Budget & Time-Friendly Meals


School can be stressful, and so can many other things in life. One less stress we want to worry about is ensuring that we have healthy food to eat throughout the day without breaking our banks and consuming too much time! Luckily, I have some options for a healthy and cheap week of meals. With the help of my friend and classmate, Aaliyah, we came up with 5 days-worth of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options using minimal ingredients; all for under $20! You can prep all of these meals in under one hour. Below is a grocery list, all of the recipes, and a video if you’d like to see this process all summed up! Let’s get started!



What’s on the menu?


  • Apple Pie Oatmeal
  • Egg Bites


  • Stuffed Bell Peppers
  • Burrito Bowls


What will we need?

Grocery List:

  • 1 rotisserie chicken
  • 3 bell peppers
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 bag of rice
  • 1 bag baby spinach
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 container oatmeal
  • peanut butter or PB powder
  • 1-3 apples
  • 1/2 dozen eggs
  • small container of non-fat Greek yogurt
  • optional sides: cheese, avocado, sausages, salsa
  • optional spices: salt, pepper, cinnamon, oregano, basil, ground cumin, garlic salt/powder


1st stop: Egg Bites



  • 6 eggs
  • bell pepper, chopped
  • spinach
  • salt and pepper


  1. First, preheat the oven to 375ºF.
  2. Then, chop up about 1/3 cup of bell peppers, 1/3 cup of onion, and 1/2 cup of spinach. Crack six eggs into a large bowl.
  3. Add veggies and spices of choice to the bowl and whisk.
  4. Grease a muffin tray and pour mixture into 6 cups. Alternatively, you can whisk the eggs and spices alone, place the veggies into the muffin tins, and pour the eggs over the veggies. Whatever works for you! [You may also choose to use different veggies or add turkey sausages or other meats, the options are limitless! I like to sprinkle my egg bites with cheese before baking.]
  5. Finally, bake for about 16 minutes, let cool, and serve! These egg bites are a great option for students or people with busy schedules.

Store them in the fridge. When you’re ready to eat them, pop them in the microwave for 30 seconds and enjoy on the go!

Stop 2: Apple Pie Oatmeal



  • rolled oats (oatmeal)
  • 1 apple
  • cinnamon
  • peanut butter
  • fat-free plain greek yogurt


  1. Chop up an apple and douse in cinnamon.
  2. Put your diced apples in the oven at 350ºF for 15 minutes. [Alternatively, you can airfry the apples for 7 minutes.]
  3. Mix 1/2 cup of oats, 1 tbsp of PB (if powdered), and a tsp of cinnamon together in a bowl and add water. [If using real PB, I suggest adding after you microwave.]
  4. Microwave mixture for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.
  5. Add apples to oatmeal mixture.
  6. Top with a table spoon or two of fat-free plain greek yougurt.
  7. Garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
  8. Dive in!


The next 2 Recipes use shared ingredients, lowering your food cost even more!


Stop 3: Stuffed Bell Peppers



  • 2-4 bell peppers (green are usually cheapest)
  • rice
  • can of tomato paste or tomato sauce
  • garlic, minced or chopped
  • rotisserie chicken
  • onion
  • oregano
  • basil
  • garlic powder or salt
  • cheese (optional)


  1. Prepare rice of choice in a rice cooker or stove top. [I like to buy the microwaveable frozen brown rice from Trader Joe’s since it’s cheap and only takes 3 minutes to cook in the microwave.]
  2. Cut off the tops of 2 or more bell peppers and rinse.
  3. Place peppers in boiling water for 4 minutes to soften.
  4. In the meantime, chop any excess bell pepper, 2 garlic cloves, 1/4 of an onion, and 4-6 ounces of your rotisserie chicken.
  5. Saute the ingredients from step 4, starting with the garlic, onions and peppers.
  6. Add the shredded chicken and about 1/3 cup of tomato sauce or paste to mixture. Feel free to add any spices you like! We made an Italian style pepper with oregano, basil, and garlic powder.
  7. Load the mixture into the peppers. [Top with cheese if you want!]
  8. Bake in the oven at 375ºF for 30 minutes.
  9. Let cool and serve!


Stop 4: Chicken and Black Bean Burrito Bowls



  • rice
  • black beans
  • frozen corn
  • rotisserie chicken
  • tomato
  • bell pepper
  • ground cumin
  • garlic powder or salt
  • chili powder
  • optional: salsa, avocado, lettuce
  1. First off in this recipe is the black bean “salad” mixture. Chop a bell pepper and a tomato.
  2. Add in 1 can of black beans (drained and rinsed) and about 1 cup of frozen corn (defrosted) into a large bowl.
  3. Add in ground cumin, garlic powder, and chili powder to taste and mix. Feel free to add more spices if desired!
  4. Assemble your bowl! For ours, we did about 1/2 cup of the rice we made previously and topped it with about 3oz of the shredded rotisserie chicken, about 1/2 cup of the black bean salad, a bit of shredded lettuce, 1/4 of an avocado, and some salsa. Easy, delicious, and nutritious!


Video link with recipes:

Healthy Eating on a Budget

I hope you enjoy these easy-to-make, budget-friendly, stress-free options!