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This week I spent $52.17 on ingredients for 5 dinners, 1 freezer meal and bananas for breakfast and snack. Most of the recipes I'm making this week make large portions, so I'll be able to make quite a few additional freezer meals as well! Share this post with someone who needs help with vegan meal planning!

Collage of 4 vegan dinner recipes for weekly meal plan under $55.

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!

This year, our goal is to keep our food expenses (including restaurants and coffee out!) under $500 a month. Our January challenge in particular is to not eat out!

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. I also check Ibotta throughout the month to see if there are any products I can stock up on for at an additional discount. See this week's best deals on Ibotta here!

If you missed the last few meal plans this month, go back to Meal Plan #1, Meal Plan #2, and Meal Plan #3 now!

My Meal Planning Method

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, freezer meal 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.

This Week's Dinners

Follow me on Instagram or Facebook to watch me cook these dinner recipes throughout the week!

Slow Cook Sunday

I LOVE Rao's marinara sauce, but let's face it. It costs a fortune and it isn't as nutritious as it could be. This homemade spaghetti sauce makes a TON of sauce and packs 10 cups of healthy veggies so lots will be going in the freezer for future budget-friendly pasta nights. Perfect for kids who need some sneaky veggies in their diet!

Spaghetti sauce in jar with pasta in background.

1

Veggie-Packed Spaghetti Sauce Recipe (No Meat!)

This meatless spaghetti sauce recipe is packed with almost 1 full cup of vegetables per serving and is the perfect hearty and nutritious pasta sauce for all of your spaghetti needs. This crockpot recipe makes a large batch – perfect for stocking the freezer with healthy marinara sauce.
Join Home-Cooked Roots Premium for Early Access to this Recipe!

Make Two Monday

These naan pizzas are perfect for the freezer so I'm making a double batch on Monday and freezing 4-5 pizzas for later!

2

Margherita Flatbread Naan Pizza

The easiest dinner that's ready in less than 20 minutes!
Check out this Vegan Naan Pizza recipe

20 Minute Tuesday

I had everything I needed already at home to make this recipe! Win!

Bowl of spicy peanut noodle stir fry.

3

Spicy Vegan Peanut Noodle Stir Fry Recipe

This Vegan Peanut Noodle Stir Fry is a great takeout style dish that takes just 30 minutes to make and is made with the easy at home vegan peanut sauce. All you need is 11 ingredients, including udon noodles, soy curls, shredded cabbage and carrots.
Check out this Spicy Peanut Noodle Stir Fry recipe

Slow Cooker Wednesday

This recipe makes quite a large serving so likely will be sticking a few servings in the freezer as well! When freezing single servings, I LOVE using my 2-cup Souper cubes.

Stew topped with sour cream, avocado slices, corn chips over cilantro rice in white bowl.

4

Vegetarian Green Chili Stew

Vegetarian Green Chili Stew is the perfect hearty fall and winter dinner made in the slow cooker or Instant Pot! It's made with jackfruit, homemade Tomatillo Green-Chili Salsa, and green chiles and served over cilantro lime rice! All you need is 10 minutes to prep!
Check out this Green Chili Stew recipe

If It's Thursday (If it's in the fridge, it's for dinner 😉)

This is leftovers day in our house. You can either eat leftovers from recipes earlier in the week or make yourself something with what we have.

Freezer Friday

Last week I ended up freezing two of these casseroles so baking one up on Friday for a quick and easy nutritious meal!

Vegan Spinach & Artichoke Casserole with White Beans by From My Bowl

5

Vegan Spinach & Artichoke Casserole with White Beans by From My Bowl

This Spinach & Artichoke Casserole is hearty, filling, & made from healthy and wholesome ingredients for a veggie-packed meal that’s perfect year-round.
Check out this Spinach & Artichoke Casserole Recipe

Saturday

I'm testing a slow cooker soup today for the blog, but if you're looking for a new recipe to try, I highly recommend this Buffalo Casserole! It's one of our favorites and SO easy to make.

6

Buffalo Cauliflower & Chickpea Casserole (Dump-and-Bake) – From My Bowl

This dump-and-bake Buffalo Cauliflower & Chickpea Casserole is cozy and hearty, plus you only need 10 ingredients to make it! Naturally Vegan & Gluten-Free.
Check out this Buffalo Cauliflower & Chickpea Casserole recipe

What I Already Had in the Pantry

A big part of shopping frugally every week is choosing 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.

Below are ingredients I need for this week's recipes that were already in my pantry:

Produce (Fresh or Frozen)

  • Garlic
  • Carrots
  • Cilantro
  • Shredded cabbage

Shelf Stable

  • Olive oil
  • Vegetable Bouillon Paste/Vegetable broth
  • Instant yeast
  • Cane sugar
  • All purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Udon noodles
  • Soy curls
  • Peanut butter
  • Jackfruit
  • Diced green chilies
  • Cornmeal
  • Rice

Fridge/Freezer

  • Marinara sauce (using my homemade sauce from Monday to make pizzas)
  • Tamari
  • Maple syrup
  • Sriracha
  • Salsa verde (I froze a lot of salsa verde a couple weeks ago)

Spices

  • Italian seasoning
  • Black pepper
  • Bay leaves
  • Sea salt
  • Ginger
  • Curry powder

What I Bought

I purchased everything from Walmart Grocery Pickup and Grocery Outlet. For reference, I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. These groceries may cost more or less for you based on your area.

For Dinners

  • 3 lb bag sweet potatoes ($3.97)
  • Cauliflower florets ($1.00)
  • Red bell pepper ($1.38)
  • 3 lb bag yellow onion ($2.38)
  • 3 lb bag gold potatoes ($4.88)
  • Silk Next Milk Whole Fat Milk ($2.63 with Ibotta cash back offer)
  • 4 cans Diced tomatoes ($3.52)
  • 1 can tomato sauce ($0.88)
  • Rotel original diced tomatoes and green chilies ($1.24)
  • 2 cans tomato paste ($1.92)
  • Red onion ($0.75)
  • Vegan cheese ($2.74 with Ibotta cash back offer)
  • Ingredients for recipe I'm testing ($12.89)
  • Organic chili powder ($3.97)
  • Organic ground cumin ($3.97)
  • Organic firm tofu ($2.68)

For Breakfast and Snacks

  • Bananas ($1.37)

Total Spent on this Week's Meal Plan: $52.17

Don't forget to follow me on Instagram or Facebook to watch me cook these dinner recipes throughout the week!

See you back here next week for a new meal plan. Comment below with what you're cooking this week.

More Meal Planning Resources You May Find Helpful

12 Dirt Cheap Weeknight Dinners ebook page.
12 Dirt Cheap Weeknight Dinners ebook cover.

Wallet-Friendly Recipes & Smart Shopping Tips in Your Inbox

Plus get a free cookbook with 12 Dirt Cheap Dinner Ideas that’ll cost you $2 or less per serving.

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