How to Eat Healthy for Less Than $20 a Week

Yep, it's actually possible

Groceries can be expensive, but they don’t have to be. That’s why we set out to plan a week’s worth of healthy meals for less than $20. A few notes: First, grocery prices vary across the country, so our figures might not exactly match yours. Second, this list assumes you have household staples like spices, seasonings and cooking oils on hand. And third, feel free to adapt these recipes based on things you already have in your pantry or refrigerator. Now, let’s eat.

9 Ways to Eat Healthy Without Going Broke

20 groceries

Your Shopping List

1 bag of dried beans: $1.49
2 pounds of chicken breast: $3.76
1 jar of peanut butter: $1.98
1 jar of jelly: $1.79
1 loaf of whole wheat bread: $1.63
1 dozen eggs: $1.26
1 container of oatmeal: $1.35
1 bag of dried lentils: $1.39
1 bag of apples (1 pound): $1.99
1 bag of brown rice: $1.17
1 package of frozen spinach: $.99
1 bag of frozen mixed veggies: $.99

Total: $19.79

20 oatmeal
John Shepherd/Getty Images

Monday Breakfast: Oatmeal With Peanut Butter

Prepare the oats according to the package directions, then add a dollop of peanut butter. Bam: easiest breakfast ever.

20 pbj
Robert Ingelhart/Getty Images

Monday Lunch: Peanut Butter And Jelly Sandwich

Yep, it’s basic, but it gets the job done.

20 veggierice
Culinary Hill

Monday Dinner: Veggie Fried Rice With Egg

Packed with protein and ready in ten minutes.

20 poachedtoast
kormargallery/Getty Images

Tuesday Breakfast: 2 Poached Eggs On Toast With Spinach

Don’t know how to make the perfect poached egg? We’ve got ya covered.

20 pbappletoast
Stonewall Kitchen

Tuesday Lunch: Apple Slices And Peanut Butter On Toast

Drizzle on some honey and sprinkle on a bit of cinnamon, if you want to get fancy.

Get the recipe

20 bakedchicken
Gimme Some Oven

Tuesday Dinner: Baked Chicken Over Rice And Beans

Fills you up without draining your wallet.

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Wilson Valentin/Getty Images

Wednesday Breakfast: Brown Rice With Spinach And 2 Eggs Over Easy

The yolk running into the rice is magical.

20 bakedchicken2
Gimme Some Oven

Wednesday Lunch: Leftover Baked Chicken With Spinach On Wheat Toast

Yeah, you basically ate this last night. But we’re trying to save money here, people.

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Gimme Some Oven

Wednesday Dinner: White Chicken Chili

Hearty, healthy and only five ingredients.

20 pbtoast
Lauri Patterson/Getty Images

Thursday Breakfast: Toast With Peanut Butter

Totally basic, but filling and nutritious.

20 ricebeans
Erin McDowell

Thursday Lunch: Rice And Beans

Sprinkle on some cumin for extra heat.

20 omelet

Thursday Dinner: Egg And Spinach Omelet

Yep, it’s perfectly acceptable to eat breakfast at 8 p.m.

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magnez2/Getty Images

Friday Breakfast: 1 Hard-boiled Egg And 1 Sliced Apple With A Dollop Of Peanut Butter

A breakfast smorgasbord, if you will.

20 pbj
Robert Ingelhart/Getty Images

Friday Lunch: Peanut Butter And Jelly Sandwich

Yes, PB&J again. But think of all the money you’re saving.

20 lentilburger
Amuse Your Bouche

Friday Dinner: Lentil Burger On Wheat Toast

Use whatever dried herbs you have in your pantry to cut the cost.

Get the recipe

20 savoryoats
Set the Table

Saturday Breakfast: Savory Oatmeal With A Fried Egg

Who says oatmeal has to be sweet?

20 lentils
FotografiaBasica/Getty Images

Saturday Lunch: Cooked Lentils With Spinach

Just cook the lentils according to package directions, shake on some dried herbs, add greens and you’re good to go.

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PhotografiaBasica/Getty Images

Saturday Dinner: Brown Rice Bowl With Mixed Veggies, Spinach And Leftover Baked Chicken

Maximize those leftovers. Creativity counts.

20 jellytoast
Debbie Lewis Harrison/Getty Images

Sunday Breakfast: Toast With Jelly And An Apple

We have a sweet tooth this morning.

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Owen Price/Getty Images

Sunday Lunch: 2 Soft-boiled Eggs With Toast Soldiers

After this week, your egg-cooking game is gonna be on point.

20 friedrice
Rachel Schultz

Sunday Dinner: Better-than-takeout Chicken Fried Rice

You did it! Go eat out tomorrow. You’ve earned it.

sarah stiefvater

Wellness Director

Sarah Stiefvater is PureWow's Wellness Director. She's been at PureWow for ten years, and in that time has written and edited stories across all categories, but currently focuses...