Imagine having cheap, healthy, delicious meals stocked in your freezer or fridge right now. Nope, you don't need a personal chef for that. All it takes is a little advanced planning, shopping and prep work that will save you big time in the long run. Try one of these ten amazing make-ahead, eat-later hacks and you'll see for yourself just how convenient it is to toss a pre-made meal the oven, Crock-Pot or pressure-cooker every night.
1. 46 Meals in Four Hours for $100
Sound too good to be true? Try this one out for yourself. The plan was developed by a mom blogger dedicated to stretching her dollar for all its worth, so you can rest assured it's been put to the test by a money-saving pro.
2. One Week of Vegan Meals in One Hour for Under $20
Being vegan is great for the environment and your health, but often tough on your budget. This meal plan from a self-declared "cheap, lazy vegan," proves that veganism doesn't have to mean breaking the bank or sacrificing flavor. Check out her YouTube channel "cheaplazyvegan," where she's racked up over 300,000 subscribers who swear by her inexpensive and satisfying vegan meals.
3. Meal-Prep Grocery Lists, Recipes and Tips Tailored to your Family
Are you and your family trying to eat healthier or are you looking for budget-friendly options? Maybe you only have an hour to meal-prep, so you need quick and easy ideas. This page has all that and more, all in one place. Run by a team of wellness fanatics dedicated to providing easy-to-follow healthy prep-and-freeze meals and much more, you and your family are surely in good hands.
4. Two-person Weight Loss Meal-Prep for $100 a Week
Following recipes from this weekly meal-prep routine is what helped food-blogger Kelly and her husband lose weight while staying on budget. No longer do you have to choose between eating cheap, unhealthy foods or expensive whole foods. Eat right for less by following this affordable weekly plan for two.
5. Basics of Busy Mom Meal-Prep
Never meal-prepped before? Does making dozens of meals at once seem daunting? Go back to the basics with this post that breaks everything down for you. A mother of two young girls who love food just as much as she does, blogger Corey knows what it's like to start meal-prepping from scratch. Included in her post are simple staples that should always be stocked in your kitchen along with how to best portion and store certain types of foods.
6. One Month of Kids' Packed Lunches
This amazing chart has been pinned on Pinterest over 40,000 times. Get yourself out of the PB&J lunch rut by packing your kids healthy and tasty lunches, planned out day-by-day in this graphic. Follow the shopping list provided, make the side snacks in advance and store in the refrigerator for pack-and-go mornings.
7. 40 Pre-Baby Freeze-Ahead Meals
As any mom knows, the first month or two after having a baby is, needless to say, stressful. Running on an absurdly low amount of sleep everyday isn't exactly conducive to making meal-time easy. Skip cooking all together with these freeze-now, eat-later recipes. Brought to you by the same team from #3, you know the meals in this post are sure to be healthy and taste good.
8. 122 Crock-Pot Freezer Meals
Owning a Crock-Pot may be the ultimate cooking hack, but now there's even a way to hack that hack. Making one of these delicious 122—yes, 122—frozen Crock-Pot meals is both time- and cost-efficient. These ideas come from Gwen, whose Crock-Pot saved her mealtime woes when her oven broke several years ago.
9. 56 Freezer Meals for $2.67 each
For under $150 you can have meals for almost three weeks. Simply follow the step-by-step guide from a working mother herself, Katie, here, and your freezer will be stocked with meals to last a while.
10. Family of 4 Weekly Meal Plan for $60
It sounds impossible, but you can really feed a family of four for almost $60 a week with this make-and-freeze food plan. Perfect for a tight budget, these meals are tasty, convenient and throughly tested-out by blogger Kelli. A stay-at-home mom of many years, she's perfected how to make meals the whole family will love while staying on track with a tight budget.