Cheap fat-loss meal plan

Fat Loss Grocery Shopping on a Budget ($50, $75, and $100)

Cheap fat-loss meal plan

Diets rich in protein, fiber, and water are extremely effective for fat loss.

Protein1, fiber, and water2 each help you feel full and prevent excessive snacking, and high-protein diets can also improve glucose homeostasis1.

Despite these benefits, diets that combine protein, fiber, and water have a reputation for being very expensive. Animal protein, especially lean protein sources, and fresh fruit and vegetables, which have high water and fiber contents, are costly.

Production of animal products, especially beef, have very high carbon footprints3, while fresh fruit and vegetables have short shelf-lives compared to many processed foods that can last for months or years without going bad.

If some of our most nutrient-dense foods are so expensive, how can we lose fat on a budget?

And, perhaps more importantly, how can we juggle reaching our macronutrient goals, eating nutrient-dense foods, and following a diet that’s good for the planet?

In this article, we’ll review some tips for fulfilling these requirements when you do your grocery shopping, and then we’ll look at some sample meal plans.

Quick Tips for Budget-Friendly Fat-Loss Grocery Shopping

1. Buy generic when possible: Save your money for high-quality, sustainably sourced foods – not the products with the most attractive brand names or fonts. Look closely at each product for what really matters, such as nutrient content, who made it, and where it was made. Cheaper products are not always lesser quality. Be a smart consumer.

2. Buy in bulk…when it makes sense: Stock up on non-perishable items you use often, e.g. frozen fruit, vegetables, and meat. Don’t buy in bulk just to take advantage of deals, e.g. buying 10 yogurts for $10, if they might end up in the trash.

3. Look for discounted fruits and vegetables: When it comes to fresh produce, look for weekly specials at your local market. Do some research in your area to see if you have any discounted produce programs. You can even ask at your local grocery store or supermarket if they have unwanted produce that would otherwise go to waste.

Take advantage of the fact that fresh produce is perishable, and look for some that you can take off of others’ hands and do them a favor.

4. Learn shortcuts: While some grocery deals come and go, there are other shortcuts that nearly always hold true. For instance, peanut butter is usually cheaper than other types of nut butter. Grains are cheap. Some fruit, bananas and oranges, are usually cheap, while others, berries and avocado, are expensive.

Look for sales on the pricier ones, and figure out if there are any shortcuts particular to your area. You might have local specialties that are especially cheap where you live.


Do what makes sense for your priorities: Your goal might be reaching certain calorie or macronutrient goals, or it might simply be eating as many high-quality foods as you can on a budget.

For example, protein is expensive, so you might find that you need to sacrifice other costs or stick to cheaper protein sources, eggs, dairy, and protein powder, to maintain a higher protein intake.

On the other hand, if you want to eat 5-7 servings of fruit and vegetables per day, you might have to cut back on other costs or switch to frozen or canned versions of some items. Depending on your priorities, you may have to make different trade-offs and look for effective substitutions.

Sample Fat Loss Meal Plans

For this analysis, we will use 2000 calories to break down our sample daily macronutrient goals, but remember that each person is different. You can also calculate your own calorie and macronutrient requirements using a bmr calculator.

The macronutrient compositions used below are examples that meet acceptable macronutrient distribution ranges (AMDRs) set forth by the Institute of Medicine (IOM): 45-65% carbohydrates, 20-35% fat, and 10-35% protein.

Here are the three daily macronutrient splits that we will be using:

  • 170g protein, 52g fat, 210g carb
  • 150g protein, 56g fat, 225g carb
  • 125g protein, 45g fat, 275g carb

Again, what works for you will depend on many factors, including age, gender, activity level, and current dietary intake. For example, the lowest of the three protein options (125g protein) is more than enough for someone weighing 153lbs4 up to 195lbs5 depending on which reference you use.

The grocery lists that are provided have options for all three macronutrient splits to illustrate all items that were used to fit a given budget. The individual daily meal plans each have slightly different grocery lists.

Let’s take a look at samples for $50, $75, and $100 weekly budgets.

