Broke? No Food? 1 Week Meal Plan For $20

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No point in starving even if you are broke!

So you have $20 to feed yourself with for the next week? Head to your local Walmart or discount store and go shopping. All the prices I have listed were at either Walmart or my local meat shop that quite often has drumsticks on sale anywhere from .99 to $1.99 a lb. Usually I get about 4 or 5 for a pound. You can always shred up one to use it in spaghetti or a salad.

There is never an excuse to starve yourself. Even when you're broke you need to eat. While my meal plan may not use high quality products they will keep you full when you don't have many other options. I promote growing your own veggies if possible that way you know you have good quality produce always available.

For the record this is not going to be the best eating out there. This is a cheap noodles, beans, and rice type plan. Also I live in the South East so my costs are going to be cheaper than they are in say, California. The items I listed would be bought on sale or at a Dollar Tree. The Dollar Tree in my area sells everything except the meats I listed. The meats I would buy on sale at these prices at Bi-Lo, FoodLion, Publix, or Ingles.

Are there healthier options. I'm sure there are, but I'm a born and raised southern chic. These are the types of things I actually like eating. Beans, rice, some Shepard's pie, or some fried chicken make meals complete. So this meal plan is based on things I would actually eat to get me as close to 2000 calories a day. Also I am assuming you have some odds and ends at your home to eat. Most of us who cook on a regular basis, no matter poor or not, have things like butter, drinks (sweet tea in the south), seasonings, dressings, and such. So I write this assuming you can easily find ways to make these things taste a bit better or add a few more calories. Like adding Jelly to toast.

So use whatever you have on hand to make things better and visit the cheapest stores as possible.

Shopping List for $20 Broke Person Meal Plan

  • 1 Loaf of bread, $1
  • 1 16 slice pack cheese, $1
  • 1 16oz pack Spaghetti noodles, $1
  • 1 Head of Ice-burg Lettuce, $1
  • 2 Roma Tomato, $1
  • 1 lb ground beef, $3
  • 1/4 lb thin sliced deli ham, $2
  • 1 box Mashed Potato Flakes, $1
  • 1 lb Chicken Drumsticks, $2
  • 1 jar Peanut butter, $1
  • 1 dozen eggs, $2
  • 1 lb Bagged Rice, $1
  • 1 lb Bagged Beans, $1
  • 1/2 gallon Milk, $2

Day by Day Cheap Meal Plan

  1. 2 slices Toast with tablespoon of peanut butter on each with 2 eggs and 1 cup of milk. This leaves you 22 slices of bread, 10 eggs, and 7 cups of milk
    2 Grilled cheese sandwiches. This leaves you 18,
    Spaghetti, Only cook half the noodles, use half the sauce and freeze the unused portion for later in the week. This will be basic spaghetti sauce and noodles. The sauce at Walmart can be picked out in many different flavors. So you can get the meat kind to add a little extra flavor. Also using any spices you may already have can improve flavor. Always remember this is a broke diet. Half the box should be enough for one main meal and a second small meal so keep the leftovers. Half the box with half the sauce is right at 1200 calories.
  2. 2 eggs with 1 cup of milk and 1 slice of peanut butter toast. This leaves you with 8 eggs, 6 cups of milk, and 16 slices of bread.
    Leftover spaghetti
    1/4 lb Hamburger with a slice of tomato and lettuce on two toasted pieces of bread If you like you can add in some extra calories by serving the boxed mashed potatoes. Leaves most of lettuce and tomato and 3/4 lb Hamburger.
  3. 2 Cheese toasts and one cup of milk. This leaves you 12 slices of bread and 5 cups of milk.
    Ham and cheese sandwich
    Mini Shepherds pie. For the mini Shep pie just boil your potato, brown your ground beef with a little onion. Place beef in a muffin pan, lay a half slice of cheese over the beef mixture, spoon prepared mashed potatoes on top of the cheese. There should be leftovers considering there will be about 1500 calories in this dish.
  4. Cheese Omelet add a small amount of the ham and tomato, one cup of milk. This leaves 5 eggs and 4 cups of milk.
    2 PB Sandwiches
    , 8 slices left
    2 Drumsticks (add bbq sauce if you have some), rice, and Salad You should have some leftover tomato. Boil 1 egg to dice over it, toast a piece of bread to make croutons add whatever dressing you have in the fridge. Leaves you 4 eggs
  5. 2 eggs, 2 toasts with PB, one cup of milk. Leaves 5 slices bread, 2 eggs, 3 cups of milk.
    Leftover Shepherds pie You should have 2 of these left from Wednesday night dinner.
    2 drumsticks (add Italian dressing or breadcrumbs if you have them or just fry in after dredging in some flour and seasoning), rice, and a side salad
  6. 2 PB toast and a cup of milk. Leaves 3 slices of bread and 2 cups of milk
    Rice and Beans (about 1 1/2 cups cooked)
    Spaghetti
  7. LEFTOVER DAY! Whatever you have left from the week use today, there should be more than enough. You should have leftover Spaghetti, 2 cups of milk, 3 slices of bread, some lettuce, beans, rice, and 2 eggs. If it were me I would do a grilled cheese for breakfast with some milk, some leftover spaghetti for lunch, and I would make some fried rice for dinner.

