11 great tips to help you lose weight on a budget
1. Make a meal plan
YES it’s true, we are still talking about meal planning. That’s because it’s the NUMBER ONE way to save money on your groceries week to week.
Knowing what you are going to eat for each meal and snack means you will know exactly what you need to buy. So nothing gets forgotten, and nothing goes to waste.
2. Shop less often (and go online)
The fewer times you hit the supermarket the better. How often do you pop to the shop to pick up one or two things, and walk out with an armful of groceries? It’s too tempting to overspend.
So do your best to do one big shop per week, either online or in person. And always use your shopping list from the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge so you don’t forget anything. Shopping online is great as you can see your total spend before you commit to it.
3. Double up
It takes just as much effort to cook a double batch as it does to cook a single one – so always double up! So if you’re cooking this delicious Choc-Hazelnut Freezer Pie, make two and freeze one!
Or if you’re cooking up the Simple Chicken Curry, freeze the second batch in single serves for your lunch or in one tub as a family sized portion.
Knowing you have snacks and meals on hand is a great way to lose weight on a budget, as you won’t be tempted by a raspberry muffin at the café or a chicken madras from the takeaway.
4. Use economical ingredients
Make the most of kitchen staples to bulk out your meals – think frozen peas, tinned chickpeas, oats, eggs, rice and tuna. Go through the kitchen and find ingredients that need to be used up.
Then jump on the recipe hub of the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge and find something that you’d like to cook (ideally with ingredients you already have on hand).
5. Incorporate a smoothie per day
A Healthy Mummy Smoothie is an economical complete meal that you can make in minutes. It requires next to no preparation and allows you to make the most of frozen fruit or veggies from the crisper. You can use whatever milk you have on hand too, so there’s no reason to skip a meal because you don’t have the right ingredients.
6. Switch up ingredients
If one of our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge recipes asks you to use a specific ingredient that you don’t have, feel free to mix and match to what you do have (or what’s cheaper).
For instance, you can dollop sour cream on your soup, but if you don’t have any, some Greek yoghurt will work too. If a stir fry calls for chicken breast, you can easily use chicken thighs or some tofu instead to save money.
7. Repeat yourself
We offer tons of variety on the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge, but that doesn’t mean you have to prepare three brand new meals and three different snacks each and every day. Lots of the mums on the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge choose to alternate between just two breakfasts across the week for instance, and that’s perfect for them.
Many mums will make extra of their dinner (like these Baked Sweet Potatoes With Spinach & Feta from the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge to eat for lunch the next day rather than making something from scratch. Make the plans work for you and your lifestyle.
Get more budget-friendly recipes in our free recipe pack. Everything works out to be $2.50/serve or LESS!
8. Reduce processed foods
It’s so easy to fill your trolley with boxes of food that claim to be ‘natural’ which in fact are anything but. By reducing the amount of processed food in your trolley, you’ll save money as well as calories and additives.
It’s easy to make your own muesli bars and slices for your own snacks (that can work well for lunch boxes too). Make your own simple sauces for stir fry and pasta rather than buying them in a jar or sachet (they’re often ¼ sugar by the way).
9. Keep it simple
It’s perfectly fine (and delicious) to have some boiled eggs and toast soldiers for dinner sometimes. Having a few cheap and cheerful meals up your sleeve can save you a TON of cash (and calories), as it means you won’t feel tempted to order a pizza or eat out when you’re tired and hungry.
10. Watch your portion sizes
If you overload your plate, it’s easy to go over your calorie recommendations even if what you’re eating is healthy. You’ll also go beyond the cost per serve.
As part of the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge, we give you specific weights and measures for everything from the amount of pasta or rice that you should serve with your meal to the number of serves you should get from your batch of chocolate slice. This way you know exactly the amount you should be eating to stay on track with your weight loss.
11. Take a picnic
If you’re going out for the day with the kids, prepare a healthy picnic to take with you (and save a packet). Some bliss balls, wraps, chopped up fruit, and plenty of water will see you through and you won’t be tempted by overpriced snacks.