$50 per week ($7.14 per day)


  • Oats
  • Bananas
  • Cream of rice (or wheat)
  • Sweet potato
  • Carrot
  • Zucchini
  • Frozen broccoli
  • Navel orange


  • Liquid egg whites
  • Eggs
  • Cottage cheese (1% fat)
  • Protein powder


$75 per week ($10.71 per day)


  • Oats
  • Bananas
  • Cream of rice (or wheat)
  • Sweet potato
  • Carrot
  • Broccoli
  • Frozen broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Apple


  • Liquid egg whites
  • Cottage cheese (1% fat)
  • Wild Atlantic salmon
  • Protein powder


  • Chia seeds
  • Peanut butter
  • Almond butter

$100 per week ($14.28 per day)


  • Oats
  • Whole grain bread
  • Quinoa
  • Bananas
  • Cream of rice (or wheat)
  • Sweet potato
  • Broccoli
  • Zucchini
  • Bell pepper
  • Spinach
  • Apple
  • Blueberries
  • Honey


  • Liquid egg whites
  • Plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • Wild cod
  • Protein powder
  • Grass-fed ground beef


  • Avocado
  • Chia seeds
  • Peanut butter
  • Almond butter

Putting It All Together

Contrary to what many people believe, you can eat a macro-friendly, nutritious, sustainable diet on a budget. It just requires some planning.

If you’re trying to prepare nutritious meals on a budget, remember that shelf-stable carbohydrates are usually the cheapest, while protein is often the most expensive macronutrient.

Vegan and vegetarian sources of protein are not only cheaper but often better for the environment.

The prices used to create sample meal plans were taken from a chain grocery store and reflect prices for small containers of foods and for fresh produce and meat.

You can save even more by buying in bulk, buying frozen or canned versions, shopping at discount stores, and looking for local specials and deals.

You might even be able to help reduce food waste by getting perishable items from others for a discounted price or for free.

The problem with our food system isn’t that fast food is cheap and nutritious food is expensive—the problem is that we are programmed to reach for the fast food. If we focus instead on ways to sustain not only our bodies and minds but also the environment, we can spend less, eat healthier, and have a more positive impact on the world.


Fat Burning On A Budget With One-Stop Shopping!

Cheap fat-loss meal plan

Eating clean is not terribly difficult, but you may have noticed that a healthy diet may also be more costly compared to all the pre-packaged frozen food we are taught to ignore when trying to get healthier and more fit.

In this article I will try to show you what you can do and what you can purchase to eat healthy, yet avoid emptying your wallet. Most of these items can be found in any grocery store and also in generic brands. Don't be picky! I shop often at Wal-Mart myself.

Grocery Shopping

First and foremost, we are trying to cut out the processed foods (pre-packaged and frozen), the excessive fats and the high carbohydrate foods. The following items listed will be some of your main staples to add to your shopping cart:

  • Oatmeal (quick oats unflavored)
  • Frozen chicken breast in a bag (you can buy these in bulk)
  • Almonds (plain, unsalted)
  • Eggs to boil (purchase several dozen at a time)
  • Ground turkey (cheaper in bulk as well)
  • Cottage cheese (or yogurt, low fat of course!)
  • Frozen vegetables (broccoli, asparagus, green beans, etc.)
  • Beef (if you can afford it)
  • Brown rice
  • Whole-wheat pasta
  • Whole-grain breads (they do have protein bread now)
  • Salad greens (lettuce, tomato, cucumber)
  • Canned tuna (try to limit to 3 cans a week if possible)
  • Fresh fruit that may be on sale
  • Large serving of protein powder
  • A food scale until you get used to “eyeballing” your portions

You now have the basics for “going lean” in your cart. I try to buy in bulk and will also buy some tilapia fish if I can get it cheap. I know you are now thinking, “what am I going to do with this stuff to save money?” Well, I cook for myself approximately 2 times per week.

I cook a large bag of chicken (boiled for me, may be oven baked if you prefer it that way) or a large container of ground turkey. I do cook it on the stove top, but it is so low in fats you have to keep stirring it so it does not stick.

