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Here's How To Grocery Shop Once And Make Lunch All Week For $20

Keep your stomach and your wallet full.

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Meal planning on a budget can be tough.

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But if you have a game plan (and you stick to it!) it can be easier than you think. That's why I put together this weekday lunch plan where you can shop once and eat five times — all for about $20. A few things to know about the lunch lineup:

• As written, these recipes feed multiple people, but the grocery list below is written with single-serving meals in mind.

• To keep prices down, all of these lunches are meatless. (But you can easily add your favorite proteins.)

• To save time, parts of all of these meals can be prepared in advance — whether it’s cooking quinoa, slicing veggies, or assembling a salad. So besides the finishing touches, lunch will be ready to grab and go in the morning, when you need it.

Monday: Sweet Potato and Black Bean Taco Bowl

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What you'll need:

• ½ cup cooked quinoa

• ½ roasted sweet potato

• Black beans, corn kernels, and avocado to taste

• ½ lime

Top this quinoa bowl with your favorite Tex-Mex toppings. Don't stress about making a fancy dressing from scratch. A little red wine vinegar, olive oil, or lime with a dash of salt and pepper is all you really need. Get the recipe.


Tuesday: Sweet Potato Noodles with Kale

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What you'll need:

• 1 sweet potato (spiralized and sautéed in olive oil)

• 1–2 cups shredded kale

Keep it simple and use what you've got: If you don't have pesto and parmesan in your fridge, just toss the sautéed kale and sweet potato noodles with butter, salt, and pepper. Get the recipe.

Wednesday: Roasted Chickpea and Avocado Buddha Bowl

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What you'll need:

• ½ cup cooked quinoa

• ¾ cup cooked chickpeas

• Handful torn kale

• ½ avocado

Toss the chickpeas with whatever spices you have (salt, pepper, paprika, chili powder, turmeric, etc.) and bake them until they're nice and crispy. Top your quinoa bowl with the chickpeas, greens, and avocado. A squeeze of lemon, a drizzle of balsamic, or a dab of hummus on top will do the trick. Get the recipe.

Thursday: Sweet Potato Toast

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What you'll need:

• 1 sweet potato, halved

• ½ avocado

Season the halved sweet potato with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and bake it in the oven for about 20 minutes. Top it with sliced avocado. If you have any of the ingredients on hand, jazz up this lunch with sliced hard-boiled egg, tomato, or feta. Get the recipe.

Friday: Spicy Kale and Quinoa Black Bean Salad

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What you'll need:

• ½ cup cooked quinoa

• 2 cups kale

• ½ cup corn

• ½ cup black beans

• ½ lime

Not only is it cheap, but this salad couldn't be easier to make. Just toss quinoa, kale, black beans, and corn together. Leftover avocado? Throw it in. Mix a little hot sauce, Sriracha, or red pepper flakes into your dressing to give this Mexican-inspired salad a real kick. Get the recipe.