Clean Eating for 2 on $60 a Week – with Printables!

December 28, 2015 Diane Homan

Note: This post is now over 5 years old. While the prices noted in the plan reflected pricing in my area in 2015, these are no longer accurate. The cost of living in your area will change how cheaply you are able to buy the ingredients in this plan. 

Clean Eating on a Budget | Homan at Home

Eating clean is the new big trend, and you know why? Because it actually makes you feel really good. Cutting refined foods from your diet is a great way to gain energy and enthusiasm for life. it improves sleep quality, mood, and can even stave off health issues. Besides, have you ever looked at those clean eating recipes on Pinterest? They just look healthy.

And so, on that logic, my husband and I decided to try to move towards a cleaner diet. 

But we ran into a problem. You know all those “eat clean on a budget” posts you see go by on Pinterest? Apparently, they think you have 5-10 dollars per meal. We’re poor college students. Our budget sits more around $8.50 a day or $60 a week. That $8.50 has to provide 6 meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner for two people), not to mention snacks. That throws out most of the stuff I’ve seen around. 

So we brought Team Homan to bear on the problem. We started from scratch, modifying recipes, planning our meals, shopping sales, failing frequently, and succeeding on occasion. 

This post has been a long time in coming. It’s taken us since June to come up with four weeks of food that make us happy. But they’re a strong four weeks. 

So if you’re looking to eat clean on a tight budget, we’d like to share what we’ve learned as a family. We’ve cleaned up and put together the meal plans and shopping lists we use on a week by week basis. They’re real. They’re what we really do and what we really eat. We’re still working on improving them, but so far, we’re pretty happy with what we have, so of course, we’re going to share them. 

A few notes before I jump into the actual food:

  1. Spend a little at the beginning to save later. When we committed to this clean eating plan, we took a trip to Sams and paid about $40 upfront for frozen strawberries ($9.96), frozen stir fry veggies ($6.50), granola ($7.76), flour ($6.25), and rice ($8.50). It was a larger cost at first, but it helped us get started. Now, we integrate those things into the weekly budget, replenishing them when they run out so that we never spend more than $60 dollars a week. That $40 shopping trip is what helped us get this party started, and I would recommend something similar if you are looking to save money in the long run.
  2. We follow the 80/20 rule on clean eating. For a great explanation of the 80/20 rule, check out this post from Bless This Mess (This was my inspiration for these meal plans. She has some great recipes and a really balanced philosophy). Basically, it means that you eat clean about 80% of the time, but that you see fit to indulge on occasion. For instance, we eat birthday cake on people’s birthdays and we eat dessert every so often. I’ll also use a few not-quite-clean foods (like Italian dressing) in my cooking as a way of staying in budget. I don’t stress about it. If 80% of my diet is clean, that’s a major step forward šŸ™‚
  3. My prices may be different from yours. $60 a week would not have been possible when I lived in Alaska. Logan, Utah has a fairly cheap cost of living. All the prices I quote here are real and current for my area at the time of posting. Different areas are more expensive and others are even cheaper. Keep that in mind as you plan your budget. 
  4. Shop around. I may go to three different stores in one week to get the best prices (usually Smiths, Walmart, and Sams).  Pay attention to sales. I keep a price book, which is a great way to know if I’m getting the best deal. Mostly, I know off the top of my head now (because I’ve spent so much time thinking about this!), but in the beginning, I had to pay very close attention to which store was best for which item. 
  5. Portion sizes matter. This was actually the hardest thing for us to learn. For a while, I measured everything. Everything. We had a very skewed idea of how much we should be eating, and it was a little painful to scale down, but ultimately worth it. If you follow the meal plans, you should be getting 2000 calories or so a day. This is roughly right for most adults. Give it a couple weeks. Your sense of how much to eat will adjust. And the honest truth is, if you’re trying to eat healthy on such a small budget, you don’t have a lot of room for extra. 

Okay, now that that’s out of the way, let’s dive into the meal plans.I put links to all recipes below the plan, and there’s a printable version of the meal plan and shopping list for each week. I’ve also provided the prices I pay for these items – they’re in parenthesis on the shopping lists. I included a “getting started” list with all the items I had in my pantry when we got going. If you don’t have those things lying around, check out point #1 above.

