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How to Eat on $1.50 a Day: Menu Plan, Recipes and Shopping List

Updated on May 22, 2014

I started this meal plan as a way to do the "Live Below The Poverty Line Challenge", however this list will come in handy for those that do not have much of a food budget as well. So if you start your work with just 15 dollars, you will have enough to feed you and one other person for the work week. Great list for a week when money is tight and cheap alternatives are needed.

The List

All groceries were bought at Aldi's or the dollar store, so the prices will reflect current prices that were just paid. Prices were actually rounded up in a few cases, which will give me a few cents for seasonings. (My rationale anyways)

.50 One pound of white rice (1/2 a two pound bag. Price is cheaper per pound if bought in bulk)

.50 1/2 pound margarine

1.00 1 pound spaghetti noodles

.50 small can of tomato paste (actually .35)

1.00 1 pound of beans (I chose red beans)

1.00 I head of iceberg lettuce (actually .89-small bags have cabbage and carrots too for the same price)

2.00 2 pounds of split cut chicken breast (2-3 large breast with skin on and bone in)

1.00 Loaf of wheat bread (actually .89)

1.00 3 bananas

.50 1 apple

.50 1 navel orange

1.50 dozen medium eggs

1.00 1 pound of carrots (actually .79)

.50 1 cucumber

1.00 2 pounds of white potatoes

1.00 salad dressing

.50 spices (salt, Italian seasoning and garlic powder)

Meal Plan-Per Person (So double for two)

Breakfast:1 piece of toast-half a piece of fruit

(There will be extra bread and eggs, enough for two days of extra bread slice and 3 days with one egg cooked any style each)

Lunches and Dinners

(These are 10 meals, eat and mix as you choose. There will be enough for 2 people each (meal))

(2) Grilled chicken breast-baked potato with butter and garden salad

(2) Spaghetti with marinara-broiled chicken breast

(2)Red beans and rice

(2) Chicken and rice vegetable soup

Fried Rice

Potato and Onion Quiche

Recipes and Extras!

Fried Rice: Dice a carrot and sautéed in butter till soft. Add two eggs mixed over the carrots and cook a minute. Then add a cup or two of cooked white rice and mix.

Spaghetti Marinara- Grill or broil chicken breast. You must take off skin and de-bone, as well as half each breast to be cooked. You can use half the chicken but save the bones for later recipes. Add equal amounts of water to tomato paste, simmer on low and add in some salt, Italian seasonings and garlic powder. Cook pasta as instructed. Make enough for both meals and heat up the rest for another meal.

Salad-Salad will be half of your lettuce, a few carrots and half your cucumber for each meal. Bake a potato and grill up a halved chicken breast for each person.

Chicken and rice soup-Boil your chicken bones and some chopped carrots and a couple skinned and diced potatoes, season with salt and garlic. Add cooked rice when vegetables are tender. Pull out bones and serve. Once again make enough for two meals.

Potato and onion Quiche- Wait, where did you get the onions? ( Give me a minute, lol) Skin and dice 2 potatoes, then cook in a bit of butter. You can also add a carrot or two if you want, you do have some left. After potatoes are soft, put in baking dish and pour four eggs beaten on top and bake for 10 minutes on 350 degrees.


Yes, try your hand on wild edibles! I have already eyed some wild onions, dandelion greens and cattails that I will be adding to my diet. It is spring time, find some wild edibles and herbs in your area that you can utilize for more taste.

So, are you going to do the challenge, please share some recipes, meal plans and let me know how it goes.


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    • Billy DiMeo profile image

      Billy DiMeo 3 years ago from Boston

      Very useful if you're on a budget!