21+/- Meals for Under $600

This post has been in my Que for way too long. And honestly I get so many questions about how I can cook “big fancy meals” while dealing with farm animals, children/teenagers and work…. Planning and prepping these meals has been 100% influential in that success. All the stress and hassle of prepping a big meal at the end of a long day is gone. It seems overwhelming at first, but it is totally worth the effort! Let me first tell you here are some of my necessities to pull this off:

  1. a FoodSaver machine. This handy dandy little gadget I purchased from Costco on sale for $215. It comes with all different size bags OR you can cut and make your own from the rolls of plastic. This bad boy makes ALL my food prepping possible! This device sucks all the unwanted air out of the bag and allows your food to be stored in the freezer without getting terrible freezer burn! Love love love!
FoodSaver FM5330 2-in-1 Vacuum Sealing System
ps I was NOT paid for this endorsement, I just really love it.

2. Costco or Sams Club Membership. I think the two really are interchangeable. There are some things Costco has that Sams does not and vica-versa but in general just pick one, and work with it. I use Costco, so you decide.

3. A Full Pantry of Spices. Let’s be honest, spices are where the $$ is. For whatever reason these dinky little containers cost an arm and a leg…. probably because McCormick knows no one wants to eat plain Jane food so they know we’ll pay the price for them. So please know that for the most part I am using and reusing the same staple spices from my pantry and the costs of these meals does not generally include costs for the spices themselves.

McCormick Everyday Essentials Variety Pack, 0.05 lb

SO let me also explain that my husband does NOT like precooked food. This means that I can not make a beautiful lasagna or chicken enchilada then freeze it. I have to layer everything together, UNCOOKED, and then freeze it. Over the years I have managed to find ways around this, but for the most part I abide by his quirky demands. So to reiterate nothing on this list was precooked when going into my foodsaver bags. The ingredients are placed in the bag raw and ready to be cooked at a later time with little to no prep needed.

So typically I will shop for and make these meals in batches of about 20-23. I will spend about $450-600 at Costco and sometimes additional items from Safeway. I will pair meals that maybe all include chicken, tomato sauce/paste, garlic, brown gravy, potatoes, celery or carrots…. Then I will dice and slice the ingredients and bag the whole thing up with broth and seasoning all ready to go. I label each bag so we can see what each of them are in the freezer and are ready to pull something out.

I must apologize though, I did plan on having recipes attached to each meal option… I will repost when this is updated with that information, but for now, Here are some ideas for you to plan off of. If you want a specific recipe, message me! I’m getting better I promise!


in no particular order….. mix & match, pick and choose whatever works for your family. We tend to have more chicken items than beef and very few pork or fish. Also note, these are dinners only.

braised beef, ready to go in the oven and slow cook
  • beef pot rost
  • missisippi roast
  • beef tacos
  • beef enchiladas
  • braised beef
  • beef strogenoff
  • beef with broccoli
  • tri tip with baked potatoes
  • spaghetti and meatballs/ meatsauce
  • chili with cornbread waffles
Bacon wrapped pork loin
  • smoked beef brisket
  • sloppy joes
  • burgers
  • brats
  • kielbasa with onions and potatoes
  • homemade pizza with assorted toppings
  • bbq pulled pork
  • bacon wrapped pork loin
  • pork chops and stuffing
  • loaded baked potato soup
  • chicken curry with Naan
herb crusted chicken with roasted potatoes
  • herb roasted chicken and veggies
  • chicken pot pie
  • chicken and dumplings
  • lemon pepper chicken and rice
  • lemon garlic chicken
  • chicken cordon bleu
  • chicken and rice soup
  • bbq chicken and baked beans
  • thai chicken and rice
  • chicken stir fry
chili on cornbread waffles
  • chicken divan
  • pesto chicken and pasta
  • honey mustard chicken
  • marthas casserole
  • cajun jumbalaya
  • eggrolls
  • honey sesame chicken
  • tomato soup and grilled cheese
  • cilantro lime chicken taco soup

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