Weekly Meal Plan and Grocery Lists for those on a tight budget

Status: New Idea
by badgergirl on ‎05-02-2012 03:23 PM

My income is very limited and yet I love to cook.  Although I find myself drooling at your delightful meal plans, many of the one day plans would require a major chunk of my monthly budget.  I would like to see weekly plans with grocery lists that can work for people with a monthly food budget of $200 or less.  I often plan meals with a theme to make a few ingredients stretch for several meals.  However, it would be helpful to have expert models of how to do this while maintaining balanced nutrition.  This might include homemade versions of favorite quick box dinners, making things in advance to freeze or refrigerate them, or using a base recipe for, say, tomato sauce, to create chili, spagetti, soup or other related recipes throughout a week.  Using the one day plan format of including snacks and meals would make it possible to design a week long menu that would not break my budget in a single day.  I also enjoy the related articles that teach me how to better choose and prepare fresh foods.  I'd be willing to squeeze some funds( a reasonable amount) out of my budget to pay for an online or local course that would help teach these very necessary culinary and meal planning skills--especially if I knew the funds would go to help other newly diagnosed folks like myself have free or very low cost access to a diabetes nutritionist. 

by ton4ton
on ‎05-03-2012 11:53 AM


I understand what you mean by eating healthy on a tight budget.  I was a single mother of 4 for a long time and I was definitely on a tight budget.  I have type 1 diabetes and have struggled off and on with making healthy choices that are affordable for me and my family budget.  I found an awesome cook book several years ago called "so fat, low fat" and this book has amazing meals from breakfast, lunch, dinner and even holiday favs and snacks.  Most of the ingredients are staples you would usually keep around the house and the best part is that the kids loved the meals.  I was able to keep my fat and caloric intake down.  The recipes even tell the nutritional content as far as fat and calories per serving.   I've had the first book for over 10 yrs now and there is even a 2nd volume.

by badgergirl
on ‎05-05-2012 08:29 PM

Thanks for the recommendation, ton4ton.  I am also going to look for Diabetes Meals on $7 a Day-or Less.  The preview on Amazon.com looked pretty informative and interesting.  Oh and the new one the web site showed:  Diabetic Cooking for Latinos--well, that one made my mouth water just looking at the previews.  All I need now is a good diabetic version of Mediterranean cooking, and I'm good to go!  As you can see, I love food.  Now I just need to learn how to make it 'love' me.  I know this disease can be very scary, but being that I love to cook, I'm feeling pretty confident I can get this under control.  I also have fibromyalgia.  Being that I was very active prior to the fibro, I gained way too much weight over the 10 years I've had it and until recently could not get my pain level low enough to even be able to walk on a regular basis.  I could not even keep up with normal house work.  I've found something that has cut my flairs from daily to less than 3-5 times a month.   Now I'm walking!  Having a beautiful beagle/char pei mix dog helps too.  She's a spaz and very active.  I don't have time to feel sorry for myself or sit around all day.  She needs to play and go for power walks.  If you have more good food ideas or recipes, please share. 

by Association Staff Member
on ‎05-07-2012 09:09 AM

These are all great ideas to help you eat healthier for less with diabetes. Recipes for Healthy Living featured a budget-friendly diabetes meal plan in January. To view it, go to: http://www.diabetes.org/mfa-recipes/meal-plans/low-cost-meals.html


This meal plan actually included a few recipes from the book Diabetes Meals on $7 a Day-or Less, so you can try out a few recipes from the book before buying if you'd like:

Favorite Vegetable Soup

Oven-Barbequed Chicken

Tasty Cooked Greens


You may also be interested in the article Eating Healthy On a Budget: It Can be Done!

by badgergirl
on ‎05-17-2012 07:40 PM

Thanks for more great ideas and recipes!  Now, I am really getting hungry. Smiley HappySmiley Happy

by joanne456
on ‎05-19-2012 09:45 AM

Am looking for weekly grocery lists alongside the recipes.  Have you got?

by Association Staff Member
on ‎05-31-2012 12:45 PM

We do not have weekly grocery lists along side recipes. However, individual recipes can be printed on a full sheet of paper or on 4x6 recipe cards, which may be easy to fit in your purse when you head to the store.



on ‎06-18-2012 06:17 PM

Well I just checked out the meal planner and looked at the carbs for the days meals 200 carbs - no way I am over carbing at half that!

This planner would be OK for T1s or T2s on insulin but totally wrong for a T2 on diet & exercise IMHO.

by Association Staff Member
on ‎06-25-2012 11:48 AM

We want to stress that our meal plans each month are simply a sample to give you an idea of how some of our recipes can fit into a day’s worth of meals, and also to show you how to pair other healthy foods for breakfasts, lunch, dinners, and snacks.


We follow basic American Diabetes Association nutrition guidelines to develop our one-day meal plans each month. The guidelines were developed using the following sources:


Visit the About Our Meal Plans page to see what our guidelines are. You’ll see that we limit saturated fat and try to keep carbohydrate intake between 45-50% of calories. However, each individual’s needs can vary, so you may need more or less carbohydrates, calories, sodium, etc. So, each month we also include a page with tips for adjusting the amount of calories and carbohydrates in the meal plan to better fit your needs. You can find the link to this month’s tip page at: http://www.diabetes.org/mfa-recipes/adjusting-the-meal-plan-2012-06.html.



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