Mum, 30, makes 90 meals for $400 for her family of five

Mum-of-three, 30, reveals how she meal prepped 90 dinners with a $400 shop – and the simple tricks she swears by that save her money and HOURS in the kitchen

  • Mary and her husband meal prepped 90 meals for their family of five for $400 
  • She said the bulk prep took ten hours to do and is expected to last four weeks
  • They stored the food in containers from Coles and placed in a chest freezer 
  • Mary also shared her top meal prep tips and how to keep costs down  

An Australian mother-of-three has revealed how she meal prepped 90 meals for her family of five for just $400.

Mary and her husband, from New South Wales, made a variety of tasty meals, including beef stroganoff with penne pasta and a chicken peanut stir fry in 10 hours after setting aside a Sunday and Monday evening to prepare them.

The 30-year-old told FEMAIL that while they often meal prep for the following week, they thought they’d experiment on an ‘extreme level’ to save money and see how long the food would last them. 

An Australian mother-of-three (left) has revealed how she meal prepped 90 meals for her family of five for just $400 

Mary and her husband, from New South Wales, made a variety of tasty meals, including beef stroganoff with penne pasta and a chicken peanut stir fry in 10 hours after setting aside a Sunday and Monday evening to prepare them

‘We estimated that the meals should last us three to four weeks depending on whether my husband and I take one for lunch,’ Mary said, adding that they store the meals in a 200L chest freezer they bought.

‘Usually we only cook for a week or two at a time but my husband and I both enjoy cooking so we just thought we’ll try it on a larger scale so it lasts longer – and if it’s good, we’ll keep it going,’ she said.

Mary said although buying groceries in bulk seems more expensive at first, you will save money over a longer period of time.


 ‘Usually we only cook for a week or two at a time but my husband and I both enjoy cooking so we just thought we’ll try it on a larger scale so it lasts longer – and if it’s good, we’ll keep it going,’ she said

‘We estimated that the meals should last us three to four weeks depending on whether my husband and I take one for lunch,’ Mary said (pictured far left) 

* Make a list of all meals and all ingredients before venturing out to the shops – this makes it easier when thinking about all the ingredients you would need 

* Think about containers, where you’re going to store the food and whether you have enough space   

* If meal prepping for adults as well as kids, try to think of recipes to please everyone so the meals are not wasted

* Keep costs down buy buying in bulk from a butcher and a fresh fruit and vegetable shop 

Mary said they purchased a 200 litre chest freezer to store all of the meals 

Mary’s top meal prep and grocery shopping tips include making a list of ingredients before going to the supermarket and considering where you’re going to store the food

WHAT DISHES DID THE COUPLE MAKE?  

Chicken rissoles with rice

Beef stroganoff with penne pasta

Beef goulash with nockerl

Beef kofta with roasted vegetables

Chicken peanut satay stir fry with rice

Chicken and lentil curry

Spaghetti Bolognese

Potato pie

Lentils

Source: Budget Friendly Meals Australia Facebook 

‘My husband used to buy so much takeaway as we were just not prepared with food, but now he will just grab a pre-prepared meal from the freezer and off he goes,’ she said.

‘I definitely would recommend bulk buying as although it’s a lot of money to outlay initially, you will be saving so much in the end.’

Mary said the bulk meal prepping is helpful as their three young daughters can take a meal out of the fridge or freezer to heat-up for a quick bite.


‘Think about containers! We purchased about four 25 packs of plastic containers from Coles which made it easy for us to stack them on top of one another in the freezer as they sit quite flat,’ Mary said

Mary’s top meal prep and grocery shopping tips include making a list of ingredients before going to the supermarket, considering where you’re going to store the food and whether you need to purchase more containers and making food the whole family will enjoy. 

‘Think about containers! We purchased about four 25 packs of plastic containers from Coles which made it easy for us to stack them on top of one another in the freezer as they sit quite flat,’ Mary said. 

‘If meal prepping for adults as well as kids, try to think of recipes to please everyone so no food is wasted.’ 

Mary also said in order to keep costs down, purchase meat in bulk from a butcher and buy fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices from a local fruit shop – as supermarkets tend to be overpriced.

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