10 delicious meal prep recipes that are kind to your wallet
When you are all pumped about getting on the meal prep train (woo woooooo) you might be worried about how much it’s all going to cost. After all, if you’re going to be making lots of meals and snacks from the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge that means you need to buy lots of ingredients!
But if you’re a budget conscious mama like a lot of us here at The Healthy Mummy, you’re in luck.
We’ve pulled together a list of TEN of the best budget friendly meals that suit being made ahead of time just for you. They are all from the 28 Day Weight Loss Challengeso you KNOW they’re going to be delicious and simple to put together. You can join the challenge now for just 23p a day. find out more here.
1. Broccoli, Spinach and Feta Frittata
This frittata from the 28 Day Weight Loss Challengeis a great recipe to make at the start of the week to use for your lunches each day. Or make double and then you can have it for dinner one night with the family too. This has no meat, making it extra budget friendly.
2 cups broccoli (200 grams)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (15 mls)
4 cloves garlic, peeled (12 grams)
4 cups baby leaf spinach (120 grams)
8 free-range eggs (400 grams)
1 tsp dried Italian herbs (1 gram)
1/3 cup reduced-fat feta, crumbled (107 grams)
Preheat the oven to 200C / gas mark 6. Cut broccoli into florets and steam in the microwave or on the stove top until tender.
In a frypan over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and crush in the garlic. Saute for 30 seconds.
Add the baby leaf spinach and stir to wilt. Add the broccoli and stir to combine.
In an ovenproof dish, add the vegetable and garlic mix.
Crack the eggs into a separate dish and whisk, then pour over the top of the vegetables.
Sprinkle with the dried herbs and the feta. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until egg is firm and set.
This one can be made even more budget friendly – put away the chicken breasts and grab a pack of chicken thighs instead to make this tasty recipe from the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge. It freezes well with the rice so you can portion up singles serves for a quick and easy meal for one.
Risotto is such a budget friendly meal and it allows you to customise to what you have available. Using bacon is a great way to get the meat in without having to buy expensive cuts. Feel free to use frozen spinach if you have some on hand.
Another vegetarian option, this makes the most of the humble tin of chickpeas for your protein serve. Use whatever greens and other veg you have on hand to make it a ‘bottom of the vegetable drawer’ type of meal. The sauce makes it extra special. Package it up to enjoy for lunch over a couple of days.
1 red onion (100 grams)
2 small sweet potato, peeled & cubed (320 grams)
cooking oil spray
4 cups broccoli (400 grams)
4 cups kale leaves, shredded (120 grams)
800 grams tinned chickpeas
2 tsp ground cumin (2 grams)
1 tsp chilli powder (1 grams)
1 tsp garlic powder (1 grams)
1 tsp dried oregano (1 grams)
1 tsp ground turmeric (1 grams)
1/4 cup tahini (48 grams)
4 tsp maple syrup (20 mls)
4 tsp lemon juice (20 mls)
Preheat oven to 180C / gas mark 4 and line a baking tray with baking paper.
Slice onion into wedges and combine with the sweet potato and spread over the prepared tray.
Lightly spray with cooking oil spray and roast for 15-20 minutes or until tender and golden.
Cut the broccoli into florets and steam on the stovetop or in the microwave until tender crisp. Add the kale leaves to the broccoli in the final few minutes of steaming, until it’s tender.
Rinse and drain the chickpeas. Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat and add the chickpeas, cumin, chilli powder, garlic powder, dried oregano and turmeric. Toss well to combine and cook for 4-5 minutes or until the chickpeas are golden and combined well with the seasonings.
Combine the tahini, maple syrup and lemon juice to form a sauce. Whisk until well combined, adding a little hot water if required to reach a thin consistency.
When ready to serve, place sweet potato, onion, broccoli, kale leaves and spiced chickpeas in their own section of a serving bowl.
While you’re roasting the pumpkin for the 28 Day Weight Loss Challengerecipe above, why not make extra to use in these hearty burgers? They’re bulked out with chickpeas (we love cheap tinned legumes!) and can be enjoyed on a bun or just with a side of salad if you prefer. Freeze the prepared (uncooked) burgers to pull out on a busy night.
