Monthly meal planning notebook up to 1 year!

I am an Amazon Affiliate so if you purchase anything through my links, I will make a commission at no cost to you. See my full disclaimer here

My latest published book is available on paperback! 100 pages of templates to stay organized. Fun and Colorful Meal Planner guide with monthly calendars, weekly sections for meal ideas, grocery shopping lists, and pages to save all your favorite recipes. Make meal planning easy and your budget in check by planning your meals with this handy notebook.


Here are some templates from the inside of the book.

Available here

$20 Challenge Budget Vegan Meal Plan for 1 Week

Grocery shopping as a vegan isn’t expensive, and eating whole unprocessed foods is so much better for you. Below I have listed out what I bought for the week and meals to go with it.No smart phone apps or coupons were used in this trip, just the basics, a little savvy, and a stocked pantry for the week.So for this week I have spent just under $18 for a weeks worth of meals. I shopped at King Soopers and bought a total of 16 items for $17.65. I got a small discount for working there at the time, but even after I add in those savings my total would have been $18.41.
I will be making 21 meals for myself of one which equals out to $.87 per serving!

Here’s my receipt

Note: For this meal plan I didn’t include spices or condiments in the budget with most basics like salt, pepper, cinnamon, garlic powder, hot sauce, mustard, etc. for my meals. If you need to add any generic brands usually go for $1 or less.

And here’s a list of everything I bought:

  • 18 ounces of whole grain rolled oats $0.79
  • 10 pack of flour tortillas $0.99
  • multigrain french bread marked down to $1.19
  • 1 lb. of carrots $0.79
  • small 6 ounce can of tomato paste $0.67
  • 1 lb. bag of dried pinto beans $0.99
  • 1 lb. bag of split peas $1.79
  • 1 lb. bag of long grain rice $0.99
  • small pack of romaine lettuce $1.49
  • 1 bunch of bananas (8 bananas) $1.44
  • 1 bunch of cilantro $0.49
  • 1 small yellow onion $0.30
  • 6 small red potatoes $1.31
  • 1 lb. bag of dried garbanzo beans $1.49
  • 2 yellow squash $0.76
  • 2 zucchini $0.89

16 items for 21 meals over 1 week. I’ll meal prep the beans and rice at the beginning of the week so I can pack lunches, or heat them up for dinner when I need them.

Meals I will make for the week include:

  • 7 servings of Oatmeal in the mornings for breakfast everyday with some cinnamon. Recipe here Simple Oatmeal with Cinnamon
  • 4 servings of Split pea soup with onion, carrot, and spices like garlic powder with multigrain bread on the side. Recipe here Vegan Split Pea Soup with Carrots
  • 2 servings of 2 bean and rice burritos. Recipe here Easy Pinto Bean and Rice Burritos with Cilantro
  • 2 servings of salad with veggies, rice, and beans.
  • 8 servings of bananas as a snack or with my oatmeal if I choose.
  • 2 servings of chickpea falafel balls with romaine, cilantro, cut up squash and zucchini wraps. Recipe here Chickpea Falafel
  • 2 servings of boiled red potatoes with squash, zucchini, and pinto beans.
  • 2 servings of carrot and chickpea tacos with rice,  and cilantro.

Here’s how the week went:


Sunday: I soaked the 1 lb. of pinto beans, and 1 lb. of chickpeas overnight. I started prepping all the ingredients on Sunday to start this plan on Monday. I also made the split pea soup.
Monday: I cooked the pinto beans in my crock pot with 1/4 onion on low for 9 hours. This yielded me 6 cups of cooked beans. I also cooked the chickpeas in my crock pot for 4 1/2 hours on high which yielded me 4 cups total. This day I had oatmeal with cinnamon for breakfast, and split pea soup for lunch and dinner with some of the multigrain bread, and a banana for a snack.

Tuesday: Today I worked early so instead of cooking the oatmeal at home, I made some Oat Milk and soaked 1/2 cup of oats in the milk, added some cinnamon, and sliced up a banana and heated it all up for breakfast. For lunch I had some split pea soup with the multigrain bread. When I got home from work I cooked the 1 lb. bag of rice (2 1/2 cups dry) that yielded me about 11 cups total of cooked rice. For dinner I heated up the beans, added some spices like salt, paprika, onion powder, salt, tomato paste, and made the bean and rice burritos with some cilantro.

Wednesday: Oatmeal for breakfast again with banana and cinnamon……so good and filling to get me through busy mornings at work. For lunch I had 2 rice and pinto bean burritos with cilantro, and then a salad for dinner with rice, beans, and sautéed veggies over romaine.

Thursday: This morning I had oatmeal with cinnamon and a banana for breakfast. For lunch I had the last serving of pea soup with bread and froze the extra portions. And for dinner I made carrot and chickpea tacos.*Note This week I only bought burrito size tortillas so my taco idea turned into burritos. All was still really delicious wrapped up anyway~ I also heated up a little more than I expected for 2 meals. I cooked enough to make 6 burritos so I froze the extra 2 for a later meal.
I heated up in a small pot some rice, pinto beans, carrots, and chickpeas. Added in a spoonful of tomato paste with a splash of water with spices like paprika, chili powder, onion powder, salt, and cumin and cooked it for five minutes. I warmed up some tortillas, topped it all off with fresh cilantro, and my dinner was ready.

Friday: Breakfast was oatmeal with cinnamon and banana. Lunch was the second portion of the carrot and chickpea tacos. For dinner I had the second serving of salad with rice, beans, and sauteed squash and zucchini with some cilantro on top.

Saturday: Breakfast was oatmeal with banana, and cinnamon. For lunch I boiled the red potatoes with sauteed zucchini, squash, and some pinto beans. Dinner I had the chickpea falafel wraps over a tortilla with raw romaine, squash, and zucchini. .

Recipe here Chickpea falafel

Sunday:For the last day of this challenge I ate oatmeal with banana and cinnamon for breakfast. Last night when I made the falafel, I used the last two tortillas, so when I had the falafel again for lunch I ate them over romaine lettuce. Lastly for dinner I  ended the day with the last serving of boiled red potatoes with zucchini, squash, and pinto beans.

There you have it 21 meals cooked and prepared from scratch under $20 and $0.87 per serving!

Conclusion: I find after I had all the ingredients prepped and ready to go at the beginning of the week it saved a lot of time making my meals throughout the week. These were simple, filling, and got me through with extra food leftover to carry me through part of the next week.

At the end of the week I still  ended up with quite a bit of leftover food:

  • 3 extra servings of pea soup
  •  2 cups of pinto beans
  • 2 cup of chickpeas
  • 5 cups of cooked rice
  • 2 cups of oatmeal
  • and about a cup of each for the zucchini and squash.
  • 1 1/2 cups of romaine lettuce
  • 1 banana

So with originally counting all this food in my $.87 per serving, it actually turned out to be less if you count the food leftover.  I learned a lot on this challenge. I may have bought too much and could have simplified my list to make fewer options for meals. With so much leftover I’ll pair down my choices in the future, and try to get a little more produce like fruit and greens. I didn’t tire of the beans, or the oatmeal, and I could have eaten the pea soup everyday it was so delicious. The falafel wraps were my favorite, and this whole plan opened my eyes to new possibilities with shopping, cooking, and execution of the plan. I hope you got some tips from this and I’ll be working on a new meal plan with a similar budget to play with and post my findings.

What are some of your meal planning tips and advice? Share your thoughts below! You can also connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest under @noshchefjulie