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Cheap Meal Plan for Two
Cheap Meal Plan for Two

How many times has five o’clock rolled around and there is nothing on your table for dinner? You frantically start searching for something to eat, but nothing sounds good. You wish you had a cheap meal plan for two but you didn’t take the time to plan anything out this week.

So what do you do? You get out your flyers and call for takeout spending $20-$30 on one meal because well, it’s easy.

This is commonplace in many households and ordering take out and going out to eat could literally be killing your budget as I write this.

If you are doing this just few times a week, you are adding $20-60 to your budget.

What if you could find a way to cut your food bill and keep some of that money in your pocket?

Have you considered using meal planning? Meal planning is a great way to cut money from your budget.

Often we find ourselves over-spending and wind up in debt. However, if you are trying to get yourself back on track or avoid going into debt altogether, meal planning can save you so much on your food bill.

One way people go overboard on their food budget is by frequently going out to eat. If this is a favorite of yours, I’m not saying to cut it out completely. However, maybe cut back your restaurant trips to once every two weeks and eat at home for every other meal.

Start tracking your food spending. I bet at the end of the month, you will have saved at least $50, if not more.


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Reasons to Try My Cheap Meal Plan for Two Under $30:

There are many reasons to start meal planning, but my favorite is to save money! However, meal planning can also save your time and your sanity! It takes the stress out of dinner time by carefully planning your meals, shopping for your ingredients, and having things on-hand so you are not making extra trips to the store where you will be tempted to spend more.

Best Reasons to Meal Plan:

  • Time – You will save time NOT making last minute trips to the store and searching your cupboards when everyone is hungry.
  • Money – You will save money because you will not go out to eat or order takeout on a whim. Cooking at home is much cheaper.
  • Stress – You will not be stressed out when dinner time rolls around and you can’t find anything to make or need to run back to the store for an ingredient.

Suggested Reading: 7 Lies You Have Heard About Meal Planning and How to Start

I’ve used meal planning for most of my adult life and what I found: It is not hard, you just need to make a plan and stick to it! Finding cheap meals that will feed your family is possible and you CAN save more on your grocery bill. 

I promise you, meal planning will save you money!

Get Your Free Meal Planning & Menu Printables:

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If you are not a planner, don’t worry…I’ve got you covered! Try Five Dollar Meal Plan and take out the planning! This is an amazing service that sends you weekly meal plans that are healthy and budget-friendly. They cater to your specific diet and this is a good way to get started.  Sign up here for a free two-week trial!

If you have never used meal planning before you may want to take a look at my Meal Planning Series to Make You a Pro. This is a five-day series that will take you step-by-step through meal planning.

If you are ready to take the leap into meal planning, I have created a meal plan for two that is easy to follow and I have included a printable grocery list, so get ready to save yourself time and money this week!

In today’s post, we will try to get your bill under $30 for a full week of meals including breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

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One Week Cheap Meal Plan for Two under $30

Printable Cheap Meal Plan for Two Under $30: One Week Meal Plan for Two Under $30

Monday: 

  • Breakfast – Oatmeal
  • Lunch – pancakes
  • Dinner – Tuna Noodle

Tuesday: 

  • Breakfast – Oatmeal
  • Lunch – Leftover Tuna Noodle
  • Dinner – Egg Salad Sandwich/Soup

Wednesday: 

  • Breakfast – Eggs
  • Lunch –  tuna fish sandwich
  • Dinner – Bean Burritos

Thursday: 

  • Breakfast – Oatmeal
  • Lunch –  pancakes
  • Dinner – Black Bean Quesadillas

Friday:

  • Breakfast – Eggs
  • Lunch –  Turkey sandwich
  • Dinner – Grilled Cheese and Soup

Saturday: 

  • Breakfast – Oatmeal
  • Lunch –  Turkey Sandwich
  • Dinner –  Chicken and rice (Cook an extra piece of chicken for tomorrow’s chicken quesadillas)

Sunday: 

  • Breakfast – Oatmeal
  • Lunch –  turkey sandwich
  • Dinner – Chicken Quesadilla

Printable Shopping List: Cheap Meal Plan for Two Printable Shopping List

I purchase most of my items a Target, but I sometimes shop at Kroger depending on the sales. I’m giving you estimated prices based on shopping at Target.

Produce/Dairy

  • 1 10-12 pack of sliced cheese (I prefer cheddar or provolone deli style – Hey! If you are eating grilled cheese for dinner, you need the REAL cheese.) $2.19
  • 1 8 oz. pack of shredded cheese (I prefer cheddar, Mexican blend, or monetary jack) $2.19
  • 1 dozen eggs (use four eggs per meal) $1.00

Canned Food/packaged food:

  • 1 18oz. container MP oatmeal – $1.59
  • 1 32 oz. pancake mix – $1.79
  • 1 10.5 oz. mushroom soup $.59
  • 2 10.5 oz. soups of your choice $.59 each (I prefer tomato soup and Chicken noodle with extra noodles)
  • 2 cans of Market Pantry tuna $.59 each (I prefer in-water tuna)
  • 1 16 oz. can Market Pantry refried beans $.99
  • 1 16 oz. box Market Pantry Rotini $.99
  • 1 15 oz. can Market Pantry black beans $.79
  • 1 8.8 oz. market Pantry rice packet $1.49 (I prefer chicken and broccoli)
  • 1 30 oz.  jar of mayonnaise $2.59

Meat:

  • 1 46 oz. pack of chicken $5.72 (You will end up with a few pieces of extra chicken so freeze for next week)
  • 1 pack of turkey lunch meat $2.59

Bread:

  • 1 – 8 count package of market Pantry Floured Tortillas (10 inches) – $1.99
  • 1 loaf of break of your choice (I usually treat myself to a better bread. I like Brownberry Whole Wheat) $2.59

The total for this shopping trip will come out right around $30.86. Now we are $.86 over budget and I’m a number-cruncher, so let’s get your bill down.

