Cheap Meal Plans Under $75 Weekly for a Family of Four

Wondering how to prepare cheap meal plans
Well meal planning is something for you to consider
If you want to eat healthy food
Save time for you with less stress

preparing salad

There are few affiliate links, if you click a link and make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you

Weekly cheap meal plans to cover any family of four 2 adults and 2 kids for breakfast, lunch and dinner within $75 range

Again meal planning helps you discover new recipes so you save money on groceries
As you only buy what you plan for breakfast, lunch and dinner

I will show you below
How to manage a good meal plans that suites your family budget
I managed to keep it under $75
Let me begin below by

The idea behind cheap meal plans

Usually my wife is the one who cooks our dinner
I help her a lot in preparing side dishes like salad, rice or pasta

First of all we were married and our two boys were not born
We realized that we spend 90 minutes to prepare our dinner

I always return home very hungry I cannot resist waiting for dinner therefore I eat crackers and chips till dinner gets ready

We thought about cooking 5 meals on the weekend
Just to cover our meals for the weekdays
We realized that definitely we need a standalone freezer
The Fridge built-in freezer is not enough to store ready made meals

preparing pasta

We thought about it and we decided to buy it from Home Depot
They have a credit card to pay them back within 18 months no interest
This was really a great investment, why?

There are many reasons beside storing ready made cooked meals where I discussed buying standalone freezer in my saving for groceries tips as you can store poultries and meats when you find them on sale
Second, you can cook and freeze what I call intermediary food like ground beef

This has helped us a lot
Anytime we ran out of meals
Pasta takes 20 minutes to be ready and with the frozen ground beef
We are ready for dinner

Sometimes kids need something to eat as a snack
I serve them ground beef tacos

My point is buying a standalone freezer helped us arrange with our meal plans

How to manage cheap meal plans with minimum effort

As empty nester you have all the time
Where raising kids it is something you manage wisely or you lose control
Our kids on the weekend need full attention
The idea of cooking for weekdays are not possible anymore

That’s why we had to think about other alternatives to go for affordable meal plans
The whole challenge begins as we pick up our kids from school and get back home
We have around fifteen minutes to prepare dinner
Our choice was how to prepare healthy meal plans with less effort

preparing salad

Action taken for cheap meal plans

We started thinking about cooking simple recipes
First thing we thought about that takes no time to prepare is stir fry recipes
Whatever you cook it with chicken, meat or pork with all variations of sauces

Second thing we thought about are kitchen utensils
We use large Wok to cook reasonable portions
Where we usually cook any meal that covers 2 dinners and use leftover as lunch

We use large mixing bowl to prepare big portions especially when cooking pancakes for kids on breakfast
We cook in big portions and freeze the remaining pan cakes in zip bags

Third thing we thought about is electric cooking appliances
That are designed to make your live easy and help you cook faster
Our favorite appliance is this Presto 22-inch Electric Griddle
Where you can cook up to 60 pan cakes in one session
Freeze the remaining and make your life as easy as possible

Next appliance that I believe is the best cooking appliance ever
The Slow cooker Crock Pot 8 quarts
After dinner you prepare your slow cooker meals then switch it on before going to work so when you return home, dinner is ready

A controversial topic around Aroma rice cooker
I love it but my wife doesn't like it at all
She believes it does not save us time
Yes it doesn’t save us time
I see that it cooks the rice exactly the same taste each time

Before you consider to buy your grocery for cheap meal plans

You have to keep in mind the following when you are planning for your meals

  • You do your grocery shopping weekly
  • Preferably if possible leaving kids at home with one spouse
  • Use a mobile app for grocery shopping list like Bring (link), this will help
    you not to be distracted
  • Some of the grocery list like salt, sugar, spices..etc you have a stock of
    them in your pantry if they go on sale
  • I assume you are aware of grocery saving apps that help you find grocery
    items on sale or having weekly offers like Ibotta, SavingStar,
    Checkout51, Receipt Hog, Krazy coupon lady
  • I assume you have a separate freezer to help you stock your large cooked
    portions
  • I recommend to read on how to save on groceries

