If you’re living on Struggle Street when it comes to debating as to whether you really need to fuel your exxy health food cravings or save your pennies to pay your rent, we have you covered. After all, life’s too short to choose one or the other.
So, we’ve asked Dietitian and Nutritionist Leanne Ward to pull together an entire week’s worth of meals for under $40. FYI, that’s less than $5.50 a day.
Dedicate your Sunday to prep these three meals for an entire week, and you’ll also be saving yourself a helluva load of time during the week (which you can spend relaxing in front of the TV instead).
No, you won’t find $15 avo toast here, but you’ll definitely find filling and tasty meals that will keep your mind and body fueled.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil*
- Salt & Pepper*
- Ground cumin*
- Fresh or powdered ginger*
- Red chili flakes*
- Soy sauce*
Breakfast: Overnight mixed berry bircher
- 1/3 cup (30g) rolled oats
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 small (100g) apple, grated (with skin)
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon*
- 15g natural or vanilla protein powder
- 150ml full cream milk
- ½ cup (65g) frozen mixed berries
1. Place the oats, chia seeds, grated apple, cinnamon and protein powder in a bowl. Cover with the milk, add frozen berries and mix well. Pop a lid on and let it sit overnight in the fridge.
2. Enjoy cold in the morning.
Note for meal prepping:
If meal prepping this recipe for 7 days, add the oats, chia seeds, cinnamon and protein powder into 7 separate containers and stir to combine. Each night, grab one container, add the grated apple, the milk and the berries to the dry mixture and stir to combine. This recipe is best enjoyed fresh each morning so only add the wet ingredients 1-2 nights before you eat it.
Lunch: Wholegrain tuna and cheese multigrain wrap
- 1 small (40-45g) multigrain wrap
- 95g tin smoked tuna (drained)
- 1 tbsp (20g) tomato salsa
- 20g tasty cheese, grated
- ½ medium (120g) tomato, chopped
- 1 cup (15g) mixed lettuce leaves
1. Heat the wrap for ~20sec in the microwave to soften (optional).
2. Spread the salsa on the wrap then pile with tuna, sprinkle with cheese and tomato then top with salad leaves.
3. Fold the wrap tightly and enjoy!
Note for meal prepping:
To meal prep this recipe, chop the salad (tomatoes and mixed salad leaves) and add it to a meal prep container then in two separate small containers with lids, add the salsa and cheese portions. Take the tin of tuna and wrap with you (eg. to work) then build the wrap separately before you eat to it to avoid it going soggy.
Dinner: Marinated chicken stir fry with pasta
- 100g chicken breast
- ½ tsp cracked pepper*
- 3 tsp ground cumin*
- ½ clove garlic (crushed)*
- 1 tsp fresh or powdered ginger*
- ½ tsp red chili flakes*
- 2 tbsp soy sauce*
- 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil*
- 200g frozen vegetable mix (eg. Carrot, broccoli, cauliflower, beans, peas)
- 50g uncooked high fibre pasta spirals
1. Trim the fat off the chicken and slice into strips.
2. Rub with ½ tsp pepper, 1 tsp ground cumin, ½ the garlic amount, ½ tsp ginger and half the chilli flakes.
3. Place seasoned chicken strips in a bowl and add 1 tbsp of soy sauce.
4. Cover with cling wrap and allow to sit in the fridge for 5-10 minutes.
5. Boil up some water in a saucepan and cook high fibre pasta according to packet directions, drain and set aside.
6. Heat 1 tsp of oil in a hot fry pan and add the remaining garlic, ginger and chili and allow to sauté for a 30-60 seconds until aromatic then add the frozen vegetables and cook until tender but still crunchy.
7. Add the remaining soy sauce and cumin to the vegetables in the pan and stir until combined. Remove from heat.
8. Clean the pan and add the remaining 1 tsp oil. When pan is heated, add the chicken and cook until browned and cooked through.
9. Combine pasta, chicken and vegetables in a bowl and stir well. Enjoy!
Note for meal prepping:
To meal prep this recipe, multiple everything by 7 and make it in bulk for the week. When you come to mixing everything together, split the pasta, chicken and vegetables evenly among 7 containers and place 3-4 in the fridge and the rest in the freezer for later in the week.
Cost of grocery items
- 210g Rolled oats = $0.35
- 75g chia seeds (7 tbsp needed) = $1.28
- 700g apples (7 needed) = $2.80
- 105g Natural or vanilla protein powder = $5.60
- 1.05L full cream milk = $1.05
- 455g bag frozen mixed berries = $3.64
Total = $14.72
- 7 small multi grain wraps = $1.75
- 7 x 95g tin smoked tuna = $6.30
- 140g tomato salsa = $0.70
- 140g tasty grated cheese = $1.31
- 420g tomatoes, chopped = $2.00
- 105g mixed lettuce leaves = $1.78
Total = $13.84
- 700g chicken breast = $6.30
- 1.4kg frozen vegetable mix = $2.22
- 350g high fibre pasta spirals = $0.45
Total = $8.97
Total for 3 main meals for 7 days = $37.53 OR $5.36 a day
Leanne Ward is a qualified Nutritionist and Dietitian. You can find her on Instagram @the_fitness_dietitian.