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Quick, Healthy, Budget Friendly Meals

By January 27th, 202111 Comments

Quick, Healthy, Budget Friendly Meals

The Single Mamas Guide to Making Healthy Quick Budget Friendly Meals
by Sherrell Dorsey of Organic Beauty Vixen

Every father’s day I send my mom a card thanking her for taking on the huge role of parenting me all by herself. Growing up in a single parent household had its ups and downs, but my mom was a rockstar and to this day I don’t think I could have did even half of what she was able to do by herself.

We had season tickets to the children’s theatre, I took dance classes two days a week, spent summers traveling, camping, horseback riding and taking drama classes. I was a blessed child with or without a father figure and even more blessed that I had a mother that didn’t play when it came to my health.

Since I first entered kindergarten and up until I finished high school, my mom made me take a lunch to school. She wasn’t a believer in lunchables but she was a big believer in having a complete meal. Before Rachel Ray, Ms. Dorsey was making 30-minute meals after a long day at work and coming home to an active daughter who needed a healthy foundation to maintain her creative zest.

Mom: I don’t know how you did it but thank you. Eating right is one of the greatest lessons we can pass on to our children. Managing a household by yourself is tough and can be stressful. Make sure you are doing your best to have a healthy future for your child and for yourself. With proper planning and a little guidance you don’t have to make meal-time a chore but a healthy bonding experience that will create a lasting impression of health when your child becomes and adult with children themselves one day.

Here’s an OBV guide adapted from my mother on prepping for quick, easy and budget-friendly meals:

With only 11 items to purchase from the grocery store you can prepare meals in under 30 minutes in your special way. Create a shopping list at the beginning of each week to map out easy, healthy meals you can make. When able, buy generic and always use coupons!

Shopping list –

  • Organic stewed tomatoes – Buy generic brands like Whole Foods 365 (look for low sodium)
  • Whole wheat angel hair pasta
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Whole wheat penne pasta
  • Baked chicken – Try Tader Joe’s frozen chicken breasts without hormones or antibiotics (Typically $6.99 a pack!)
  • Red leaf lettuce
  • Frozen shrimp
  • Ground turkey
  • Corn tortillas
  • Organic tomatoes
  • Brown rice

Meal Combinations

Monday – Spaghetti with ground turkey and fresh salad

Note: Make a big pot of sauce, freeze half for easy access for next week)

Tuesday – Baked chicken with brown rice and fresh salad

Wednesday – Sauteed shrimp in angel hair pasta and olive oil with fresh salad

Thursday – Spaghetti because you know it is going to be the bomb by Thursday!

Friday – Turkey tacos – Turn some of that ground meat into taco stuffing with tomatoes and lettuce

What are some of your favorite low-cost meals to prepare for your family?

Sherrell Dorsey is a natural beauty expert, writer, speaker and advocate of health, wellness and sustainability in communities of color. In addition to creating, Sherrell writes beauty articles for Tyra Banks’s beauty and fashion site, Jones Magazine, and Posh Beauty. Follow Sherrell on twitter at and connect with her on facebook at


  • Legally Natural says:

    First recommended food and recipe list where I would actually eat everything.

  • GlitteryGlitz says:

    Please share more of these tips with the complete recipes! Greatly appreciated!

  • Anonymous says:

    ^^^i surf on the web read books go to museums yadda yadda and find time to cook these things- it can be done- usually the little baby – 2 years old is in the kitchen with me and we are playing ball or watching cartoon youtube vids and dancing on the ipad… distractions and all- cooking is fun… it requires some forward thinking and planning but the rewards of giving people good food that keeps them happy and healthy helps to keep it going… nothing like getting big hugs for your culinary skills

  • Anonymous says:

    im not a mom, i cook for a family of four including a cute little baby- here is a sample grocery list
    triple washed spinach
    sweet potatos
    canned beans (kidney, black and chickpeas)
    low fat greek yogurt, plain
    red bell peppers
    romain lettuce or spring mix
    chard or collards
    canned tomatos
    fresh herbs
    2 % milk
    soy milk
    tea- black green jasmine
    frozen broccoli florets
    brown basmati rice
    cous cous
    whole wheat pasta
    olive oil
    smart balance butter
    multi grain bread
    natural peanut butter
    chicken breast
    fresh salmon
    canned salmon
    lean beef
    ground turkey
    turkey smoke sausage
    cage free eggs
    Lots of oatmeal
    dried fruit

    i make spinach pasta, tomato pasta, ground turkey and minced veggies, beans and rice for the baby and its served to him with steamed veggies and or fruits and yogurt

    i make granola
    iced teas
    kebab style meat balls, italian meat balls swedish meat balls with the ground meat
    salmon croquettes
    saffron brown rice, spanish brown rice, fried rice
    curries, stews, grilled meats, poached meats
    etc with this same grocery list
    employ websites like all resipes and epicurious to help you through doldrums and jazz up your meals. mastering a variety of cooking techniques, and a nice spice cabinent can keep you diet vaired, healthy and cost effective

    oh and i cook as my side- i work 8 hours a day and go to the gym for 1.5 hours 6 days a week

  • sarah says:

    as a grad student with little time to do what i love, cook, i have found that cooking can still be pleasurable without much effort at all. in as much time as it takes to cook pasta or rice, you can have a healthy and yummy meal. one thing i noticed missing from the list is veggies though. while cooking your pasta, you can throw some broccoli in the oven at 450 to roast… so yummy! you can also roast brussel sprouts, green beans, and asparagus. another good tip is beans. cooked canned white beans with some wilted spinach or kale, throw in some tomatoes, garlic, EVOO, and basil. so good!

  • Anonymous says:


  • Anonymous says:

    I'm a single mom and this has been extremely helpful as i'm always trying to come up with quick and tasty dishes that my 8 year old daughter would enjoy too.

  • Anonymous says:

    This was VERY helpful! I'm a new/first time Mom and juggling work, a side business, dropping off and picking up my son on the other side of town, taking care of home, taking care of my husband, getting up 3 times during the night, and keeping the house clean is HECTIC! I haven't mastered cooking in the midst of all of this, but I'm inspired to do so based on these tips. Thank you!

  • atribitt says:


  • Anonymous says:

    I'm a single mom too and one of the quickest, easiest and most tastiest meals is when I make shrimp fried rice (from leftover rice, potstickers, and stir-fried veggies.

  • KC says:

    My mom made all of that stuff for us, and more. My fave was her homemade pizza. Save time and money by grabbing the dough from Trader Joes for just 99 cents. Load that bad boy up with a few fresh veggies.

    As a mom of two young kids with a full-time job outside of home, I can truly appreciate tips on low cost healthy meals. Most of my faves are listed above, but I also like:

    – Anything in the crockpot (especially turkey chili, which lasts FOREVER and is freezeable)
    – brown rice or quinoa with peas and turkey kielbasa (or shrimp)
    – panko breaded oven-fried chicken

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