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How to feed a family of 4 for a week, for less than $40

Eating healthy on a budget

This is a synthesis of one of the greatest posts I have ever read on Reddit. An absolute treasure for anyone living on a budget. Althought the prices might have increased since 2014, you will still be able to provide a solid nutrition plan for four people for clearly less than 40$ a week. Here is how it goes: 

$26 grocery list, meal plan, and recipes for when times are tough 

This list assumes that you have basic staples like seasonings, baking powder/soda and oil/butter/shortening at home already. Hopefully you have a couple of onions and garlic cloves, too. If not, adding them to your shopping list won’t increase the price too much. Prices come from either what I have seen myself or from this Aldi price list.

  • 1 lb bag rice(white or brown) $1 at Dollar Tree
  • 1 lb dried beans $1 at Dollar Tree
  • 1 lb lentils $1 at Aldi or Walmart
  • 1 5lb bag flour $1.59 at Aldi, $1.79 at Walmart
  • 2 dozen Eggs $1 each at Dollar Tree
  • 5 lb. Potatoes $2 or less at most stores
  • 4 large bags frozen veggies (green beans, peas & carrots, broccoli, spinach, etc.) $1 each at Aldi, Dollar Tree, or grocery store
  • 2 bags frozen berries (blueberries, strawberries, etc.) $1 each at Dollar Tree
  • 1 lb Bananas $.59/lb at grocery store
  • Oats $1 at Aldi or Walmart
  • 5 lbs. chicken leg quarters $.49/lb or less at most stores
  • 1 jar peanut butter $1 at Dollar Tree
  • half gallon milk $1.99 at Aldi (or 2 quarts of shelf stable milk for $1 each at Dollar Tree)
  • 4 lbs. sugar $1.59 at Aldi
  • 2 1lb. frozen chubs of ground turkey $1 each at Aldi or Save A Lot
  • 1 29oz can tomato sauce $1 or less at most stores

If you have an extra $5, you can afford a few little luxuries like tea bags, cheese, and some extra fresh fruits or veggies.

Prep day:

  1. Mix your sourdough starter a few days before so that you can have fresh baked sourdough bread throughout the week. Recipe and pics here. (Don’t get thrown by the “Einkorn flour”…regular flour is just fine.)
  2. Cook the bag of the beans so that they’re ready to use. Instructions here. (You can do this with any type of beans)
  3. Peel and slice the bananas about 1/2 inch thick. Put the slices in one layer on a cookie sheet and freeze for an hour. Put in a zip top bag and keep in the freezer to be used in smoothies later.
  4. Remove the skin from the chicken leg quarters and throw them in a large pot, cover with water. Bring to a boil, put the lid on, reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours. When the 2 hours is up, strain the broth into a container to save for when you make the chicken & dumplings. Pick all of the meat off the bones and put into zip top bags. You now have several cups of cooked chicken ready to eat as-is or it can be thrown in a recipe.


Lunches & Dinners(add the frozen veggies or eat them on the side):