$60 Monthly Grocery Plan with Recipes
Honesty & Transparency
I track all my spending. Yes, every single purchase. I often have people who don’t believe my spending, especially my groceries, but they are indeed well documented facts. I don’t scan receipts and calculate every meal cost but this article is designed to help you peek behind that curtain a bit.
Now for honesty. I don’t necessarily cook all 90 of my meals every month. I might be traveling and eating in a Priority Pass lounge. I might forget my lunch at home. My girlfriend might bring home a tray of salami from an event.
I absolutely try to find as much free food as humanly possible. However, in fairness to myself, I do cook almost every meal that I eat.
Before we jump into the grocery list and recipes you might want to check out my article discussing the things you need in your kitchen and my Cooking Commandments.
Example Grocery List
Another honest note. I fully understand that some people live in regions where finding cheap groceries is tough. All I can speak to is where I have lived (Mississippi, Colorado, Boston). Below is a picture of a detailed list I took from a month of groceries while living in Boston. I marked the one manager special item with a (MS) next to it. This month I at a lot of tacos, pizza, roasted meat/veggies, and salads.
Hopefully this begins to highlight some of my staples. Chicken, sweet potatoes, eggs. This particular month I got really lucky finding things like turkey and pork loin so cheap. Even something like the pizza crusts, I never buy but found a crazy deal. I also want to point out I did zero coupon clipping. If there’s a coupon at he store next to the item, I’ll grab it, otherwise I’m too lazy.
My diet most months is some lean protein, some vegetables, and some cheap carbs. I also hope you notice there aren’t a bunch of what I’d call complimentary ingredients. Those garnishes, sauces, add-ins that don’t add much to the meal. There’s some green onion and green chilis but they pack a punch for the value.
I also didn’t make a grocery list at all when shopping. You can read more about that in the Beginner’s Guide to Meal Prepping but basically if you make up your mind on what you want before you go to the store you’ll end up missing a lot of deals.
Time for Recipes
There’s a reason food bloggers dominate the internet. Everyone loves food, everyone loves looking at food. If you don’t Instagram a meal it loses half it’s nutrients according to Harvard insiders. Below we’ll go through a few options that are extremely tasty and really cheap. Don’t get me wrong, some days I just have a banana and peanut butter or a protein shake. But I think y'all can handle those recipes without me.
Most important meal of the day they say. My go to is probably 3 eggs ($0.21) and toast ($0.17). Throw in some hot sauce and that’s a serviceable $0.38 breakfast. But again, y’all ain’t here for that so let’s dress up a cheap breakfast a little better.
Sunny Side eggs on Biscuit w/ Cheese and Chipotle Tabasco Sauce - $0.46
1 Biscuit - $0.15 ( Can of 8 $1.25)
2 eggs - $0.14 (18 pack for $1.25)
3/4 oz shredded cheese - $0.17 (8 oz for $1.79)
Chipotle Tabasco Sauce (any hot sauce will work, so cheap I don’t keep up with cost)
Heat non-stick skillet to medium high heat
Put down a little EVOO or cooking spray
You’ll know the skillet is ready when a drop of water sizzles on contact wit the skillet
Crack two eggs directly into the skillet
As soon as the yolks start getting hazy or a thin whiteness coming over them transfer them onto the English muffin
Yep, them yolks are still really runny I know
Place some cheese on top and place under the broiler just long enough to melt the cheese
Eggs should still have a slight run but not “OMG this is pure salmonella”
Grind some salt and pepper on top with a dash of your favorite hot sauce
Protein Packed Overnight Oats (42g Protein) - $0.74
1 cup milk - $0.12
1 cup old fashioned oats - $0.18
1 scoop protein - $0.44 (Found this 5 lb tub on sale for $31)
Place everything into a jar
Place in fridge night prior to eating
Recommend eating within 2-3 days to avoid getting too mushy
I meal prep some for breakfast but on much smaller scale than lunch and dinner. Generally I eat almost the exact same thing for lunch and dinner for a work week. Some people can’t stand that and I understand. There are several fixes for that such as making small alterations such as making a taco from salad ingredients, you can also cook two different batches, lastly you can do some mega meal prep where you freeze meals and pull down which ever meal you’re in the mood for that day.
