Our Free “Real Food” Meal Plans

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We’ve created 5 free “real food” meal plans to help make things a little easier for those busy families who would like to cut out processed food. If you follow the instructions below to download the meal plans then this is what you’ll get:

  • Five 7-day practical “real food” menu plans designed for busy families.
  • Complete meals listed each day for breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner with leftovers incorporated.
  • Food quantities calculated for a family of four.
  • Corresponding complete grocery list showing what to buy in order of the store and actual cost for each item (as opposed to the price per serving) with seasonal ingredients highlighted on Meal Plans 3 – 5 so purchases can be made from your local farmers’ market if desired.
  • Budget-friendly prices that are close to what a family of four would receive on full food stamp (SNAP) benefits– $167/week – with plenty of additional cost-saving opportunities because:
    • Coupons were not used
    • Sales prices were not used
    • Prices for organic items were used in most cases
    • If you follow this plan you will end up with some leftover food (like granola, eggs, flour, butter, marsala wine, and corn meal) that can be incorporated into recipes the following week
  • All underlined recipes are available on 100DaysofRealFood.com – check out the Recipe Index for a full list.
  • All recipes are working mom/dad-friendly including tips on what to make in advance over the weekend.
  • Almost every item listed follows our strict 10-day pledge rules, with just a few minor exceptions to keep the plan realistic for those busy working parents.

Here’s the scoop on how to get Meal Plans 1 – 4:

  1. Go to the “Meal Plans” link on the 100 Days of Real Food Facebook Page
    (you must be logged in to your Facebook account or create one, and you must be using a computer, not a mobile device, to see the Meal Plans link).Facebook_meal_plans
  2. Click “like” if you are not already a fan.
  3. Click on the image of the meal plan you would like to download.

And this is how to get a hold of Meal Plan 5:

  1. Become an email subscriber by entering your email address in the box below and following the instructions.
  2. You will receive an email that contains a link to activate your subscription. Be sure to check your spam box if you don’t see it right away.
  3. Once you’ve confirmed your subscription, you’ll receive a welcome email that includes a link to the 5th meal plan.

As a subscriber you’ll get a notification when we update the blog (usually 2-3 times a week).

Subscribe by entering your email address here:

Posts may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but 100 Days of Real Food will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps us spread our message!

352 comments to Our Free “Real Food” Meal Plans

  • Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

    Hi Jennifer. I’m sorry. We do not. We do have a “nut free” snack list because our school has 1 nut free classrooms per grade level: http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2011/08/22/an-elementary-school-snack-list-%E2%80%93-nut-free/. Please feel free to make adaptations to recipes and menus that will work for your family. :) ~Amy

  • [...] and eat everything in its most natural state. She makes it really simple to get started by offering meal plans and recipes. Our pantry and fridge were looking pretty sparse when we returned from our extended [...]

  • Sara

    The best part is that you prove once again that even if someone is on food stamps they can eat healthy. :) I hate when people say the only thing they can buy on food stamps is junk – WRONG!

    • Julia S

      I agree that it’s nice to prove that you can buy healthy food on food stamps.

      However, there is a large segment of the population that doesn’t qualify for food stamps, and can not afford to spend that much on food. Well, not without foregoing rent, or utilities, or other necessities. Sadly, I don’t have anywhere near $167/week to spend on food. Our family of 4 has to subside on $200/month for food. This small budget forces out a lot of the processed stuff (chips, crackers, soda, candy), but it doesn’t allow for much organic, or being able to be picky about non-gmos ingredients. There is no way I could spend $40 of our budget (almost 1/4!) on milk each month.

      • Sara

        Julia – I have a family of 4 too and we also do NOT have $167 a week. I have to spend about $100 or less per week. I try to keep it around $80. I keep my “organic” to the dirty dozen and I am a huge couponer/sales shopper. I like her list for ideas but I agree most people do not have that as their weekly grocery budget. We do what we can :) Every little bit counts!

  • Julie

    Sara,
    It is nice to show the food can be bought on the Food Stamp allowance but a part you may be missing is the food deserts in which most people on Food Stamps live. Grocery stores with fresh prioduce and farmers markets are often long or multiple bus rides away. (Many people on food stamps do not have cars). This is a great start but the problem is bigger then just making good choices. Until grocery stores are willing to move into these neighborhoods the choices may be conveince stores with processed food. Just needed to get my two cents in. Please don’t be so judgmental.

