Plant Based on a Budget Challenge – Family of 4 – Week 1

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Welcome to the Plant Based on a Budget Family of 4 Challenge. I had a lot of fun putting this together.  It was also fun going shopping and really paying attention to prices and making sure we could keep the bill under $100.  I was really worried when we got to the check out, but we did it!  The meals have been great and easy to put together.  We did all of our shopping at Winco, which is a discount grocery store.  And anything we could buy in bulk we did.

A bit about me.  In my home, it is myself, my wife, and our 4 year old son.  We always have left overs, so I knew I could make a plan for a family of 4.  If you have older children or are large eaters, you may have to adjust the serving sizes.

I also separated the kids and adult lunches for weekdays.  Usually kids do not have access to microwaves at school, so I tried to plan for that.

I am not a doctor, or nutritionist, but we as a family try to eat as healthy as possible.  There are a lot of oil free meals in here and most things could be changed to a gluten free version if needed.  Although that may raise your cost a bit.

I hope you will enjoy the plan, and please let me know if you have any questions.


Grocery List:

Loaf of whole wheat bread
Bread Crumbs
Package of 10 or 12 Tortillas
42oz Canister of Oatmeal
4 Bread Rolls (Bought in bulk section)
1 pound of Lentils
1/2 pound of Raisins
1 pound of Granola
1/4 pound of unsalted peanuts
1 – 8oz Package of Macaroni
1 – 16oz Package of Garden Rotini
3 Bags of Frozen California Blend Vegetables (Carrots, Broccoli, and Cauliflower)
2 Bags of Frozen Stir Fry Vegetables
Small Bag of Frozen Corn
Bag of Frozen Carrot, Pea, and Green Bean Mix
Head of Kale
1 1/4 Pound of Tomatoes
Head of Celery
2 Heads of Romaine
Yellow Onion
1 Bunch of Cilantro
1/2 Pound of Mushrooms
2 Carrots
5 Sweet Potatoes
4 Cucumbers
3 Avocados
2 Limes
2 Red Bell Peppers
3 inch Piece of Ginger Root
1 Zucchini
2 Heads of Garlic
8 Red Apples
1 Package of Extra Firm Tofu
Peanut Butter
BBQ Sauce
Tofurky Italian Style Lunch Meat
4 -15oz Garbonzo Beans
Can of Sloppy Joe Sauce
3 – 15oz Cans of Black Beans
Jar of Pasta Sauce
28oz Can of Whole Peeled Tomatoes
8oz Can of Coconut Milk
2 15oz Cans of Diced Tomatoes
Jar of Tahini
Jar of Salsa
Box of Crackers
8oz of Rice Noodles
Soy Milk
1 Package of Vegetable Bouillon Cubes

Total Cost: $85.00 or 21.25 per person

Day 1: 


Oatmeal with Dried Fruit – We cooked some oatmeal and threw in some raisins.  


Kids – Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich with Celery Sticks

Adults – Steamed Veggies and Peanuts with Spicy Peanut Butter Sauce.

Preparation – Steam a frozen bag of stir fry veggies.  Take 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, a teaspoon of rice vinegar and a teaspoon of sriracha and mix them together.  Toss the steamed veggies in the stir fry sauce and add in peanuts.  Split the veggies between two people.


Black Bean & Corn Lettuce Wraps with Cumber, Tomato & Avocado Salad

Ingredients for Wraps:

  • 2 cans of black beans
  • 1 Cup of Frozen Corn
  • 1/2 Cup of Salsa
  • 1 Teaspoon of Garlic Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon of Cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon of Onion Powder
  • 8 Romaine Leaves

Preparation of Lettuce Wraps:

  • Rinse and drain two cans of black beans.
  • Add beans to a pot and place in  frozen corn.
  • Mix in Cup of Salsa,  Garlic Powder,  Cumin, and  Onion Powder.
  • Cook until beans and corn are warmed.
  • Rinse and dry  Romaine leaves.
  • Place Beans inside Romaine leaves, top with more salsa and wrap up.

Ingredients for Cucumber, Tomato & Avocado Salad

  • 1 Cucumber
  • 1 Tomato
  • 2 Avocados
  • 1 Lime

Preparation of Cucumber, Tomato & Avocado Salad

  • Chop tomato, cucumber, and avocado.  
  • Place in bowl and toss with the juice of a lime.