Same goes for when you’re going solo – pack your own lunchbox to take to work or when you’re running errands.
We often hear that “eating healthy is expensive“, and while a McDonalds burger is cheap, it probably isn’t setting you up the right way to smash your weight loss goals.
If you think about the cost of eating out everyday, going to a restaurant or grabbing a snack every time you go into a shop, it’s not hard to see that planning ahead and preparing a healthy, well balanced meal plan with recipes that can be made in bulk, is a much more cost effective way to stick to get your ideal body.
Here we have collected 63 incredible, weight loss budget recipes that can help you lose weight and keep money in your pocket! Delicious bulk, slow cooker meals, salads, pasta dishes, rice, chicken, Mexican, Chinese, there’s something for everybody to love! Be sure to save and share all your favourites on social media. Enjoy!
Now Let’s Talk About: Budget Weight Loss Recipes That Will Help You Lose Fat
Slow Cooker Spanish Chicken Stew
“Slow cooker Spanish chicken stew is a cozy meal that brings a little Spanish flair to your dinner table, thanks to roasted red peppers, smoked paprika, and a pinch of saffron.”
Healthy Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Chicken
“Prep your lunch or dinner for the entire week with these Healthy Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Chicken Bowls!”.
Healthy Slow Cooker Chili
“It’s January, which means that many of us are focused on lighter, healthier meals as we recover from the indulgent holiday season. This Healthy Slow Cooker Chili is my family’s favorite easy, weeknight comfort food — and it’s full of lean protein, beans, veggies, and zesty seasonings!”.
Chinese Chicken Salad
“Okay, now we need to talk about this salad. This CHINESE CHICKEN SALAD! I made this for dinner a few days before my surgery and we just loved it. Shredded carrots, green onion, red cabbage over a bed of romaine lettuce. Then you top it with the most delicious chicken and Chinese dressing. Yummers. It has so much flavor in every bite!”
6 Ingredient Creamy Roasted Tomato Soup
“I wanted this soup to turn out amazing, but also be simple. So I relied on my fall-back skill of throwing everythig into a pot and hoping for the best. I roasted the ingredients together, simmered and prayed. Thankfully it worked!”
Tinfoil Cheesy BBQ Pulled Pork And Veggies
“Foil pack “crustless” sweet BBQ pulled pork pizza with your favorite pizza toppings all cooked together with a side of veggies: broccoli and cherry tomatoes!”.
Chicken Caeser Pasta Salad
“I love this salad for many reasons. It’s super easy to whip up, healthy and packed with flavor. I love the homemade caesar dressing that comes with this recipe.”
California Pasta Salad
“This CALIFORNIA PASTA SALAD is a great example. No oven required for this AMAZING salad. I served it at a small barbecue we had Saturday night and it was a hit. It is fresh, healthy and packed with flavor. All of my favorite veggies are inside this delicious bowl of yum.”
Greek Chicken Wraps
“I found my new favorite lunch- these GREEK CHICKEN WRAPS! Holy moly, talk about delicious. They are loaded with lots of veggies and seasoned grilled chicken all wrapped inside a warm flatbread. These are another flavor-packed lunch or dinner that is actually good for you! I can’t tell you how nice it is to eat food that’s healthy and tastes amazing!”
Island Teriyaki Chicken Skillet
This healthy dinner comes together in about 20 minutes with just a few simple ingredients! My Island Teriyaki Chicken Skillet is a clean eating meal that’s less than 300 calories — and the whole family loves it! 287 Calories.
Baked Sweet Potato And Carrot Soup With Cheddar Potato Skin Croutons
“Baked sweet potato and carrot soup with cheddar potato skin croutons – A warming healthier soup. Gluten free & vegetarian.”
Vegetable Minestrone Soup
“The beauty of a soup like this is how you can really customise it, for example, if you don’t like (or just don’t have access to) any of the vegetables suggested below, you can just substitute them for something else.”
