A budget-friendly meal prep for your week! (GF, DF)

Good morning, everyone! Oh, and happy Friday! 

Good evening, everyone! & happy Sunday! This post was scheduled to go live on Friday, but hotel wifi was like “NOPE!” I’m finally sitting down after a filled weekend, and getting around to posting the meal prep tutorial! Thnak you guys for being so patient!

Back to Friday…

I’m blogging from the hotel this morning. Kyle and I decided to get away this weekend for a change of scenery. I’m enjoying my coffee while he sleeps in, which makes it the perfect time to finish up this blog post before I check out for the weekend. 💜

Last week, I filmed a meal prep tutorial showing you guys how I go about preparing my meal preps (when I meal prep.)

Whether you work from home, in an office, or spend time on the road, meal prepping makes your week so much easier. It’s nice to already have your meals planned, ready, and available asap. Such a time saver and money saver.

Today’s meal prep is gluten free, dairy free, moderate carb, and budget friendly! Next meal prep will be a vegan version.
You’ll need fifteen containers for three meals for five days. I don’t like to make meals for the weekend because that’s when I like to cook, grab a bite to eat somewhere, or not feel “planned.” I just ordered three sets of five glass containers to replace these temporary ones. It doesn’t matter what the container looks like or how pricey it is, anything will work 😊 
What’s on the menu?

Breakfast: Protein pancakes, egg cups with turkey sausage, and fresh fruit.

Snack: Apple

Lunch: Grilled chicken, roasted carrots, romaine lettuce, and cashews.

Snack: Yogurt

Dinner: Spaghetti squash with a pepper and turkey tomato sauce.

Dessert: Dark chocolate & cashews

This is just a guide to show you the process of meal prepping. You can sit down and create your own menu, and make all the changes you’d like! I’d love to see your meal prep creations. Add more protein, carbs, fiber, or anything you need to fit your preference. 

1 dozen eggs + 3 // ground turkey sausage // almond milk // pancake mix // protein powder // fresh fruit

**you can customize the egg cups by adding cheeses, vegetables, or whatever you wish! 

The pancake mix I used: Birch Blender
My favorite plant-based protein powder: Orgain (vanilla or chocolate)


2-3 cups of carrots // 1.5 lbs chicken breast // romaine // cashews // marinade

**you can choose any vegetables to roast, any type of lettuce if you don’t like romaine and your favorite marinade.

If you want to make a homemade marinade, my go-to is 3 tbsps honey, 1/4 cup low sodium/gluten free soy sauce , 2 tsp garlic powder, 2 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp ground mustard, and 1 tsp apple cider vinegar. 


low sugar pasta sauce// 1 lb of ground turkey// peppers// 2 spaghetti squash

**you can replace the squash with your choice of pasta, leave the meat out if you want it to be vegan, and add extra vegetables of your choice.


apple // yogurt

**if you’d like a high protein snack, get Greek yogurt, and if you want to lower the sugar, go for celery and peanut butter instead of the apple. 


Dark chocolate // cashews

**Sometimes, I’ll buy the individually wrapped dark chocolate, but you can get any kind you want! If you’re not a dark chocolate person, find a 100 calorie ice cream bar with moderate sugar to have each night after dinner. 

Things I always cook with: garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, avocado oil, low sodium soy sauce, apple cider vinegar.

I spent a total of $66 for the week.
If you’re looking for the same reusable Ziploc bags I use, here is the link!

If you’re interested in the reusable grocery produce net bags I use, here is the link!   
These egg cups are so good!
The breakfast was my favorite. I drizzled syrup on top of the pancakes and egg cups!
If you’re a vegetarian, swap the chicken for tempeh, tofu, or black bean burgers. 
I love roasted carrots as a carb source! You can use sweet potatoes, zucchini, or something else if you wish!
I meant to make chicken lettuce wraps, but they ended up being salads all week long. If you want to see how I ate these meals all week, check out my recap post
Spaghetti squash is so filling and a delicious carb source! If you don’t like tomato sauce, add oil, parm, and garlic! That’s another fun combo.
I’ll never skip dessert, ever! 
All of the macro information is included in the video!
Don’t forget to let me know what you’d like to see next!
Questions for you!

