BACKGROUND: As part of a course teaching household budgeting, a nutrition education intervention was provided to people with financial problems. The present study aimed at assess the effects of this intervention on the nutritional quality of their main meal and fruit intake, and to collect process information on intervention participation, reactions and opinions. METHODS: For the effect study, a quasi-experimental multiple pre and post-test control group design was used. Telephone dietary recalls were conducted with 35 people in the intervention group and 39 people in the control group. Observations, personal interviews and written questionnaires were used to collect the process data. RESULTS: A significant reduction in saturated fat intake during the mail meal was found. Also, an intervention effect was found for fruit juice consumption, but not for daily fruit intake or vegetable intake during main meal occasions. CONCLUSIONS: The process data revealed some improvements that should be made to the intervention, such as providing more individualized information and tailored recipes.