Last Updated on November 9, 2022 by Anne-Sophie Reinhardt
Being a single mother is a tedious job. She needs to balance her career, family, and social life. Trying to cook healthy yet budget-friendly meals every night could be overwhelming. Despite limited time for planning and a tight budget, you can still cook healthy foods even as a solo parent. Adopting a healthy lifestyle may seem expensive if you’re starting your weight loss goals on a budget.
After all, you just want to invest in new workout gear, join a gym membership, and have a fridge full of healthy food.
Since you’re a single mom, stretching your budget to lose weight fast could affect your bank account and your entire monthly budget. Therefore, here are some affordable weight loss tips you can follow that will not hurt your wallet:
- 1 Eat More Meals at Home
- 2 Stick to Whole Foods
- 3 Purchase Budget-friendly Proteins
- 4 Avoid Buying Processed Foods
- 5 Buy Fresh Produce That’s in Season
- 6 Go Grocery Shopping with a List
- 7 Do Home Workouts
- 8 Make a Meal Plan
- 9 Sample Meal Plans for Weight Loss On A Budget
- 10 Conclusion
Eat More Meals at Home
Eating at home by cooking your meals would prevent you from spending money. In general, you can save money buying ingredients and cooking them at home, feeding your whole family instead of eating fancy foods in restaurants.
Cooking and eating at home will help you control your eating habits since you’ll be responsible for the meal prep. You save money and eat healthy, which helps you on your fitness journey.
Stick to Whole Foods
Some foods are cheaper in less processed forms. For example, instead of buying shredded cheese, buy a block of cheese, which is more affordable. Canned beans are normally less expensive than refried ones.
Whole grains, such as brown rice and oats, are cheaper than cereals. Usually, less processed foods are sold in larger quantities, and producing more servings can help you save extra bucks.
Purchase Budget-friendly Proteins
When eating cheap healthy food, you’re looking for an alternative. Since protein helps you lose weight and build muscle mass, it does not mean that you have to splurge on wild salmon or grass-fed beef.
Other wallet-friendly healthy alternatives can give the same nutritional value like protein, such as canned tuna, ground turkey, eggs, and green beans.
Avoid Buying Processed Foods
You might be surprised how much you spend on buying highly processed foods, such as junk food, sodas, cookies, and other prepackaged meals. Aside from the fact that they are not nutritious foods because they are high in calories, sugar, and sodium, they also promote weight gain, as warned by an expert at Health Canal.
So, why not skip the soda, and drink green tea instead? And instead of eating chips, why not munch on pumpkin seeds? See? Many nutritious foods are cheaper and at the same time help you achieve a healthy weight.
Buy Fresh Produce That’s in Season
Instead of spending money on buying organic produce at the grocery store, why don’t you purchase goods from your local farmer’s market? Buying brussels sprouts in your farmers market is way cheaper than buying them somewhere else.
Moreover, in-season produce is filled with flavor and nutrients at their most affordable cost. What’s more, buying non-starchy vegetables such as cabbage and asparagus could be made into healthy meals, thus promoting losing weight.
Go Grocery Shopping with a List
Meal prepping includes what you plan to eat for the entire week; therefore, you need a list of things to buy and stick only to it to avoid unnecessary charges on the grocery bill.
Also, having a good shopping list will control your budget and assure that your family is eating healthy.
Do Home Workouts
In an article written by Blanca Garcia, RDN, she said that the key to reducing belly fat and body weight quickly takes a combination of exercise, healthy eating, and taking the right supplement.
Well, you don’t have to spend a lot of money on a gym membership or exercise with a personal trainer to work out. There are many inexpensive options that you can do at home and at the same time helps in losing weight. Look for some workout videos on Youtube, or you can download some free fitness apps to help you achieve your goal weight.
Make a Meal Plan
When it comes to saving money, planning is necessary. Therefore, you have to plan your meals for the upcoming week, then make a grocery list of everything you will need.
Only buy things that you know you will use. In this way, you will not throw away the things you buy that are not useful and avoid food waste. You may also scan your fridge and cabinets to see what you have because there might be foods hidden that can still be useful.
Sample Meal Plans for Weight Loss On A Budget
Here is a healthy meal plan consisting of cheap healthy foods that you can follow for seven days. Keep in mind that this sample menu includes a variety of nutrient-dense foods to help you lose weight on a budget.
NOTE: This meal plan starts with fewer calories, then adds more calories every day. Moreover, it is listed each day how many calories you will consume. You can download apps that count calories to help you track your calorie intake.
