Homemade Meal Replacement Shakes on the Cheap

by Reader Contributors

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Meal replacement shakes can be costly. Try these recipes for homemade meal replacement shakes on the cheap to drink yourself thinner.

Dear Dollar Stretcher,
I’d like to lose some weight. I don’t want to spend money on one of those pricey “buy all your meals from us” plans. Rather I was hoping to replace one or two meals a day with a shake that would help me lose weight.

Does anyone have an inexpensive homemade meal replacement shake recipe or weight loss shake recipe they can share? I’d really like to drink myself skinny without blowing my budget!

Recipes for Homemade Meal Replacement Shakes on the Cheap?

We asked our frugal health-concious readers to submit their favorite meal replacement and weight loss shake recipes. See if any of these tasty concoctions can help you drop a few pounds.

Stay Full Longer a Protein-Based Meal Replacement Shake

I like protein shakes as a meal replacement sometimes. The protein keeps me full longer. My favorite is unsweetened vanilla almond milk (1 cup), frozen mango (one serving per package), 1/2 or 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder, and ice. Then I blend it until smooth. Depending on brands, this is around 200 to 300 calories for everything in the blender, which is close to two cups.
Brandi (via Facebook)

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Go Green!

The best way to drink yourself skinny and healthy is with a green smoothie one to two times per day. It is a great low calorie way to sneak in the vitamins and minerals you need each day. My husband and I buy bulk spinach, orange juice, and frozen mixed berries from Costco to put in our smoothies. Spinach is very mild, so we don’t taste it in our smoothie. A good blender is needed for this.

We blend the spinach, orange juice, and one to two cups of water until smooth. Next we add frozen mixed berries and blend again.

Can Be Frozen Snack, Dessert, or Light Meal

My favorite healthy, figure-friendly shake calls for one container low- or non-fat Greek yogurt (lots of protein), 3/4 cup of frozen berries (lots of antioxidants), and 3/4 cup frozen chopped kale (lots of vitamins and minerals). Blend on high until smooth. This makes a great frozen snack, dessert, or light meal!

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Homemade Weight Loss Shakes Begin with Fruit and Yogurt

A fruit and yogurt smoothie makes a healthy homemade weight loss shake. If you have a cheap source for fruit and make your own yogurt, it can be quite inexpensive. Add green veggies and/or a scoop of protein powder if you like.

Higher Protein Intake Helps Weight Loss

I have a suggestion for the reader who wants to make their own homemade meal replacement shakes. Try one of the many whey protein powders that are available at drug and health food stores. Most of them are very low in fat but high in protein. Higher protein intake has been proven to help with weight loss.

Try to find one that does not contain artificial colors or flavors. Make it with skim milk, a banana, and a teaspoon of natural peanut butter. I have this for lunch after working out, and I am full until dinner time.
Elizabeth O.

Blender Diet Shake Recipe

1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 cup plain, fat-free yogurt
1 scoop of low-calorie protein powder
1/2 banana
1 cup fresh or frozen berries

You can add a tablespoon of peanut butter or a teaspoon of vanilla or instant coffee. Use any combination you like but keep track of the calories!

Blend with enough ice for desired consistency.
Dee in SW Florida

Start Your Day Right!

I’m a big fan of the green smoothie, which actually provides nutrition rather than calorie restriction. A most basic recipe includes:

  • a couple of handfuls of something green (spinach, lettuce, collards or kale)
  • some frozen fruit (a banana, mango, or other fruit of choice)
  • fluid (water, milk, yogurt, or almond milk)
  • ice

If desired, include a tablespoon or two of nut or seed butter for protein to give the smoothie some density, so it will stay with you. Use a good blender, blend it up, and enjoy! Just don’t mind the green color.

There are a lot of green smoothie recipes out there. There’s a lot to be said for the green smoothie. When I have one for breakfast, I’m getting a jump on my daily greens intake, there’s no guilt, and I have complete say over the quantity and quality of the food going into my body. Plus, having such a nutritious breakfast means I’m more likely to crave something healthy at lunch and dinner.

Her Family Lost 150 Pounds!

My husband, daughter and I lost over 150 pounds between us last year on the 17-day diet. Part of the breakfast options was a fruit kefir shake. We love it so much that we still have it every day! It’s a very easy recipe and has fruit, fat, and protein in every serving.

1 cup kefir (a yogurt like product that’s very healthy)
1 cup frozen berries
1 Tbsp. agave nectar
1 Tbsp. flax seed oil

Give it a try. I’m sure you’ll love it!
Julie in Ottawa, Canada

Great Way to Use Up Overripe Fruit!

There are endless possibilities for yogurt smoothies that would work great as a homemade meal replacement shakes.

I puree some fruit in my food processor (usually whatever I have that is overripe) and add some powdered egg white, equivalent to 1 egg, for thickness and added protein. Then I pulse in 3/4 cup of plain nonfat yogurt. Depending on the type and amount of fruit, I may add a little honey to counter the tartness, but often this is not necessary. I pour the mixture into a glass, and I have lunch! Herbs (mint, etc.), nut butters (just a tablespoon or so) and other “blendables” like avocado could also be used.

In a travel cup with a straw, this also makes a nice, portable breakfast I can take in the car without fear of dumping it on myself. I make these several times a week for a light meal, and salvage any fruit that might otherwise go bad.
Terry in Hoschton, GA

Reviewed November 2022

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