A crazy $15 meal plan for dinners? Ya you read this right! While not all the meals cost $5 or less to make, several of these meals make fabulous leftovers. So all of these are $5 or less per serving.
The grocery budget is one of the most flexible expense in a monthly budget so it’s totally worth meal planning! The main way to bolster the cost of grocery shopping is a meal plan, and a routine. Breakfast and lunch can be flexible- you can eat the same thing almost everyday for breakfast and not get bored- almost the same is true for lunch, but having the same dinner everyday? That’s where we need variety! And that’s why I keep a Meal Plan Rotation– I have 40+ dinners that I rotate through so that we don’t get bored.
Crash Course for Meal Planning
Initially, it takes quite a lot of work to begin starting a meal plan. That starts with understanding, or knowing, the different prices between stores- or at least knowing price ranges for items like milk, produce, breads, meats. Meats tend to be the most expensive, breads are sometimes most cost effective if purchased at stores like Costco. I buy my produce from the local grocery store and buy staples plus in-season produce, and I only buy what is on the meal plan, plus snacks, plus extras for breakfast.
A Crazy $15 Meal Plan
Monday- Turkey Sloppy Joes
- 1 lbs Ground turkey $1.58
- BBQ Sauce $1.48
- 3-4 hamburger buns $0.58 since a pack of buns was $1.18 at Target
Estimated Total Cost for the Meal $3.64
Tuesday– Turkey & Rice Bowl
I opted for a bowl of whole grains mix, fresh diced bell peppers, turkey meat and petite diced tomatoes. A total experiment because it took too long for hubby to get hungry that evening. He later ate turkey taco, I think. I cooked the full 1 pound of ground turkey and put the rest in a tupperware.
- 1 red bell pepper $1.38
- 1 lbs Ground turkey $1.58
- Salt and pepper and Taco seasoning packet $0.50
- Mexican Blend Cheese (sprinkled)
- Whole Grain Blend (ate 1/2) $1.20
Estimated Total Cost for the Meal: $4
Thursday– Chicken Fajita Pasta
- Chicken strips $6
- Frozen bell peppers (bag for $1)
- Onion, Garlic, Fajita seasoning packet $0.60
- Bowtie pasta $0.24 (I bought a bag on sale for $0.48)
Estimated Cost $8 total- made 3 servings (Dinner for 2 + Leftovers Lunch for Kyler)
Friday- Beef Stew
- Beef Stew meat $6.35
- Frozen Peas $0.35 (half a bag)
- 3 Carrots
- 1/2 bag of gold potatoes
- 2 TBS from can of tomato paste
- The remaining amount of petite diced tomatoes from Tuesday night
- Beef Bone (to replace broth)
- Chicken Broth 3 cups
- 1 onion
- Seasoning: Italian Seasoning, salt, pepper, Basil, 3 Bay Leaves
- 1/4 cup flour
- Bread Rolls: Less than $1
Estimated Cost of this batch is likely $10 and created 6 servings (less than $2/serving!)
This beef stew pairs well with my French Bread recipe.
Saturday & Sunday
You just made oodles of beef stew and ground turkey meat- be sure to not waste it.
Never underestimate the power of leftovers on your meal plan rotation! They save you money two ways: you don’t have to buy another dinner’s ingredients and if you throw away half your meal, you’re not really saving money.
Check out my 4 Recipes that are made from Leftovers! Recreations from Leftovers
Final Thoughts on this Crazy $15 Meal Plan
I told you that this was possible! It is really easy to meal prep with this sort of cheap meal plan. Keep in mind that this post is centered on how much it costs per serving- not how much it costs to make the entire dish. But with hat beef stew and 2 pounds of turkey meat, you are able to make a week’s worth of dinners for $15 or less.