Cheap Healthy Food Prep: Top 12 Cheap Food Prep Recipes

Having a Cheap Healthy Food Prep is great for those on a budget. The first step to making your favorite dishes is to purchase the right ingredients.

You need to be careful with your purchases as you can’t sacrifice ingredients that are important to your dish’s flavor and texture. Buying fresh fruits and vegetables will save you money and give you the best nutritional value, but canned and frozen produce is also an option.

Cheap Healthy Food Prep
Cheap Healthy Food Prep

The way we eat has changed drastically over the last century or so. We lived off of home cooking and grew our produce, but now we depend on fast food chains for meals.

There are many benefits to switching back, such as saving money, having more energy, and reducing stress levels. When you prepare food yourself, you know exactly what goes into it.

What is the Healthy food meal prep?

Healthy food meal prep is a great way to manage your weight and stay healthy. The idea is that you prepare all of your meals in advance, place them into Tupperware containers, and store them in the fridge or freezer until you’re ready to eat them.

This makes it easier to cook delicious dishes every day because you don’t have to worry about preparing everything at the last minute. Healthy food meal prep doesn’t have to be complicated.

All you need is a little bit of time, an oven, and the right ingredients. The more time you spend preparing your meals in advance, the better they’ll taste and the easier it will be for you to stick to your plans.

How can I eat healthy and cheap for a week?

The first step to eating healthy on a budget is to plan your meals for the week. It’s important to make sure you have everything you need, so stock up on items on sale or in season.

When planning your shopping trip, it can be helpful to use a price book. This is an easy way to track the prices of items you commonly buy. When prices go down, it’s best to stock up and buy extra.

Once you’ve got your healthy food meal prep plan in place, the next step is cooking everything when you get home from work, so it’s ready to eat by the time you need it. This isn’t necessary if you know what meals you’ll be eating that week, but it’s helpful if you don’t.

How can I save time?

You might think healthy food meal prep is impossible because it takes so much time to prepare your meals for the entire week, but there are ways to make things easier on yourself. Once you know what ingredients you need and how long each step takes, you can plan accordingly.

For example, if you’re cooking a large pot of protein to use throughout the week, it’s best to make enough food for two or three days at once. This helps reduce the amount of time spent in the kitchen and eliminates extra trips to the grocery store because you always have what you need on hand.

Top 12 Cheap Healthy Food Prep Recipes: 

1. Healthy Oatmeal

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup of oats
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds or ground flaxseed
  • 2 tablespoons honey, coconut sugar, or stevia berry
  • Dash of cinnamon and salt
See also:   Healthy Food Drinks Recipes: Top 10 Drinks Recipes

Method

Mix all ingredients in a bowl with water the night before eating to have a delicious healthy breakfast all week!

2. Slow Cooker Chicken

Ingredients

  • 4-6 large chicken breasts (frozen is okay)
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1 chopped onion (optional)
  • 1 sliced bell pepper (any color you like!) (optional)

Method

Put everything in the slow cooker and set it low for 9 hours or high for 4-5 hours. You can also leave it overnight to have it ready for breakfast!

3. Quinoa Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of quinoa, cooked according to package directions
  • 1 chopped cucumber​
  • 1/2 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained  *(add spices or hot sauce if desired)
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels (add spices or hot sauce if desired)
  • Dressing (mix)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lime (about 2-3 tbsp.)

Method  

Mix all ingredients except dressing in a large bowl. Add dressing and stir until evenly coated. Chill until ready to eat!

4. BBQ Chicken

Ingredients

  • 4-6 chicken breasts (frozen is okay) (add spices or hot sauce if desired)
  • 2/3 cup BBQ sauce (add less for lower calories, more for more flavor!)

Method

Mix all ingredients in a bowl with water the night before eating to have a delicious healthy dinner all week!

5. Baked Sweet Potato

Ingredients

  • 1 sweet potato, washed (or use pre-washed!)
  • Coconut oil or olive oil spray (optional)

Method

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Pierce the skin of your sweet potato with a fork multiple times and place it on a baking sheet. Bake for 40-50 minutes.

6. Turkey Meatballs

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of lean ground turkey (or ground chicken if desired)
  • 2 chopped green onions (optional) (add spices or hot sauce if desired)

Method

Mix all ingredients until evenly combined. Roll into balls, place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

7. Banana Oatmeal Pancakes

Banana Oatmeal Pancakes
Banana Oatmeal Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of oats
  • 1 egg (or 1/4 cup ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tbsp water) *(add spices or hot sauce if desired)
  • 1 banana, mashed (about 1/2 cup)
  • Optional: cinnamon, vanilla extract

Method

Mix all the ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth. In a large pan over medium heat, pour about 1/4 cup of your batter and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side. Top with desired toppings!