2 cups pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled and cubed (240 grams)
The humble drumstick is a winner with families everywhere, and this recipe couldn’t be simpler. It’s only got a few key ingredients, and you could use any leftovers for your lunch for the rest of the week.
Soup freezes so well, so it’s worth making a double batch of this to enjoy for dinner one night with the fam, and then freeze the second portion for another night when you fancy something comforting. Tip: cook a rasher or two of crispy bacon and crumble it over the top for the meat lovers.
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil (10 mls)
2 cloves garlic, diced (6 grams)
2 medium carrot, diced (140 grams)
1 stalk celery, diced (40 grams)
1 medium potato, diced (120 grams)
400 grams tinned tomatoes
2 cups liquid vegetable stock, salt reduced (500 mls)
1/3 cup wholemeal pasta, any shape (33.3 grams)
1/3 cup dried red lentils (60 grams)
1 tsp dried rosemary (1 grams)
4 slices wholegrain or gluten-free bread of choice (160 grams)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan (48 grams)
Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds – 1 minute.
Add the carrot, celery and potato and coat with oil and garlic, cooking for a further 1-2 minutes.
Add the tinned tomatoes (breaking them up with a spoon), stock, pasta, lentils and rosemary. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for 15-20 minutes or until pasta and lentils have cooked through.
Add a little more stock if soup is getting too thick.
When ready to serve, toast the bread and sprinkle soup with Parmesan.
Use whatever meat (or even mince) is on special for this simple Mexican inspired recipe from the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge. If avocadoes are too expensive, use some sour cream instead.
This meal freezes well, either packaged up in single serves with the rice, or just the meat component can be frozen in a family sized serve for another time.
1 cup brown rice, uncooked (160 grams)
320 grams chicken breast fillets, or chicken mince
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (15 mls)
1 tsp cayenne pepper (1 grams)
1/3 cup lemon juice (80 mls)
1 cup mushrooms, sliced (75 grams)
1 cup corn kernels, fresh or tinned (160 grams)
320 grams tinned black beans, drained
4 tomato, diced (400 grams)
1 green pepper, sliced (100 grams)
1 avocado, diced
1/3 cup fresh coriander, chopped (20 grams)
Cook rice according to packet directions. Slice chicken.
While rice is cooking, heat oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Season chicken with cayenne pepper and add to pan with lemon juice. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until cooked through. Add mushrooms to the pan in the final couple of minutes of cooking the chicken. Cook until tender.
When rice is ready, place in one section of a serving bowl. Place chicken and mushrooms in another section. Place corn, beans, tomato and peppers separately in different sections of the serving bowl.
Add the avocado and sprinkle everything with coriander to serve.
It wouldn’t be a budget meal prep list without a meal made from mince now, would it? This recipe is so popular on the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge, and with good reason. Sausage rolls are a favourite with the whole family, and very easy on the wallet too.
Make a double batch and your future self will thank you when you come home cold and hungry one night and cook these sausage rolls that you defrosted during the day. Psst…the vegetables are already hidden inside.
The clue’s in the name – this hearty stew from the 28 Day Weight Loss Challengeis very economical and is sure to feed hungry bellies on a cold night. Make it in advance and freeze to use another time, you’ll be so glad you did.
320 grams stewing steak e.g. lean chuck steak pepper
1 tbsp plain wholemeal flour (10 grams)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (15 mls)
2 cloves garlic, chopped (6 grams)
2 brown onion, chopped (200 grams)
2 cups liquid beef stock, salt reduced (500 mls)
1 tbsp Dijon mustard (16 grams)
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (15 mls)
2 tsp dried Italian herbs (2 grams)
4 medium carrot, diced (280 grams)
4 medium potato, cubed (480 grams)
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped (10 grams)
Cube the meat and place in a large bowl, season with pepper. Add the flour and toss the meat until it is coated. Set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan or casserole dish with a lid, over a medium heat. Add beef and any flour from the bottom of the bowl and brown for 2-3 minutes. Add onion, garlic and carrot and cook for one minute more.
Add the stock, Dijon, Worcestershire sauce and dried herbs to the pot. Stir to combine and scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
Add potato, bring to the boil, then cover and reduce heat to very low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1 to 1 and 1⁄2 hours until the meat is very tender.
Divide between 4 bowls and garnish with parsley to serve.
Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days in an airtight container or freeze to defrost for another meal.