Real food meal plans for real families with real budgets
What makes Fresh Fast & Frugal different from other meal planning services?
So many meal planning services offer beautiful recipes, but they are complicated or time consuming. The recipes are often unrelated, meaning you end up with bits of ingredients you can’t use up. “Budget” meal plans often simply pad out with meals with cheap white pasta or rice etc – not the nutritious whole foods you’d like to feed your family.
Fresh Fast & Frugal meal plans are designed to save you time and stress in the kitchen. We provide a “get-ahead” prep guide so that you can spend some time at the beginning of the week getting ready for the busy times later. Meal plans are designed so that the recipes use common ingredients across the week so that you minimise food waste. And by using seasonal ingredients, we help to keep your budget in check while still eating fresh, healthy food.
Why are there only 5 dinners per week instead of 7?
Well, because…life! The best laid plans and all that. Sometimes your week doesn’t quite flow the way you thought it would and you need to grab a freezer meal out (or a takeaway!) instead. Maybe you have a family dinner out on Saturday night, or a tradition of Friday night fish & chips or pizza. We don’t want to trap you into buying food for meals you’re not going to cook – we hate food wastage – so we offer you 5 meals a week to give you some flexibility.
Are breakfasts and lunches included?
Each meal plan contains a “double duty” recipe that works really well as a lunch or a dinner (or double batch and do both), and also suggestions for how to repurpose dinner leftovers for lunch the next day. And the weekly bonus recipes consist of breakfast and snack recipes, so you’re never short of inspiration.
Do your meal plans cater for dietary restrictions and allergies?
Not specifically. Some meals are naturally gluten or dairy or nut free, and we can offer some alternatives and substitutions with some recipes, but we suggest you consult with an Accredited Practising Dietitian or Nutritionist for advice regarding any particular dietary needs you may have.
Are there vegetarian meals?
The meal plans are based on an omnivorous diet, so there are both meat-based meals and plant-based meals. Often the meat component can be substituted eg beans or lentils for mince. And each weekly plan includes at least one completely vegetarian meal.
Can I customise the meal plan?
Of course! We know everyone’s family and lifestyle is different, so we believe in offering you flexibility in meal planning too. We’re not interested in stressing you out trying to adhere to a plan that doesn’t fit your life. There are lots of ways you can flex a meal plan to make it suit your family. Customise it by: changing the order of the meals to suit your weekly activities; or changing the protein, vegetables or carbohydrate ingredients to suit your family’s tastes or dietary needs and what you have available (eg chicken instead of lamb, white rice instead of brown, side salad instead of steamed veg). And if you don’t like the sound of a meal at all – leave it out or swap it! It’s entirely up to you. You have access to the entire Fresh Fast & Frugal Recipe Library, with over 400 recipes, so you’re bound to find something that suits!
Do I need any special kitchen appliances? Like a Thermomix or a slow cooker?
No. I do own a Thermomix, but I intentionally create my recipes to not rely on one, as I want them to be accessible to everyone. You may find that a food processor and/or blender helps you with some of the recipes, but you’ll be fine without a Thermomix. And as for a slow cooker, well some of the recipes are slow cooker recipes. But I include instructions to help you adapt them to cook on the stovetop or in the oven, so no worries there either.
Will my kids eat the meals?
I certainly hope so! But in all transparency, MY kids don’t eat everything I cook, either. But I offer you plenty of suggestions about how I make the meals more approachable for my kids in how I cook and serve them. And I believe every meal is an opportunity for kids to be exposed to, explore and learn about food. Plus, many of my recipes designed to be served build-your-own style to encourage fussy eaters to explore new foods.
How do I access the meal plans?
You have the choice of accessing the Membership content via our members-only website, or app. New meal plans, shopping lists, prep guides and recipes are uploaded each Friday morning, to allow you to shop and prepare over the weekend for the following week. In the members-only Facebook group, you can share, ask questions and get support. In there, you’ll see live videos from me each week, as well as cook-alongs of some of the meal plan recipes so you can see them in action.
Do I have to sign up for a whole year or can I cancel any time?
You don’t have to sign up for a whole year. You sign up for a monthly recurring subscription payment. This can be cancelled at any time – you’re not locked in.