Day 1 – 1062 total calories
Breakfast – 209 calories
- 100g frozen summer fruits
- 1 pot low-fat yogurt
- 28g Muesli
Lunch – 260 calories
- 50g roasted chicken
- 30g lettuce
- 20g cucumber
- 2 med slices wholemeal bread
- 1 tsp low calorie mayonnaise
Dinner – 718 calories
- 100g Roasted chicken
- 2 Ready to bake Yorkshire puddings
- 70ml Made-up instant gravy
- 180g Boiled potatoes
- 80g Frozen mixed vegetables
- 1 Pot low fat rice dessert
Day 2 – 1114 total calories
Breakfast – 264 calories
- 1 sachet of instant hot chocolate drink
- 35g instant porridge oats
- 200mL semi skimmed milk
Mix all the ingredients and microwave for 20 seconds
Lunch – 433 calories
- 1 Med Potato (200g), baked at 180°C (350°F, Gas Mark 4) for 1 ½ hours, or until a skewer can be inserted easily
- 50g Roasted chicken
- 30ml Soured cream
- 1 Pot (120g) low fat fruit yogurt
Dinner – 417 calories
- 100g Roasted chicken (taken from the reserved whole roasted chicken)
- 20g Cucumber
- 40g Celery
- 45g Red onion cut into circles
- 85g Hardboiled egg
- 1 tsp Reduced calorie mayonnaise
- 1 Sm piece (60g) French Bread
Day 3 – 1276 total calories
Breakfast – 250 calories
- 80g Fresh grapefruit segments
- 80g Fresh orange segments
- 2 tbsp Low fat yoghurt
- 1 Med slice of toasted white bread
- 2 Thin spreads of butter
Lunch – 481 calories
- 100g Roasted chicken
- 100g Green salad leaves
- 80g Cherry tomatoes
- ½ Medium avocado
- 1 tsp Lemon juice
- 140g Cooked white rice
Dinner – 445 calories – Chicken soup
- 500ml Chicken stock
- 112g Dry soup & broth mix, soaked and cooked as per packet instructions
- 200g Chopped tomatoes
- 100g leftover roasted chicken (taken from the reserved whole roasted chicken)
- 1 Stalk celery
- 1 Med onion
- 1 Clove garlic (crushed)
- 1 Med carrot
- 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- Salt & Pepper
- 2 tsp Mixed herbs
Day 4 – 1278 total calories
Breakfast – 345 calories
- 50g Bran flakes
- 100g Sliced apple
- ½ Med Banana
- 1 Pot (125g) Natural yogurt
Lunch – 445 calories
- Chicken soup from Day 3 Dinner
Dinner – 488 calories – Cook the pasta and serve it with homemade tomato sauce
- 3 tsp Olive oil
- 1 Med onion, chopped
- 2 Cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 Carrots (approx 150g)
- 2 Sticks Celery (approx 80g)
- 600g chopped (tinned) tomatoes
- 3 tsp Tomato puree
- Salt & pepper
- ½ tsp Sugar
- 100g Dry pasta (twists)
Day 5 – 1279 total calories
Breakfast – 390 calories
- 80g Frozen blueberries, (defrosted)
- 70g Porridge oats
- 200ml Semi skimmed milk
Lunch – 351 calories
- 10 Sprays 1 cal oil
- 25g Spinach
- 2 Med eggs
- 30g Reduced fat soft cheese
- 1 Piece (60g) French Stick
Dinner – 563 calories – Make Bolognese sauce and divide it into two portions
- 100g Turkey Mince
- 2 Qty reserved Tomato Sauce (reserved from Day 4 Dinner)
- 100g Dry Wholewheat Spaghetti
Day 6 – 1216 calories
Breakfast – 328 calories
- 1 Med egg
- 1 Med egg white
- 100ml Semi skimmed milk
- 2 Med slices white bread
Lunch – 544 calories
- 1 tsp hot chilli powder
- 100g red kidney beans
- 1 Med baked potato
- 1 Qty reserved bolognese sauce (reserved from Day 5 dinner)
Dinner – 344 calories
- 1 Salmon fillet, baked at 180°C (350°F, Gas Mark 4) for 25-30 minutes
- 55g (½ pack approx) Mediterranean cous cous, prepared as per instructions
- 80g Lettuce
- 1 Med (123g) tomato
- 40g Cucumber
Day 7 – 1293 calories
Breakfast – 384 calories
- 2 Vegetarian sausages
- 1 Med egg, poached
- 100g Baked beans
- 1 Medium Tomato, grilled
- 1 Med slice wholemeal bread, (toasted)
Lunch – 416 calories
- 50g Reduced fat cheese
- 100g French bread
- 2 Pickled onions
- 2 tsp Sweet pickle
- 20g Tomato
- 20g Lettuce
- 20g Celery
- 20g Cucumber
Dinner – 493 calories
- 120g Boiled potatoes
- 80g Frozen mixed vegetables, (microwaved)
- 2 Ready to heat Yorkshire puddings, (cooked)
- 70ml Made up gravy
- 100g Roasted pork
- 1 Pot (125g) low fat yogurt
You don’t have to break the bank just to prepare a healthy meal. There are many ways to eat nutrient-rich food, especially if you’re trying to lose weight on a budget. It includes planning the meals, eating/cooking at home, and sticking to the grocery list, to mention a few.
Keep in mind that buying whole food is cheaper than buying processed forms. And when looking for cheap diets to lose weight fast, just follow our sample meal plan above.