of asparagus, Trader Joe’s frozen pizza

Misc: Bag of chia seeds

Things I had on hand: Bag of Macintosh apples, can of Amy’s vegetarian chili, brown rice, oatmeal, frozen peaches, sunflower seed butter, mixed greens, dried cranberries, chicken meatballs, pasta sauce, box of Kashi 7 grain waffles, hummus, box of Quaker Oatmeal Squares, jar of raspberry jam, sweet potato

Healthy Eating on a Budget Week 1

Healthy Eating on a Budget Week 2

Healthy Eating on a Budget Week 3

Healthy Eating on a Budget Week 4

Healthy Eating on a Budget Week 5

Healthy Eating on a Budget Week 6

Healthy Eating on a Budget Week 7

Healthy Eating on a Budget Week 8:

Day One:

Breakfast #1: Plain Greek yogurt with 1 tbsp. chia seeds topped with raspberries (a great source of fiber!) and natural creamy unsalted peanut butter

Lunch #1: Hummus and chicken with mixed greens and tomatoes on toasted whole wheat bread, carrots sticks and a pear

Dinner #1: Roasted asparagus, sweet potato and chicken breast.  Simple, filling and delicious

Day Two:

Breakfast #2: Warm peach and chia seed oats topped with sunflower seed butter plus coffee with soymilk

Lunch #2: Big salad (mixed greens topped with cucumbers, shredded carrots, tomatoes, chicken, avocado and dried cranberries) and an orange

Dinner #2: Whole wheat penne with sautéed tri-colored peppers, zucchini and chicken meatballs with pasta sauce

Day Three:

Breakfast #3: Two kashi 7-grain waffles topped with peanut butter, plain greek yogurt and raspberries

Lunch: Hummus and veggie packed sandwich on toasted whole wheat bread with grapes

Dinner #3: Veggie chili over brown rice topped with avocado, plain Greek yogurt and served with blue corn chips plus extra guacamole

Day Four:

Breakfast #4: Plain Greek yogurt mixed with 1 tbsp. chia seeds then topped with diced apple, a crumbled homemade whole wheat carrot apple muffin and peanut butter

Lunch #4: Big salad (mixed greens topped with cucumbers, shredded carrots, tomatoes, chicken, avocado and dried cranberries) and a pear

Dinner #4: Whole wheat pasta topped with sautéed veggies, chicken sausage and pasta sauce for a quick and easy dinner

Day Five:

Breakfast #5: Bowl of Quaker Oatmeal Squares topped with fresh raspberries and soymilk

Lunch #5: Peanut butter and jelly on whole wheat, carrots and cucumbers with hummus and a pear

Dinner #5: Trader Joe’s frozen pizza (ideally I would’ve served this with a salad but I ran out of greens!)

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.



  1. Hooray! These are my absolute favorite posts of yours (and one of my favorite posts from any blogger)! I seriously aspire to make my meals as beautiful and nutritious as yours. I need to make that pasta now that we have some chicken sausage! 🙂

    • Oh that makes me so happy to hear! I’m glad that you find them interesting and useful! I definitely recommend the pasta, it’s such a good way to get whole grains, protein and veggies all in one dish!

  2. I love these posts, thanks! I was the one who asked on instagram a week ago if you were still posting these. 🙂 I can’t believe you got all of that for only $31! Did you get it all at Trader Joe’s? I don’t have a Trader Joe’s near me, but I do most of my shopping at Aldi and Kroger. I’m going to use this post for some inspiration on my grocery trip this Sunday. Trying to stay within $20-30 each week!

    • Yep – all Trader Joe’s! It’s by far the cheapest place for me to buy groceries. I’m still trying to get down lower as well – we can motivate each other and swap tips!

  3. I love these posts of yours! I’m not on instagram so I look forward to these 🙂 Do you find yourself with a lot of leftovers from a rotisserie chicken?
    What do you do for snacks or desserts?? (I’ll be impressed if you never eat them lol)

    • I try to use as much of the chicken as possible – I usually don’t have a ton left afterwards but if you’re finding that to be the case you could always buy single serve grilled chicken breasts out of the deli cases instead! And for snacks/dessert I do things like hummus and veggies, air popped popcorn, yogurt with fruit, homemade energy bites, etc.

  4. Okay probably a totally dumb question but how do you grill your asparagus?! Is it on an actual grill or in the oven or on the stove top? I make mine and its not bad but yours looks so great! I love this blog and your insta. I’m graduating in dietetics in May and then i’m going to do my internship so I feel connected as a fellow health foodie/college student 🙂

    • Not dumb at all! I actually bake it in the oven most of the time with a little olive oil and salt until they’re just slightly crisp 🙂 And congrats on the impending graduation and good luck with the upcoming internship!!

  5. I literally just stumbled upon your blog via Pinterest. I have to say that your budgeted healthy eating looks amazingly doable. So many other types of posts/series I see like this are all about eliminating so many types of foods that it’s not enjoyable (and like you said, tasteless). I will have to find some alternative to sweet potatoes though…that’s honestly the one food I can’t choke down, no matter how it’s prepared or what’s on it.

    I do have one question: how would you go about planning something like this with another person in your household who doesn’t want to change his eating habits? Since I happen to do a vast majority of the grocery shopping and cooking (which I don’t mind), would it be worth it to make 2 separate meals? That’s been the most difficult part for me to stick with these types of meal plans.

    Anyway, thanks so much for sharing! I sure appreciate it! Keep up the good work!

    • Regular potatoes are usually about the same price and would sub great for a sweet potato if you like those 🙂

      As for the planning with another person who doesn’t want to change their eating habits – that can definitely be tricky (especially when trying to stay on a budget!). I suppose it depends on what types of food the two of you normally eat respectively…sometimes there’s a middle ground that can be met where both people feel like they’re getting what they want. Do you generally tend to eat more healthy than he or she does? If so, slow changes over time can sometimes move less healthy eaters towards a more healthy way of eating (i.e. subbing half plain pasta or white rice with whole wheat or multigrain pasta and brown rice) without them feeling like they’re sacrificing. It also helps if you’re able to sit down with the other person and come up with a game plan together before you shop – that way you know exactly what you’re going into the store for and you can also talk with the other person about what options they will or won’t be open to trying so you can come to a mutual decision about the weekly meals 🙂

  6. The images don’t seem to be loading for this post, as well as many of your other healthy eating on a budget posts! Would you be able to fix this? I just love looking at your photogenic meals!

    • What a bummer! I’m sorry – I’m not sure why that’s happening but yes, I’ll look into it and see what I can do to get it fixed! Thanks for letting me know!

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