The idea behind food prep is that you can eat good, healthy food throughout the week by doing a little extra work on the weekend. What this means is that on the weekend you do a lot of “pre-cooking” and cooking for meals that will get you through the week.
Not only is this a great way to keep your house warm and smelling amazing on your weekly “prep” day. But it also saves you tons of money by keeping you on budget. Plus, it’s much healthier than eating out. These ideas are easy on your budget, easy to prep, and make weekday cooking a snap!
You may be tempted to try some of the meal delivery services that do all the prep work for you. Unfortunately, these services are far more expensive than they are worth, especially when a little weekend prep can have you making delicious and healthy meals for a fraction of the cost. Try these dishes instead.
Egg and Sausage Bake
Forget everything you’ve heard about eggs being bad for you. Eggs are excellent sources of protein, nutritionally dense foods, and good for most people. Unless your doctor has told you to restrict eggs, there is much evidence that eating up to one egg a day is actually good for you.
This meal can be made on the weekend and portioned out into six individual portions to get you through the week with a healthy start for your day.
- 8 large eggs
- 1 pound of bulk pork or turkey sausage
- 1 bag of frozen broccoli florets
- 1 cup of shredded cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
You can also experiment with this by adding in things like red pepper slices, onions, and other things that add a little hint of flavor to your breakfast.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. And coat an 8 by 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray.
- Place broccoli in the microwave for 10 minutes to steam thoroughly.
- Brown your sausage until fully cooked and drain the grease. Add the broccoli to the sausage and mix well so that the broccoli is fully integrated with the sausage.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, salt, and pepper.
- Spread sausage mixture evenly into the baking dish then pour the egg mixture on top. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top and bake for 35 minutes or until the eggs are set and the top is beautifully browned.
The cost breakdown for this dish in the Midwest comes to just over $1 per serving so you won’t break the budget with this delicious dish.
Vegetable Beef Soup
Soups and stews are always excellent choices for meal prep. They are hearty foods that almost always taste better the next day, once the ingredients have had time to fully integrate. Plus, they can stretch a tight budget into a couple of meals for the family. This particular soup recipe is simple to make.
- 1 46-ounce can tomato juice (the cheaper or more acidic the better)
- 1 pound of beef (can be browned ground beef, stew meat, or a roast that has been cut into chunks)
- 1 bag of frozen mixed vegetables (peas, carrots, corn, and green beans)
- 5-6 potatoes (peeled and cut into chunks)
- Salt and pepper to taste
For this recipe, you will brown and drain the ground beef first (if using ground beef) or simply add all the ingredients and simmer until the potatoes are tender. If you want to make your soup stretch, consider having grilled cheese sandwiches with this soup or make a loaf of French bread to go along with it. If you make this on the weekend, it can be a delicious mid-week meal you can prepare in a matter of minutes.
Crockpot Dump Meals
Another great weekend prep idea is to pre-make gallon-sized zipper bags with the ingredients needed for various crockpot meals during the week. Simply get up in the morning, dump the bag in your crock, set your crockpot to cook the food, and walk out the door for your day at work. The Internet is filled with healthy and inexpensive crockpot dump dinners that are easy to make ahead when prepping meals and go.
If this is still too much work for you and you think you will need to go the meal delivery route instead, consider using services like BillCutterz to see if you can get better rates for your delivery services.