I Meal Prep For A Family of 5 With Less Than $100

published on July 2, 2020

– Hi! I'm Erica

I am a personal chef and recipe developer,

and you may have seen me do some

meal prep videos in the past with Goodful,

and today I'm going to be working on

a meal prep for five people
with a budget of under $100

I'm at home right now,

so I'm gonna be doing
this for my own family

What I'm gonna do now,
before I plan the menu,

is shop my pantry and find
out what I can make use of

that's already in the house

We have a really good
selection of canned goods,

which is great

Here we've got some maple syrup,

I think I can put that to use

My family does have a really
well stocked oil, vinegar,

salt, pepper, spices kind of situation so

I'm gonna use those for sure

Those can be pricier items
so I'm gonna eliminate those

from my grocery list

Okay, so now that I've shopped my pantry,

I am going to place my grocery order

I am leaning in a more
vegetarian direction

because I know that that will
help me stretch my budget

What I'm planning for this meal prep

is three mains and three sides

And I'm doing this in
a family style format,

which means that I'm
gonna store everything

in large containers

That means my family and I

are gonna be able to
mix and match the food

over the course of the week

For mains

I'm gonna do a pasta
salad, a cold pasta salad

And then I'm also going to do a

roasted tomato stewed butterbeans

And a rice curry chicken meatball

So I'm adding a grain into my meatballs

so that I can stretch my meat

And in terms of portioning,

I'm gonna do I think 10 servings of the–

(high pitch sped up voice)

Five days worth of dinners
for my entire family of five

Sides, I'm gonna go with

a balsamic tahini roasted
cauliflower and potato salad

I'm gonna do a grainy mustard slaw

I'm also gonna do an herbed brown rice

I'm gonna be able to
incorporate the rice in two ways

in this prep, which means
that I will not have to

order two different grains

All right

My groceries have arrived

I'm going to unpack them,

but before I do that,

I wanna show you my work station setup

The same I do before every
client prep or personal prep

I have my cutting board set up,

it's stabilized,

I've got my nice sharp knife

I have a salt cellar here ready to go

I've got a towel for
grabbing anything hot

And then finally I've
got my trustee scrap bowl

for when the veggies come out

I have a theory that
it's best to always have

something going on your stove,

in your oven and on your
cutting board all at once

So what I've done is I
have gotten my oven heated

and it has potatoes that
are going to go into the

cauliflower potato salad

Water on the stove boiling away,

that's going to blanch some broccoli

And I am getting ready
to cut into this cabbage

So this is a big time saving tip

I have garlic going into a
couple of different dishes,

and I'm going to chop all
of the garlic at once,

I'm going to chop all
this parsley now at once

As you can see, I've kept
quite a bit of the stem

on this parsley

That's another parsley tip is,

with most soft herbs,

you can keep a good amount of the stem

It's gonna be a little bit
more pungent than the leaf

It may be a tiny bit tougher,

but if you're finely mincing,
that's gonna be okay,

and that's a shortcut that I often take

I'm getting ready to
compile and finish my slaw

You can see the one head of cabbage

gave me a huge amount of salad,

and I've also topped it with
this dressing that I've made

I love the cabbage because, like I said,

it yields quite a bit

It lasts forever in the
fridge, which is great

Once it's actually dressed,

it still holds up for at
least three to four days

And that is it

If this is done, I'm gonna pop this

into my big container now

I just realized that
the pasta that I ordered

is a much smaller amount
than I was expecting

Which is totally fine

What I've done is (chuckles)

gone back and shopped my pantry again

And I was lucky to find that

there is another box of pasta back there!

So, it is a different shape,

but that is totally fine

Another option to fill
in for pasta would be

subbing in some rice, maybe adding

some additional beans to the dish

The pasta is in and it
is a gluten free pasta,

so it's especially important to stir it

until the water returns to a boil

It's in salted water
and I am just giving it

a stir until the water comes back up,

and this will prevent it from sticking

Since I am adding broccoli
to this pasta salad,

I'm actually using the same exact water

that I'm cooking the pasta
in to blanch the broccoli

I just got my two heads
of cauliflower onto

two separate baking
sheets, very well spread,

and they're in the oven at
425 with some olive oil,

salt and pepper,

and they're gonna go until
they're nice and golden

All right, I have my meatball mixture

less the meat, ready to go here

I am getting ready to roll my meatballs,

and one of the things I always have handy

when I'm doing that is
a bowl of warm water

I dip my hands in it

and that makes rolling the
meatball without getting

the meatball stuck all over
your hand a lot easier

And this will make quite a few

I'm going to bake these off

between 20 and 30 minutes,

flipping them halfway through

So I have most of the
components of my pasta salad

here ready to go except
the dressing component

And then I also have
my beans stewing away,

simmering over there on the stove,

and I have my meatballs in the oven

One of the last things I have to do here

is mix up my herbed rice

When I reheat this, I am going to pop it

either onto the stove
or into the microwave

with a little bit of water,

maybe like a tablespoon of water per

one to two cups of rice

Cooked rice

And then I am going to
add a drizzle of olive oil

and that's gonna bring it
really nicely back to life

so it's not like a crunchy rice salad

I'm putting the finishing
touches on the last dish

which is the tomato stewed butterbeans

You can use Lima beans here

Really any other white bean

And I wanna talk about one
of the most important things

you need to be doing as you cook which is

tasting your food

And that is it!

So we have our herbed rice salad

Our delicious balsamic and
tahini cauliflower potato salad

We've got our pasta salad that
has some blanched broccoli,

mozzarella, Parmesan, and lemon zest

Our curried meatballs

Our tomato stewed white beans

Our very voluminous slaw

And then some more pasta salad over here

So, what I've done is really plan a menu

that focuses on pretty
similar flavors throughout

And what I would call
the flavor profile here

is kind of like light,
bright, mediterranean

slash Middle Eastern inspired

And this is gonna give me the flexibility

to pair various items together

So the bill for this prep
actually came out to be

just around $75, and one of
the main things that I did

other than shopping my
pantry for this meal prep

was to lean into a mostly vegetarian menu

I do have the meatballs and
the rest of the proteins

in this meal prep are legumes,

which are very inexpensive

All right!

That concludes the cooking portion,

and now onto the cleanup

I have done my best to kind of
reuse the same pots and pans,

and clean up throughout,

so it shouldn't be too painful

But it does have to get done

Once again, this has
been me showing you guys

how I meal prep for five people,

for five days worth of
food, for under $100,

and it has been such a joy
to cook along with you

And I hope that you found it entertaining

and somewhat educational

If you would like to see more,

you can subscribe to this channel

You can check me out on
Instagram @fresherica

and if you're curious
about more of my recipes,

freshericacom you'll find

an eBook where I have outlined
meal prep for beginners

and you can also find
some of my recipes there

So thank you again and happy cooking

(uplifting classical string music)

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