Anyways onto recipes. First I want to give a suggestion for the simplest, healthiest, most efficient meal prep I often do that’s so easy with a full size oven.
Simplest, Healthiest, Most Efficient Meal Prep Directions
Set oven to 450 (don’t even have to wait to pre-heat
Coat ~6 lbs of sweet potatoes in olive oil, salt them, poke some little holes in them, place directly on top rack
Cover a giant sheet pan with aluminum foil
Place as many lbs of chicken as you wish on one side and as many lbs of veggies on the other side
If oven is now pre-heated, Pop in oven underneath sweet potatoes
Remove chicken when done ~20-25 minutes depending on size, but quickly get the aluminum foil covered pan back in the oven to catch sweet potato drippings
Once ~50 minutes has passed, turn off the oven but don’t open it
After an additional 30 minutes has passed pull out the sweet potatoes
You’ve just successfully cooked for an entire week and probably watched a Game of Thrones episode all with about 10 minutes of effort
But let’s get you some more interesting recipes now
Dos Instant Pot Chicken Tacos w/ Sweet Potato & Broccoli - $1.21-$1.60 per meal - makes 15-20 meals
*Side note. I eat this form for dinner and just the meat/rice mixture with sweet potato and broccoli for lunch (ie no cheese/tortillas)
6 lbs chicken - $10.14 ($1.69 lb)
6 lbs sweet potatoes - $3.54 (18 pack for $1.25)
4 lbs broccoli - $5.16 ($1.29 lb)
20 tortillas - $2 (10 for $1)
8 oz shredded cheese - $1.79
1 red onion - $0.50
1 pack southwest quinoa - $1 (mine was part of a free haul from helping a friend move)
1 cup water
Salt, pepper, hot sauce
Herdez Guacamole Salsa - takes very little, $2 jar last me a long time
Bake veggies according to instructions above in “Simple, Healthy, Efficient” meal prep recipe
Place chicken, onion, quinoa side, spices and water in instant pot
Place instant pot on Manual / High Pressure for 11 minutes
*May require some simmering to reduce liquid
Top with Herdez Guacamole Salsa
Pro-tip: Reheat tacos in oven so tortilla doesn’t get soggy
Bonus Recipe - Chicken Breakfast tacos
Same idea just no veggies and add two sunny side eggs
Pictured includes some left over homemade salsa from a party and Herdez Guacomole Salsa
Instant Pot Stir Fry - $1.21-$1.60 per meal - makes 9 meals
4 lbs chicken - $6.76 ($1.69 lb) - I actually got this for ~$1.20/lb on manager special but that’s not really fair
2 lbs frozen broccoli - $2.79
1 lb frozen bell peppers - $1.50
1 package rice noodles - snagged for free store promotion
8 oz shredded cheese - $1.79
Salt / pepper
Soy sauce to taste
1.5 cups water
Place, frozen veggies and water in instant pot
Place instant pot on Manual / High Pressure for 11 minutes
Place rice noodles in instant pot
Set to manual mode for 0 minutes
Quick release and serve
Am I a Food Blogger Yet?
I really hope this has helped someone. Again, I can’t promise you’ll find the deals I find on food. That’s part of it right? You go in and you get whatever is on sale and you adjust the recipe accordingly. I absolutely love my Instant Pot and that’s largely because I don’t have a full size kitchen but even with one I’d highly recommend one.
I hope to continue getting more transparent things out there like recipients ( I always end up getting chicken on em or crumbling up and the photos are just terrible). Maybe even finer grain nutritional information but certainly more food related content.
Other Content You’ll Love
If you did enjoy the look behind the curtain you might enjoy things like how I fed myself every meal out of a hotel room (no free breakfast either) in Australia for $120 over a month or how I live on $24k per year in Boston while constantly doing cool experiences. and certainly the Meal Prepping 101 post I’ve been mentioning.
My #1 top ultimate goal though is just to help you believe it’s possible to take control over your finances. Food can be an excuse we make to ourselves, let me be your counter argument.
Please also go check out my podcast over at The FI Show, sign-up for the no spam ever email list. Literally forget to even email about new content so no concerns there. But most importantly I ask that you interact, ask question, and make suggestions.