In this week’s Vegan Meal Plan for Two, I spent $47.75 to purchase everything I’d need to cook 5 vegan dinners, bake Almond Flour Banana Muffins for breakfast, plus make 2 freezer meals for future dinners. Read on to see what I make, where I shopped and what I had to purchase.
Meal Planning FAQs
Last year, in 2022, we spent much more on food than we would have liked. We could blame it on inflation, busy work schedules, moving, sickness, stress, etc., but the truth is we got lazy and unorganized. It was not a priority. Eating out when you’re tired and want a break is SO easy, but it adds up to hundreds, if not thousands of unnecessary spending every month.
So this year I am sharing the amount I spend every week on groceries to help me stay on track and hopefully inspire you to do the same!
Our 2023 goal is to keep our food expenses (including restaurants and coffee out!) under $500 a month.
By the end of the month, if I am still under budget, I will stock up on our Vegan Pantry Staples at bulk prices to help us save even more money throughout the year.
Our savings will go towards paying down our mortgage. We have a personal goal of being mortgage-free by 40! What would you do with that extra money back in your pocket this year?
The short answer: OH MY GOODNESS, YES!
The long answer: In 2016, I graduated from a private university with $70,000 in student loan debt. I didn’t realize just how much money I had borrowed until I graduated and received notice that my minimum payment would be over $1,000 a month (not including interest!).
It felt like my options in life became non-existent because every penny I made had to go to debt and bills. I immediately started researching how to get out of debt FAST.
The #1 thing that always came up was weekly meal planning and being frugal at the grocery store. We can’t easily change the amount we owe on fixed expenses like our rent, mortgage, car, etc, but we have a LOT of control over what we spend at the grocery store every week.
To this day, I attribute my ability to pay off my $70,000 of student loan debt in just 27 months to shopping smart at the grocery store every week. It doesn’t feel like it, but small savings every week add up to a LOT OF MONEY over time.
Even with rising grocery prices and inflation, the cheapest way to feed your family every week is by eating at home and meal planning intentionally.
You’ll be surprised how much you can make a difference in your finances just by taking 30 minutes or so to plan ahead each week and shop smart.
If you’re new, check out my post, Vegan Meal Planning for the Week Made Easy. In a nutshell, I follow this meal planning formula:
Sunday – Slow Cooker
Monday – Make Two and Freeze 1
Tuesday – Something that takes 20 minutes or less to prep
Wednesday – Slow Cooker
Thursday – Leftovers
Friday – Freezer Meal (something I previously made and froze)
Saturday – Free Choice (cook, eat out, or leftovers)
This gives me structure to help me plan quickly, but still gives me flexibility to make foods and flavors that sound good. We also always eat leftovers for lunch.
Again, check out the Vegan Meal Planning for the Week Made Easy post for in-depth details to help you make this system work for you.
First, choose recipes based on what’s already in your pantry! The goal is to have your pantry list be longer than your grocery list. This means you meal plan by shopping your pantry, fridge, and freezer first to prevent food waste, save money, and shop with intention.
Second, sign up for cash back apps like Ibotta. They regularly offer cash back on products you’re likely already purchasing every week. I earn about $50 cash back every month without even trying! Sign up with my code WVSUIJG to earn $10 cash back on your first receipt submission!
This Week’s Dinners
Slow Cook Sunday:
Slow Cooker Peanut Stew
This stew by Girl on the Bloor is an African-inspired recipe made with chickpea and sweet potatoes. Serve over basmati rice with cilantro and Air Fryer Green Beans.
Make 2 Monday:
Vegan Red Lentil Curry
This Vegan Red Lentil Curry is the perfect weeknight dinner – it’s creamy & indulgent, but made with wholesome vegan ingredients. Serve with Vegan Naan!
⭐️ Premium recipe
Almond Flour Banana Muffins
I don’t always meal prep for breakfast, but this week I wanted to make my new Almond Flour Banana Muffins. Join Home-Cooked Roots Premium and give the recipe a try for breakfast this week!
My Weekly Spending Breakdown
I purchased everything from Walmart Grocery Pickup. For reference, I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. These groceries may cost more or less for you based on your area.
I also ALWAYS check Ibotta for deals on what I need before shopping.
Produce (Fresh or Frozen)
Green beans (freezer)
Vegan cream cheese (I’m making my own from scratch this week!)
Full-fat coconut milk
Grande burrito flour tortillas, 8 count ($3.88)
Organic romaine lettuce hearts, 3 pack ($3.46)
4 oz. can diced green chiles ($0.78)
15 oz. can organic lentils ($1.16)
2 (15 oz.) cans organic corn ($3.16)
14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes ($0.88)
6 oz. organic tomato paste ($0.96)
Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce ($1.58)
Fresh poblano pepper ($0.20)
Red onion ($0.78)
Organic super firm tofu ($2.98)
4 serrano peppers ($1.58)
Fresh ginger ($0.90)
Bell pepper ($1.38)
2 (28 oz.) cans crushed tomatoes ($2.72)
3 lbs yellow onions ($1.58)
For Breakfast and Snacks
Dave’s Killer Bread ($5.98)
36 oz Organic coconut flour ($7.83)
Total Spent: $47.75
This week we went to a friend’s house for a potluck and purchased $21.72 groceries to make sides and appetizers to bring with us.
Back stock: $46.96
Eating Out: $99.83
See you next week for next week’s meal plan! Comment below with what you’re cooking this week!
Following you on this. We keep our food purchases within a budget, but I’m always looking for new ways to achieve that goal. We’re retired (20+ years), and have been plant-based for almost 8 years. Conquered some pain problems and both of us feel so good.
I create a weekly menu plan on Monday. Tuesday I check our food stock and make out a grocery list. Wednesday I doublecheck Monday’s and Tuesday’s work so we can shop on Thursday. I primarily shop the produce and bulk, with my husband being the expert on canned, packaged and cold/frozen items. We’re in and out within 30 minutes, sticking to the list! I see several items on your list this week which will be on mine next!! Thanks so much.
Thank you, Judy! Your meal planning ways sound great and very smart! Sticking to the list is key.