    • Sara

      Hi Julie!
      I wasn’t trying to sound judgmental and I’m sorry it came off that way. I was trying to sound positive about it. You are absolutely right about the lack of access to healthier food choices. I am glad that a lot of communities are slowly changing that with neighborhood gardens and larger grocery stores in those areas (most recently a Meijer in Detroit). Thanks for pointing out that I came off negatively… not my intend :(

  • KC

    Thanks for all the helpful stuff so far. I just downloaded Meal Plans 1-5, but I’m noticing that they are just one week for each season. Any plans to expand for more of each season or more plans in general? I have tried other site’s plans as well and once I’m done with the plan I’m consistently finding that we can only come up with ideas or repeat dinners for maybe another week or so then it’s back to buying something quick because we get so overwhelmed. I’d love to see longer/more plans to help us really get into it. Thanks you!

  • Karon

    Would you be possibly coming up with additional meal plans and shopping lists soon? I love the simplicity of having the meal plan and shopping list provided for me! It makes for one less thing for me to do on grocery shopping day, amongst everything else! I have been looking for a website that had a shopping list along with affordable, kid friendly, healthy food for a couple of years and was very happy when I found your site almost 2 months ago. We can be a picky family in the sense that we get “bored” of eating the same thing :) I would also love some more “crockpot” casserole recipes for those nights when you know you are getting home 20 mins before you have to eat and leaving 20 mins later! Thank you so much for your creativity and insight!

    • Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hello Karon. I’m not sure what is planned for future meal plans and such but Lisa does have a cookbook coming out in January that should prove helpful for meal planning. We will keep you updated. Thanks for all your thoughts. ~Amy

  • Sara

    I am a little confused by some of the rules. Like on the meal plan you say that Triscuits are okay. But the second ingredient in Triscuits is soy oil, which is usually genetically modified. And on the “Why Cut Processed Foods” page on your site you say to avoid processed foods b/c most contain soy and corn (I totally agree!). And the 5 ingredient rule is a good rule of thumb – as a Nutritionist, I do teach kids to look for shorter ingredient lists, but that is not an end-all/be-all. From a Nutrition standpoint, just because it has 5 ingredients or less does not always make it healthy (esp if the second ingredient is non-organic soy oil). And just because it has more than 5 ingredients does not mean it is definitely processed or bad for you (there are many products that have 6-8 ingredients that are all organic and healthy). That said, I LOVE what you are doing to educate about eating real food vs. processed, and I think all Americans can benefit from getting most processed food out of their diets – I just think some of the rules could be tweaked a bit to not be contradictory/confusing. But creating a website and a movement like this is extremely impressive – KUDOS!!! :-)

    • Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Sara. Thank you for sharing! Triscuit crackers were from some of Lisa’s earlier posts. She now buys Ak Mak or whole wheat Matzo. The 5 or less rule is a rule of thumb (from Michael Pollan) to use when reading labels since most processed foods have long chemical laden lists. But, yes, you can find foods that may have, for example, 8 organic whole grains in its ingredient list along with a handful of other common pantry ingredients which are perfectly fine to consume. Those products, however, are certainly not the norm and the 5 or less rule has served as a good guidepost. Hope that helps explain. ~Amy

  • Suzanne

    Love everything you are doing. I think it’s wonderful to be so helpful to so many people. I know once I get the meal plan that will help me a great deal. I have chronic pain issues and this (I think) will make my life so much easier.
    Thank you for being an angel.

  • [...] We are overhauling our dinners this week. Again my two favorite recourses will be the 42 days book website or the 100 days of real food Menu plans and website  [...]

  • Nicole D

    I know you have referred to eMeals in the past and that’s a good option if you want more weekly recipes for your family,as well as Unconventional kitchen, Momables, etc… for anyone who was wanting some more meal plan options.

  • I cannot thank you enough for this awesome website!
    I’ve always been fairly “healthy” but I am trying to move to more real food, esp bc my son has mild autism and it is important to me he have as little fake foods as possible.

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  • [...] busy moms and families. • Plan to Eat offers a great online menu planning tool. • Sign up at 100 Days of Real Food for a detailed menu plan delivered to your inbox. • Food on the Table tailors a menu to your [...]