A Very Good Split Pea Soup
“Thick and hearty, this split pea soup is filled with the usual mirepoix and medley of spices, plus added cabbage for extra heftiness and flavor. Whether you choose to cook it in your slow cooker or on the stove top, it’s extremely healthy and so easy to make.”
One Pan Brown Sugar Italian Chicken And Veggies
“This BROWN SUGAR ITALIAN CHICKEN AND VEGGIES is delicious and packed with flavor. You won’t believe how easy this is. All you need is brown sugar and a packet of Italian seasoning mix to flavor the chicken and veggies.”
Dump-and-Bake Chicken Teriyaki
With just 5 minutes of prep and only 5 ingredients, this Dump-and-Bake Chicken Teriyaki is an easy, family-friendly dinner for busy nights! Tender, juicy chicken bakes in a rich, sweet-and-savory sauce for a complex dish that tastes like you spent hours in the kitchen. Served with rice and plenty of steamed vegetables, this healthy dinner is a simple way to bring the family together at the end of the day — without much effort on your part! 251 Calories.
Foil Pack Creamy Salsa Verde Chicken, Rice And Veggies
“Creamy salsa verde chicken with rice and veggies all cooked at once in a foil packet! No need to pre-cook the rice or chicken. This dish takes no more than 10 minutes to assemble and is bursting with delicious Mexican flavor.”
Hawaiian Chicken Meal Prep Bowls
“Seasoned barbecue chicken, bell pepper, fresh pineapple, red onion and zucchini noodles are all inside these easy and awesome meal prep bowls! I’ll make about 6 or 8 for Kale and I on a Monday and we’ll eat them for lunch or dinner during the week. They are so yummy and super healthy. I love that you can make healthy food taste so good, and that’s exactly what these bowls are.”
One Pan Balsamic Chicken And Veggies
“The balsamic vinegar and honey creates a glaze that coats the chicken & veggies perfectly and the flavor is undeniable. This healthy one pan meal is definitely now a new favorite of mine!”
Keto Chicken Enchilada Bowl
“This Keto Chicken Enchilada Bowl is a low carb twist on a Mexican favorite! It’s SO easy to make, totally filling and ridiculously yummy!”
Lemon Chicken & Potatoes In Foil
“The most amazingly moist and tender chicken breasts cooked in foil packets – so easy and packed with tons of flavor!” 396 Calories.
Quick And Easy Broccoli Chicken
“This Quick and Easy Broccoli Chicken recipe, for instance, comes together in about 15 to 20 minutes. Trust me, though, the gustatory experience you’ll get out of this dish is inversely proportional to the time you’ll have spent working on it.”
Easy Broccoli Cheese Soup Recipe
“This easy, low carb broccoli cheese soup is gluten-free, healthy, SUPER CHEESY and needs just 5 ingredients. Ready in only 20 minutes!”
Slow Cooker Lemon Sesame Chicken Noodle Soup
“This slow cooker lemon sesame chicken noodle soup can be assembled ahead and stored in the fridge or freezer until you’re ready to cook it up! Perfect for cold and flu season: healthy, comforting and delicious.”
Slow Cooker Sweet Chili Chicken
“This SUPER simple slow cooker sweet chili chicken has just 6 ingredients! And this chicken makes a perfect base for so many recipes, including quesadillas, rice bowls and tacos.”
Chicken and Rice Fajitas in Foil
Chicken and Rice Fajitas in Foil – Incredibly delicious and easy to prepare fajitas with chicken, peppers, onions and rice all cooked in foil packets. Easy, quick and SO GOOD! 252 Calories.
Easy Keto Salmon Cakes
“These easy keto salmon cakes are a fun and flavorful low carb meal without any hassle. Great for quick lunches and easy meal prep!”
Greek Lemon Chicken Kebabs
“These Greek Lemon Chicken Kebabs are unintentionally the second food-on-a-stick recipe that I’m bringing to you this week and I’m not mad about it. One bite of these and I doubt you’ll be mad about it either.”
Summer Chicken Noodle Soup – 307 Calories
“Everyone’s favorite classic chicken noodle soup using summer vegetables! So hearty, comforting and cozy, even in the heat!” 307 Calories.
