As always these are aldi prices. This meal prep came to exactly $9.38 which is $1.87 a day!
The goal of this meal prep was my first attempt to have a mega cheap grocery haul, to stick to an extremely cheap grocery budget AND have the food be flavorful. If I can stick to an ultra minimal diet for even one week a month that could potentially save us thousands of dollars a year.
I bought a 32 oz (2 lb) bag of beans from aldi. The bag said it had 20 serving. I decided to divide the bag of beans into two bowls. One bowl I put 5 servings (220g) of dry beans with the intention of cooking those separate for future recipes. I really want to make tamales & enchiladas some point soon. Out of $1.99 I paid for the bag of beans 49 cents will not be included since I’m cooking and then freezing those for another week.
Each serving of beans is only 6 cents and I put 3 servings in each meal prep box.
The bag of rice we got from the Asian store a long while ago. I don’t remember exactly how much we paid for the 10 lb bag but I found in my notes that each serving of rice came to 10 cents.
In order to make this bare bones meal prep flavorful I used heavily seasoned and majorly salted ingredients. Feel free to use less of the sauces or bouillon but only if you like modest amounts salt in semi bland food 🙂
If I can I’d like to enjoy this meal prep at least once a month. A $9 grocery bill one week a month would rock my world in a years time! And in ten year HOT DAMN.
Worlds Cheapest Breakfast —> Brown Sugar Cinnamon Oatmeal // 14 CENTS EACH
All those jokes about cinnamon water in my last post 5 Vegan Breakfasts Under 50 Cents and here we are with cinnamon oatmeal. Feel free to add 1/3 of a bag of frozen berries to this to add volume for just 39 cents (aldi!) but for the sake of cheap let’s just focus on the basics.
A few things:
1. these can be eaten hot as oatmeal or cold as overnight oats
2. feel free to adjust the amount of oatmeal, sugar and cinnamon you want. Also almond milk can be used instead of water if you want to capitalize on flavor.
3. raisins are cheap add ins or a spoon of peanut butter. I’ve heard of people adding cocoa powder or nutmeg. Fresh, frozen or dried fruit will take this 14 cent breakfast up a few notches for less than a dollar!
300g oatmeal (7.5 servings) 60 cents, 10 TB brown sugar 10 cents, 1.25 ts cinnamon 1 cent?, 5 baggies or reusable containers = 71 CENTS // 14 CENTS EACH
- Put 1.5 servings (60g) of oatmeal, 2 TB brown sugar and .25 ts cinnamon in each baggie
- For overnight oats pour oatmeal mix into a bowl or mason jar and cover with water or almond milk. I like equal dry to liquid ratio. Too much liquid makes the oats soggy. Leave in fridge overnight and enjoy the next day.
- For hot oatmeal cook oatmeal mix in a bowl and microwave with water (or on stove top). Liquid to dry ratio is personal. I usually start with less liquid, microwave it then add more liquid as I go. I don’t want mine too dry or too soggy.
Flavorful Smoky Beans + Chips // $1.05 EACH
Tortilla chips and sauce take this from homeless man’s beans to party in my mouth. Anyone else like beans but find it hard to eat some plain as beans day after day? There’s 2 thing I find that make beans a daily pleasure. Tortillas (with flour tortillas for tacos or fried chips for dipping) and some type of Mexican sauce. Adding both to recipe make this meal unstoppable.
690g dry beans (1.5 lb) $1.50, 1 large can enchilada sauce $1.89, 1 can chipotle in adobo 99 cents, bag of tortilla chips 89 cents = $5.27 // $1.05 Each
- Soak beans at least overnight with a ton of water. I found soaking my beans closer to 24 hours made a major difference with cooking time. Cook beans til soft. This batch took me 1.5 hours where was my last batch which I soaked only 12 hours took several hours too cook. No salt needed.
- Once beans are soft drain and pour back into pot. Add as much enchilada sauce as you’d like. I used the whole can which was a bit too much sauce. Oh well.
- If you like spicy then chop chipotle peppers and mix into beans. Be sure to add the adobo sauce as well to the beans. If you have low tolerance for spicy food then omit this step.
- Divide beans between 5 containers
- I divided my 13 oz bag of tortilla chips into 5 portions (2.6 oz each).
Vegan Rice-A-Roni (Rice Pilaf) // 68 cents EACH
This is the perfect example of over salted and flavored to the max. I think I’m in love. This dish in my new jam. I only added the orzo pasta because I had a tiny bit left in the back of my pantry and I’m trying to empty out my pantry. You can leave out the pasta or break spaghetti into small pieces. Whatever works for you. Feel free to omit or reduce anything I added to this dish. The only thing you need is rice and water. Everything else is FLAVOR!
*Different kinds of rice require different amounts of water. If you suspect your type of rice requires more water to cook than the random white rice I got from the asian store go with your instinct!
2.5 cups rice (560g) $1.20, 1 cup orzo pasta (158g) 46 cents, 1/4 cup dried parsley, 1 TB onion powder, 1/4 ts garlic powder, 1 TB dried chives (50 cents for spices), 3.5 cups water, 3 TB oil 6 cents, 3 TB better than bouillon (any vegan flavor) $1.18 = $3.40 // 68 cents EACH
- Measure out rice and pasta
- Heat oil in pan and mix rice and pasta til well coated
- Add water, bouillon and spices. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and cook for 15 minutes then turn heat off to rest for 5 minutes. Don’t remove lid for the whole 20 minutes.
- Fluff with a fork. If your rice happens to be dry feel free to add a 1/4 cup of broth or water.
- Divide into 5 containers.
Inspired by My Forking Life