10 Easy And Affordable Meal Prep Ideas

Food is one of the budget areas that many people overspend in. That’s because cooking dinners and making lunches can feel like a lot of work when you are already busy. But, finding delicious and easy meal prep ideas can keep your budget (and maybe your diet too) in shape. Meal prepping works so well…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: May 24, 2023

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Looking for meal prep ideas? Here are healthy meal plan recipes for the week, lunch, dinner, and they are easy! #mealprepideas #healthymealplanrecipes

Food is one of the budget areas that many people overspend in. That’s because cooking dinners and making lunches can feel like a lot of work when you are already busy. But, finding delicious and easy meal prep ideas can keep your budget (and maybe your diet too) in shape.

Meal prepping works so well because you do all of the work ahead of time. You cut the vegetables, cook everything, and then portion the meals into individual containers. Then, you have a meal all ready to go.

You can grab these meals before work so you don’t spend money on lunch. You can also use these meal prep ideas to make dinner time easier.

In this list of budget friendly recipes you will find something for nearly every diet out there too – from Keto to vegan.

I’m getting really excited to try some of these meals, especially the nourish bowl! The easy meal prep ideas below have varying flavors so that you can mix up the meals you make each week instead of the same thing over and over again.

Other recipe roundups to check out for lunch meal prep:

Note: If you’re looking for easy weekly meal plans that are full of budget recipes, I recommend $5 Meal Plan. $5 Meal Plan is a meal planning service that sends you a delicious meal plan and shopping list every week for just $5 a month.

Here are 10 easy and affordable meal prep ideas.

1. Cold Sesame Noodle for healthy meal prep

You can find the recipe here.

10 Easy And Affordable Meal Prep Ideas

2. Pineapple BBQ Tofu Bowls

You can find the recipe here.

10 Easy And Affordable Meal Prep Ideas

3. Southwest Sweet Potato Vegan Meal Prep Bowls

You can find the recipe here.

10 Easy And Affordable Meal Prep Ideas

4. Nourish Bowl

You can find the recipe here.

 meal prep ideas for the week

5. Fried Rice

You can find the recipe here.

 simple meal prep ideas

6. Rainbow Ground Turkey

You can find the recipe here.

10 Easy And Affordable Meal Prep Ideas

7. Pineapple Chicken Bowl

You can find the recipe here.

 family meal prep ideas

8. Quinoa Taco Salad

You can find the recipe here.

healthy meal prep ideas for the week

9. Mexican Chicken

You can find the recipe here.

10 Easy And Affordable Meal Prep Ideas

10. Vegetarian Breakfast Casserole

You can find the recipe here.

10 Easy And Affordable Meal Prep Ideas

 

What meals are good to meal prep?

The abode meals are great options to meal prep. Meal prepping can make your life during the week much easier, as you can save time during the week making meals, as well as any indecisiveness that you may feel as well.

 

Is meal prep good for 5 days?

Many meals can be good for around 3 to 5 days. You may want to start with 3 days if you are worried, and then work up to making meals that last up to 5 days.

Or, you could also find meals that you can freeze while you are meal prepping, so that you can simply cook what you have frozen or reheat it easily.

 

Should you freeze your meal prep?

As mentioned above, if you plan on eating something on Day 5 or beyond, you may want to think about freezing it in order to keep the same textures and flavors of the food you are making.

 

Can you lose weight with meal prep?

Being healthier is possibly by meal prepping. This is because you may be able to better control your food portions, pre-make healthier options that you can eat when you don’t feel like cooking, and so on.

This is because instead of resorting to a snack or getting unhealthy takeout, you can instead eat what you have already meal prepped.

 

Is it cheaper to meal prep?

Yes, meal prepping can help you save money.

Meal prepping can help you save money because you will have food already pre-made, instead of feeling like you have nothing to eat and need to order takeout or go to a restaurant.

 

Can I meal prep rice?

Yes, you can make meal prep ideas that include rice.

You can meal prep bowls, protein meals, vegetables, salads, burritos, burrito bowls, quinoa, pasta, oats, chicken salad, food in an Instant Pot, and so much more.

 

Easy meal prep ideas – summary

I hope you enjoyed today’s article on meal prep ideas. I hope you can find some great flavor to add to your easy meal prep recipes for health lunch and dinner ideas.

Do you meal prep? Which of the easy meal prep ideas above are you going to try?


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Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

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  1. Prep meals is perfect when you must to buy at office and you have a budget to respect, these dishes are delicious, colorful and healty because you know exactly what there is in the plate:D

  2. Meal prepping helps advance the side hustle millionaire agenda because it saves aspiring affiliate marketers & side hustlers money on food and the $ gUaP $ saved can be invested into PPC – pay per click online advertising of affiliate links.

  3. I definitely saw a difference in my spending when I started meal planning. I haven’t figured out how to bring meal prepping to our lifestyle, but I am attracted to those people who make big batch recipes and freeze them. I just never have the energy to cook all day, but I’m working on it. Could you do a follow up post about actually making these foods last the week?

    1. Eating right and doing cardio actually helps increase your content marketing output because your heart rate increased.

  4. Jen | A Cure for Monday

    I love love love to meal prep. I do it every week for my work lunches and it saves me so much time and money. I like to make soups or casseroles because they’re easy to make in big batches. I’ll definitely have to try that Cold Sesame Noodles recipe though. Looks delish!

  5. Stephanie

    Adding some of these to my Pinterest board of make-ahead meals! I meal plan almost every week, and it’s a huge money saver. Even now that my youngest daughter (9 months old) is eating solid foods, I’m able to keep our weekly grocery budget to about $100 for our family of 4 this way. It can be hard though, because my husband has been traveling more for work lately and trying to make dinner quickly when I’m also wrangling a 6-year-old and an infant can be tricky!

  6. One of my favorite mail prep hacks is making chicken and shredding it ahead of time. It comes in handy to throw into last minute dishes, salads etc.

  7. When I do “meal prep” it’s more like prepping ingredients, hardboiled eggs, cutting and cleaning veggies and fruit, stuff like that. I prefer variety with my meals so it’s hard for me to eat the same meal for lunch M-F. My husband however has no issue with that so usually when I make meals for the week he will eat the leftovers. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. Empress

    Interesting post. Never knew chicken and pineapple could be combined to make something delicious. Thanks for the tip ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Paola @ Swallow the World

    Wow thanks for these mouth-watering recipes!! I’m going to make a couple of them for next week’s meals. Yummmm.

  10. Those are some good looking meals. I need to try a couple of them

  11. Jecika

    These dishes are looking delicious. My favorite are the noodle and Mexican chicken and I am looking forward to make all of these. Thank you so much

  12. I recently started bulk cooking on Saturdays to try to throw a lasso around my winter food budget. It seems so easy to not overspend during the growing season, when locally grown food is readily available at the farmer’s markets. Not so during the winter! I’ve been amazed at my savings! I’ve easily met my first quarter grocery budget goals – saving up to 50% on my usual spending! Bonus! My 14 year old son cooks with me on Saturday mornings! That’s definitely a “win”!

  13. Meal Prepify

    I don’t really like tofu, but that Pineapple BBQ Tofu Bowl recipe looks amazing

  14. Healthy eating and meal preparation is a good thing for anyone striving for excellence to get their mind right and lose weight in longevity! ๐Ÿ™‚