  • Liz

    I just wanted to say THANK YOU! I have searched high and low for menu plans that include breakfast and lunch. Menu planning stresses me out and I always overspend. I was pleasantly surprised when I just shopped your Late Spring shopping list and came in below your listed price! Granted I didn’t order organic because those prices in our area are outrageous.

    Thank you for putting in the time to make these and to make them available for free, this is really a stress reliever for me.

  • [...] Free “real food” Meal Plans from 100 Days of Real Food blog [...]

  • Jenni Brown

    I mean number of servings per recipe.

  • This is wonderful. This is the kind of recipes I like. All inclusive. The whole week, the cost per recipe I mean you thought of everything thank you so much!

  • Ana

    I just started today. I went shopping and actually spent $20 LESS than the expected amount. I will also be planting a garden for seasonal veggies. I do not receive food stamps and am a single mother of 2 so 167 a week is excessive like some other people were mentioning. However if we grow what we can, it is possible!!

    I LOVED the banana pancakes (so did my picky kids) and LOVED the homemade granola! I omitted the pecans (cut cost) and it was still great :) Thank you thank you!!

  • Emily

    I’m a college student currently working with a research team that focuses on empowering low-income and minority Americans in regards to their health. One of my tasks is to incorporate a weekly meal plan into our resource guide that we give out to participants. These resource guides are free of charge, and they include information about healthy eating, physical exercise, mental health, etc. Would I be allowed to use either meal plan 1 or 2 and incorporate it into our guide? I really love the fact that your recipes are healthy, delicious, price-conscious, and simple to make! I intend to reformat the plan so the recipes are included with the name. Let me know if this is okay with you!

  • Michelle

    I already subscribed but can’t find my welcome email. Is there still a way to get the 5th meal plan?

    Thanks for such a great site and great information!
    Michelle

  • Gramma

    While I applaud you for wanting to cut out processed foods, I don’t think you have actually applied the concept of cutting cost well at all. By your shopping at Trader Joes and spending 167 dollars a week for 4 people is almost absurd in the real world unless you are wealthy. Many people live on a budget of far less than that and still feed their families healthy meals. My husband and I can shop for groceries far cheaper than that.

    Also making up shopping lists on a weekly basis totally defeats the idea of saving money and eating healthy. This is the reason why stores run sales on a weekly basis.

    You neglect to add the cost of your pantry staples to your weekly budget which economics 101 would have taught you to do so. Those items cost money too and depending what you are making, say adding nuts, raising, brown sugar items like that are very costly in the long run too, so that is sort of deceptive on the pricing.

    People need to go back to the old way of raising kids like the 60′s. You plan your meals for the week based on what is on sale that week. You bake your cakes and cookies from scratch. You make your own sun tea. You buy in bulk at food warehouses and use food sealers to preserve your food so it stores in a smaller space, canning jars just suck up all your freezer space.

    I am by no means criticizing you, do not take it that way, but you need to add all the facts together to give people a truer picture of what they are really spending to eat.

  • Nancy Violette

    I was going crazy, thinking I deleted the 5th meal plan. I guess I’m not alone! haha PLEASE send it again!!! THANK YOU! Love this site, by the way! HELPED ME A LOT!! XOXO

  • Christin

    How can I do the meal plans if we have life threatening food allergies? We cannot consume any peanuts, tree nuts, fish or shellfish. This includes things from “bulk” bins at the local food co-op because they share scoops with the nuts.We can also not eat bars like “Lara bars” because they “may contain ” or are made on the same lines as” peanut and tree nut products. Most packaged grains that I’ve seen also say ” may contain” nuts. I’d like to try the 100 day challenge but with the allergy element added it seems very daunting.

    • Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Christin. I know it must be difficult. My 7 year old is in a nut free class, so it has been a real education for me to come up with healthy homemade meals for him without nut/nut facility ingredients. So I know that for you, who must adhere to that 24/7, it presents constant challenges. Our shopping guide and menus should still be helpful and you are welcome to adapt all to fit your family’s needs. We certainly have many recipes which are nut free and even have a nut free “larabar” recipe: http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2012/07/01/recipe-homemade-larabars-4-ways-including-nut-free/. Please let us know if we can provide other guidance. ~Amy

  • Crystal

    I don’t receive food stamps and am on a very low budget to feed my family healthy. We can spend $400 a month on groceries. We also have wheat, nut and soy allergies. What advice would you give in eating real food?

  • Teaching Group

    Saw you on The Doctors – good insight!

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