Habits + Routines

Real Food on a Budget: 8 Meal Planning Resources that Won’t Break the Bank

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These 8 real food meal planning resources will teach you how to cook nutritious meals without breaking the bank!

I’m kind of a skeptic when it comes to real food…….though most certainly not by the benefits. I’ve seen enough of my crunchy friends rave about their clean eating habits and heal their bodies to doubt too awfully much.

I’m more of a skeptic about real food on a real budget. 

You see, in my grocery store, fruits and veggies cost way more than preservative-laden granola bars from the snack aisle. Milk is already up to $4.09/gallon in my state, which means I’m definitely not going to find a raw milk food source and pay double. And when it comes to kefir and kombucha, I refuse to make or consume anything I can’t pronounce.

I’m a frugal girl with a small grocery budget, so the way I eat has to be pretty frugal too!

But the more I research everything that goes into my desired lifestyle change, the more articles and eBooks I find on how to make clean eating more affordable. Coincidence? I think not.

Truthfully, there are so many creative, out-of-the-box ideas available to help stretch the food you eat — real food included — you just have to know where to find them.

The following 8 resources are some of the best to help you save money on ingredients, and make nutritious meals at home without breaking the bank.

Money Saving Mom’s Guide to Freezer Cooking (FREE)

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Freezer cooking is one of my favorite ways to stock up and save money on our meals, and Money Saving Mom’s Free Guide to Freezer Cooking is one of the best resources to teach you exactly how to do that. From planning your first freezer cooking day, to my favorite cinnamon roll recipe, you’ll be ready to start stocking your freezer this weekend!

Making Organic Food Affordable ($18)

Making Organic Food Affordable

It’s true that organic foods run about 20% higher in cost compared to regular fruits and veggies, but in Making Organic Food Affordable: A Step-by-Step Approach for Lowering Your Costs by 50% or More, you’ll learn how to correctly shop a farmer’s market, where to find the best wholesale food prices and coupons, and 8+ ways to grab organic produce for absolutely free.

Your Real Food Journey ($25)

Your Real Food Journey by Trina HoldenOne part cookbook, one part gentle mentor, my friend Trina Holden has outdone herself with Your Real Food Journey. This book encourages you to embrace real food as a marathon, not a sprint. Even if you’re not sure which step to take next, Trina will guide you through the basics of eating well with easy, doable tips, and recipes your whole family will love!

Eat At Home Meal Plans ($84/year)

Sometimes the hardest part of cooking real food at home isn’t the cooking. Coming up with a plan ahead of time is what’s so challenging! Thankfully Eat At Home meal plans take all the brain power out of this chore by giving you access to a done-for-you meal plan every single week. Best of all, you can choose the meal plan that works best for your family! They have four options to choose from, including Traditional, Whole Foods Plant-based, Slow Cooker, and No Flour/No Sugar.

List Plan It Meals ePlanner ($5)

MEALS ePlanner

If you’re always running out of dinner ideas, this Meal ePlanner has you covered. Learn which meals you should make on a regular basis, create a monthly menu plan with your favorite recipes, and transfer ingredients to a printable grocery list for easy shopping. It’s your meal planning resource in one handy PDF!

 eMeals Clean Eating Plan ($5/month)

Clean Eating Meal Plan from eMealsIf you need a meal plan laid out for you each week, look no further than eMeals. You’ll receive 4 new meals plans a month, with yummy recipes matched with your favorite grocery store sales so you never have to worry about expensive dinners again! Here’s why our family loves and uses eMeals.

I don’t know about you, but I desperately want to make better health and lifestyle decisions, starting now. I want to lose a little bit of weight, have more energy, and use greener products, and healthy nutritious meals are the perfect baby step for me to prevent serious health issues down the road.

It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed and intimidated by the masses of healthy living advice out there, but instead of being frozen to the point of inaction, you can do something. You can start small, slowly change your diet one food at a time, and come out feeling a better person – these real food meal planning resources are just the start.

Don’t let the high cost of real food keep you from living a healthier life. Just one change can totally transform how you think, eat, and live. I definitely want in on that….don’t you?

What are your tips for planning healthy meals on a budget?

Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. Read my full disclosure policy here.

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10 Comments

  1. I ordered this bundle two hours ago and still haven’t received it in my inbox. I contacted them, but they have not replied.

    1. Oh no! That definitely should not be happening. Did you check both your spam and trash? Some people have been having problems with it going directly into their trash. Let me know and I’ll keep checking on my end too!

  2. I love using ebooks for nutrition plans! There are so many free ebooks online as well. I follow a ton of people on Instagram that are constantly sharing new recipes so that helps as well. There are so many resources available for free.

    1. Yes, there is! That’s one of the great things about the internet, you can always learn something!

  3. ALDI!!!! It is my life saver to eating more real foods. It is so much more affordable and milk at Aldi is consistently a $1 or more less than what milk is at the other large retailers in my area. I also use Checkout 51, it’s an app that allows you to earn cash back and they usually offer up cash back on produce items.

    1. I really wish we had an ALDI nearby! It’s one of the things I miss from Upstate NY. The closest one down here is about 2 hours away. 🙁 And I need to try out that app! I keeping hearing about Checkout51 and Ibotta. Need to finally sit down and figure it out!

  4. It would be great if one did not have to PAY for all these sources that are supposed to save a household money? I feel a little duped. Like, you’ll share your ‘secrets’ but then to discover, I will pay the price…

    But frugal charges for what frugal saves…

    Maybe common sense and web hosting services is more expensive then I thought.
    Just disclose your business here, ladies.

    1. Hi Nicola! These are just resources that are completely optional to purchase for those who are searching for ways to eat healthier on a budget. This is something I’m still working on and don’t feel qualified to talk about just yet, but there are plenty of blogs that I know and love that have hundreds of posts based on this very topic. http://trinaholden.com/, http://www.keeperofthehome.org/, and http://dontwastethecrumbs.com/ are three of my favorites. 🙂

  5. Kelly at New Leaf Wellness has e-cookbooks for sale that are very inexpensive and many recipes on her blog. They are freezer meals and she uses healthy ingredients. I have made many of her recipes and they’re delicious. They can be very frugal when ingredients are sale priced. I can’t say enough about how great the meals are!!?

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