Nutrition Nuggets: Eating on $50 per week

Times are tough in Alberta and everyone is looking for ways to decrease spending and make our dollars go further for every service. What about for feeding our family? Some may say that’s where we should make sure we are not skimping. However, what if you had to decide between rent and food for your family. Shelter, or food? I think most people would choose shelter first, then the reality sets in for how to feed our family with what’s left.

I Can for Kids is now providing $50 grocery gift cards to children and families in need. We wanted to try and see what we could buy for a family of four on $50. Three meals a day came closer to $90 for a week; however see the end of this post for breakfast and dinner for seven days.

Some other tips that you have seen me write in the past to make your grocery bill go further are:

  • Use plant-based proteins. Beans and lentils are cheaper than meat.
  • Buy in bulk and buy no name brands; the packaging increases the cost.
  • Look for sales. When chicken is on sale buy it and if something calls for chicken breasts, use chicken thighs.
  • When buying meat, buy bone-in, skin on. Look for tougher cuts of meat that require longer cooking.
  • Eat leftovers.

Here is an example of what one family of four can have for one week at breakfast and dinner. The total without any coupons or sales for this meal plan is $58 so I am sure you could get this to $50.

Day 1

Breakfast: Oats with frozen berries
Dinner: Fried rice with eggs, peas, and carrots

Day 2

Breakfast: Eggs, toast and canned peaches
Dinner: Spaghetti with tomato sauce and a garden salad

Day 3

Breakfast: Oatmeal with apple and cinnamon
Dinner: Chicken thighs, baked potato, and carrots

Day 4

Breakfast: Boiled egg, toast and frozen berries
Dinner: Vegetarian chili

Day 5

Breakfast: Oatmeal with banana and peanut butter
Dinner: Leftover chili

Day 6

Breakfast: Yogurt, frozen berries and oats
Dinner: Sweet potato and black bean bowl with rice and broccoli

Day 7

Breakfast: Toast with peanut butter and banana
Dinner: Refried bean burritos with salsa


If you have any great low-cost meals let us know! We would love to hear how you are feeding your family with less.

If you are looking at how to help others with feeding their family, donate now to help Calgary families.


Melissa Conniff, Registered Dietitian

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