Sheet Pan Supper: Skinny Chicken Taco Fries – 310 Calories
Make a quick and easy weeknight meal for your family with this Sheet Pan Supper: Skinny Chicken Taco Fries! It’s a lighter dinner that only requires about 5 minutes of prep time, and the clean up for this one-dish meal is even faster! 310 Calories.
Super Easy Skinny Veggie Crockpot Lasagna
“This skinny Veggie Crockpot Lasagna? Packed with good-for-you veggies, super easy to make, and made with a handful of simple ingredients.”
Tortilla Chicken Verde Chili
“This flavorful Tortilla Chicken Verde Chili is made easy in the instant pot or stove top! A delicious chicken chili packed with wholesome gluten free ingredients and a crunchy tortilla chip topping! You’ll love this healthier twist on a classic Mexican inspired Chili! No beans required.”
Slow Cooker Chicken With Peppers
“Did you get a new Instant Pot for Christmas? Or are you a die-hard fan of the old-school Crock Pot? Either way, you can enjoy this easy Slow Cooker or Instant Pot Chicken with Peppers and Onions for a healthy Italian-inspired dinner!”
Slow Cooker Tomato Basil Parmesan Tortellini Soup
“Slow cooker tomato basil parmesan tortellini soup is easy, healthy, delicious, and a cinch to make in your crockpot – perfect for cool weather nights!”
Beef Barbacoa Bowls
“This Beef Barbacoa (Slow Cooker or Instant Pot) is so flavorful and slow cooked to perfection made either in the slow cooker or the Instant Pot pressure cooker! It is a great recipe for leftovers, too!”.
Slow Cooker Sweet Chili Chicken
“This SUPER simple slow cooker sweet chili chicken has just 6 ingredients! And this chicken makes a perfect base for so many recipes, including quesadillas, rice bowls and tacos.”.
Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chicken Curry
“Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chicken Curry can be assembled ahead and stashed in the freezer for an easy, flavor-packed dinner. When you’re ready to serve, thaw and dump in the slow cooker and you’re ready to go!”.
Paleo BBQ Slow Cooker Chicken Wings
“Let the slow cooker do the work for you with these easy BBQ paleo chicken wings! A healthy, gluten, grain and dairy free, crowd pleasing appetizer!”.
Instant Pot Moroccan Chicken
“Spice up dinner this week with this Instant Pot Moroccan Chicken. This chicken is finger-licking good and ready in 10 minutes! This Instant Pot Moroccan Chicken is perfect for a quick weeknight meal or for meal prep!”
Five Ingredient Slow Cooker Honey Sriracha Chicken
“All you need are five ingredients to make this delicious, clean-eating, slow cooker honey sriracha chicken that’s made with REAL food.”
Crock Pot Sesame Chicken
“Throw all of the ingredients for this Healthy Crockpot Sesame Chicken recipe into your slow cooker and have dinner ready in no time. This healthy crockpot chicken recipe is kid-friendly, gluten-free friendly, and an excellent meal prep chicken recipe.”
Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potato
“This Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potato is where it’s at!”
Slow Cooker BBQ Beef
“Short on time? This Slow Cooker BBQ is the ultimate ‘set it & forget it’ kind of meal!”
Mexican Slow Cooker Chicken
“One of the easiest, healthiest, and most versatile dinners that you’ll make all year, this Mexican Instant Pot or Slow Cooker Chicken is going to become a staple in your regular meal prep routine! It’s high in protein, it’s low in calories, and it only requires 5 ingredients!”
Easy Crockpot Carnitas
“Um. I love pork. More specifically, I love carnitas.”
The Best Detox Crock Pot Lentil Soup
“It’s SOUP DAY! And I’m seriously excited for you. It’s time for the Best Detox Crockpot Lentil Soup.”