I also cook a large pot of brown rice or whole-wheat pasta, and at the same time I boil about 12-18 eggs. Figuring how many meals you will need or how many you would to freeze or keep in the fridge is also important.

Click Image To Enlarge.
Author, Fern Assard.

Normally I have about 6 containers ready to fill. Taking the meat first, I layer in my food. On top of the 4-6 oz of meat I add approximately 1/2 cup of brown rice and top with a ladle full of vegetables.

You can now freeze these or keep them in the fridge to have them available to take with you anywhere, such as work (hopefully most of you have microwaves available).

You can mix and match any of the available meats, grains and vegetables to your liking.

If you do not have anything prepared to take with you another option is the tuna added to salad with a little bit of mayo to kill the dryness. You will be eating approximately 6 times a day, so be creative!

My Daily Menu

My daily menu looks something this:

Meal 1:

  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 2 boiled eggs

Meal 2:

  • Protein shake
  • Handful of almonds

Meal 3:

Meal 4:

  • Protein shake
  • 2 boiled eggs/cottage cheese

Meal 5:

  • Pre-made meal
  • Small salad

Meal 6:

  • Protein shake
  • Cottage cheese/eggs

Fresh fruits and raw vegetables are allowed as snacks. Try to avoid the “sugary” fruits and stick to things apples and cantaloupe. As I stated before, you can mix and match your meals, use seasoning, or exchange a pre-made meal for salad.

Look At The Ingredients

The important thing is to keep carbs relatively low and try not to have any after 6 pm if you can help it. You want to limit your carbs to earlier in the day where you know you will be using them for energy. Unused carbs sit in your system and will be stored as fats if not burned off.

I keep fats low but allow for a spoonful of peanut butter, salad dressing and 1/2 and 1/2 for my coffee. Also, many people seem to forget their intake of liquid calories. The soft drink calories add up as do some of the smoothies available at the local drive thru (adding yogurt does not make it healthy to eat!).

Click Image To Enlarge.
Author, Fern Assard.

You have to look at your ingredients and just because it says low fat, doesn't mean it is not loaded with carbs and sugar instead. To cut craving for sweets you can have some green tea with a couple Splendas to get you past the craving period. I guarantee that after eating clean for awhile, your “old” foods will soon become mushy, salty and greasy to you.

We are not saints, so a cheat day is allowed. Cheating does not mean eating an entire cake or a 1/2 gallon of ice cream! Cheating means allowing a higher amount of carbs and fat than normal just to have a “treat” and get it your system for the following week. Many people cheat on Sundays, this allows us something to look forward to when the weekend comes.

The saving money also stems from the fact that you are not going out for lunch anymore; you are not wasting food as often and you are buying in bulk. I am a single parent with 3 children still living at home. They will eat the boiled eggs and you can always use your staples to make quick meals that they too can enjoy.

All you have to do for kids is add cheese to anything. I purchase shredded pre-packaged cheese to add flavor to my salads and eggs when I make omelets. This routine can be quite boring for the average individual. It takes dedication to stay on track, but your end goal is getting leaner and healthier and it will work if you stick with it.

We are also aiming to consume 1-1.5 grams of protein per lb of bodyweight to keep muscle as you burn fat. The ultimate goal is to get in good shape, not become a stick figure or waif from a fashion magazine.

Protein Calculator Here


As for supplementation, women need it as much as men. There are many fat burners on the market and this may get confusing. There is NO “Magic Pill”! You must use it to “supplement” eating and exercising.

Many popular brands such as Cytolean, Hydroxycut and Lipo 6 have been used with great results. often offers many of these products on sale and they are very affordable. As for protein powders, I use Gaspari's Intrapro, but don't get discouraged if you cannot work it into your budget.

BodyFortress or Designer Whey at Wal-Mart or Target is very affordable and protein is important for attaining and maintaining lean body mass. You may be sacrificing taste when buying cheaper brands, but the need for protein is more important than getting the “best of the best”.

I find the chocolate flavor to be the most pleasing all the protein powders. I also use creatine for muscle building, endurance and strength in my weight training.

