Meal Prep On A Budget – Under €2 / $2 Meals

Are you on a budget? Try these easy and delicious under $2 meal prep recipes. You can easily store each meal into airtight containers and place in the fridge for meal preps to save time during a busy week. These recipes are great for lunch and dinner for busy people. You can also serve these budget-friendly meals for the family over weekend lunch or dinner.

1. Macaroni Chili


• 2 cups macaroni (uncooked)
• 1 medium white onion (diced)
• 2 garlic cloves (minced)
• 2 medium carrots (diced)
• 1 red bell pepper (diced)
• 1 can of kidney beans
• 1 tbsp vegetable oil
• 1 x 400 grams can diced tomatoes
• 400 ml water
• 2 tbsp tomato paste
• 1 vegetable bouillon cube
• 1 tsp chili powder
• 1 tsp paprika powder
• 1 tsp salt
• 1 tsp black pepper
• 1 1/2 cups soy vegetable ground


Cook macaroni according to the package instructions.
Drain and rinse.
Set aside.

Set a large pot over medium-high heat.
Add oil and heat it.
Add diced onions and minced garlic.
Saute for 3-5 minutes or until onions are soft.
Add diced tomatoes, water, tomato paste and vegetable bouillon cube.
Season with chili powder, paprika powder, salt and black pepper.
Stir to combine.
Let it simmer.
Once it starts to simmer, add soy vegetable ground.
Add diced carrots and red bell pepper.
Stir and cook for 5-8 minutes or until carrots are soft.
Add the cooked macaroni and spinach.
Stir and cook until spinach has wilted.
Once done, remove from the heat.
Transfer to a bowl.
Serve and enjoy!

2. Tofu Vietnamese Sub


• 450 grams firm tofu
• 1 tsp vegetable oil
• 1 large cucumber
• 2 whole-wheat baguettes
• some vegan mayonnaise
• some sriracha sauce
• 1/2 cup cilantro
• 1 red chili pepper (chopped)


• 3 garlic cloves (crushed)
• 2 tbsp sodium-reduced soy sauce
• 2 tsp brown sugar
• 2 tsp Sriracha hot sauce
• 1 tsp sesame oil
• juice of 1/2 lime

Pickled Carrots:

• 2 medium carrots (peeled and julienned)
• 2.5 cups hot water
• 1/2 cup white vinegar
• 1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
• 1 tsp salt


Press the tofu to remove all liquid.
Slice into quarter-inch thick pieces.
Set aside.

Prepare a shallow dish.
Add crushed garlic, sodium-reduced soy sauce and brown sugar.
Add Sriracha hot sauce, sesame oil and juice of half a lime.
Mix well to combine.
Place the tofu slices into the dish.
Coat all sides of each tofu.
Set aside and let it marinate for a few minutes.

Put julienned carrots in a jar.
Pour hot water.
Add white vinegar, brown sugar and salt.
Cover the jar.
Shake well until sugar has dissolved.
Set aside.

Set a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Add vegetable oil and heat it.
Add a single layer of marinated tofu into the skillet.
Fry each side for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown.
Do this with the remaining marinated tofu.
Remove from the skillet and transfer to a plate.
Set aside.

Use a potato peeler to make thin slices of cucumber.
Set aside.


Slice up the whole-wheat baguette to make a sandwich.
Spread some vegan mayonnaise on the baguette.
Drizzle some sriracha sauce.
Add a layer of cooked tofu slices.
Add thin slices of cucumber, followed by pickled carrots.
Add some cilantro.
Sprinkle some chopped red chili pepper.
Cut baguette into two portions.
Serve and enjoy!

3. Chana Dal


• 1.5 cups chana dal (soaked overnight)
• 2 medium white onions (diced)
• 4 garlic cloves (roughly chopped)
• 1 tbsp ginger (minced)
• 1 red chili pepper (diced)
• 1 tbsp vegetable oil
• some water (for deglazing)
• 1 tbsp curry powder
• 2 tsp turmeric powder
• 1 tsp Garam masala
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 2 cups x 500 ml boiling water
• 1 vegetable bouillon cube
• 1 1/2 cups brown rice
• 1 cup cherry tomatoes (halved)
• 1 red bell pepper (diced)
• 1 yellow bell pepper (diced)
• 1 can coconut milk


Cook brown rice according to package instructions.
Once done, set it aside.

Set a large pot over medium-high heat.
Add vegetable oil and heat it.
Add diced white onions and saute for 5 minutes until soft.
Add a splash of water.
Add chopped garlic, minced ginger and diced red chili pepper.
Saute for 2-3 minutes.
Reduce to medium heat.
Season with curry powder, turmeric powder, Garam masala and salt.
Stir and cook to combine.
Pour boiling water into the pot.
Add bouillon cube.
Add the soaked chana dal.
Stir and bring to a boil.
Once it boils, cover the lid partially and let it simmer for 25 minutes.
Stir every after 10 minutes to avoid chana dal sticking on the bottom of the pot.
After 10 minutes, add coconut milk and diced bell peppers.
Stir and cook for 10 minutes.
Add halved cherry tomatoes.
Stir and cook for 5 minutes.
Once done, remove from the heat.

Prepare a bowl.
Add some cooked brown rice and spoonfuls of the chana dal mixture.
Serve and enjoy!

Tips and ideas:

You can store each recipe in an airtight container and place it in the fridge as meal prep for lunch and dinner for the next days.

You can top it off with your preferred garnishing.

Meal Prep On A Budget - Under €2 Or $2 Meals
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