The weeks flow into each other and work together to save money (i.e. If I buy a bag of cheese sticks on week 1, those will last through weeks 1 and 2). Let me know in the comments if there’s any sort of resource you’d like to see added or anything that’s unclear to you. Thanks for sticking around this long, and – drumroll please – here are the meal plans!

Week 1 Meal Plan

Meal Links for Week 1

Refrigerator Oatmeal

Fluffy Whole Wheat Pancakes

Slow Cooker Chicken Curry (use 1 chicken breast)

Mexican Bean Soup

Slow Cooker Chicken Spaghetti (use 1 chicken breast)

Dustin’s Stir-fry (use 1 chicken breast)

Whole Wheat Pizza

Slow Cooker Copycat Cafe Rio Chicken and Rice

Week 2 Meal Plan

Meal Links for Week 2

Refrigerator Oatmeal

Whole Wheat Pancakes

Budget-friendly Tacos (use 1/2 lb ground beef)

Easy Chicken Noodle Soup (use 1 chicken breast)

Slow Cooker Thai Green Curry 

Easy Fried Rice (use 1 chicken breast)

Italian Wonderpot (add in 1/2 lb ground beef, change spinach to green pepper, and change feta to Parmesan cheese)

Black Bean Burgers

Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas (use 2 chicken breasts)

Week 3 Meal Plan

Meal Links for Week 3

Refrigerator Oatmeal

Fluffy Whole Wheat Pancakes

Korean Beef and Veggies (just add veggies into the meat) (half the recipe)

Taco Soup (use 1/2 lb beef)

Italian Chicken Skillet 

Slow Cooker Chicken Curry (use 1 chicken breast)

Whole Wheat Pizza

Slow Cooker Refried Beans

Week 4 Meal Plan

Meal Links for Week 4

Refrigerator Oatmeal

Fluffy Whole Wheat Pancakes

Tasty Turkey Meatloaf (1/2 the recipe)

Southwest Chicken Soup (use 1 chicken breast)

Slow Cooker Chicken Spaghetti (use 1 chicken breast)

Shish Kebabs (you can also just use the same ingredients and bake at 400 fro 20-25 minutes)

Burrito Bowls

Easy Fried Rice (use 1 chicken breast)

Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas (use 2 chicken breasts)


Click here for the shopping lists: Clean Eating 1 Month Shopping Lists

Do you see anything I missed? Do you have a favorite budget clean eating meal? Leave a comment and share!

I linked up at Tatertots and Jello . Follow the link for more great ideas!

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Heathers Looking Glass

This is great! Clean eating is something I plan to work more on in 2016!

Diane Homan

It’s been really great for our family. Hope you find some ideas here!

Diane Homan

Thanks! It was good to get the info organized in a clear way instead of in the notebooks I’d been using šŸ™‚


You are so right about clean eating improving mood – I have very recently been trying to make this a habit, and have been feeling great – but lighter in the wallet šŸ™‚ Looking most forward to breaking out my crock pot for some chicken fajitas!

Diane Homan

That’s one of our favorites! So healthy, but so good šŸ™‚

Lisa @ Fun Money Mom

I need to start planning our meals again..we saved so much money. Your printables look really helpful too! I always love reading about how others save money because it give me a little inspiration to try to save more myself!
Visiting from Link Party Palooza

Diane Homan

Thanks so much! We used to spend over $400 a month on food before we had to cut costs in half. We’re actually happier this way!

lacey rich

This is wonderful & I can tell how much work went into it! Appreciate it so much! I’m getting pretty good at meal planning before shopping trips, but need to work on cutting out processed foods & keeping to a budget! Going to try following some of your tips & recipes! THANKS SO MUCH! (found you via tater tots n jello link up!)

Diane Homan

Thank you for your kind words. I hope you find the recipes as delicious and the tips as helpful as we do!

Homan at Home

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Iā€™m unable to print these documents. Can they be emailed to me?

Diane Homan

I went ahead and emailed them to you!

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