Today, I am SO excited to share with you our cheap meal plan that cost $50 a week for a family of 5! Although, technically we’re a family of 6. Our youngest is just over a year old and doesn’t eat THAT much table food yet.
But the rest of us do, so dinner has always been the most expensive meal for our family. Learning how to meal plan keeps our grocery bill below $100 a week for our whole family!
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Feel free to use our meal plan to feed your own family!
This meal plan is intended to feed two adults and up to three young kids. I bought everything you’ll see below from Walmart (but prices will vary by region and could change at any time).
The ONE simple hack that makes our meal plan so cheap
It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of weekly meal planning because we save more money on food. But it’s not just planning meals that keep our grocery bill so low for our big family.
It is making Stretch Meals! So instead of cooking every day, I will make 1-2 large meals during the week that are intended to STRETCH over two days!
This one simple meal planning trick makes it easier to fill up our dinner menu on our $100 grocery budget every week.
But what about breakfast and lunch?
We tend to eat the same things in rotation to stay on budget. Like for breakfast, we’ll eat cereal, or eggs and toast with sausage, waffles and fresh fruit.
For lunch, my husband packs leftovers from dinner most days. I use food storage containers to keep leftovers fresh for the next day and to pack my husband’s work lunch.
At home, the kids and I will eat either chicken salad, turkey and cheese or PB & J sandwiches with apple slices and chips, or frozen Tyson chicken nuggets with apple slices.
Here’s our family’s $50/week meal plan for dinner.
Sunday & Monday
Chicken Alfredo & Garlic Bread
There are many ways to make this classic dish. My favorite way to make it super cheap is to use jarred Alfredo sauce, fettuccine noodles, frozen chicken breast, and saute mushrooms extra flavor. Mix it all together and you’ve got a delicious meal that can stretch over two days!
- Frozen boneless chicken breast (3lb bag) – $5.94
- Fettuccine Noodles – $0.82
- Garlic Bread – $2.00
- Alfredo Sauce (2 jars) – $1.50/each
- Fresh Sliced Baby Bella Mushrooms – $2.18 ($0.28/oz)
- Cook 4 boneless, skinless chicken (freeze remaining chicken) which can be grilled, baked, or pan-fried and then sliced into bite-size pieces.
- Chop Baby Bella mushrooms into bite-sized pieces and slightly brown in a pan with oil.
- Cook noodles according to package directions.
- Combine all ingredients with jarred Alfredo sauce.
Oven-Fried Chicken with Cornbread & Baked Beans
This is Southern fried chicken without the fatty oil. I love that it comes out just as tasty and crispy! So skipping the cooking oil saves me a few extra bucks.
- Frozen chicken bone-in thighs (3lb) – $4.41
- Cornbread – $0.47
- Baked Beans – $1.42
You can click here to get the full recipe.
Italian Pork Chops with Steamed Rice & Broccoli
This recipe is from the $5 Meal Plan which is (if you don’t know) a HUGE inventory of premade weekly meal plans that arrive in your inbox every Friday to help you fill up your week with affordable and easy-to-cook meals, plus a shopping list!
My family loves many of the $5 Meal Plan recipes including the Pineapple BBQ Pork Chops, Ginger Peach Salmon, and Slow Cooker Caribbean Chicken!
You can see how the $5 Meal Plan is helping us save money on food here — so YOU can get easy recipes that’ll save you money too!
- Boneless pork chops – $5.95
- Brown rice – $1.00
- Frozen broccoli – $1.98
Thursday & Friday
Homemade Sloppy Joes with French Fries
If you didn’t grow up eating sloppy joes then you didn’t have a real childhood. (Haha! I’m only kidding.) I love making sloppy joe sandwiches for my kids and it’s another one of my favorite Stretch Meals. I prefer to use 3 lbs of ground beef or turkey so that we can have enough leftovers for the following day.
- Frozen french fries – $1.68
- Hamburger buns (2 packs) – $0.87/each
- Green pepper – $0.58
- Yellow Onion – $0.54
- Garlic bulb – $0.60
- Ketchup – $1.00
- Ground Turkey (3lb) – $6.44
- (Side dish for Day #2) Frozen corn on the cob – $2.24
Chicken Quesadillas with Chips & Salsa
Chicken quesadillas are hands down one of the most requested meals in my house every week. I especially love how cheap and fast it is to put it together! I try to cook the chicken breast in advance in my slow cooker to save more time.
- Frozen chicken breast (using the remaining frozen chicken from Sunday)
- 8″ Flour tortillas – $1.58
- Tortilla chips – $0.92
- Salsa – $1.33
- Sour cream – $1.00
- Shredded Mexican cheese blend (16 oz bag) – $2.56
- Cook 3 boneless, skinless chicken which can be grilled, baked, or pan-fried and then sliced into bite-size pieces.
- Preheat a non-stick skillet over medium heat.
- Place one tortilla in the non-stick skillet, adding about ¼ cup cheddar cheese to that tortilla. Making sure it is evenly spread.
- Add about ¼ to ½ cup of chicken mixture (depending on the size of your tortilla) to one side of the tortilla.
- Fold over the other half of the tortilla.
- Cook until the bottom tortilla is browned, then flip and cook until the second side is brown and cheese is melted.
- Repeat with remaining tortillas and cheese until you have used all the filling.
- Slice and serve with salsa and sour cream!
Grocery Total: $51.38
Some additional items you may have to buy if you don’t already have them in your pantry include all-purpose flour ($1.18), cooking oil spray ($1.53), and brown sugar ($1.00/2lb bag).
Now hopefully you see that you can crush your grocery budget AND still feed your family delicious meals! If you need more help with planning dinner, grab our FREE dinner menu printable so you can add these meal ideas to your week.
What are your favorite go-to meals that stretch your grocery budget?