Day 2:


Granola & Chopped Apple – We just cut up  a few apples and tossed them in a bowl with some granola.  Adjust serving sizes around the person eating it.


Kids – Hummus & Veggie Plate  – Sliced Cucumbers, Crackers, and Celery.

Adults – Hummus and Cucumber Sandwich – Spread some hummus on the bread and top with sliced cucumbers.

Hummus Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons of Tahini
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic
  • 4 Tablespoons of Lemon Juice
  • 1 – 15oz Can of Garbanzo Beans
  • 1/3 Cup of Water

Hummus Preperation

  • Toss all ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth.  


Double Batch  of Garlic Ginger Soup. But I only used 8oz of noodles and 1 pepper.  Double everything else though.

Day 3:


Oatmeal and Dried Fruit


Kids- Tofurky and Veggie Sandwich

Adults – Left Over Garlic Ginger Soup and Half a Tofurky and Veggie Sandwich


Coconut Bacon Wraps with Steamed Veggies.  Use one of your frozen California Blend Vegetables for this.

Day 4:


Granola and Chopped Apples


Kids – Crackers, Chopped Tofurky Lunch Meat, and Tomato Slices. Basically a healthy home made lunchable.

Adults – Kung Pao Steamed Veggies.

Kung Pao Steamed Veggie Preperation

  • Steam a frozen bag of Stir Fry Vegetables
  • Make the sauce from the Veggie Kung Pao recipe.
  • Toss steamed veggies in the kung pao sauce.
  • Split between 2 people.


Veggie Pasta & Salad


  • 1 – 16oz Package of Garden Rotini
  • Jar of Pasta Sauce
  • 1/2 Pound of Mushrooms
  • Zucchini
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Cucumber


  • Cook pasta according to package directions.
  • Place mushrooms and chopped zucchini in a pan.  Heat until zucchini becomes soft.
  • Add pasta sauce to pan.
  • Toss noodles in pasta sauce.
  • Make a green salad with the lettuce, tomato, and cucumber.

Day 5:


Oatmeal with Raisins


Kids – Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich and Carrot Sticks.

Adults – BBQ Chickpea Wraps


Lentil Sloppy Joes with Sweet Potato Fries

Day 6:




Veggie Sandwiches.  Make veggie sandwiches with left over veggies


African Peanut Soup

Day 7:


Toast with Peanut Butter


Chickpea Salad Sandwiches


Macaroni and No Cheese Bake  I left out the sausage.




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Comments (11)

  1. posted by Candice on November 8, 2013

    Fantastic! Thank you. I am currently only cooking for myself so I am following the one person meal plan. But I am reading and keeping all of yours too so I can get my family on board soon. Thanks for all your hard work putting this together!

  2. posted by Candice on November 8, 2013

    Oh, any possibility for pictures?

  3. posted by Melanie on November 8, 2013

    This is awesome! I can’t wait to incorporate some of this into our plans.

  4. posted by Erica on November 9, 2013

    Starting on Monday! Woot Woot!

  5. posted by Laura M. on November 29, 2013

    Thank you for your hard work on this project. Can’t wait to make some of these yummies.

  6. posted by on April 11, 2014

    Thank you so much for taking the time to do this for others, so kind of you and it’s very helpful!

  7. posted by Tanya on September 27, 2014

    Can’t see black beans on grocery list or some of the ingredients for coconut bacon wraps.

  8. posted by Rebecca on April 30, 2015

    We are on Day 4 of this plan, and are loving it so far! My family all really enjoyed the Garlic-Ginger Soup, and my kids gobbled up the “Lunchable” today…they thought I was kidding when I told them our lunch plans 😉 Everything has been delicious, and I love having the plan to refer to! Thanks for this! Would love to see more of them in the future.

  9. posted by monnalu on September 4, 2015

    Just found this site. Will be trying a lot of the recipes. I do wish you had a print button for at least the shopping list. I am hoping I can get enough protein as I am on peritoneal dialysis and require a lot of protein. If I can’t I will use meat from my local rancher–range cattle, no hormones, no antibiotics, never in a feedlot (which is the best I can to to help decrease the agricultural footprint). I was vegan before kidney failure (they are unrelated) so know how great you can feel. Have to do careful nutritional calculations. Thanks for a great site!!!!

  10. posted by monnalu on September 4, 2015

    Feel like a dork–just found the print button!


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