Simple Garlicky Green Crock-Pot Chicken And Lentils
“Simple Garlicky Green Crock-Pot Chicken and Lentils! A FLAVORFUL and fresh gluten free crock-pot chicken recipe that’s packed full of fiber, nutrients, and protein. Easy to make in the crock-pot, healthy, and great for ANY time of year. Make it for the family or for weekend meal prep.”
Crock Pot Sweet Potato Chipotle Chili
“Crock Pot Paleo Sweet Potato Chipotle Chili! This beanless chipotle chili recipe is healthy but hearty, with an extra kick of spice! Made with simple ingredients you probably already have in your fridge! An easy whole 30 and paleo friendly chili made in the crock pot so you can be ready to serve with little effort.”
BBQ Crock Pot Lentil Chili
“Crockpot lentil chili is packed with flavor and easy to make. A hearty yet healthy vegan chili made with a few simple ingredients. BBQ spices, sauce, onions, vegetables, and lentils. A quick slow cooker recipe, just dump and go. A fiber and protein rich meal that will feed plenty. Gluten-free and grain free.”
Crock Pot Chicken Taco Soup
“This Crockpot Chicken Taco Soup comes together in a matter of minutes, is healthy, gluten free, and full of veggies, lean chicken, plenty of texture, and loads of spices!”
Crock Pot Orange Chicken
“This Crockpot Orange Chicken is better than take out! It tastes better, is so much healthier, and is ridiculously easy to make. Orange chicken for the win!”
Crock Pot Sesame Chicken
“This Crockpot Sesame Chicken is a more flavorful, health-i-fied version of a take-out classic! One of my go-to throw and go, quick and easy recipes!’
Crock Pot Orange Chicken
“Today’s healthy recipe for sweet, juicy Crockpot Orange Chicken is your easy answer to “What’s for dinner?” Now, can someone pretty please come over and help me choose a color for our kitchen cabinets?”
Healthy Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Sweet Potatoes
“Why hello there! I’d like to introduce you to my fall dinner uniform, Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Sweet Potatoes.”
Crock Pot Teriyaki Chicken
“Crock pot teriyaki chicken has all the convenience of takeout but is made in a slow cooker using simple, healthy ingredients. Sticky, sweet, and a little bit sassy, this easy Asian chicken dinner tastes absolutely delicious.”
Crock Pot BBQ Chicken
“Pull out the bibs, keep your napkin at the ready, and grab the jar of homemade barbecue sauce we made yesterday, because today we are making Crock Pot BBQ Chicken!”
Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala
“This healthy Instant Pot Tikka Masala recipe was inspired by the month I spent in India, otherwise known as 30 of the most delicious days of my life. India wasn’t a country I’d long planned to visit. In fact, before I went, I wasn’t even sure if I liked Indian food. Chicken tikka masala (and every Indian food recipe I tasted after) crushed that doubt in one bite.”
Slow Cooker Beef And Broccoli
“Beef and broccoli might be a takeout classic, but it’s one of the easiest and most budget-friendly stir-fry dishes you can make at home. Broccoli is fairly inexpensive, particularly now that it’s in season, and because the beef is meant to be thinly sliced anyway, it’s ideal for stretching to multiple servings.”
Easy Crock Pot Thai Chicken
“This crockpot Thai chicken recipe is perfectly spiced and incredibly tender. The chicken can be used for tacos, sandwiches, lettuce wraps, and more”
Slow Cooker Pineapple Chicken
“Everyone’s takeout favorite made right in the crockpot! The chicken is SO TENDER and JUICY bursting with so much flavor!”
Slow Cooker Creamy Garlic Chicken And Veggies
“A one pot crockpot meal! Tender chicken, potatoes and broccoli! Served with the creamiest garlic sauce ever!”
Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Chili
“Just 20 min prep! Then you can come home to a cozy, hearty, comforting butternut squash turkey chili in the crockpot!”
Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken And Veggies
“The easiest one pot recipe ever. Simply throw everything in and that’s it! No cooking, no sauteeing. SO EASY!”
Slow-Cooker Quinoa Risotto With Carrots and Asparagus
“We’re using quinoa in a whole new way with this slow-cooker risotto-style recipe”.