8. Baked Sweet Potato Nachos

Ingredients

  • 1 sweet potato, washed (or use pre-washed!)
  • Coconut oil or olive oil spray (optional)

Method

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Pierce the skin of your sweet potato with a fork multiple times and place it on a baking sheet. Bake for 40-50 minutes. For more information on how to make the chips, check out this recipe!

9. Cauliflower Fried Rice

Ingredients

  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into small pieces  *(add spices or hot sauce if desired)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onion (optional) *(add spices or hot sauce if desired)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil for frying on the stove

Method 

Put the cauliflower in a blender and blend until it reaches “rice” consistency. In a large pan over medium heat, pour about 2 tablespoons of oil and add your green onion and cauliflower. Add salt, pepper, garlic powder, and any other spices you’d like to give it more flavor! Cook for 5-7 minutes until soft. You can also add in chicken or shrimp!

10. Banana Oatmeal Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of oats
  • 1 egg (or 1/4 cup ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tbsp water) *(add spices or hot sauce if desired)
  • 1 banana, mashed (about 1/2 cup)
  • Optional: cinnamon, vanilla extract

Method

Mix all the ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth. In a large pan over medium heat, pour about 1/4 cup of your batter and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side. Top with desired toppings! 

11. Quinoa Bites

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of quinoa, cooked according to package directions
  • 3 tbsp. chopped red pepper
  • 1/8 cup chopped green onion (optional) (add spices or hot sauce if desired)
  • 2 tsp grated ginger root
  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil
See also:   BBC Good Healthy Food: Top 10 BBC Healthy Food recipes

Method

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Form into small balls and refrigerate.

12. Carrot Fritters

Ingredients

  • 2 cups grated carrots  (add spices or hot sauce if desired)
  • 1/3 cup water chestnuts, finely chopped (optional) *(add stevia for extra sweetness!)

Method

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and form them into small patties. Heat coconut oil over medium-high heat and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Top with sweet chili sauce if desired!

Is meal prepping cheaper?

Yes, it is! But, this is if you compare the value of your pre-cooked groceries to that of your regular takeout or restaurant meals. After all, you’re saving time and effort, and money by cooking in bulk once a week. The only trade-off would be convenience; sometimes, we all need those moments where we can chow down without having to think about how much we’re spending.

When you consider the time and effort to cook, prepping can be cheaper because it reduces your trips out for takeout or food at restaurants (Woah, look at us saving up the planet) which will likely save you money in the end! So next time you want that burger, think about making it yourself!

What is the cheapest meal prep?

Chicken meal prep! Chicken is a great option because it’s pretty much flavorless and goes with almost anything. If you check the price of chicken breast at your local grocery store, you will probably notice that it’s relatively cheap compared to other meats. You can also use chicken in a lot of different meals- from fried rice to soup.

The reason why chicken is usually cheaper than beef or pork is that it’s breast meat. Breast meat usually has more fat and less connective tissue, which makes the price of chicken lower than other meats. You can also keep costs down by buying processed (or pre-cooked) chicken like tuna instead of cooking your own!

How can I eat $15 a week on?

You can eat $15 a week on meal prep by keeping things simple and focusing on some staple ingredients that you use in multiple recipes. For example, if your goal is to eat $15 a week, you can buy 2 packages of chicken (2 x 7 dollars), 1 pack of tofu (4 dollars), and 1 spaghetti squash ($3.5). That way, you can get more use out of your ingredients and save more money in the long run!

What if I only have time for one meal prep?

If you are short on time or want to eat something easy, the acai bowl is a good choice! It’s really simple to make and doesn’t require any cooking, so you don’t have to waste time cleaning! Plus, the acai base is free of added sugar. You can top off your bowl with berries for extra sweetness and flavor!

What are some tips for eating cheaply?

  • Plan out your meals ahead of time. This way, you can do proper grocery shopping instead of just stopping by the grocery store for something at the last minute!
  • Please don’t go to restaurants or drive-throughs unless it’s needed.
  • You can save money on food by buying items that are about to expire- this often goes on sale.
  • Visit the farmer’s market for cheap produce! Remember that fruit and veg are always cheaper when they’re in season (less expensive to harvest).
  • Buy bulk! Larger quantities equal fewer trips out to buy more food.

The Bottom Line

I hope you enjoyed this post about how to save time and money on healthy food prep. If you have any questions, please leave a comment or share your thoughts in the comments section below. Thank you for reading!

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