MEAL PREP ON A BUDGET: Tips, Recipes & How-to
Save time, money, stress, and yourself from sad desk lunches with meal preparation This is what one of my clients calls “an insurance policy on future decisions.”
Meal Prep How-to:
Set aside one/two hours a week.
Choose a recipe you love!
I recommend one recipe per meal, per week.
For variety, try varying the dressing / sauce.
Allow the season to dictate ingredients, too.
Go grocery shopping with your recipe.
I like sturdy greens - cruciferous - which you must learn how to massage!
Make your recipe!
Batch and stash for the week.
Dress at work to prevent sogginess.
If using soft lettuces or watery veggies, keep separate and combine the day-of.
If something comes up and you get lunch with colleagues, save it for another meal, or snack need.
Budget Friendly Tips:
Shop Bulk Bins:
Build your own trail mix or granola.
Buy grains, nuts & seeds, beans, flours and even treats / snacks there.
Snacks add up and packaged products are pricey. Try fresh or dried/non-perishables for your desk/car/bag.
My favorite bulk finds: Dried coconut, banana chips (unsweetened), sprouted nuts, and flax/chia/hemp seeds.
Produce itself can be very affordable! Just remember to buy enough.
Fresh not chopped / packaged produce = cheaper and less oxidized.
Shop WITH recipes. Srsly.
Plan ahead (aka meal prep)
Don’t Forget Frozen Food
Frozen-food sales volumes rise for first time in five years.
Frozen meals are an easy way to control portions, and there’s typically very little waste.
Can also be quite nutritious if food is great quality when frozen.
Freeze your own fresh berries, soups, or smoothie-makings ahead of time.
I still prefer *produce* over any “designed” food like veggie burgers or full meals, but do what’s reasonable for you.
And now, the recipes …
My tried-and-true, and a client favorite ...
1 banana or 1/2 C steamed yam (or both!)
1/2 C berries or other fruit (frozen is fine)
1/2 bunch or ~2 C spinach
2 tbsp Acacia fiber
1 tbsp flax, chia or hemp seeds
Water or coconut water as needed (about a cup)
Blend well, drink slowly.
Optional additions: 3 tbsp hemp protein like Nutiva or Bob's Red Mill. (Consider using occasionally rather than daily.) 1+ tbsp cacao powder. Any herbs, spices, or special extras you like.