Hi Friends! Happy Hump Day!
I frequently get asked about meal delivery services by clients and friends. Recently, I was looking at one that seemed like they had pretty great reviews and focused on healthy well balanced meals. Meal delivery offers a ton of potential benefits including
- portion control
- saving time – estimated saving you 8-10 hours per week
- decreased stress
- increased variety (depending on service)
- limited control over ingredients
- decreased variety (depending on the service)
The idea of having healthy meals delivered to my door step really appeals to me, however, it would have been over $300 for both of us for only lunches and dinners per week. I also love the idea of portion control, having things pre portioned means your less likely to mindlessly snack while you make yourself something to eat. I figured if I could recreate the “feel” of a meal delivery service it would help us save money and time. By pre portioning meals, it ensures that ingredients go as far as I intended them to. It removes the stress during the week because there is always meals ready for us when we are ready for them. My goal was keep it under $100 for both of us for the whole week and have everything TOTALLY ready. I only make Mr. Hungry 3 lunches a week because he usually has something going on at work at least two days a week.
Including planning, grocery shopping, and prepping the whole thing took me 4.5 hours (30 minutes to plan, 1 hour to shop (two stores Trader Joe’s and Costco), & 3 hours to prep/clean thereby saving me 4-5 hours (compared to cooking every day) and over $200 (when compared to meal delivery). I would estimate it saves even more time than that because you only have one clean up and lord knows I HATE dishes, I may have mentioned that a few times before.
A few notes about this plan:
– it is a lower carb style of eating that works best for us with the largest portion of carbs after we workout at night. This meal plan is simply to serve as an example, portions are what works for us and our goals right now, do what is right for you! If you are interested in one on one nutrition coaching I’d love to have you as a Hungry Hobby RD client, please see my nutrition services website for more details.
– the plan could be streamlined even more, for instance Mr. Hungry doesn’t like sweet potatoes so I made two types of potatoes. He also can’t have the high gluten tortillas or too much dairy otherwise I would have made quesadilla packs for him too. So if you don’t have special considerations you could stream line these meals to create as much or as little variety as you wanted!
– to make totally gluten free use gluten free bread and sub tortilla for a gluten free tortilla
29+ Meals for $82
That’s $2.82 a meal ($3.33 a meal to round up to $100 to account for pantry staples)
First up, the meal plan!
3 X Smoothie: 1 cup coconut milk, 3 scoops (1-2 servings) brown rice protein, 1cup frozen fruit, 2 cups spinach
2 X Simple Protein Shake (2 cups vanilla almond milk +3 scoops protein & 1 scoop dynamic greens, handful of cashews)
2 X 2 Eggs & ½ Avocado
2 X 2 -3 Eggs, Spinach & 1 ounce Goat Cheese Omelet
2 X 4 Strips Turkey Bacon & ½ avocado
& 1 cup coffee with 1-2T half & half and 1T collagen
2 X 6-8 ounces Chicken & Cauliflower Rice (sautéed in coconut oil or bacon drippings)
1 X 2 turkey burgers & cauliflower rice (sautéed in coconut oil or bacon drippings)
3 X Chicken Quesadilla with low carb tortilla, 1 slice pepper jack, 2 ounces chicken + 1 bell pepper
2 X 1 Turkey Burger & ½ Spaghetti Squash with sun dried tomatoes
All Meals include a giant salad as the veggie plus a pre made dinner +
3 X Nitrate Free Ham Sandwich on open-faced yeast free sourdough with goat cheese
2 X 4 ounces Cod With 1 medium sweet potato roasted with Coconut Oil
Protein Shake x 4 (1-2 cups non dairy milk and .75 servings whey protein)
Pepper jack cheese slices
- 20 ounces cod- $8.74(6.99/lb)
- 6 ounces sliced ham – sliced rosemary ham – $3.29
- 4 Turkey Burgers (4 ounces each = 16 ounces) – $2.99
- 8 ounces Nitrate Free Pastrami – $4.99
- 2lbs chicken breast – ~4 (1.99/lb)
