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Prep Once, Eat for a Week: 10 Meals for $50

Pingu196 / flickr

No time to prepare fresh meals every night? That doesn't mean you're confined to order in junk. You just need some planning, and we've done the leg work for you. What follows is a how-to guide for preparing all your meals on the weekend and eating for an entire week. You'll save money by brown-bagging it to work and you can quickly assemble the muscle-building, energy-boosting dinners at home in minutes. The best part: We priced it out on a budget, so you'll get a week's worth of lunches and dinners for $50.

  Lunch Dinner
Sun   Tilapia with Brown Rice + Spinach Salad
Mon Lean Deli Meat Wrap, Carrots, Hummus + Fruit Grilled Flank Steak with Potato Squares + Salad
Tues Chicken Salad Fish Tacos 
Wed Flank Steak Wrap + Berries Chicken Pasta Marinara + Salad 
Thurs Leftover Pasta Low-Fat Chicken Caesar Salad
Fri Flatbread Chicken Sandwich +Fruit   

Sunday Preparation


  • Flank Steak: Rub flank steak with 1 tbsp of olive oil, salt and pepper and 1 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce . Grill or cook the steak to your liking.
  • Chicken: Rub chicken with salt a pepper, coat the chicken breast with 3 tbsp of honey mustard dressing and grill or cook in a pan until juice runs clear.
  • Fish: Sprinkle 3 oz of fish with blackened seasoning. If you're cooking salmon, then preheat the oven to 350 degrees. While it's preheating, melt 1/2 tbsp of butter and a 1/4 cup of lemon juice in a saucepan. Drizzle the mixture over the fish, sprinkle with dill weed and bake for 15 minutes. If you're cooking white fish, then preheat the over to 425 degrees. While it's preheating, combine a 1/2 tbsp of lime juice, 1/8 tsp of onion powder and 1/8 tsp of black pepper in a bowl and drizzle over the fish. Top fish with olive oil, bake for 20 minutes and sprinkle with parsley.


  • Wash, cut and store green and red peppers, onions and red cabbage.
  • Saute four peppers and half an onion in 1 tbsp of olive oil.


  • Rice: Cook rice according to package directions.
  • Pasta: Cook pasta according to package directions.
  • Sweet Potatoes: Cut sweet potatoes into 1-inch squares, coat them with olive oil, salt, pepper, dried oregano and basil and bake at 450 degrees for 30 minutes.

The Grocery List


  • 1 1/2 lbs flank steak
  • 6 oz chicken
  • 6 oz of fish
  • 6 oz lean deli meat


  • Corn tortillas
  • Sweet potatoes
  • 100% Whole Wheat or Flour Tortillas


  • 1 baby carrots
  • 1 red and 1 green bell peppers
  • 1 bag of greens (spinach, romaine or kale)
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 tomato (Roma or grape)
  • 1 red onion and 1 sweet onion
  • 1 green onion (scallion)
  • 1 bunch garlic
  • 1 red cabbage
  • Cilantro and parsley
  • 1 lemon and 1 lime
  • 1 apple 
  • 1 pear
  • 2 containers of berries
  • 1 mango
  • 1 orange, 1 tangerine, 1grapefruit

The Grocery Staples

  • Natural peanut butter
  • Reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • Dijon mustard
  • Low-sodium soy sauce
  • Salsa
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Honey
  • Tabasco sauce
  • Dried spices—garlic, thyme, rosemary, basil, lemon, salt and pepper
  • Chicken stock
  • Brown rice
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Marinara sauce
  • Pickles
  • Canned black beans
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Hummus
  • Low-fat dressing
  • Blackened seasoning

**Grocery list was priced out at Safeway.com and does not include staple items**

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About The Author

Amanda Carlson-Phillips – Amanda Carlson-Phillips is the vice president of nutrition and research at EXOS. As a registered dietitian, she has provided educational seminars and individual counseling to a variety of professional and elite sports organizations.

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Tags: Cooking, Recipes, Food