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10 tips for meal prepping on a budget from a mum who’s lost over 5 stone

Preparing 10 meals sounds like a lot of work AND a lot of money, right?!

But this mum strongly disagrees! In fact, she believes meal prep saves time, effort and money.

Melissa has lost more than 5st by following the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge, with healthy eating and exercise.

“I get hangry (hungry/angry) so having the meals prepped and ready to go is so convenient and keeps me sane! Plus I don’t find myself eating unnecessary foods,” she says.

Read more about Melissa’s weight loss and how she maintains it here.

10 tips for meal prepping on a budget

Melissa adds, “Meal prepping helps me reach my goals for a number of reasons, the main thing is it stopped me from splurging out on bad foods, the second reason is that it has taught me how to cook and prepare healthy but yummy meals.”

Melissa’s top 10 tips for meal prepping on a budget

1. If you can buy in bulk, it’s usually cheaper.

2. You can always replace a few of the ingredients on 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge meals with something similar. For example if you don’t have carrot use courgette. I’m always replacing certain ingredients with similar foods, so I’m not running to the shop every time I don’t have something.

3. Add extra veggies to your 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge meals to make the meals go further.

4. When you come across fresh produce that is on sale, stock up and freeze it.

5. Keep your fridge and pantry organised so that way when you have leftovers you will remember to use them and nothing gets wasted.

6. Explore your taste buds and experiment with cheaper foods. Mexican is full of flavour and does not cost an arm and a leg to make, think beans and tomatoes.

7. At the start of the week write out all your 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge meals for the week, do one big shop of everything you will need. That way you won’t find yourself purchasing unexpected things when you make your way to the shop during the week for items you have forgotten to buy.

8. Online shopping is a great way of purchasing groceries.  There is no temptation there, you type in what you need and buy the one you like best.

9. Consider shopping at local markets. If you’re lucky enough to have these, usually you can find produce much cheaper than the stores.

10. Don’t be afraid to buy the store brand as well, majority of the time its the same thing but in cheaper packaging.

Melissa’s top 10 favourite things to cook from the challenge

The 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge is about healthy and REALISTIC weight loss and healthy living.

The 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge offers meal plans and exercises for mums to tackle weight loss and fitness. What’s more, the meal plans on the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge are 100 per cent customisable.

Melissa, who is a long-time 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge member, says these are some of her favourites to make:


1. Weetabix balls

Weetabix Balls

Find the recipe here.

2. Peanut bubble crunch

Melissa Timmer with the weetbix slice

Find the recipe here.

3. Banana raspberry and choc chip muffins


Find the recipe here.

4. Snickers mouse


Find the recipe here.

5. Chocolate and peanut butter bliss balls

5 ingredient chocolate and peanut butter bliss balls

 Find the recipe here.


1. Mexican lasagne recipe here

Mexican lasagne
2. Rice paper rolls with satay sauce – grab the recipe here
3. One pot spaghetti bolognese 
Ingredients (serves 4)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (15 mls)
  • 1 red onion, peeled and finely diced (100 grams)
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and grated (140 grams)
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped (80 grams)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (6 grams)
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced (75 grams)
  • 1 courgette, grated (110 grams)
  • 1/2 small red chilli, finely chopped (5 grams)
  • 500 grams lean beef mince
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (15 mls)
  • 4 tbsp tomato passata (60 mls)
  • 800 grams tinned tomatoes
  • 1 cup red cooking wine (250 mls)
  • 2 cups liquid chicken stock, salt reduced (500 mls)
  • 250 grams wholemeal spaghetti
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves (10 grams)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan (72 grams)


  • Heat the oil in a large pan over med/high heat – the pan needs to be big enough to hold all of the bolognese and the spaghetti too.
  • Cook the onion, carrot, celery and garlic for 3 minutes.
  • Add the chilli, if using, and then add the zucchini and mushrooms and cook for another 2 minutes.
  • Add the mince to the pan and brown the mince for around 5 minutes, stirring continuously.
  • Pour in the Worcestershire sauce, tomato sauce, tomatoes, wine and stock.
  • Season to taste and stir to combine.
  • Place the lid on and bring to the boil.
  • Reduce the heat to medium and add your spaghetti to the pan (you may need to break the pasta in half if your pan isn’t big enough).
  • Simmer, uncovered, for around 15 minutes or until the pasta is cooked, stirring several times during the cooking time.
  • Sprinkle over the fresh basil leaves, and then serve with the Parmesan cheese.
4. Honey soy chicken and riceHoney-Soy-and-Sesame-Chicken-Stir-Fry--2
Get the recipe here
5. Stove top lasagne
Say what? Family-friendly Beef Lasagne cooked on the stovetop!

Are you ready to kick-start your weight loss?


Want to shift your baby weight but feel like you have NO TIME in your day to exercise and eat healthily? That’s where the Healthy Mummy’s 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge can help.

Our Challenge entails: 

  • 28 days of at home exercise routines (no gym needed) – with video instruction
  • Customisable and breastfeeding friendly meal plans
  • Time-efficient exercises for busy mums – under 30 mins
  • Challenge combines Pilates exercises with interval and circuit training (HIIT)
  • Suitable for basic to advanced fitness levels.
  • Home to thousands of EASY-TO-MAKE recipes.

To find out more about joining the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge for £1 click here.

PLUS – connect with THOUSANDS of other mums on the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge by joining our free support community here


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