Your working week 9-5 budget meal plan

1 June 2017 - Shannon Lavery, Accredited Practising Dietitian

A common topic of discussion in our household, as I am sure it is in many, is where does our money go and how can we save more money. After working on the last blog post with Nod it really got me thinking about how much money is being spent on every day, ordinary lunches and snacks, especially those bought in cafes!

So my husband set me a challenge, to develop a nutritionally adequate, yet budget friendly meal plan to cover his work day meals. In doing this I took into account his tastes preferences, his limited time and limited willingness to prepare overly elaborate meals at work. So basically I was looking for cheap and easy meals to either purchase or prepare and eat within the space of a short lunch break.

To set the scene for you: My husband works in the city and refuses to take lunch and snacks from home with him to work. He therefore buys all drinks, snacks and meals - covering morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea, Monday to Friday, averaging at least $25/day and $125/week (if not more!).

His new budget friendly and super nutritious meal plan involves a quick Coles shop at the start of the week to buy supplies that he can store in the fridge at work. All snacks and lunches come to a total of $37, plus $3.50/day to buy a coffee, comes to a grand total of $54.50. A massive saving, and trust me, far more nutritious than what he was often being tempted to buy!

Please note it is possible to do your meals even cheaper than this, but I think it’s important to always consider your likes and dislikes, as a meal plan that you enjoy will be far more sustainable than one you detest!

Your working week 9-5 meal plan

Shopping List (priced at Coles)

  • 60g reduced fat fetta                                     $1.00

  • Coles Australian Peri Peri Chicken (150g)   $5.50

  • Coles multigrain rolls (6 pack)                      $2.00

  • 3 x tomatoes                                                    $2.25

  • 120g bag rocket                                              $3.00

  • Coles minestrone soup                                  $3.00

  • 2 x apples                                                         $0.90

  • 95g canned tuna in spring water                 $2.00

  • 4 bean mix                                                        $0.75

  • Chobani Meze dip                                           $4.40

  • Carrots sticks (150g                                         $2.00

  • 2 x banana                                                         $1.08

  • 2 x mandarin                                                     $0.60

  • 100g Deluxe mixed nuts (self serve)             $3.00

  • 2 x Ski D'Lite yoghurt 2 pack                          $3.50

  • Balsamic dressing (300mL)                            $1.80                 

                                                                     TOTAL $37.00