MEAL PREP ON A BUDGET: Tips, Recipes & How-to

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:

  1. 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.

  2. Produce Best-Practices

    • 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)

  3. Don’t Forget Frozen Food

    • Frozen-food sales volumes rise for first time in five years.

      1. Frozen meals are an easy way to control portions, and there’s typically very little waste.

      2. Can also be quite nutritious if food is great quality when frozen.

    • Freeze your own fresh berries, soups, or smoothie-makings ahead of time.

      1. 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 …

Rachelle featured in Healthyish: Fall Meal Prep Tips

Rachelle featured in Healthyish: Fall Meal Prep Tips

Riff on a grain (or grainless) bowl

"My go-to is really big vegetable-full, one-pot recipes—think buddha/hippy bowls. Mine are usually raw, but when the weather starts to cool down, roasted root vegetables are definitely included. I've developed a recipe that I recommend to my clients who are starting out with meal prep, and it's still one of my favorites because it's easy, and easy to create variations of. The gist: a giant base of dark greens (kale, collard greens, or cabbages which all hold up better than light lettuces or spinach), quinoa or buckwheat if you eat grains, tons of fresh chopped veggies, and healthy fat (avocado, olive or algae oil, coconut yogurt or tahini)." — Rachelle Robinettwellness coach and Healthyish contributor

Meal Prep Recipe | Seasonal Everything Bowl with 5-Minute Magic Green Sauce

meal prep kale bowl rachelle robinett.jpeg

A classic, always-in-season bowl that's delicious and nutritious for lunch, dinner, or in-between.


Make a BIG batch and divide into containers for meals in the days ahead.

  • Bowl ingredients:
  • Quinoa (cooked): 5 cups (~2 cups dry)
  • Kale or dark, leafy greens: 10 cups
  • Mixed raw vegetables: 5+ cups
  • Dried dates, apples, or seasonal fruit: 1/2 cup, chopped
  • Optional: Walnuts: 1/2 cup


  • Sauce ingredients:
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 lime or lemon
  • 1 bunch parsley and/or cilantro
  • Sea salt
  • Olive oil
  • Optional: pistachios, walnuts or cashews


  • Cook quinoa.
  • De-stem kale. Chop all vegetables and dates. Mix all in a large mixing bowl.
  • Prepare dressing. Dress all well.
  • Separate into tupperware. Top with walnuts.
  • *To keep crisp, save dressing aside and top salads the day-of, rather than ahead of time.


5-Minute Magic Green Sauce Directions:

  • 1 avocado
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 lime, juice of
  • 1 cup parsley and cilantro, packed
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pistachios, walnuts or cashews
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Blend all. Add more oil or water to thin if needed.