Calories

Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
530
305
1100
470
300
900
550
400
1000
600
500
820/1000
550
500
820/1000
350
600
800-1000

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Comments 14 comments

SuffolkJason profile image

SuffolkJason 4 years ago from Ipswich, Suffolk, England, United Kingdom

Useful hub. I also think that diet would be healthy. There are very few added sugars.


peeples profile image

peeples 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

Thanks for visiting!


CapstoneTrends profile image

CapstoneTrends 4 years ago from Outside Boston, Massachusetts, USA

very cool!


breathe2travel profile image

breathe2travel 4 years ago from Gulf Coast, USA

Where in the world do you find a jar of peanut butter for $1, and what is its weight? The smallest jars of peanut butter sell for $3 here -- I always buy larger bc of my family size. Also, cheese for $1? Wow. Please share the market & brand names. :)

Interesting hub, and you are right -- when availing oneself to sales & coupons, anyone should be able to eat! Voted up & interesting.


peeples profile image

peeples 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

Thanks. Clear Value and family pantry brands both have peanut butter and sliced cheese for $1. The store Dollar General is big here in South Eastern USA. Unsure if it is everywhere. They have tons of food items for $1. So does Walmart and Dollar tree. The peanut butter is only the 18 oz size though so really not good for a family. I should add these are generic brands. Thanks for visiting my hub!


SidKemp profile image

SidKemp 4 years ago from Boca Raton, Florida (near Miami and Palm Beach)

If you have time for a bit more cooking, you can buy raw rice and beans for a very low price (Goya brand is good for beans) and cook them up and refrigerate for a few days. This will add fiber and a good balance of carbohydrates with some protein to your diet.


peeples profile image

peeples 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

I agree Sid rice and beans can be a great and can be stretched by mixing in with multiple different type meals! Thanks for visiting!


Thundermama profile image

Thundermama 4 years ago from Canada

In this day and age people need to know how to survive on less. Great info here and love the plug for growing your own food. Swap the meat for beans and tofu and this would work for a vegetarian as well.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Excellent Hub and information. As you said, this is a almost broke approach, but we could all learn an awful ot about how to make do with less. And I agree with some of the other comments, with just a couple of very inexpensive additions,this could be a reasonably balanced and nutritious diet. Thanks for sharing this with us.


Brandon E Newman profile image

Brandon E Newman 4 years ago from North Texas

Really- excellent meal plan for a pygmy marmoset- I would just take that $20, and buy some beerz, then hit the dollar menu at some drive-thru. I wrote one like this a few years ago on squidoo squidoo.com/howtosurviveuntilpayday


Efficient Admin profile image

Efficient Admin 4 years ago from Charlotte, NC

This sounds like it could be healthy meals but in my area it would cost a lot more than $20 -- maybe around $30. Great hub, thank you for sharing, voted up.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 3 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

Up, Useful, and Interesting. Thanks for the good suggestions. In Kalamazoo, I shop and find good deals at Meijers and Dollar Tree. Meijers usually has clearance shelves for fresh produce and for bread. That is how I sometimes can afford sweet red peppers and whole grain artisan bread. I slice and freeze the bread to keep it fresh. I buy healthy fresh produce in season. Cabbage is often a good deal. I bought a head recently for $.25 a pound. Meijers brand bite-size shredded wheat and pretzels from Dollar Tree eaten together are my substitute for Triscuits. Staples include brown rice, a variety of beans, oatmeal or steel cut oats, etc. Soup, such as tomato, on sale is a handy start for making "leftovers soup".


IonistLit 3 years ago

You made some decent factors there. I looked on the internet for the difficulty and found most people will associate with your website.

BichEffic


peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 22 months ago from Home Sweet Home

clever ideas, no wonder teens are good at budgets, better than moms

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