If you use Cartwheel, most of your Market Pantry items will be 5% off, but I also have the Target RedCard and save 5% off all of my shopping when I use it.

Now I don’t advocate for using credit cards frequently, but since I do my grocery shopping mostly at Target, I pay off the bill every month and I’m very disciplined about how much I spend.

If you do not trust yourself with a credit card, then pay the extra couple of bucks and save yourself on interest in the long run. However, if you can stick to a budget and pay off the bill every month, then why not save 5% every time you shop?

You can also do this with the Target REDcard debit because you will save 5% by using their debit card too.

So 5% off of $30.86 is $1.54 which makes our total bill $29.32 and don’t forget, you can stack coupons and use the Cartwheel app at Target so you could bring your bill down even more!

Oh! This gets me SO excited for you!

Need more Meal Planning Inspo? Try this cookbook from Amazon:

The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook: Easy and Wholesome Meals to Cook, Prep, Grab, and Go

Cheap Meal Plan for Two Under $30 Conclusion:

Like any other part of your budget, there are ways to save. Food is one of the easiest “needs” to cut costs. It just takes some careful planning and you will be on your way to saving a ton!

Here at I Heart Frugal, my mission is to help you live an amazing debt-free life! You can do this by saving one dollar at a time starting with your food budget! Use your extra money to pay down debt and save for an emergency fund.

 

Looking for more ways to save money besides cheap meal planning?

Try these services listed below! I personally use them myself and highly recommend them!

IbottaIbotta is an awesome money-saving app I use every time I shop. All you have to do is upload your receipt and scan the barcode for some items. Almost instantly, you will be credited with a rebate. You earn money back on stuff you already buy and often there is an “any item” rebate for each app. I don’t know about you, but I like putting money back in my pocket. Use my link and receive a $10 sign up bonus when you redeem your first rebate! Read more about Ibotta here: Ibotta, Awesome Rebate and Money Making App.

EbatesEbates is a money-saving site and is great if you buy groceries online, which is becoming more popular nowadays. Just sign up and click-through the Ebates app. That is all you have to do! You will be credited with a percent back of what you spend. So if you are ordering food from Amazon, just click-through Ebates first and receive your “Big Fat Check” quarterly ($5 minimum cash out). Sign up through my link and receive a $10 bonus just for signing up! Read my Ebates Money-Saving Review here.
Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

Swagbucks – This is a great way to earn extra gift cards for shopping! This site allows you to earn by surfing the web, watching videos, playing games and taking surveys. You can then cash out for $3 for some gift cars, but many starts at $5. You can cash out for an Amazon gift card and then use Ebates above to get even more money off your purchase. Sign up for Swagbucks here!

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Take care – Sarah

Did you like my budget meal plan for two? Please leave me your best meal planning tip in the comments below. I would love to hear from you!

Budget Meal Plan for Two
Budget Meal Plan for Two

25 comments on “Cheap Meal Plan for Two – Under $30 for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner”

  1. I would agree that food is one of the easier ways to cut costs. Just using coupons and looking at circulars for deals helps a lot!

  2. Thank you for sharing! My husband and I just started our debt free journey and food is always one things to break the budget! With this plan, we are sure to get on track. By the way, I LOVE oatmeal but I always forget that it exists! I’m going to have to add this affordable staple to my grocery list RIGHT NOW!

    • Thank you so much!! One oatmeal hack I like is to add dried cranberries. Affordable and still tastes good! Thanks for the visit and good luck on your debt-free journey!

  3. Meal planning definitely saves not only money but sanity and that is something we can all use! I need to get better with at least planning out my shopping lists ahead of time even if I don’t know which exact meals I will cook. It would honestly help a lot!

    • Print out the shopping list if you want to try this one! If you have kids, just buy the bigger sizes! I hope it helps! Take care!!

  4. I know I definitely spend too much on groceries. I enjoyed looking at your meal plan. I need to remember to re-use my dinner for the lunch the next day – either just re-heating or making a new meal out of the leftovers.

    • I didn’t mention this in this meal plan, but I usually buy a frozen pizza for the nights I just don’t feel like cooking. It saves me money by not ordering takeout! Thanks for the visit!

  5. Meal planning saves my life! I can’t cook a meal that will only last one dinner – I’d lose my mind! I have to cook lots so that it will last at least 3 meals.

  6. Your plan is absolutely realistic and doable. Inove funa noodle casserole by the way.. I think it’s going on the meal plan

  7. When you are on a budget these are great ways to save money but also have a decent meal.

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