- 8 strips turkey bacon – $2.99
Eggs & Dairy/Dairy Sub
- Dozen eggs – $2.79 (1 dozen-Costco)
- Pepper jack – $3.99
- 5 ounces goat cheese – $2.50 ($3.99 for 8 ounces, freeze the rest) – alternatively you could use pepper jack in the morning omelet and on sandwich
- Almond Milk – $2.99 (per half gallon)
- Organic Half & Half – $1.99
- Spinach $3.99 (Costco)
- Organic Salad Mix (Costco) $3.99
- 3 cups Frozen fruit $2.99
- 4-5 small Avocados – $2.69
- 6 Cups cauliflower rice (sub any other veggie) (I used pre riced $1.99 x 2) $4
- 3 bell peppers – $ 3.57
- 1 spaghetti squash ($0.99/lb) – $1.71
- 2 medium sweet potatoes ($1.79/2lb bag)- $0.99
- 3 Cups Coconut Milk (2 cans – $1.69/can) – $3.38
- 9 Servings Brown Rice Protein (staple)
- 3 Servings Whey Protein (staple)
- Collagen (Staple/Supplement)
- Cooking oil – coconut oil (Staple)
- Dynamic Greens (staple) – could skip it’s just a supergreens powder ($0.66/serving) $2
- Sun Dried Tomatoes – $3.29
- 1lb nuts ($4.99 – cashews)
- Sourdough $2.99 (I used all but 3 pieces)
- Low Carb Tortillas 0.50 cents ($2.99 20 count at costco)
- Containers were about $24 (not in price as they will be used over and over and over again) – I ordered these ones.
Total = $82.28
Defrost everything that can be defrosted to make it go faster!
- Preheat Oven to 375F
- Prepare oven veggies:
- Cut spaghetti squash in half, place cut side down in ¼ inch of water in oven safe dish
- Wash and cut sweet potatoes (or buy pre cut) and toss in 2T coconut oil and cinnamon
- Wash and cut red potatoes in 2T avocado oil with garlic and rosemary.
- Spread potatoes across baking dish
- Prepare cod by adding to individual steamer packets – sprinkle with lemon pepper and garlic.
- Keep track of times:
- Spaghetti squash 45 minutes
- Sweet potatoes ~ 30 minutes (should be fork tender)
- Red potatoes ~15-20 minutes (should be fork tender but still firm)
- Defrosted cod 20-25 minutes, will flake upon being pierced.
*Note, I did this as I went, so once the spaghetti squash was cut I added it to the oven and wrote down the time. Then I added the potatoes wrote down the time and so forth. They ended up all finishing about the same time. I actually forgot about the sweet potatoes so I did those later while I was finishing putting things together, it worked out fine but I should have put them in with the rest of everything else.
4. Grill Up Chicken & Turkey Burgers – I had Mr. Hungry be in charge of this. We have an old charcoal grill so it took about 30 minutes.
5. Cook Up Turkey Bacon 10 minutes
6. Sauté Cauliflower Rice on medium with Coconut Oil (we cooked up some bacon for breakfast before we started so we used some bacon drippings to give it more flavor.) I used from frozen so I sautéed it till defrosted, then let it sit for 3-4 minutes to get a nice brown layer like hash browns.
7. Chop & wash bell peppers and put in baggies
8. Make Ahead Protein Shakes
– For smoothies I combine coconut milk and protein powder so they are ready to dump in with fruit and spinach.
– For shakes I make them full ready to go, they just may need a little shaking.
9. Assemble/Portion Out Meals
i. I make my eggs and omelets fresh.
ii. For smoothies- I have premixed coconut milk and protein powder to dump in with frozen fruit and spinach.
iii. Fro premade protein shakes- all ingredients go into the protein shakes.
iv. Paul’s smoothie starters and protein shakes & pre portioned turkey bacon
i. Paul’s lunches for work
ii. Build quesadilla ingredients to easily pan fry or microwave later
iii. Turkey burger, spaghetti squash and sun dried tomatoes assembled
i. Portion out protein and carbs into containers
ii. For sandwiches add all ingredients needed to one container
iii. Assume salad will be added to dinner
What do you think? Is it worth it or practical to prep almost all your meals? We’ve been eating these meals for the last two days and so far I’m loving the ease of it!
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Seem to overwhelming? Start here:
Plus I have loads of other meal planning recaps on this page to give you more ideas!