  1. Which meal prep would you like to see next?
  2. What kinds of foods do you like to eat?
  3. Are you a weekly meal prepper?


  • Michele

    5 stars
    Wow Taralynn, this post definitely sparks my motivation

    Reply to Michele
  • Jase


    Reply to Jase
  • Kate

    Hey Taralynn! Loving the quality of your posts 🙂

    Reply to Kate
  • Vanessa

    Dear Taralynn

    I just landed on your blog and am so inspired by the simplicity of your recipes.

    My 20 year old and I have recently run out of gluten free and lactose free ideas and I am excited to give your meal plans a try.

    I love that your approach and commend you in advance for what is still to come.

    Bless you!

    Reply to Vanessa
  • Emily

    LOVE the meal prep videos!!!!! Keep it up!!!

    Reply to Emily
  • Brooklyn Murtaugh

    It is so satisfying seeing all of the full, colorful containers! I love meal prepping 🙂


    Reply to Brooklyn Murtaugh
  • Kortni

    Do more of these!

    Reply to Kortni
  • Ashton

    Yum! I love making egg cups for the week I usually add a can of the green chilies for a little heat! With fall around the corner though I think I’m going to have to make those pancakes or maybe waffles (I just got a waffle maker) I am a meal prepper but mostly just for my breakfasts/lunches for work I love coming home to make dinner. I’d love to see maybe a Keto or Paleo/Whole 30 prep? Maybe something with fish too, I eat a lot of salmon and shrimp. I love prepping them in different ways, like grilling a bunch of salmon and having it with veggies or salad! I’ve also been making a lot of Joanna Gaines recipes from her book too. Do you ever use cookbooks? Keep up the great work!

    Reply to Ashton
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Yum! I never thought to add green chilis! (I usually eat mine with syrup, so maybe that’s why!)

      I’m doing waffles for my vegan meal prep! 😀

      I’ll be doing a low carb paleo meal prep after the vegan one!

      I have her cookbook but haven’t used it yet! Which should i make first from it?

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Susie @ Mile High Dreamers

    So. Much. YUM. Am I the only one who finds it oddly satisfying to see pictures of other people’s meal prep?? The organization makes me so happy :).
    Honestly having my meals ready throughout the week makes ALL the difference in the world with how smooth my life goes. It’s absolutely worth the effort on the weekend!
    SUPER excited for the upcoming vegan edition! I’m always hunting for new vegan recipes since I’m completely guilty of falling into habit eating.
    I love eating fresh foods packed with veggies and protein because it makes me feel amazing. But I also love healthy treats that are easy to grab!
    In love with this series!

    Reply to Susie @ Mile High Dreamers
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hahahaha I like seeing them as well!

      I had so much fun creating the vegan menu! I wanted to be all homemade instead of buying the easy vegan freezer food!


      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Kristin

    Thank you SO much Taralynn for posting this! This post comes at the perfect time for me! It’s so great to get an idea about how to meal plan from someone who has done it before and you did such a good job listing everything out!! I really appreciate your ideas and how basic these ideas are! I will definitely be trying this! Thank you for being such an inspiration and for helping others be healthy! I ALWAYS enjoy your posts and I check your blog daily! So many good ideas and inspiration every time! Thank you! 🙂 <3

    Reply to Kristin
  • Katie

    How do you deal with these people every day?

    Reply to Katie
  • Cat

    How in the WORLD do you make the spaghetti squash not crunchy? I’ve tried twice and I’ve followed the directions TO A TEE and it STILL came out super crunchy and disgusting. Is there just no getting around it?? Thanks in advance!

