10 Budget-Friendly, Clean Eating Meal Ideas

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15 easy clean eating budget-friendly meal ideas that are heavy in the veggie department but light on the wallet. Real food and allergy-free recipes too!

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budget-friendly, clean eating meal ideas pingraphic

If you’re like me, and the holidays prompt a serious struggle with willpower. Every year, we spend the holidays with my grandmother and I tell myself that doesn’t mean I have to eat like a 5-year-old. But every year, I do. Traditional family food is both nostalgic and soul-nourishing, even if it isn’t nourishing to my body.

So I have something for you.

When you get home and promise yourself you will eat better in January and watch your budget more closely, use this list.

It’s a collection of 15 easy clean eating meal ideas that are heavy in the veggie department but light on the wallet. You can find the ingredients almost anywhere – in the food desert where your grandparents live, or back home.

What You Can Do Now:

  1. Choose one of these recipes to make this week – write the ingredients down on your grocery list so you can make it.
  2. Follow me on Instagram or Facebook for daily inspiration to help you save money and eat healthy. (Psst – I basically live on Stories, and I’m always sharing tips and ideas).

Budget-Friendly, Clean Eating Meal Ideas

Frugal, Easy, Healthy Filling for Tacos, Nachos, Burritos, Taquitos & More - 5-minute crockpot or slow cooker recipe

1. Easy Lentils & Rice Filling

Takes 5 minutes to toss in the slow cooker, and I included instructions for making tacos, burritos, burrito bowls, taco salad, nachos, and more. A lighter, vegetarian spin on one of our favorite meals.

green smoothie with a strawberry

2. How to Make Cheap Smoothies

Whether you prefer green or not-gross-colored smoothies, here’s how we’ve made smoothies fit in a tight budget.

I chug these a lot over the holiday, because you can find the basic ingredients anywhere, and they’re easy to drink between meals.

Githeri (Kenyan Corn & Beans)

3. Githeri (Kenyan Corn & Beans)

Loaded with veggies and quick to toss in the crockpot or pressure cooker, Githeri is a flavorful vegetarian dinner.

clean eating berry whip

4. 3-Ingredient Frozen Berry Whip

Frozen Berry Whip is a refreshing, high-protein alternative to store-bought frozen desserts that is budget-friendly, made with real food, and only uses 3 ingredients.

Simple, inexpensive clean eating tomato soup

5. 10-Minute Tomato Soup

A simple, homemade version of our canned favorite. Contains no sugar, and includes a dairy-free, vegan version. Get the recipe here!

This easy frittata takes about 10 minutes to assemble

6. Easy Frittata

Or what to do with all the veggies in the crisper drawer. Easy to customize, and you can make it dairy-free too. Learn how here!

real food clean eating baked oatmeal

7. Simple Baked Oatmeal

We’ve tried a lot of different versions, and this is our favorite. Serve with vanilla yogurt or a light drizzle of maple syrup. Make it even better by adding chopped fruit to sweeten it instead. Get the recipe here!

budget-friendly salad

8. Budget-Friendly, Clean Eating Salad

Our go-to salad is a combination of the vegetables we love best and the ones that cost the least amount of money. Get our formula here!

instant pot pumpkin spice oatmeal

9. Instant Pot Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal

Fall is the perfect time to make warm, comforting breakfasts. But on school mornings, hot breakfasts are hard to swing! Oatmeal in the Instant Pot is one of the easiest fixes (I have this one and I love it). With the Delay Start option, you can set your oatmeal up the night before, and by the time you wake up, breakfast is ready. Clean eating breakfast for the win! Get the recipe (and watch the video) here!

A simple, frugal breakfast bar loaded with real food and berries.

10. Oat & Berry Bars

Vegan, gluten-free, no added sugar, and still delightfully sweet and refreshing after all that heavy holiday food. BONUS: You can mix it all in one bowl or directly in the pan. Learn how here!

clean eating broccoli with noodles

11. Broccoli & Parmesan Noodles

Another easy, veggie-loaded dinner. Only takes 20 minutes to put together, and works great as a vegan dish or with zucchini noodles. Check it out!

Clean eating overnight oats for a crowd

12. Overnight Oats for a Crowd

Those individual jars are cute, but what if you’re feeding more than 2.5 people? This recipe is just as good as the jars, but 100% easier. BONUS: Apply this concept to any overnight oats recipe.

Frugal Juicing - What to do with leftover fruit and vegetable pulp.

13. Frugal Juicing

Drinking fresh vegetable and fruit juices is EXPENSIVE. Here’s how we’ve made it fit in a small budget.

make-ahead real food sandwiches

14. Make-Ahead Sandwiches

Did you know you can freeze sandwiches ahead of time for packed lunches? Here’s how we make homemade, real food sandwiches fit in a busy life and tight budget.

clean eating blended greek dressing

15. Simple Blended Greek Dressing

Makeover your salads with real food by whipping up this dressing. It’s gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, plant-based, vegan, clean eating, Whole30, Ketogenic, budget-friendly, and one of the best dressings you’ll ever taste. We double and triple the recipe and keep it on hand all the time!

Clean Eating on a Budget

So whether you’re proud of yourself during this post-holiday season, or like me, you came too close to your inner 5-year-old, maybe these recipes can help. They’re simple, full of clean food, and incredibly frugal.

What are your clean eating goals for the New Year?

If you found this post helpful, let us know! Leave a comment, share it on Facebook or Pinterest, and follow us on Instagram or YouTube for more!

Slash your grocery budget and feed your family real food! Get simple, frugal, real food menu plans every month for FREE in the Cheapskate Cooks’ 1-Min Email. Get the next one here.



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