Use This Budget-Friendly Meal Prep to Make Your Week Easier!

If you have been around the blog for very long, you know that I love meal prep. There are some weeks though, that really highlight just how much of a difference meal prep makes in my life. This week was definitely one of those weeks. I started off the week super focused on getting ready for my first craft market of the “season” and stayed pretty focused on that the majority of the week. (Along with the blog, I also sell handmade jewelry here) Combine that with a couple projects I was working on for the blog and I was staying up way later than I should be. I had no mental energy left to think about what I was going to eat.

And this is where meal prep really becomes so helpful! The thought was taken completely out of the equation. Even when I was exhausted and distracted, I knew that we had healthy food in the fridge ready to eat. I even had some food that could count as one of my “comfort foods,” so that was one more thing to help me feel a little better and de-stress.

All this to say, you can really make meal prep work for you! Those weeks when life just gets insane don’t have to be quite so stressful, because at least one major area of your life is already handled. Because let’s face it, cooking and food can take up a pretty large chunk of our day, especially if we want to eat healthy, homemade meals.

On that note, enjoy this week’s meal prep!

This budget-friendly meal prep is the perfect way to get you set up for the coming week!

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For snacks, I’m still seriously loving these No Crust Pizza Bites and Quinoa Omelette Bites. I can’t get enough of them and the are a lovely change-up from the snacks I was eating for a long time. I also switched back to the Cheeseburger Salads because, well…they are delicious! While I might be switching this up more often, I don’t think this is going to change much any time soon. This salad is so good, filling and still fits well within my macros.

For our main dishes this week, there was really a split between food for me and food for Draz, more so than normal. This is another example of how meal prep can work for you! Other than breakfast, we ate very different food all week this week with no day-to-day extra work. And while I didn’t really realize it at the time, all of our main dishes this week were vegetarian! Which is pretty rare for us and was a nice change of pace.

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My dinner dish for the week: Chickpea and Sweet Potato Curry with Cauliflower Rice. You guys…I think I finally got this whole cauliflower rice thing down! Check out this guide from Minimalist Baker for the method I used. Also learned this week..sometimes shocking things happen in the kitchen. Things like your blade in your trusty food processor suddenly breaking in half while making cauliflower rice. Thankfully, I had just started making it, so I only had to throw out a little bit. And I had another type of blade, so I was still able to make it 🙂 But it was definitely startling!

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Back to this curry. This is seriously delicious. I have made this recipe before, but never with sweet potato. When I realized that I wanted to make this dish for this week, I also realized that I had some sweet potato left over from a previous meal prep. Perfect! I wasn’t entirely sure how well the sweet potato would work with the flavors of the dish, but I was worrying for nothing. It turned out wonderful!

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As for Draz’s food for the week, I made Skinny Lasagna Rolls and Homemade Lentil Soup. I can say, without any surprise, that the lasagna was his favorite of the week. The soup was tasty, but those lasagna rolls are just SO good! If you haven’t tried them yet, you definitely should. Not only are they tasty and macros friendly, but they are pretty easy to make too!

Here is the macros breakdown for the week:

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Want to make this for your own meal prep? Get the full main dish grocery list here!

That’s it for this week! Any kitchen mishaps that you have had to deal with lately? Or tried out any recipes with a new ingredient? I would love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment below!

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meal prep for your budget

There are many reasons why to start meal prepping, but one of the easiest to appreciate is how it can help your budget! Whether you are living paycheck-to-paycheck or just wanting to save a bit of extra cash, the grocery budget is one area that can have a lot of give. With the right planning most people can easily cut their grocery bill in half!

I want you to stop and think for a moment: When you go to the grocery store, how do you shop? Do you go and grab what looks good to you? Do you have a list that you follow? How did you create that list? Did you use specific recipes and check your pantry for what you already have or did you just write down the things you usually buy with a vague plan in mind?

These are all things that can affect how large your grocery bill is! And with a bit of thought and practice, they are all things that can become easier and help you save money. By using these practices, I routinely keep our grocery bill around $100-120 per week! I could reasonably cut that even lower if I wanted to, but we have decided that there are certain products that we buy that are worth the extra cost.

To have meal prep really help your budget, there are a few things that you want to keep in mind!

Meal prep can help you save a lot on your grocery budget! Here are the top 3 things I keep in mind when planning my own meal prep to be budget-friendly!

3 Things to Consider for Budget Meal Prep

What do I already have in my pantry that needs to be used up?

This is especially relevant for produce or dairy products that are going to expire or go bad soon. Have some veggies looking a little sad? Plan to make a soup or stew to use them up! Have some canned ingredients that have been lingering on your shelves? Pick a recipe to use them up!

What recipes can I pick that have overlapping ingredients?

This can work for just about any type of ingredient, though I use this a lot for meat and produce. Two of the most common ingredients I will plan to use in multiple recipes on a given week: chicken and cabbage! Chicken is often available in large packages at a reduced per-pound cost. And one head of cabbage produces a lot of cabbage for your recipes!

For example, if I plan to meal prep 3 chicken recipes in a given week, I can buy a large package with enough for all three, saving me money and lowering wasted ingredients. Cabbage I usually plan out that way because most recipes call for less than a full head of cabbage. If I plan for 2 recipes, the cabbage gets used up! (Plus cabbage is incredibly cheap!) But that is just two examples! There are so many recipes and ingredients you can do this with! Think about it for a bit: What are some ingredients you use frequently?

What items are on sale at my grocery store?

I don’t honestly do this one very often, but it can be very helpful and I have used it a lot in the past! When you sit down to write your menu, first pull up the websites for the grocery stores you go to (or grab their mailers) and check out what main ingredients are on sale. Now, you want to be careful with this one. Focus on main ingredients only and try to pick things you would buy normally. Otherwise, this can go from money-saving to expensive very quickly. One of the ways I used this most was looking at what meat was on sale, especially chicken breasts or pork chops. Then I would choose my recipes for the week centered around that type of meat. This could work for just about any main ingredient though and I have used it before for produce as well!

Keeping these 3 things in mind when planning your meal prep menu can significantly increase your savings each week and reduce food wastage too!

What are your favorite ways to lower your food budget? Have your tried planning out your meal prep to be more budget-friendly? I would love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment below!

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25 cheap (or free!) summer activites!

While summer as an adult may not be as carefree and open as it was when we were kids, it’s still a great time to get outside, try new things and just have fun!! But sometimes that can really put a stress on our budget, especially if we have any summer vacations to pay for too. But that doesn’t mean that all the fun has to stop. There are so many options out there that are free or cheap that can make for some great experiences and awesome memories.

Here are just a few that I could think of!

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