May 23, 2024

Lecafe moustache

Delicious food

Budget Meal Prep – Downshiftology

This budget meal prep highlights that healthy eating doesn’t have to break the bank. I’ll show you how to prep 11 (high quality) ingredients, and then transform those ingredients into 7 exciting mix-and-match meals that cost less than $3.00!

Holding containers for budget meal prep

Watch How I Meal Prep For The Week

Follow along in the video below to see how easy this budget meal prep comes together.

As always… multi-tasking is key during meal prep. In the video above I show you what items you can cook in the oven while simultaneously using the stovetop or counter to prep other items.

But remember, you don’t need to do everything you see on this meal prep. Pick and choose ingredients you love or combine ideas from this video with ideas from the other meal prep videos. It’s all about making meal prep work best for you!

Tips For Meal Prepping On A Budget

  • What’s in season? Not only is in-season produce extra fresh and tasty, but it’s usually cheaper and on sale! Hint – you’ll usually find these items in abundance at the front of the produce section.
  • Don’t be afraid to buy organic items. Organic items tend to be a smidge pricier than non-organic items. But there’s a reason for that – they’re higher quality! Nonetheless, the $2 to $3 difference doesn’t mean you can’t eat healthy on a budget (which I show you in this meal prep).
  • Look for in-house brands. See if your local market carries their own house brand of products. These tend to be a lot more affordable than other name brands. For example – Whole Foods has their own brand called “365 Organic“.
  • Buy in bulk. Warehouse stores like Costco are carrying more high-quality and organic items than ever before. You can find major savings by purchasing items in bulk, particularly for pantry staples.
Ingredients on table for a budget meal prep
Stacked containers on a table for a healthy budget meal prep

Budget-Friendly Ingredients I’ve Meal Prepped

This meal prep features high-quality and organic items, yet remains economical with meals that cost less than $3.00. Think budget-friendly proteins such as canned tuna, eggs, and chickpeas, combined with a rainbow of fresh vegetables.

Meals laid out on a table for a budget meal prep

Ways To Transform These Ingredients Into Budget Meals

There’s quite a few combinations you can make with these 11 prepped ingredients. But here’s some starter ideas that include protein-heavy bowls, a pretty sweet breakfast, refreshing wraps, stuffed sweet potatoes, and more!

Ingredients for crepes in a budget meal prep
Strawberry crepes on a plate for a budget meal prep

Strawberry Crepes

Once you’ve made a batch of these soft and chewy gluten-free crepes, there’s endless options for breakfast. But today, I’m putting a strawberry twist on them. Slather a layer of chia seed jam on a flat crepe and fold it up into a triangle. Then add a dollop of yogurt, some fresh strawberry slices and sliced almonds for the final touch.

  • 1 gluten-free crepe: $0.46
  • 3 tablespoons chia seed jam: $1.08
  • 2 tablespoons yogurt: $0.18
  • 2 strawberries: $0.38
  • Sliced almonds: $0.07
  • Total = $2.17
Ingredients for tuna salad wrap for a budget meal prep
Tuna salad wrap on a plate for a budget meal prep

Tuna Salad Wrap

Oh yes, you can also use crepes to make a wrap! Just be careful when you roll it up since it’s softer and thinner than a tortilla. Otherwise, all you need to do is lightly pile it with a layer of mashed sweet potato, baby spinach, sliced roasted red peppers, sliced cucumbers, and spoonfuls of tuna salad. Roll it all up, slice in half, and enjoy.

  • 1 gluten-free crepe: $0.46
  • ¼ cup mashed sweet potato: $0.21
  • ¼ cup baby spinach: $0.17
  • 6 slices cucumber: $0.19
  • ½ roasted red pepper: $0.48
  • ¼ cup tuna salad: $1.09
  • Total = $2.60
Ingredients for chickpea salad in a budget meal prep
Chickpea salad in a bowl for budget meal prep

Roasted Red Pepper Chickpea Salad

Quick, throw-together salads are my specialty. For this version, add ½ a cup of chickpeas, 1 cup of diced cucumbers, 1 roasted red pepper (thinly sliced), and roughly chopped pickled red onions. Drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette and toss everything together. Then sprinkle on crumbled goat cheese and chopped parsley.

