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How To Lose Fat For Just $5/Day (7-Day Cheap Weight Loss Meal Plan)

by Jeremy Ethier - August 12, 2023

We're taking dieting on a budget to a whole new level. Below, discover a tried-and-tested 7-day cheap weight loss meal plan (~$5/day!) you can implement right away to start melting fat.

This is the world’s cheapest fat loss diet meal plan. All of this comes up to just over $5/day. It’s absolutely delicious and dead simple to make.

Today, I’ll show you exactly:

  • What to buy
  • How to prep your meals, and
  • Just how much fat my best friend, Jeff, can lose after following this meal plan for 7 days

So, there are 4 meals in total.

Each contains a minimum of 20 grams of protein, with a grand total of around 2,000 calories and over 150 grams of protein.

cheap weight loss meal plan meals compilation

For most of you watching, this might already be the perfect amount of calories and protein for you to start losing fat, but later in the article, I’ll show you how to tweak the plan more precisely based on your body weight and gender. 

A Cheap Weight Loss Meal Plan Starts With Cheap Ingredients

Now, before we dive into the first recipe of this (almost) ridiculously cheap weight loss meal plan, it’s — at the risk of stating the obvious — crucial you buy the cheapest ingredients possible.

And this starts by choosing the right grocery store.

So, after creating a sample “healthy” food cart across 5 of the most popular grocers, I ranked them from most to least expensive.

Whole Foods came out on top. No surprise there.

Trader Joe's was around $20 cheaper, followed by Kroger and Walmart, and then finally, the winner came in at less than half the price of the same cart at Whole Foods: Aldi. Here are the numbers, FYI:

  • Whole Foods: $88.02
  • Trader Joe's: $66.06
  • Kroger: $50.79
  • Walmart: $43.11
  • Aldi: $38.88

Unfortunately, there’s no Aldi close to where I live, so while I will use their pricing, I’ll be getting the ingredients for Jeff's fat loss meal plan from the next best option, Walmart.

Speaking of ingredients, I had to find what “healthy” foods were the cheapest.

And after a ton of searching and crunching the numbers, here are the protein, carbs, and fat sources I found that give the most bang for your buck and are what I heavily relied on to create today’s 4 meals.

cheap weight loss meal plan ingredients

Let's start with meal number 1 of our cheap weight loss meal plan.

Breakfast: Protein Overnight Oats

cheap weight loss meal plan overnight oats
cheap weight loss meal plan overnight oats

I personally eat overnight oats every single morning for breakfast before my workout, so it was great to see that all the ingredients were budget-friendly.

It takes just 5 minutes, and you can make it the night before and store it in the fridge.

Simply use a mason jar or any container and first add in the oats, 0% plain Greek yogurt, and protein powder. 

Woah, woah, woah, Jeremy, protein powder? That sh*t is expensive! 

So despite its rising costs, if you buy in bulk and calculate the cost per gram of protein, it comes out cheaper than salmon, ground beef, and Greek yogurt. In fact, it actually ends up around the same price as eggs, milk, and canned tuna.

Not to mention, it tastes great, it’s convenient, and it doesn’t come with a ton of extra fat and calories like other protein sources do. Yes, I did the math; have a look for yourself:

  • Salmon: $0.10/g of protein
  • Lentils: $0.05/g of protein
  • Ground beef (85% lean, 15% fat): $0.05/g of protein
  • Greek yogurt: $0.04/g of protein
  • Eggs: $0.03/g of protein
  • Canned tuna: $0.03/g of protein
  • 2% milk: $0.03/g of protein
  • Protein powder (bulk): $0.03/g of protein
  • Chicken breast (bulk): $0.02/g of protein

Now, I’m using chocolate-flavored protein, but you can use any flavor your heart desires.

And if you really don’t want to use protein powder, then you can simply add a bit more Greek yogurt instead.

Next, add about 1/2 cup of water and then mix until everything is well combined. Pop it in the fridge, and in the morning, you can top it with a banana, a tablespoon of peanut butter, and a pinch of salt.

And if you’re ballin 'and can afford it, feel free to go premium and top it with some sugar-free syrup or a bit of honey. 

A tiny note: As tasty as these meals are, you're going to get sick and tired of eating the exact same meals every day.

This is why for Jeff's overnight oats, I made a few of them with the original recipe.

But for the next few, I switched it up by using a vanilla protein powder instead of chocolate, mixing in a diced apple instead of the banana, and also adding in some cinnamon.