Cheap meal plans for Breakfast

Keep in mind that you have some grocery items you have to buy weekly
There are few grocery items you buy only you run out of them like Neutella or maple syrup
I use Walmart to calculate the prices for all grocery items

Walmart is common department store in US and Canada
I buy in bulk where you can store them in pantry or freezer
I list 2 prices, the price of grocery item itself and the price per weekly usage

  1. Pancakes with Neutella or maple syrup
  2. Cereal & Milk
  3. Omelet with cheese and/or hot dog
  4. Whole wheat grain toast with creamy cheese or Neutella
  5. Waffles with maple syrup
  6. Scrambled eggs
  7. Fava beans with boiled egg

Cost of breakfast ingredients in US

$6.98 for 2 Pack Great Value All Purpose Flour, 10 Lb
10 Lb of all purpose flour makes 270 pan cakes
You cannot make the entire 10 Lb as you will not able to adjust the quantities

I would say you can make quarter of 2.5 Lb equivalent to 67
This can cover you for 4 breakfasts for all the family
Remember this is quarter of the whole flour bag
Weekly cost of all purpose flour ~ $0.45

$3.64 Cheerios, Gluten Free, Breakfast Cereal, 18 oz Box
This can cover you for 2 breakfasts for all the family
Weekly cost of Cereal ~ $1.80

$2.25 2% Milk 4 L
I assume you consume all the 4 L
Weekly cost of Cereal ~ $2.25

$2.04 Great value 18 large white eggs
Eggs can cover you for 2 weeks
Weekly cost of eggs ~ $1.02

$2.38 Kellogg's Eggo Frozen Blueberry Waffles Easy Breakfast 12.3 oz 10 ct
10 waffles can cover you for 1.25 weeks
Weekly cost of waffles ~ $1.90

$2.68 100% Whole Wheat Bread, 22 slices, 20 oz
22 slices can cover you for 3 weeks
Weekly cost of bread ~ $0.90

$19.99 Cedar fava beans Foul Mudammas 6 packs
6 packs can cover you for 6 weeks
Weekly cost of fava beans ~ $3.33

Total for breakfast is $11.65

Cost of breakfast ingredients in Canada

Some grocery items are measured in Lb
The rest are measured in Kg

$8.97 for Robin Hood original All Purpose Flour, 5 Kg
Like I mentioned above I cannot proceed with the whole bag of flour
I don’t feel confident enough to adjust the recipe

The whole bag can cover you 17.5 breakfasts for all the family
Weekly cost of Cereal ~ $0.52

$3.97 Cheerios Honey Nut Cereal Family Size 725 g
This can cover you for 2.5 breakfasts for all the family
Weekly cost of Cereal ~ $1.32

$4.47 2% Sealtest Skimmed Milk 4 L
I will use the 4 L
Weekly cost of Milk = $4.47

$4.47 Great value extra large eggs
Eggs can cover you for 2 weeks
Weekly cost of eggs ~ $2.3

$4.77 EGGO Blueberry flavour Waffle 16ct
10 waffles can cover you for 2 weeks
Weekly cost of waffles ~ $2.23

$1.64 Great value 100% whole wheat 24 slices
24 slices can cover you for 3 weeks
Weekly cost of bread ~ $0.55

$1.29 Cedar Fava beans I buy it from a store called Food basics near me
Weekly cost of fava beans = $1.29

Total for breakfast is $12.68

Cheap meal plans for Dinner

I skipped lunches as I said, it is the leftover from dinner
I use Walmart and Costco for for US and Canada
Costco is cheap in meat and poultry
Costco chicken breast come in large pieces, I recommend to cut them into halves or cut to three smaller pieces

Stir fry beef is expensive
I recommend you buy fast fry beef and cut it into small strips
You can replace beef with pork to save more, it is up to you
I use carrot and red potato in the slow cooker recipes replacing the red peppers and mushrooms
You can use them in stir fry too and skip red or yellow peppers and mushrooms if you want

The below recipes have different kind of oils like vegetable, olive, peanut oil and toasted sesame oil
Feel free to use one standard type let's say vegetable oil
If I say one and half dinners I mean one dinner and two lunches.