  • 1 cup diced cucumber: $0.45
  • ½ cup roasted chickpeas: $0.61
  • 1 roasted red pepper: $0.96
  • 1 tablespoon chopped pickled red onions: $0.17
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley: $0.16
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinaigrette: $0.15
  • ½ ounce goat cheese: $0.35
  • Total = $2.85
Ingredients for chickpea stuffed sweet potatoes in a budget meal prep
Chickpea stuffed sweet potato for budget meal prep

Chickpea Stuffed Sweet Potato

Stuffed sweet potatoes are my jam. They’re super filling and fun to load up with a variety of ingredients. First, chop up ¼ cup of roasted broccoli and toss it with ¼ cup roasted chickpeas, then warm that up. Slice an opening in the warmed baked sweet potato and stuff it with the broccoli mixture. Then top it off with a few pickled red onions, chopped parsley, and a drizzle of creamy mustard tahini.

  • 1 baked sweet potato: $0.60
  • ¼ cup roasted chickpeas: $0.30
  • ¼ cup roasted broccoli: $0.51
  • 1 teaspoon chopped parsley: $0.03
  • 3 sliced red onion: $0.17
  • 2 tablespoons maple mustard tahini: $0.48
  • Total = $2.09
Ingredients for smashed sweet potato bowl for budget meal prep
Smashed sweet potato bowl for a budget meal prep

Mashed Sweet Potato Bowl

Think of this as a classic hummus bowl, but with a sweet potato twist! Add a large schmear of mashed sweet potato on one side of the bowl, then add ½ cup of roasted broccoli on the other. Slice up one hard boiled egg into quarters and add that on top. Sprinkle chopped pumpkin seeds, chives, salt, pepper, and that’s it! 

  • ½ cup mashed sweet potato: $0.42
  • ½ cup roasted broccoli: $1.02
  • 1 hard boiled egg: $0.67
  • 2 teaspoons chopped pumpkin seeds: $0.03
  • 1 teaspoon chopped chives: $0.01
  • Total = $2.15
Ingredients for a bento box budget meal prep
Tuna salad bento box for a budget meal prep

Tuna Salad Bento Box

This one’s great for the kiddos, or whenever you need a lunch on-the-go! I’m using my all-time favorite Monbento Box here (which you can also see in my bento box lunch ideas video). In one container, you’ll add a handful of spinach leaves and dollop 2 scoops of tuna salad on top. In the other container, you’ll add sliced cucumbers, one boiled egg (cut in half with salt and pepper), and fresh strawberries. 

  • ½ cup baby spinach: $0.34
  • ¼ cup tuna salad: $1.09
  • 10 cucumber slices: $0.28
  • 1 hard boiled egg: $0.67
  • 3 strawberries: $0.57
  • Total = $2.95
Hard boiled egg and bagel seasoning on a plate
Boiled egg with seasoning on a plate

Boiled Egg Snack

We sometimes forget that a hard boiled egg makes for the perfect high-protein healthy snack! And to give it a flavor boost, just slice it in half and sprinkle everything bagel seasoning on top.

  • 1 hard boiled egg: $0.67
  • ¼ teaspoon everything bagel seasoning: $0.04
  • Total= $0.70

Downloadable Budget Meal Prep Guide

If you’re subscribed to my email list – you’ll automatically receive this handy PDF guide of this budget meal prep, with tips for prep time, meal assembly, and storage.

Remember – subscribers are always the first to get exclusive content! So if you’re not already subscribed, make sure to do so!

My Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook!

My long awaited “Healthy Meal Prep” cookbook is finally available for pre-order! You can read all about it in the cookbook page on my website, but here’s a direct link to pre-order yours today.

More Meal Prep Ideas

If you haven’t watched my previous meal prep videos, take a peek through the links below! I’ll show you more ways to cook seasonally, and give you tips for big-batch and freezer-friendly recipes as well!

I hope this budget meal prep brings some excitement back to your weekly meal prep. And as always, let me how you liked it in a comment below!