SNAP Food Stamp Challenge | The Vegetarian Based Menu Plan

I’m a firm believer in the benefits of money-planning.

Not only does it save sanity (no more “what’s for dinner??? panic at 5 o’clock), but it saves a tremendous amount of money. When you plan a menu, and then shop according to that menu, you avoid grocery temptations and stop food waste.

Given that I am participating in the SNAP Food Stamp Challenge, I need to make every dollar streeeetch – so I’m cranking up my menu planning to the nth degree.

I have planned breakfasts, lunches and dinners, as well as snacks. Kosher meat and cheese are notoriously expensive, which is one of the reasons that we typically eat vegetarian during the week and save meat for Shabbatot. I’ve amped up the money-saving veggie meals for the SNAP Challenge by cutting out a lot of the cheese ($5/pound) and by using dried beans and legumes rather than canned varieties.

My kids know all about our participation on the SNAP Challenge, and understand that their snacks need to come off the “approved list”, which will be posted on the fridge. They are actually excited about it and I know they’ll do great.


Strawberry banana smoothies with almond milk (I drink this every morning for breakfast – I’m a total creature of habit)

Freezer waffles with peanut butter

Scrambled eggs

Bagels & cream cheese

Yogurt and fresh fruit

Oatmeal with brown sugar


Giant bowl ‘o salad (I eat this every day, adding in bits and pieces from left-overs – again, a creature of habit)

Homemade hummus and pita with veggies (I’ll make hummus from dried chick peas and without tahini – since it’s too expensive to purchase for this challenge)

Potatoes with cottage cheese

Egg salad in homemade pita


Sunday lunch: Tuna melt on bagels


Monday: Baked potato bar (potatoes, cottage cheese, tomato sauce, sautéed broccoli, mozzarella cheese)

Tuesday: Stir-fry vegetables and tofu over brown rice

Wednesday: Snobby Joe’s (made with lentils) and homemade pita, green salad

Thursday: Homemade pizza with green salad

Friday night: One-pot roasted chicken (potatoes, carrots, onions), brown rice, green salad

Saturday lunch: Black bean chili in the crockpot over sweet potatoes, cole slaw, hummus

Sunday: Scrambled eggs & homemade hashbrowns with fruit salad






Blueberries, strawberries & yogurt

Carrots & peanut butter or hummus (homemade, no tahini)

Cream cheese sandwiches

Hard boiled eggs

Almonds & raisins


Water, skim milk and coffee

(I don’t drink coffee, but my husband does. Since we have tons of coffee in our stockpile – but I’ve challenged myself NOT to use our stockpile this week – my  husband came up with the genius idea to use all the free coffee samples we’ve gotten in the mail lately. Love free samples!)

If you’re joining me, Susie and Chaviva in the SNAP 4 a Week Challenge, I’d love to know what you have planned for your menu.

(I linked this post up to Menu Planning Monday on the Organizing Junkie’s blog.)


  1. Oh – you wrote “benefits of money-planning” but I think you meant menu-planning.

  2. Can you post your recipes for homemade hummus (with or without tahini), homemade pita, and one-pot roasted chicken mentioned above?

  3. Stopping by from OrgJunkie. Great post. Never though of waffles with peanut butter before! 🙂

  4. Tzipporah says

    This menu is very clearly high on the carbohydrate intake–is this how your family typically eats? If not, in which ways have you altered it? (If you don’t mind my asking) 🙂

    • We typically eat a plant-based menu during the week with lentils, legumes or beans as our protein. This is about 30% carbs – which is about right for us.

  5. Tzipporah says

    I see. But beans/lentils have a higher carb content to them than meat or dairy. I know some people really do well on that sort of diet, which is why I wasn’t sure if this was your norm or just for the challenge.

    • For the most part, we are exclusively vegetarian during the week – the reason is two fold: 1. to save money (kosher meat is just too $$ and cheese isn’t that far behind in cost factor) and 2. I was a vegetarian for about 12 years and while I do eat meat and chicken now, I still prefer vegetarian food most of the time. My husband has adjusted well and my kids don’t know any different. Hard boiled eggs are on our “snack list” and typically, the kids would also get string cheese during the week. We left those out this week, since they cost $.50 a stick even thru our co-op. Hope that clarifies things a bit more.

  6. Tzipporah says

    gotcha. I appreciate the clarification because I’m finding it really interesting to see how people adapt their diets and if they feel they could normally eat that way etc or if they just “held on” for the sake of the challenge and will go back to a totally different diet afterwards.

    • Yes, this is actually quite similar to our regular diet – with the exception of probably a bit more cheese (I didn’t buy it because it was at Costo – and I decided not to shop there) and more often canned beans than dried beans.

  7. Not to EVER shop at Costco?

  8. Ouida Evans says

    I would be interested in seeing the vegetarian meal plan.

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