Managing household expenses is a challenge, especially at moment, due to the rising cost of living. Food prices, especially, seem to have gone through the roof and a lot of people are looking for ways to reduce these costs. One way is to plan and prep meals in advance, which can not only stretch your dollars, but it can also help to reduce food waste.

Jump onto social media and you’ll no doubt come across a number of accounts shouting the virtues of meal prepping.

We went a little closer to home and asked two meal preppers, who are part of the Bank of us team, to share their meal prepping tips.

Jayne’s family approach: With a family of four, Jayne turned to meal prepping to cut down on waste, save precious time, and help navigate the busy working week.

Vallerie’s solo strategy: Living on her own, Vallerie wants to boost her savings. She likes the convenience of having meals prepared so she won’t be tempted to get takeaway.

The meal prepping process


Each Sunday Jayne makes sure to use up any leftover veggies and meats from the previous week.

“I usually cook up something like a big frittata for the family for an easy Sunday meal and then I can flick through the online supermarket catalogues for specials on meat and veggies and plan some meals around discounted items.”

Involving her two kids (aged 12 and 16), Jayne creates a menu for lunches and dinners for the week “I write a shopping list on a piece of paper- no fancy apps, for me and head to the supermarket.

“Back home, I’ll spend some time cooking. I might make a double batch of fried rice or a green chicken curry with rice and place portions inside zip lock bags that can be placed neatly in the freezer, they don’t take up much room and defrost quickly. “

Jayne is a big fan of wraps that she can make in bulk and keep in the fridge for the family to grab and go during the week. Scrambled egg, cheese, spinach and mushrooms with ham are a favourite. Or beef taco mince with corn chips and cheese or leftover spaghetti bolognaise.

“It’s important to make it easy. I’ll cut up fruit like watermelon, pineapple and oranges and keep in the fridge, ready for a healthy snack or to pop into lunchboxes.”


Vallerie’s new to the meal prepping game but is already seeing the benefits.

“I like to scroll TikTok for recipes before I hit the supermarket with my list.

It sounds a bit boring but a supermarket roast chicken really is a great foundation for a lot of different meals. It serves as staple through the week. Shredded roast chicken with noodles or in sandwiches is quick and easy fix. The chicken carcass can be used to make a stock for soups or risotto so nothing is wasted!” She likes to do batch cooking with a friend so they can share ingredients and hang out at the same time.

The flip side of meal prepping

Jayne says it’s important to like cooking if you want meal prepping to work.

Vallerie says sometimes she gets bored with what she has cooked. “If I make a big batch of something, I have to eat it, even if it doesn’t taste good”. Or if something is delicious- like her fried broccoli, she might finish the batch in 2 days when it was meant to last the week!

Jayne says meal prepping takes half of her Sunday. “But it means I do get back time during the week that I can spend with my kids and I don’t have the pressure of cooking every night”.

Our top meal prepping tips

  • Keep on top of what’s in the fridge. Keep a container marked ‘Eat me first’ for random leftover items like fruit and yoghurts so the kids know to use them up and food doesn’t go to waste.
  • Spot the specials in online supermarket catalogues to help you plan your menu.
  • Get input from your kids about what they want to eat for school lunches and dinner, to avoid waste and unnecessary snacking.
  • Always shop with a list to avoid impulse purchases.
  • Follow social media cooking accounts, save yummy looking recipes on your phone so that you’ve got some inspiration when it comes time for meal planning.
  • Handy gadgets like a cheap pie maker and a sandwich press are helpful for using up leftovers and heating wraps. A rice cooker that can cook rice and other dishes like risotto makes cooking easier.
  • Put the meal plan on the fridge so everyone can see what’s for dinner.
  • Get kids involved in the kitchen so they can learn to enjoy cooking- and they can start to share the responsibility as they get older.

Meal prepping can help you take control of your grocery budget, reduce food waste, and enjoy the convenience of having delicious, home-cooked meals ready to go throughout the week.

Please note this information is general in nature and does not take into account your personal circumstances or objectives. You should consider this before acting on any of the information contained.