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Cold Peanut Noodle Salad
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image of food: Spiced Tomato Scrambled Eggs, Veggie Frittata Muffins, Spinach Grilled Cheese with Leftover Black-Eyed Pea Salad, and Thai Inspired Tofu Curry
quote from customer saying "I decided to make your Mediterranean Pasta last tonight: I had to use macaroni and frozen spinach... it was delicious! My carnivorous hubby even asked me to make it again!" Background imagery of cut up veggies.
image of Chili Bean Tacos with Peach Salsa and Cilantro Lime Slaw
image of Sausage and Rice-Stuffed Peppers
image of Stewed Okra and Tomatoes with Cornbread
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quote from customer saying "I just wanted to let you know that we made the fried rice recipe and it was delicious! We had leftover honey ham in the freezer and used that in place of ground beef. So the recipe is super flexible and we were able to make it even more budget friendly by using what we had on hand!" - AMC. Background imagery of whole roasted chicken and vegetables.

Kids Eat in Color® Affordable Flavors

Disponible en Español

Make diverse family meals for under $500 a month

We're committed to inclusion - choose the price that works best for your family


Budget Meal Plan

  • Cheap, healthy meal plan designed by 6 diverse dietitians bringing in their favorite flavors
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner and 2 snacks for 2 adults and 2 children for 30 days
  • Shopping lists for each week
  • Includes "easy" and "from scratch" recipes
  • Learn money-saving tips, ideas for using WIC foods, and how to find food assistance that works for you.

A portion of all sales will go to support the nonprofits EatWell Exchange and Bounty & Soul

Format: digital download*

See below for detailed meal plan cost information

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How to Feed a Family of 4 on a Budget

Are you tired of trying to decide what to cook for your family that works with your food dollars?

Do you wish you had help making your food dollars stretch?

Imagine having 6 diverse food experts who can give you new ideas for feeding your family, keeping taste and money in mind.

This meal plan includes everything you need to pinch pennies and still put delicious flavor on the table.

It has over 100+ recipes and meal ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks! It will teach you to add fruits and veggies into your meals, to make things from scratch to save money, and to introduce you to some new seasonings that may change your cooking game.

coconut chia pudding

Frequently Asked Questions

How much time does it take to make the recipes?

The recipes balance cost, nutrition and time to prepare. About half the recipes are really easy and about half require some food preparation to save cash.

We recommend you prepare some food in advance one day a week (cooking/baking something, chopping fruits or vegetables, etc.). This helps you save time on days you don't have much time to spend cooking.

What equipment do I need?

This meal plan requires a stove top and an oven. It also requires a refrigerator with small freezer, pots, pans, baking sheets, knives, a cutting surface, and cooking utensils such as spatulas.

It does not require a blender, food processor, crockpot, rice cooker or other special cooking equipment.

We have dietary restrictions or allergies. Are there substitutions?

The meal plan includes foods from all food groups with the exception of pork (which can easily be substituted in, if your family enjoys pork).

With a few modifications, this meal plan could likely be:

  • kosher
  • halal
  • vegetarian
  • simple allergy-friendly

Any modifications may alter the cost.

This meal plan does not included an allergy supplement. If you are looking for a meal plan with an allergy supplement free from the top 8 allergens, we recommend Real Easy Weekdays.

I have an extreme picky eater will this plan help me?

This meal plan was designed to be kid-friendly, since it is a family meal plan. It also has some tips for serving new meals to picky eaters.

It is not designed for extreme picky eaters. if you have an extreme picky eater and need support to help them learn to try new foods, the BetterBites program will support you in your goals.

How was cost calculated?

The costs of the recipes were estimated based on using a low-cost supermarket. Costs were obtained in late 2020 from Walmart online near a Washington, DC, USA location. Weekly and total costs were calculated based on the price of packages that would need to be purchased to make the recipes.

Prices vary by geographical location and type of store. For example, if you shop at a convenience store, the prices will likely be higher than what was used to estimate the costs of this meal plan.

No sale prices, coupons or other discounts were used to calculate the costs. By shopping sales, seasonal foods, using coupons, using a food pantry/WIC/school meals may further reduce the price of this meal plan.

Is there nutrition information?

The meal plan aims to align with MyPlate (Dietary Guidelines for Americans) as much as possible within the $500 budget for a family of two adults and two children.

The meal plan focuses on a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and varied protein sources within the context of recipes from diverse cultures.

Nutrition analysis was performed for every recipe using Chronometer.

What age is this meal plan for?

The meal plan is designed for families with children so that parents and children can eat the same foods.

It could be modified for complementary feeding (ages 6-12 months) if a parent chooses. There is no weaning advice or instruction.

Some foods should be modified for toddlers for safety.

*Due to the nature of digital products, refunds are not available for eBooks