Eat Real Food on a Budget

Have you ever thought that?

The answer you need is probably already in your kitchen. One of the biggest struggles we have right now is making budget-friendly meals – with food that we can actually find.

No shopping at multiple stores.

No weird ingredients.

Flexible recipes we can adapt to what we can find and afford.

We Need Budget-Friendly Real Food

When my husband Chris and I were first married, we had $25/week for food. All of it. Everything. This included eating out, but who are we kidding? We were not eating out.

I had grown up on a small farm, where we raised goats, chickens, sheep, and grew a huge organic garden every year. So I came into this new budget knowing the importance of good food and how much better we felt when we ate well. While I could not do everything I wanted to with $25/week, I knew I could use that money to help us eat as clean as possible while still being realistic. 

Over the years, as we added to our family, we dealt with the food allergies and intolerances (gluten, dairy, eggs, corn), picky eaters, family crisis, and specialized diets (lookin’ at you, Paleo and Veganism), all while on a budget.

Each curveball taught us important skills and brought new recipes to our family table.

Cheapskate Cook’s Budget-Friendly Menu Plan 

Cheapskate Cook’s Budget-Friendly Menu Plan helps you save money and eat healthy by giving you a 4-week real-life menu plan inspiration with weekly grocery lists, meal ideas, recipes, and more. 

It’s everything I wish I had when we were in survival mode, trying to eat as frugally and as clean possible.

We use the 35 Ingredients List (full of food you probably already have in your kitchen!) and put it into a real-life scenario.

Make Real Food on a Budget Realistic

The goal here is to empower you to save money and eat healthy by showing you how you can make it work realistically.

Think of it as a super practical training ground for learning what eating real food a budget can be! The recipes are super flexible so you can use what you have and make the most of what you’ve got.

You can find the ingredients in this menu at your local Walmart as well as at the health food store or farmers market. 

Sample of a Weekly Menu Plan
Sample of a Grocery List
Sample of a Daily Recipes List

Every Week Includes:

  1.  A unique Menu Plan – An overview of the daily meal suggestions
  2. A custom Grocery List – A more detailed version of The Only 35 Ingredients You NEED to Make Budget-Friendly Real Food Meals. There is a good chance that you already have many of these in your kitchen!
  3. Daily Recipe Pages – This menu plan includes all the recipes you need! Just turn to the page you need and start cooking.

This 4-week menu plan is based on simple, whole ingredients you can find at nearly any grocery store.

I Want to Help You Save Money & Eat Clean!

Maybe you can relate to these real-life struggles:

“We are committed to getting out of debt, but I’m not willing to sacrifice whole food lifestyle. So I’m trying to find a balance!”

“I think my biggest struggle may be to provide enough variety to make my husband/kids happy while still using economical and healthy foods.”

“Remembering to meal plan…. and trying to have the energy to try new things. We eat a lot of spaghetti and tacos…😂”

“My biggest struggle is not consistently meal planning!”

“My biggest struggle is not having a meal plan.”

“My biggest struggle continues to be staying on budget. Whole foods cost so much more than processed foods.”

Keep It Simple

We made a menu plan to work for you wherever you are.

  • Are you in survival mode and you need cheapest real food possible?
  • Do you have food allergies, but you’re on a budget?
  • How can I make meat stretch across multiple meals?

I included recipes on how to cook everything from scratch in the simplest ways I know (we use many slow cooker and one-pot meals), but don’t feel like you need to make everything from scratch. 

Work with the skills and time that you have available. 

  • Don’t want to cook dry beans? Use canned. 
  • Not a baker? Buy your bread.
  • Don’t have time to make rice? Use instant. 

Take what you have and use what you got.

How Many People Does it Feed?

The recipes and grocery lists are made to feed a family of 4. You can adjust it as needed to fit your family size, and I included a guide to help you do that!

Everyone’s caloric and nutritional needs are different, and this menu plan is not meant to be a comprehensive eating plan. Adjust the meals, servings, and snacks to meet the needs of your family.


This menu is meant to be super inexpensive. It is survival-mode real food, for when you are dead broke but still want to avoid processed food.

I had multiple families test this menu, and they spent an average of $100/week for a family of 4 without trying to be super frugal (shopping at multiple stores, bulk buying, etc.). That is an average of about $0.89 per meal, per person (including a daily snack). That is less than a dollar per serving, and you are eating real food!

Allergies & Special Diets

We dealt with food allergies for a long time. As a result, we use a lot of delicious, simple meals that easily avoid the more common allergens. 

Even in meals that call for allergens, I usually provide alternative suggestions.

Many of the recipes are (or include alernative suggestions for):

  • Nut-Free
  • Gluten-free
  • Dairy-free
  • Egg-free
  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan

Get Cheapskate Cook’s Budget-Friendly Menu Plan for only $7.99! That’s less than $2/week to get all of your recipes, meal ideas, your grocery list, and your menu planned and ready for you!

What are you waiting for?

Are You Ready to Save Money & Eat Healthy?

Cheapskate Cooks Budget-Friendly Menu plan is so easy to follow! It is laid out well with daily recipes and weekly grocery lists. The best part is that it includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so the entire day is planned out.


“The Budget-Friendly Menu Plan makes it so easy and simple to feed your family great meals on a tight budget. The menu plans are well organized and easy to follow, making it so easy to print and follow the meal plans! Thank you, Steph, for just a helpful resource to save money and eat well.”


The Budget Friendly Meal Plan is a treasure trove of information. Whether your family is on a special diet, has food allergies, or you have picky eaters, Steph provides examples of variations to make this plan work for ANY family or budget. (My favorite part about this fabulous resource is the detailed weekly grocery list!)