These small changes will just help make sure he doesn’t get bored with our cheap weight loss meal plan.

And don't worry, later in this article, I’ll show you the exact food swaps you can make within each of these meals to keep them interesting, but for now, let’s move on to lunch. 

Lunch: Freezer Burritos

cheap weight loss meal plan freezer burritos opened

So, the one thing I’ve always hated about meal prep is the meals are only good for a few days before they get funky.

That’s why for lunch, we’re having freezer burritos.

Not only can these bad boys stay good for months, but I was honestly shocked at how delicious they were even after sitting in the freezer for a week. 

Grab Your Ingredients

Here are the ingredients per burrito.

cheap weight loss meal plan freezer burrito

First, you need the right tortilla. Normally I’d recommend a whole grain tortilla for some extra fiber, but in this case, we’ve gotta compromise.

White flour tortillas not only tend to be cheaper, but they will also be easier to roll and stay intact.

The one I’m using is a large size and comes in at about 180 calories per tortilla. 

Now, unfortunately, our budget couldn’t quite cover condiments or spices. I’m assuming you guys have the basics, but if you don’t then please make a quick trip to your parent's place and snag some salt, garlic powder, pepper, and soy sauce.

These are key to making pretty much anything taste good.

Oh, and borrow some cooking spray as well to save you a bunch of calories compared to using oil when cooking. 

Start Cooking

Once you’ve got all that, dice up your chicken and cook it in a pan with your pinto beans.

Transfer that to a plate after it’s done, then chop up your onions and green peppers and cook them in the same pan until soft. 

And don’t forget to season both the chicken and veggies with salt, garlic and a little bit of soy sauce as it's cooking. 

Once cooked, drain any liquid, mix in your chicken and beans, and let it all cool for about 5-10 minutes.

This is important to prevent breakage of our beautiful tortillas. 

Next, toss a tortilla in the microwave for 5-10 seconds to soften it up, and prepare to stuff her. Now, how much you stuff her with depends on how many burritos you’re prepping for.

You can weigh everything out to get it exact, but I’d recommend just doing your best to divide the portions by the number of burritos you’re making. For example, if you’re prepping 4 burritos, cook 4 portions worth of ingredients and then simply divide the pans into 4 somewhat even portions. 

Add one portion of the vegetables and one portion of the chicken and bean mix to the middle lower third of the tortilla.

Then, top it with a serving of cheddar cheese. Don’t worry, the cheese will melt nicely once you thaw the burrito. 

Once everything is added, it’s time for the make-or-break moment: wrapping.

Now, I get way too anxious doing this part, so my lovely girlfriend will show you how it’s done.

Don’t be nervous, guys, it’s really simple, just fold the two sides into the middle and then roll her up.

how to wrap freezer burrito 2
how to wrap freezer burrito 1

Wrap her in aluminum foil or saran wrap, toss in the freezer, and then once you’re ready to eat, simply unwrap and heat it up in the microwave.

Now in my microwave, I took it straight from the freezer, hit the defrost button, and after about 5 minutes, it was good to go. But I’d recommend using any low heat setting, flip it over at least once, and every couple minutes, just check to see if it’s heated to your liking.

You can also just take it out of the freezer and bring it to work or school, let it naturally thaw, and then quickly heat it up when you’re ready to eat. 

And for you big spenders who can afford it, feel free to make this premium with a side of salsa or hot sauce. 

Snack: Any Simple, Healthy, Cheap Snack

Alright, we’ve just eaten lunch, and we’re waiting for dinner to come around.

For many people, this is the toughest part of the day. You start getting a little “peckish” and end up snacking on whatever foods you can find.

Instead, try incorporating a simple, healthy snack like an apple. Of course, since this article is meant to be about a cheap weight loss meal plan, I cannot forget to mention that even an apple will still cost something.

Both monetarily and calorically: about 77 cents and roughly 80 calories, respectively.

But if you can afford the extra cost, these simple, healthy, relatively affordable snacks can make a big difference in helping you stick with this cheap weight loss meal plan.

Dinner: Fried Rice

Alright, it’s dinner time, and this one’s a childhood favorite.

cheap weight loss meal plan egg fried rice
cheap weight loss meal plan fried rice

Growing up with a Filipino Chinese mother, fried rice was a staple. The fried rice recipe I have is delicious and super easy to make. And after we cook it up, we’ll see what my mom has to say. 

