Sam's Club meal prep hack

@d_shaba/TikTok Jonathan Weiss/ShutterStock (Licensed)

Whole Foods, Publix, Sam’s Club, and more: 5 cheap, viral, healthy meal prep hacks that require little effort

‘I’ve got to try this.’


Ljeonida Mulabazi


Meal prepping has exploded in popularity in recent years as people look for efficient ways to save time and money while maintaining a healthy diet.

Meal prep allows individuals or families to plan and prepare their meals ahead of time, either by readying their ingredients, cooking large meals to be portioned, or another method.

Recently, consumers have discovered ways to avoid cooking altogether when meal prepping, often by bulk-buying prepared food products or bulk-ordering affordable meals from restaurants. Below, we’ve listed five of the best meal prep hacks the internet has to offer. Let’s dive in.

Sam’s Club meal prep hack

Halloween cake balls at Sam's Club (l) Sam's Club building with sign (c) Halloween cake balls at Sam's Club (r)

A meal prep hack that has been trending recently involves purchasing pre-cooked or partially cooked food and rationing it as a way to save even more time.

TikTok creator Daniella Shaba (@d_shaba) recently shared a video where she purchases a few family-size prepared foods at Sam’s Club to enjoy throughout the week. 

“A lot of people don’t know this, but you can literally meal prep using Sam’s Club food,” she says in the video.

In the video, we see her walk over to the prepared food section at Sam’s Club.

She then picks up packages of grilled chicken breasts, Brussels sprouts, and potatoes au gratin, totaling $26.44. Back home, she portions two chicken breasts, a handful of Brussels sprouts, and some potatoes into five different containers, creating five balanced meals, each containing 460 calories.

If you’re someone with a hectic schedule who doesn’t have time to grocery shop and cook, this hack could be the perfect solution for you.

Whole Foods meal prep hack

Woman talking(l+r), Whole Foods Market(c)
Ken Wolter/Shutterstock @gabbyydimauro/Tiktok (Licensed)

Even though Whole Foods is known for its high-end products and higher price points, TikTok creator Gabrielle DiMauro (@gabbyydimauro) discovered a product that saves her both money and time. 

In a recent video, DiMauro shared how excited she was to find two large family style prepared meals for just $26 each.

The two packages contained several pieces of protein, specifically chicken and salmon, plus sides like green beans, mashed potatoes, and sweet potatoes.

“I don’t have to cook for the rest of the week,” DiMauro exclaimed. “I am thrilled. Thrilled! Go get it.”

However, not all Whole Foods locations carry this product. DiMauro is located in Rochester, New York, so availability may vary by region.

Be sure to check with your local store to see if they offer these convenient and cost-effective meal options.

Publix meal prep hack

Shopper explains her meal prep lunch hack at Walmart is only $20
@awalmartparkinglot/TikTok Lester Balajadia/ShutterStock (Licensed)

Another supermarket chain that offers prepared foods you can use for meal prepping is Publix, according to TikTok user @awalmartparkinglot

In a recent video, the creator, who calls herself Miss Redacted, says she uses this hack for lunch every single workweek. She buys two large pre-made salad kits, accompanied with a few pieces of grilled chicken. 

“All of this together is less than 20 bucks, and it makes four lunches. And it’s healthy,” said Miss Redacted in her video.

Chili’s meal prep hack

Customer showing how they do a Chilis Meal Prep
@whatshaynasay/TikTok Ken Wolter/ShutterStock (Licensed)

Next on the list of popular places to bulk-buy is the beloved Tex-Mex chain restaurant Chili’s.

TikTok creator Shayna (@whatshaynasay) is popular for the meal prep advice she shares on her platform. In a recent video, Shayna revealed that Chili’s is one of her go-to spots for a “lazy girl” meal prep. She says she ordered the “triple fajita party trio,” which contains chicken, beef, and shrimp for the mains—while the sides include tortillas, black beans, rice, shredded cheese, guacamole, sour cream, pico de gallo, etc.—all for $56.

Shayna was able to pack seven meals out of this order, plus one additional portion that she enjoyed immediately after ordering. This breaks down to $7 per meal, making it an excellent deal, especially given the current high food prices.

Mexican meal prep hack

chicken enchiladas with rice and beans in styrofoam container with caption ' This was $20!! 4 orders of chicken enchiladas with rice and beans!' (l) chicken enchiladas with rice and beans in styrofoam container with caption ' This was $20!! 4 orders of chicken enchiladas with rice and beans!' (c) chicken enchiladas with rice and beans in styrofoam container with caption ' This was $20!! 4 orders of chicken enchiladas with rice and beans!' (r)
@pawdpiper/TikTok (Fair Use) Remix by Caterina Cox

TikTok user @pawdpiper believes he’s discovered an even more convenient way to meal prep rather than purchasing meal kit plans—ordering large meals from a local Mexican restaurant. 

In a recent video, the creator showcases four orders of chicken enchiladas with rice and beans for just $20. In the caption, he writes “$20 out the door for 4 days of food.”

@pawdpiper doesn’t disclose the name of the restaurant where he purchased the enchiladas, but it’s safe to assume most Mexican joints near you carry similar foods.

“Order four combos during the special happy hour at your local Mexican food restaurant and enjoy,” the creator advises.

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The Daily Dot