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7-day budget meal plan

Robbie Puddick
Written by

Robbie Puddick

Medically reviewed by

Fiona Moncrieff

4 min read
Last updated July 2024

Jump to: How to build a balanced meal | 7-day budget meal plan

There’s a common misconception that eating healthier is more expensive. However, in a previous article, we discussed how a healthy diet doesn’t have to break the bank. In fact, it can be a way to cut down your food bill, reduce waste, and improve your health.

The difficulty comes with developing the daily habits that support our ability to achieve this. One that we advocate for on Second Nature is meal planning.

Meal planning can help you in many ways: 

  1. Cuts down on food waste
  2. Avoids the stress of worrying about what to eat at every meal
  3. Helps you stick to a healthier, balanced diet
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How to build a balanced budget meal

Many people on Second Nature, like Kaye, have achieved their health and weight loss goals while eating our budget-friendly meals for the whole family. If you want to join them, click here to take our free health quiz.

Our team of registered dietitians have put together this 7-day budget meal plan to give you an idea of what an affordable healthy diet looks like.

All the recipes in this weekly meal plan are low in refined carbs and sugars, made from whole foods, packed full of veg, and tailored to keep you fuller for longer. Many of them will cost you less than $1.50 per portion as a bonus.

If you’d like to join 150,000 other people who’ve joined the Second Nature programme, improved their health, and cut down on their food bills:

Now, onto the good stuff.

7-day budget meal plan

The following healthy meal plan shows how you could use Second Nature recipes to successfully begin your weight loss journey. Complete budget recipes and instruction videos of the example meals are available by clicking on the meal you want to make.

Not all these meals will suit your preferences, but we also have many more healthy recipes you could swap in for other dinner ideas. To get you started on Monday, prep your overnight oats on Sunday evening.

This meal planner includes an estimated cost of each portion (the cost will vary on where you live and shop) and some simple ‘quick meal prep’ sections throughout the week that shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes.

Making a shopping list ahead of time will save you time and money, and you’re less likely to give in to cravings in the shop and buy fewer unhealthy options. This healthy eating meal plan is printable; feel free to save the page as a PDF.

MONDAY Overnight oats

Estimated cost per portion: $1.72

Quick prep: double the portions so you’ve got two days ready

Ham and mustard sandwich

Estimated cost per portion: $1.24

Coconut Lentil Dahl

Estimated cost per portion: $0.63

(Optional toppings: 2 tbsp Greek yoghurt and 2 tbsp roughly chopped parsley)

Second Nature tip: Serve with a chickpea curry for a Friday night feast for the family.

Quick prep: Put leftover dahl into a container in the fridge for dinner on Wednesday

TUESDAY Pre-prepped overnight oats Ploughman’s lunchbox

Estimated cost per portion: $3.18

Quick prep: double the portions and have a box ready for tomorrow. Shape the mince for the meatballs and leave it in the fridge.

Meatballs in chilli tomato sauce

Estimated cost per portion: $1.07

(Optional toppings: grated hard cheese)

Second Nature tip: Cook in a slow cooker for extra flavour.

Quick prep: Put leftover meatballs into containers for dinner on Thursday

WEDNESDAY Very berry smoothie

Estimated cost per portion: $1.30

Pre-prepped ploughman’s lunchbox Leftover coconut dhal

Second Nature tip: Serve on top of baked sweet potato.

Quick prep: make the tomato soup ready for tomorrows’s lunch

THURSDAY Mango chia pudding

Estimated cost per portion: $1.30

Quick prep: double the portions so you’ve got two days ready

Tomato soup

Estimated cost per portion: $1.07

Quick prep: double the portions so you’ve got two days ready

(Optional: + sliced chicken or boiled eggs to increase protein)

Leftover meatballs in chilli tomato sauce
FRIDAY Pre-prepped chia pudding with mango

Quick prep: chop vegetables and portion cheese ready for dinner

Leftover tomato soup

(Optional: + sliced chicken or boiled eggs to increase protein)

Tortilla pizza

Estimated cost per portion: $2.02

Quick prep: prep yogurt bowl for morning

SATURDAY Yogurt bowl

Estimated cost per portion: $1.42

Quick prep: marinade the chicken and chop the vegetables for dinner

Egg salad sandwich

Estimated cost per portion: $1


Peri Peri chicken and vegetables

Second Nature tip: Swap in boneless chicken thighs.

Estimated cost per portion: $1.09

Quick prep: put leftovers in the fridge

SUNDAY Scrambled eggs (2-3 eggs) on multi-grain seeded toast

Estimated cost per portion: $0.92

(Optional: 1 grilled tomato, 1 handful baby spinach, 2 rashers of back bacon)

Quick prep: prepare fish cakes and put them in the fridge for dinner

Leftovers, takeaway, or lunch out for a family meal. Thai fish cakes

Estimated cost per portion: $2.88


100g Yogurt with a handful of berries (v)

Cold cut meats

Tinned fish on wholegrain crackers

Veggie sticks with 60g hummus (v)

1-2 hard-boiled eggs (v)

Apple with peanut butter

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Meal Plan

Download our free, indulgent 7-day meal plan

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