In a pan, scramble 3 whole eggs, then set aside on a plate. Next, dice your carrots and cook them in a pan with your green peas and some garlic. 

Fun fact: green peas are great for fat loss because they contain almost half the calories relative to their volume as rice does. So, when you’re dieting you can easily save some calories by using less rice and replacing it with more peas like we do in this recipe. 

Anyways, once the veggies are soft, add in your white rice.

You can use brown rice if you prefer, but regardless, for the best fried rice, you’ll want to use day-old leftover rice from the fridge.

This makes the rice firmer and prevents it from getting all clumpy when you cook it. Instant rice is a good option as well. Next, add some soy sauce to your liking and then stir in your scrambled eggs, and you’re done! 

And for you premium members who can afford it, feel free to top it with sriracha or chili garlic and add a side of steamed broccoli to increase your vegetable intake.

Alright, time to see what my overly-critical Asian mom thinks. 

fried rice review from jeremy's mom

Dessert: Banana Protein Smoothie

So, I don’t know about you guys, but after dinner, once it gets close to bedtime is when my sweet tooth comes out. 

No matter how good I was with my diet earlier in the day, the late-night snacking always got the best of me. This is why we’re throwing in a dessert in our cheap weight loss meal plan to help satisfy your sweet tooth in a healthy, budget-friendly way. 

cheap weight loss meal plan smoothie
cheap weight loss meal plan smoothies

The recipe is really simple but tastes delicious. 

In a blender, simply add a frozen banana, 1 scoop of protein powder (chocolate usually works best), 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, 3/4 cup of water, and about 5-10 ice cubes depending on how thick you like your smoothies. 

Now if you don’t want to use protein powder, you can swap it for a serving of Greek yogurt instead, but you’ll probably also want to add a sugar-free sweetener like stevia to sweeten it up. 

And if you really want to go premium, you could snag yourself one of these Ninja creamies.

Use this exact same recipe, and it’ll come out just like ice cream. Honestly, guys, they’re not sponsoring me at all, but this has probably been one of the best investments of my life.

I make ice cream almost every single night with it. Well worth it, in my opinion, and here's the link to one on Amazon for those interested.

How To Prep Your Meals For The Cheap Weight Loss Meal Plan

Now as for how to prep the meals for our cheap weight loss meal plan, aside from the burritos, which you can make a whole week’s worth and put in the freezer, most of the meals you can prep and store in the fridge for about 3-4 days in advance.

The smoothie I’d recommend just whipping up when you’re ready to eat it.

Tweaking The Cheap Weight Loss Meal Plan To Suit Your Fat Loss Requirements

But, as I mentioned earlier, while the calories and protein in this cheap weight loss meal plan should already work for many of you, I would highly recommend going to our calorie calculator here, entering your body stats, and seeing what your suggested calories and protein are to lose fat. 

Then, simply tweak the meal plan to match this. 

If you need more calories, simply increase the serving of some carbs like rice or some fats like peanut butter. And vice versa if you need less. You can do the same with protein by increasing or reducing the protein servings in our cheap weight loss meal plan to suit your needs.

And lastly, odds are you’re going to get bored of eating the exact same meals every single day.

So here’s a list of some swaps you can make to each of the meals to keep them interesting.

Budget Fat Loss Meal Plan

And to make things easy for you, I’ve put the whole cheap weight loss meal plan, instructions, grocery list, food swaps, and more into a free PDF you can download here:

Click the button below to grab your FREE PDF copy of our cheap weight loss meal plan:

But for now, let’s check in on Jeff and see if he got any results after following our cheap weight loss meal plan for 7 days. 

Before You Go ...

Nutrition is key. So many people look the same year after year in the gym simply because they never prioritize their diet.

This cheap weight loss meal plan is definitely a great start, but if you need some more help with setting up both your training and your diet based on your body, your lifestyle, and your goals, then simply take our quiz to find the best step-by-step plan for you below:

Click the button below to take my analysis quiz to discover the best program for you:

Highly recommend giving this article a read next for the easiest exercise you can pair with this meal plan to help speed up belly fat loss (or fat loss in general) or check out this article if you’re looking for another budget meal plan — but this time focused on building muscle.

Thanks for sticking till the end, and I’ll see ya next time!

By the way, here’s the article summed up into a YouTube video:

The CHEAPEST Meal Plan to Lose Fat (HEALTHY & EASY)

How To Lose Fat For Just $5/Day (7-Day Cheap Weight Loss Meal Plan)