Many people fear creatine when they hear it may cause water retention. It has never happened to me personally and I have gotten great gains using it. It is available in a mixture ( fruit punch) or plain form and can be added to almost anything and the protein powder, is available almost everywhere.

This plan must also be used in combination with some sort of cardiovascular routine such as walking and weight training several times a week. Food alone is not going to transform you. Be smart, be sensible and when in doubt… don't eat it!

Eating clean has worked for me and it will work for you.


FREE Fat-Loss Meal Plans (with grocery list)

Cheap fat-loss meal plan

One of our favorite quotes when it comes to improving your nutrition is:

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin

This couldn't be more true when it comes to working towards your health and fitness goals.

One simple area that has the biggest impact on our Nutrition Coaching Members is getting them to have a plan of action prepared ahead of time. 

We've all been there. 

You're running around crazy.

Work, carting the kids around, meetings, parties, etc. — it doesn't end. 

You want to eat well but now you're starving and stressed. 

Instead of preparing and eating food that will have a positive impact on your fat-loss, energy, and overall health, you grab what is most convenient and will satisfy your hunger. 

Because you're so hungry, you eat too fast and end up overeating. 

With better planning we can avoid these situations!

Also, by simply preparing your own meals you're bound to take in less calories.

You will know exactly what you're eating, avoiding the excessive portion sizes and calorie additives salt, fat, and sugar. 

Today we have prepared a sample fat-loss meal plan and grocery list so you can better plan your meals and snacks for the week and crush your goals!

These meals are geared to help you increase your energy, fuel your body, and burn fat.

Enjoy 🙂 

Grocery shopping quick tips:

  • Shop the perimeter of the store (think mainly foods you can pick and hunt)
  • Don't shop hungry! 
  • Know that if you buy it (sweets, chips, etc.), you or someone in your home will eat it


  • Chicken Breasts
  • Ground Turkey
  • Eggs
  • Greek Yogurt (low sugar)
  • Low Carb Protein Powder
  • Tuna
  • Chicken Sausage Breakfast Patties 
  • Edamame


  • Mixed Greens 
  • Zucchini
  • Summer Squash
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Frozen Mixed Berries
  • Apples
  • Red Grapes
  • Sweet Potato
  • Celery
  • Cucumber

Healthy Fats

  • Avocado
  • Cheese
  • Almond Milk
  • Nuts and Seeds
  • Hummus
  • All-Natural Nut Butters
  • Olive Oil
  • Grass Fed Butter


  • 2-3 Whole Eggs
  • 1 cup Berries
  • ¼C of Avocado or 2TBS of Cheese

    Berry Blast Smoothie 

  • 1 cup Almond Milk
  • 1 scoop SFH vanilla protein powde
  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries
  • ¼ C avocado

    Breakfast Burrito 

  • Low carb tortilla
  • 2 organic eggs
  • 1 Chicken sausage patty or link 
  • 2TBS shredded cheese


  • 4-6 oz Chicken Breast
  • 1/2C Edamame
  • ½ Sweet Potato
  • 1tsp butter or EVOO

    Buffalo Tuna Salad 

  • 2 oz tuna
  • 1TBS mayo 
  • Hot sauce 
  • 2 cups mixed greens
  • 1 Babybell Cheese


  • 4-6 oz Baked or broiled fish
  • 2C mixed greens
  • 1C cucumbers
  • 1/2 C tomatoes
  • ¼ C mushrooms
  • 2 TBS sunflower seeds
  • onions and peppers
  • 1 TBS EVOO based dressing

    2C Spaghetti Squash 

  • ¼ C Sauce
  • 4 Turkey Meatballs
  • 2C mixed green salad
  • 1 TBS EVOO based dressing


  • 2 large Celery Sticks 
  • 1TBS all natural peanut butter

    Cucumber Turkey Stacks 

  • 1 cucumber sliced lengthwise into 6 slices
  • 1oz swiss, 3 oz deli turkey
  • 2 TBS hummus
  • 1 cup plain Greek Yogurt 
  • 2 TBS crushed peanuts 
  • ¼ cup thawed frozen mixed berries mixed in

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