11 ways to lose weight on a budget (with recipes that look anything but)

Hands up who has stacks of cash to splash on their groceries each week? That’s right…nobody!

As part of the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge, we design meal plans and recipes for you that are not only delicious but also budget friendly.

In fact, Rhian has just written a brand new book on the subject (read more about it here).

Here at the Healthy Mummy, we are all mums too, and we know that you want to feed your family healthy food, lose weight, and not spend a fortune.

Well with the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge and the Healthy Mummy, you can!


11 great tips to help you lose weight on a budget

You can order your copy of the Busy Mum’s Guide To Weight Loss On A Budget HERE

1. Make a meal plan

YES it’s true, we are still talking about meal planning. That’s because it’s the NUMBER ONE way to save money on your groceries week to week.

Knowing what you are going to eat for each meal and snack means you will know exactly what you need to buy. So nothing gets forgotten, and nothing goes to waste.

Grab your copy of the Busy Mum’s Guide To Weight Loss On A Budget HERE and you’ll get a bonus pull-out weekly meal planner for your fridge.

2. Shop less often (and go online)

The fewer times you hit the supermarket the better. How often do you pop to the shop to pick up one or two things, and walk out with an armful of groceries? It’s too tempting to overspend.

So do your best to do one big shop per week, either online or in person. And always use your shopping list from the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge so you don’t forget anything.  Shopping online is great as you can see your total spend before you commit to it.

3. Double up


It takes just as much effort to cook a double batch as it does to cook a single one – so always double up! So if you’re cooking this delicious Choc-Hazelnut Freezer Pie, make two and freeze one!

Or if you’re cooking up the Simple Chicken Curry, freeze the second batch in single serves for your lunch or in one tub as a family sized portion.

Knowing you have snacks and meals on hand is a great way to lose weight on a budget, as you won’t be tempted by a raspberry muffin at the café or a chicken madras from the takeaway.

4. Use economical ingredients

Make the most of kitchen staples to bulk out your meals – think frozen peas, tinned chickpeas, oats, eggs, rice and tuna. Go through the kitchen and find ingredients that need to be used up.

Then jump on the recipe hub of the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge and find something that you’d like to cook (ideally with ingredients you already have on hand).

5. Incorporate a smoothie per day

cashew smoothie

A Healthy Mummy Smoothie is an economical complete meal that you can make in minutes. It requires next to no preparation and allows you to make the most of frozen fruit or veggies from the crisper. You can use whatever milk you have on hand too, so there’s no reason to skip a meal because you don’t have the right ingredients.

6. Switch up ingredients

If one of our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge recipes asks you to use a specific ingredient that you don’t have, feel free to mix and match to what you do have (or what’s cheaper).

For instance, you can dollop sour cream on your soup, but if you don’t have any, some Greek yoghurt will work too. If a stir fry calls for chicken breast, you can easily use chicken thighs or some tofu instead to save money.

7. Repeat yourself

Baked Sweet Potatoes With Spinach & Feta

We offer tons of variety on the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge, but that doesn’t mean you have to prepare three brand new meals and three different snacks each and every day. Lots of the mums on the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge choose to alternate between just two breakfasts across the week for instance, and that’s perfect for them.

Many mums will make extra of their dinner (like these Baked Sweet Potatoes With Spinach & Feta from the new book) to eat for lunch the next day rather than making something from scratch. Make the plans work for you and your lifestyle.

Get more budget-friendly recipes in our free recipe pack. Everything works out to be $2.50/serve or LESS!


8. Reduce processed foods

It’s so easy to fill your trolley with boxes of food that claim to be ‘natural’ which in fact are anything but. By reducing the amount of processed food in your trolley, you’ll save money as well as calories and additives.

It’s easy to make your own muesli bars and slices for your own snacks (that can work well for lunch boxes too). Make your own simple sauces for stir fry and pasta rather than buying them in a jar or sachet (they’re often ¼ sugar by the way).

9. Keep it simple

Boiled Eggs With Soldiers

It’s perfectly fine (and delicious) to have some boiled eggs and toast soldiers for dinner sometimes. Having a few cheap and cheerful meals up your sleeve can save you a TON of cash (and calories), as it means you won’t feel tempted to order a pizza or eat out when you’re tired and hungry.

10. Watch your portion sizes

If you overload your plate, it’s easy to go over your calorie recommendations even if what you’re eating is healthy. You’ll also go beyond the cost per serve that we give you as a guide (and in our new book The Busy Mum’s Guide to Weight Loss On A Budget all the mains are under $2.50 per serve).

As part of the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge, we give you specific weights and measures for everything from the amount of pasta or rice that you should serve with your meal to the number of serves you should get from your batch of chocolate slice. This way you know exactly the amount you should be eating to stay on track with your weight loss.

11. Take a picnic

Chocolate Bliss

If you’re going out for the day with the kids, prepare a healthy picnic to take with you (and save a packet). Some bliss balls, wraps, chopped up fruit, and plenty of water will see you through and you won’t be tempted by overpriced snacks.

Same goes for when you’re going solo – pack your own lunchbox to take to work or when you’re running errands.

Check out these results from mums on The Healthy Mummy


Kylie Spry has lost 30kg following The Healthy Mummy 

Cicily has lost 51kg and says, “The Healthy Mummy has literally given me a new life! I’m now wearing size 12/14 and in the 70’s!”


Samara’s lost a total of 17kgs with The Healthy Mummy

Grab your copy of A Busy Mum’s Guide to Weight Loss on a Budget as seen on Studio 10!

The Busy Mum’s Guide to Losing Weight on a Budget book includes the BEST 120 BUDGET Healthy Mummy recipes (all under $2.50 a serve).

This must-have book will help you get healthy, shed the kilos and become a MASTER of the meal prep!

The recipes are easy, TASTY and family friendly – and MADE FOR BUSY MUMS!

PLUS, we have included a pull out weekly meal planner for your fridge to make the organisation that bit easier!

The Healthy Mummy is a movement in both Australia and the UK (and hopefully in the U.S, too as it is in the process of being launched this year), with women supporting one another on their journey to a happier and healthier lifestyle.


written by:

The Healthy Mummy

We have an amazing team of 10 writers at the Healthy Mummy that are all dedicated to getting you the best stories, information and content.