How to meal prep for a big family on a budget

Busy mum of 4, spent a couple of hours in the kitchen meal prepping for the week ahead and whipped up an impressive 140 serves for just over $260!
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Busy mum of 4, Cat, spent a couple of hours in the kitchen on Sunday meal prepping for the week ahead. She managed to make an impressive 140 serves for just over $260 thanks to our Ultimate Budget Meal Plan, with all recipes under $2.50 per serve! In fact Cat’s meal prep works out to be less than $2 per serve…

Super mum Cat Christ whipped up 70 meals and 70 snacks which will help her and her family of 6 stay on track and stick to her healthy eating plan, even during the chaos of school holidays.

“I am a mum of 4, working 2 jobs so life is pretty busy! Meal prepping is a must if I want to stay on track with my food for the week. And healthy eating on a budget is really important to me and even more so these days with the cost of everything going up. 

I began using The Healthy Mummy after the birth of my first child where I continued to gain weight AFTER her birth as I also gained some unhealthy habits. I have since had 3 more children and managed to maintain a healthy weight gain during those subsequent pregnancies using The Healthy Mummy Smoothies and The Healthy Mummy App

Although I work from home, having meals and snacks prepped makes life easier especially when I am flying out the door to teach classes, train my personal training clients or doing the school run. I have an active job so ensuring I am fuelling my body means I can continue to perform at my best, especially for the days I have back to back classes.

I spent a few hours on a Sunday preparing, cooking, chopping and sorting for the week ahead and I am SO PUMPED with what I have been able to achieve. Although I often prep on a weekend, some weeks I prep more than others and some weeks I don’t really prep at all. Instead I will pop a batch of something into the oven while I cook dinner, or pop a second pot onto the stove while I sort dinner.

Our NEW Ultimate Budget Meal Plan

There’s no doubt that many Aussie families have been feeling the pinch financially as everything from groceries to petrol seems to be on the rise! But despite all these price hikes, eating healthily doesn’t have to break the budget! The Ultimate Budget Meal Plan contains COST EFFECTIVE and DELICIOUS recipes.

In fact, we have worked out the exact cost of each recipe on the Ultimate Budget Meal Plan using current supermarket prices and all recipes are under $2.50 per serve!

As you can see from the image above with all the costs per serve, week 1 of of this meal plan comes in at under $7.00 per day! That is including three healthy meals and three healthy snacks a day!

What Cat made spending just over $260

How to meal prep for a family of 6 on a budget
How to meal prep for a family of 6 on a budget

Cat made 140 serves spending a total of $263.64. That’s only $1.88 per serve!

The Healthy Mummy recipes Cat used for her Ultimate Budget Meal Plan included:

Breakfasts – 11 serves

Salted Caramel Porridge – 2 serves

Peanut Butter & Berry Crumpets – 3 serves

Gluten Free Zesty Lemon Pancakes – 6 serves

Lunches – 15 serves

Chicken & Parmesan Lettuce Wraps- 3 serves

Stuffed Capsicum with Curried Mince – 6 serves

Egg & Lettuce Wraps- 6 serves

Dinners – 44 serves

Mexican Chicken Pie – 12 serves

Tuna, Corn & Pasta Bowl – 12 serves

Beef Nachos– 6 serves

Heart Pizza– 8 serves 

Lemon Pepper Fish – 6 serves

Snacks/Desserts – 70 serves

Churros Cheesecake – 16 serves

Chocolate Fondant Cakes – 12 serves

Snickers Slice – 24 serves

Simple Avocado & Lime Dip with Pretzels- 6 serves

Apple & Cinnamon Muffins – 12 serves

Cat’s Breakfast Tips

I start work SUPER early 3 days per week so having breakfast ready to grab and go is super helpful for future me. I portioned out my oats ready to be made into the Salted Caramel Porridge for the days I will have breakfast at home. Then for my early starts this week I have portioned out my crumpets and cranberries and popped my peanut butter into my work bag.

Cat’s Lunch Tips

Lunches are usually at home and often spent over the computer while I work so having meals prepped that can be eaten cold or reheated and eaten. That saves me reaching for extra snacks while I cook on the spot, consuming more than I had intended. Those extra calories we tend to forget we have consumed can definitely play a part in your results at the end of the week if it’s a regular thing. 

Cat’s Dinner Tips

I teach classes 3 nights a week which means hubby and I are tag teaming during that busy time where the day is nearly over, everyone is tired, the kids need a bath and dinner needs to be cooked. Preparing recipes in bulk, like the Mexican Chicken Pie and Tuna, Corn and Pasta Bowl, means I have 4 nights of dinners already ticked off this week.

Cat’s Snack Tips

Healthy snacks keep me fuelled between meal times. Having my pretzels, Apple & Cinnamon muffins and Snickers Slice portioned, ready to grab and go will mean I won’t be tempted to grab something that might not be helping me on my way to achieve my goals. I keep snack prep simple- hard boiled eggs, a batch of muffins or a slice is 12 serves, or more so you can make that prep time stretch and cover you for a few days. 

I am a total chocolate lover and The Healthy Mummy would never have worked for me if sweet treats and desserts weren’t part of the plan. Being able to enjoy dessert or a chocolate snack is what works for me. I prepared the Chocolate Fondant Cakes in a batch of 12. The recipe does say to use ramekins but I only have 4, however muffin tins I have plenty of, so I used that, they just need to be zapped in the microwave after dinner and voila! 

Cat’s Budget Tips

Shop your pantry, fridge, and freezer BEFORE you head to the shops, or put your online order in.

I will plan our meals for the week, then check what we already have. Get creative, if a recipe asks for kidney beans but you already have chickpeas, use that! Chicken breast for the Mexican Chicken Pie but you have chicken mince, it works! Trust me, I normally do that to save chopping the chicken breast.

I have found that because we use Healthy Mummy recipes 99% of the time, I generally have most things on hand or buy the same ingredients when we do a grocery shop. This really helps budget-wise to buy ingredients in bulk and use them across many recipes. 

I bulk out our mince dishes with a tin of lentils, it’s literally around $1 or so to almost double the size of your mince, plus it adds extra fibre!

Choose freezer-friendly snacks or meals where you can. Make a double or triple batch, you’re already making a mess so make MORE and pop the extras into the freezer to save you time in the future. 

Cat’s Meal Prep Tips

Plan what you are going to make, make a list and tick it off as you go. This way you can plan your groceries and have a strategy like using two shelves of the oven at once of having multiple pots on the stovetop.

Invest in some GOOD containers to keep your food fresh and free from freezer burn if you are freezing them. 

Make a double, triple or quadruple batch, especially if you KNOW your family likes that recipe. This will save time and money for future meals and snacks.

Don’t overthink it! Often we think we need to prep on a Sunday or on a weekend or even make HEAPS of things and this is simply not true.

Do what works for you and your family. Making a batch of boiled eggs while you’re cooking dinner one night is all the prep you need. Maybe you just like to customise your meal plan and grocery shop to feel prepared for the week ahead. Or maybe you like to block out some time to make a few different recipes. It’s your game! 

What a huge effort, way to go Cat! If you want to find out more about losing weight on a budget and how to meal prep discover how below.

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