A Week’s Worth of Menus

October is National Co-op Month. In this month’s Eastside Food Coop newsletter (which you can pick up for free when you visit!) I wrote about feeding a family of four for a week on a budget of $150. For those not in the area, I’m reprinting the menu below, and here are links to a meal plan, shopping list, recipes, and the receipt for the shopping trip to show I did keep it under $150.


This menu has three nights of cooking, two nights of takeout, one leftover night, and one breakfast-for-dinner night.

Every day has at least one gluten-free meal; the others can be adapted.

Except for the roast chicken, it’s a meatless menu. Vegetarians can substitute another takeout meal, and omnivores can substitute salmon or trout for the tofu in the sushi bowl, add leftover chicken to the pad thai, or supplement breakfasts with bacon. Keep in mind a little meat provides a lot of flavor. Treat the dish as the main item, and the meat or fish as a side with a protein punch.

Disclaimer: I’m a writer, not a nutritionist. For a scientifically balanced meal plan, or for special-diet restrictions, consult a professional or check out reputable sites like that of The Mayo Clinic.

Day one
Breakfast: Steel-cut oats and raisins
Lunch: Greek salad in pita, apple slices, cookies
Snack: Salsa and corn chips
Dinner: Tofu sushi bowl, edamame

Day two
Breakfast: whole-grain pancakes, apple slices
Lunch: cottage cheese, sunflower seeds and pear slices
Snack: Guacamole and corn chips
Dinner: Roast chicken, cous cous, frozen peas, brownie

Day three
Breakfast: Eggs, toasted multi-grain bread with butter and jam
Lunch: ALT: Avocado, lettuce and tomato sandwich in a whole-grain tortilla, apple slices
Snack: Trail mix
Dinner: Chickpea, Potato and Tomato stew, pita bread, brownie

Day four
Breakfast: Cereal with milk and raisins
Lunch: PBB & H: Peanut butter, banana and honey on whole-grain bread, pear slices, cookies
Snack: Cheese quesadilla
Dinner: Pad Thai, mango smoothie

Day five
Breakfast: Yogurt, granola, grated apple and sunflower seeds
Lunch: Hummos, grated carrot, sliced cucumber and olive in a tortilla
Snack: Sliced apples, honey-graham sticks and peanut-butter yogurt dip
Dinner: Take-and-Bake pizza, salad, brownie

Day six
Breakfast: Cereal with milk and raisins
Lunch: Peanut butter and jam on whole grain bread, sliced pear
Snack: Dried apricots and cheddar slices
Dinner: Leftovers, brownie

Day seven
Breakfast: Whole-grain toast with peanut butter, milk
Lunch: Leftovers, apple slices, cookies
Snack: Kefir, popcorn with butter
Dinner: Whole-grain pancakes, peanut butter and banana smoothie

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