    Reply to Cat
  • Rachel

    I’m a huge fan of meal planning too! Makes things so much easier during the week. I usually prep on Sundays and Wednesdays because I get bored of eating the same food after day 3. I have very little self control, so if I don’t feel like eating it, I typically wont, and that’s such a waste.

    Reply to Rachel
  • Emily

    Great job girl on the budget friendly meal prep! I love giving myself a set amount for the week and seeing what all I can get!

    Reply to Emily
  • Kaitlin

    I applaud you and anyone else that meal preps! I either get bored eating the same things all week or kinda get weirded out near the end of the week when I think how I made everything like 5 days before. Do you ever get bored with eating the same things?

    Love your blog!! I’ve been following for years 🙂

    Reply to Kaitlin
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I think if I’m changing it up each week, I’m fine with it! I’d get bored if I had to meal prep for weekends too! I’ll use different dressings for the salads, or add sauces to make it less-repetitive!


      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jess

    I am HUGE into meal prepping but I usually only do 3 days of the same food or else ill get sick of it. Great meal ideas!! thanks!!

    Reply to Jess
  • Patricia L

    I prep brown rice ahead of time. I eat a lot of rice so I make a huge batch in my pressure cooker then freeze individual servings in bags. It taste fresh cooked when you reheat and saves tons of time. I eat spring rolls almost every day so thawing precooked rice for them makes them a quick lunch option.

    I’m vegan as well as some others on here I see so I can’t wait for the vegan meal prep!

    Reply to Patricia L
  • Shayna

    Please keep doing these! I can’t wait for the vegan version 🙂 your video looks really well done, you should be proud of yourself!

    Reply to Shayna
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Shayna!

      That just made me smile! Thank you so much! I have so much respect for all the YouTubers out there because DANG it’s work!!! I can’t wait to improve overtime!

      I’ve been planning the vegan one and can’t wait!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jess

    Vegan meal prep!!!!

    Reply to Jess
  • Anonymous

    Hi! Do you freeze the prepped foods in the freezer, or just the fridge? Doesn’t chicken / eggs / other meats etc go bad in 5-6 days? Thanks!

    Reply to Anonymous
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi! I eat it within five days, so I keep it in the fridge. 😊 If you’re going to do longer than five, freezing would be the safest way to store your food.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Cassie

    This post is exactly what I need right now! Thank you for your blog.

    Reply to Cassie
  • Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    I love how colourful the meal prep looks, Taralynn! ❤️ I used to meal-prep every day for lunch, but I’ve fallen off the bandwagon as my workplace pays for our lunches now. 😉 Might get back on track just for healthier options, though! 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    Reply to Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
  • Erin

    Everything looks great girl! We are vegan and I have a toddler so meal prepping is a must 🙂 I usually do big batches of lentils and rice and then make different style bowls throughout the week!

    Reply to Erin
  • Elizabeth Stanek

    These all look SO GOOD!!! I am a huge fan of meal-prep and have been getting bored with my usual burrito bowls or chicken and broccoli! Can’t wait to try next week!! Thank you for making these so affordable-I am a grad student!

    Reply to Elizabeth Stanek
  • Cassie

    I’ve been wondering from your latest posts, do you track macros or prefer to do more intuitive eating? I track macros for competition prep but I’ve been doing more listening to my body lately and less tracking my food/planning ahead. 🙂

    Reply to Cassie
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Cassie!

      I just eat intuitively while paying attention to the labels of the foods I am eating. Counting macros can be exhausting! I do like to make sure I’m getting a X amount of protein a day and try to reach for lower carb options. You have to do what works for you!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
      • Cassie.

        Oh, awesome! I absolutely agree. You do what works best for you and your body. I think the only thing I really weigh/track is my protein off prep just to be sure I am getting enough for my goals haha. I was just curious because you list the macros which is so helpful for people who keep track of that 🙂

        Reply to Cassie.

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