 

Dinner recipes have spices from your pantry like
Bay leaves, Black pepper, Butter, Cornstarch, Garlic powder, Hoisin sauce, Honey, Minced fresh ginger, Olive oil, Onion powder, Oregano, Oyster sauce, Paprika, Parmesan cheese, Parsley, Rice vinegar, Rosemary, Salt, Soy sauce, Sugar, Thyme, Tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, Sage

  1. Air Fryer Pork Chops I cancelled it as I feel Slow cooker can replace Air Fryer
  2. Slow cooker Chicken breast
  3. Slow cooker Beef Stew
  4. Spaghetti and ground beef
  5. Pork and broccoli stir fry
  6. Chicken and broccoli stir fry

Cost of dinner ingredients in US

$12.38 Pork Center Cut Loin Chops Boneless Family Pack, 2.0 – 3.8 lb
This can cover your family for 1.5 dinners
Weekly cost for pork chops ~ $8.25

$22.50 Costco Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast, 5 lbs
This can cover your family for 2 dinners
Weekly cost for chicken = $10.50

$18.00 Costco lean ground beef 5.4 lbs
This can cover your family for 2.5 dinners
Weekly cost for chicken = $7.20

$1.98 Spaghetti pasta
This can cover your family for 3 dinners
Weekly cost for pasta = $1.98

$3.47 Red Potatoes, 5lb bag
This can cover your family for 3 dinners
Weekly cost for potato ~ $1.73

$2.39 carrots 3 lb
This can cover your family for 2 dinners
Weekly cost for carrots = $2.39

$1.94 Onion yellow 3 lb
This can cover your family for some time if used for cooking
Weekly roughly cost for onion ~ $1.29

$1.22 Chicken broth 907 g
This can cover your family for 3 dinners
Weekly roughly cost for chicken broth ~ $0.41

$0.98 Crushed tomato can Great value
This can cover your family for 2 dinners
Weekly roughly cost for chicken broth ~ $0.49

$3.54 Fresh broccoli
This can cover your family for 1 dinner
Weekly roughly cost for chicken broth ~ $3.54

$10.00 Adding salad components as Tomato, Cucumber and Lettuce

Total for dinner is $49.28

cheap meal plans

Cost of dinner ingredients in Canada

$13.94 Maple Leaf Pork Loin Centre Chops Boneless Fast Fry
This can cover your family for 1 dinner
Weekly cost for pork chops = $13.94

$22.00 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast, 5 lbs
This can cover your family for 2 dinners
Weekly cost for chicken = $11.00

$25.00 Costco lean ground beef 5.4 lbs
This can cover your family for 2.5 dinners
Weekly cost for chicken ~ $10.00

$2.58 Spaghetti pasta
This can cover your family for 3 dinners
Weekly cost for pasta = $2.58

$3.97 Potato, Red, Your Fresh Market
This can cover your family for 2 dinners
Weekly cost for potato ~ $1.98

$2.47 carrots 3 lb
This can cover your family for 2 dinners
Weekly cost for carrots = $2.47

$5.97 Onion yellow 10 lb
This can cover your family for some time if used for cooking
Weekly roughly cost for onion ~ 1.49

$1.97 Chicken broth 1 L
This can cover your family for 4 dinners
Weekly roughly cost for chicken broth ~ 0.49

$0.97 Crushed tomato can Great value
This can cover your family for 2 dinners
Weekly roughly cost for chicken broth ~ 0.48

$4.95 Fresh broccoli
This can cover your family for 1 dinner
Weekly roughly cost for chicken broth ~ 4.95

$10.00 Adding salad components as Tomato, Cucumber and Lettuce

Total for dinner is $59.34

What if you don't like my cheap meal plans

Everyone has different taste especially in recipes
Feel free to find your own recipes and prepare its grocery list
You can replace any item with another, it will not be the end of the world

I replaced mushrooms with carrots and I followed the recipe
Make sure you find all grocery items that fit you budget

I hope I helped you to manage a cheap meal plans that save you money and keep you focused when you do your grocery shopping

Please share it with your friends by clicking on the social media icons to the left or down below on mobile


Michael launched Wealth of Geeks to make personal finance fun. He has worked in personal finance for over 20 years, helping families reduce taxes, increase their income, and save for retirement. Michael is passionate about personal finance, side hustles, and all things geeky.