Lately, I’ve been watching a lot of frugal meal planning videos on YouTube. There are a few really good videos, but most just focus on being frugal and aren’t super-healthy.
I enjoy being as healthy as possible, but I have very little money, so I decided to create my own meal plan.
Breakfast: some kind of green smoothie – usually $1 or less
2nd Breakfast: some kind of “Cream of Rice” (I grind my own brown rice into brown rice flour and boil it like oatmeal) – usually $0.50 or less
Dinner: salad/buddha bowl – usually $1.10 or less
Snacks: fresh fruit/bean-y bakes – usually $0.40 or less
This is a very loose idea of what I eat in a day, but it’s under $90/month. I didn’t want to create a fast and hard meal plan, because I like variety and mixing up flavors. I do want to share some of my very common recipes with you. I just pick whatever sounds good at the time or make something to use up foods in the fridge.
Common Smoothie Recipes (1 weigh my greens, but 1 oz is about equal to 1 c spinach or 1 large kale leaf):
Hakuna Matata Smoothie – Chocolate Secret Greens – “PB&J” Smoothie – “Nutella” with Greens
Cream of Rice Recipes (this is cheap and filling – a cup of dry, brown rice is about 10 cents and 600 calories):
Plain Cream of Rice (I just keep a large jar of brown rice flour in my cabinet and make some with water) – Cinnamon Cream of Rice – Oatmeal Raisin Cream of Rice– Fruity Cream of Rice – “PB&J” Cream of Rice – “Nutella” Cream of Rice – “Big Country Breakfast” (that’s what my dad always calls his breakfast)
Salad Greens – Buddha Bowls are so simple that I don’t even have a recipe for them. They consist of 1) a grain (I usually use rice) 2) a green (the afore-mentioned salad mix) 3) a bean (I bulk cook big batches of plain beans and freeze them to use like canned) and 4) some type of sauce/dressing (I either make my own out of sunflower seeds, or I drizzle vinegar and olive oil on top)
For actual salads, I tend to be inspired by sub sandwiches. I begin with the salad greens recipe and top it with turkey/ham, black olives, nutritional yeast, and dress it with mayonnaise.
Snacks (for fresh fruit, I like to get mostly bananas and some apples, but I try to eat as many bean-y bakes as I can):
Orange Cranberry Muffins – Apple Raisin Bean Muffins – Pumpkin Spice Muffins – Pinto Bean Brownies – GF flour
That’s usually what I eat in a day. Of course, it changes depending on leftovers and sales. Recently, my store had a big sale on avocados, and I stocked up. I’ve been really into this avocado mocha mousse.