Meal Prep Success on a $60 Budget

Last week’s grocery shopping trip was a happy accident. I must have been channeling some kind of savvy shopper guru (you can have a guru for shopping guidance, can’t you?) because my week’s worth of groceries ended up totaling just $60 and I got So. Much. Food. I didn’t even realize it until I began to meal prep when I got home that I realized everything I could make.

Meal prep is tough for me. In an ideal world I’d make most meals at home during the week to save money, but I just don’t have the time to do it. Plus, I’m never home so I end up 1. wasting the food I do buy and 2. having to buy food when I’m out and about and hunger strikes me – two things that do not save me money.

Generally I’m frustrated with the entire subject of meal prep.

This week’s experience was the opposite of frustrating. It was a feeling of total accomplishment. That’s why I’m sharing my prep with you. I want more of these kinds of grocery lists in my back pocket. If you have similar success stories, I welcome the additions!


Here’s what I bought:


  • 5 bananas
  • 3 pears
  • Red grapes
  • 2 Honeycrisp apples
  • 1 whole butternut squash
  • 2 Honeynut squashes
  • 1 Delicata squash
  • 6 sweet potatoes (1 bag of small ones, 2 individual large ones)
  • 1 stalk of brussel sprouts
  • 1 bag of spinach
  • 1 bag of kale
  • 1 bag of green beans
  • 1 package of celery
  • 1 bag multi-colored carrots
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • pre-diced yellow onions (I can’t even with chopping onions)


  • 3 boneless chicken breast


  • Hummus
  • Half gallon of vanilla unsweetened almond milk


  • Mixed veggies (roasted red peppers and eggplant)


  • Vegetable broth
  • Chicken broth

Here’s what I already had:

  • Dried herbs and spices used in soups
  • Pistachios
  • Walnuts
  • Lemons
  • Olive oil, salt, pepper (all used in cooking)

Here’s what I made:

  1. A squash and carrot slow-cooker vegetable soup. The recipe for that came to your inboxes via email last Wednesday! We’ll let you have a look even if you don’t subscribe. Want in? Subscribe here.b07bb75e-0ded-46e1-b602-6a090ab555572. Roasted veggies on veggies on veggies. I cut most of the carrots, Honeynut and Delicata squash, half the brussels and sweet potatoes into big pieces and roasted them with salt, pepper and olive oil. I do this pretty much every week just to have on hand.

    3. Raw brussel sprout salad base. I tossed the other half of my brussels into my Ninja for a chopped brussel sprout base. Then I lightly roasted walnuts and pistachios and added them to the brussels. Lastly, I added some red grapes and tossed it all together with olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon. I used this as the base of my salads – which I added tons of other roasted veggies and hummus to every day.asweatlife_mealprep_brussels4. Chicken & Kale superfood soup. I wrote about this last year. It’s a staple for me every fall and winter. This time I added a lot of Vital Proteins to it.asweatlife_super-soup-recipe_1

Here are some tips that I’ll remember for next week:

I’m always hungry. I needed some more apples to keep on hand for snacks during the day. And maybe some other easy snacks like rice cakes or plantain chips (except I really shouldn’t keep those in the house – they’re gone after one sitting.)

I’d get green beans elsewhere. All the other produce was wonderful but the green beans went bad after two days and I had to toss them.


Have any good (or bad) meal prep stories to share? Let us know! 

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About Maggie Umberger

Maggie moved to Chicago from North Carolina in 2014 with a degree in Journalism and Spanish, a 200-hour yoga certification, a group fitness cert and a passion to teach and to sweat. It wasn't until she found aSweatLife that she really started to feel at home. Here, she's incorporated her passion for health and wellness into her career as she helps to build the network of Ambassadors, trainers and fitness enthusiasts that exist within the aSweatLife ecosystem. You can also find her coaching at CrossTown Fitness and teaching yoga classes at Bare Feet Power Yoga, Yoga Six and exhale.

2 thoughts on “Meal Prep Success on a $60 Budget

  1. Overnight oats for breakfast and healthy muffins to eat as a mid morning snack! Crockpot with chicken and salsa makes a great dinner for 2-3 nights, just add all the toppings for a rice bowl

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