3-Day Budget Vegan Meal Prep [Japanese Recipes Edition]

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You can absolutely get a budget vegan meal prep done, without sacrificing taste and nutrition. Follow this easy plan to meal prep on a budget!

budget vegan meal prep

You can definitely prep vegan meals on a budget. Whether you are trying to build an emergency fund or money is just tight right now, this meal prep plan will help you stick to your food budget!

In this post, I will share tips for meal prepping on a budget, a few affordable meal prep must-haves, and the best cheap ingredients for meal prep!

Lastly, I will share the step-by-step instructions on how to prepare three breakfasts, three lunches, and three dinners which will last in the fridge for up to four days and are budget-friendly.

This post is all about budget vegan meal prep!

Budget Vegan Meal Prep:

Tips For Meal Prepping On A Budget

Overlap Ingredients

Ingredients such as flour, rice, and frozen veggies (to name a few) come in bigger packages. Choose some that work for more than one meal or that generally combine well and overlap those across meals! For example, in the meal plan that is included at the end of this post, rice is used for the fried breakfast rice as well as a side to the eggplant teriyaki. Frozen vegetables are another versatile ingredient, which can be used in soups, stir-fries, curries, etc.

Avoid Organic, Buy Generic

If you are on a strict budget, avoid organic ingredients! You don’t have to buy organic ingredients to nourish your body. You can still reap the benefits from whole foods even if they are not organic! Have an open mind and experiment with generic brands instead. These will put a lot less pressure on your budget.

Check Prices Online In Advance

Most larger grocery stores offer an online shopping service via their website nowadays. Check the prices of the ingredients you want to use in advance and eliminate those which are too expensive. Add everything to your shopping cart to have an idea of the total price. This will help you gauge whether you are shopping within your budget!

Best Budget Meal Prep Containers

I’m generally not an advocate of budget meal prep containers, since I believe it is more sustainable to invest in long lasting containers. However, if you are still experimenting with meal prep, don’t allow budgetary constraints hold you back! Buy a set of affordable containers and get started. These budget-friendly containers will be perfect to get going with.

Food Storage Container Set

Rubbermaid 60-Piece Food Storage Containers with Lids, Salad Dressing and Condiment Containers, and Steam Vents, Microwave and Dishwasher Safe, Red
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This Rubbermaid Food Storage Containers Set is the ultimate budget food storage container starter kit. It contains a total of 30 containers including 30 lids of varying sizes. The full set exists of six 0.5-cup, six 1.25-cup, six 2-cup, five 3-cup, four 5-cup, two 7-cup, and one 9-cup container.

Meal Prep Container Set

Snapware Total Solution Rectangular Plastic Meal Prep Food Storage Set (10-Piece, BPA Free, Meal Prep, Leak-Proof, Microwave, Freezer and Dishwasher Safe)
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If you just want to prep meals and are not interested in any other sizes of food storage containers, then this Snapware Total Solution Rectangular Plastic Meal Prep Food Storage Set is for you! It includes five 3-cup meal prep containers, enough to prep your lunches for the week ahead.

Best Cheap Ingredients For Meal Prep

Frozen Or Canned Produce

My dietitian friends have ensured that frozen or canned fruits and vegetables are just as nutritious, if not more, than their fresh counterparts. They are also incredibly convenient and usually very affordable.

In the meal plan that is included at the end of this post, frozen vegetables are used in the fried breakfast rice.

cheap vegan recipes for college students


Grains, including white or whole-wheat flour, rice, pasta, and quinoa are all inexpensive and versatile. Most grains are also very shelf-stable making them a great pantry staples to always have on hand.

In the meal plan that is included at the end of this post, grains are used in the form of rice for breakfast and dinner and in the form of sandwiches for lunch!

budget vegan meals


Just like grains, beans are cheap! The cheapest way to prepare them is cooking them from dry, but canned beans won’t break the bank either. Not only are they cheap, but they also provide quality plant-based protein!

In the meal plan that is included at the end of this post, beans are used in the form of chickpea omelet (chickpea flour) for breakfast, in the form of tofu (soya beans) for lunch, and in the form of chickpeas (garbanzo beans) for dinner!

cheap vegan meal plan and grocery list

3-Day Budget Vegan Meal Prep [Japanese Recipes Edition]

You can absolutely get a budget vegan meal prep done, without sacrificing taste and nutrition. Follow this easy plan to meal prep on a budget!
Course Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Asian
Keyword budget vegan meal prep, cheap vegan meal prep, meal prep recipe, Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Calories 1088kcal
Servings 3 days worth of meals
Author Lien Vanneste
Cost Vegan Omurice (Japanese Omelet Fried Rice): ZAR 5 / meal, Japanese-Style Tofu “Egg” Sandwich: ZAR 20 / meal, Vegan Teriyaki Eggplant Bowl: R 10 / meal


  • medium mixing bowl
  • non-stick frying pan
  • medium shallow bowl
  • griddle pan (optional), can use a non-stick frying pan instead


Vegan Omurice (Japanese Omelet Fried Rice)

  • 3/4 cup chickpea flour
  • 3 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder or asafoetida powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoon grapeseed oil divided
  • 2 teaspoon soy sauce divided
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 1/2 onion finely diced
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 cup frozen mixed vegetables, such as carrot, corn, green beans and peas
  • 1 1/2 cup day-old cooked white rice
  • 1/4 cup ketchup

Japanese-Style Tofu "Egg" Sandwich

  • 350 g firm tofu silken tofu would also work, but the consistency will be slightly different! don't use extra firm tofu.
  • 3 tablespoon vegan mayo
  • 1/2 teaspoon English mustard
  • 1 green onion finely diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • Dijon mustard to taste
  • 6 slices of Shokupan (Japanese milk bread loaf) or soft sandwich bread

Vegan Teriyaki Eggplant Bowl

  • 2 eggplants/aubergine diced in bite-sized chunks
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger grated
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 240 g (1.5 cup) chickpeas (equals 1 can of chickpeas) drained and rinsed
  • 3 cups cooked rice I used sushi rice
  • sprinkle of spring onion finely sliced
  • sprinkle of sesame seeds


Vegan Omurice (Japanese Omelet Fried Rice)

  • Whisk chickpea flour, nutritional yeast, onion or asafoetida powder, and baking powder until well combined. Then, whisk in 1 tablespoon of grapeseed oil and 1 teaspoon of soy sauce as well as 1 cup of water. Set the batter aside.
  • Heat a medium-size non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil, onion, and garlic. Saute until translucent for a few minutes. Add the frozen vegetables and rice and continue to saute for a few more minutes until everything is warmed through. About 5 minutes! Stir in the ketchup as well as the remaining soy sauce! Transfer the fried rice to a bowl and set it aside.
  • Clean the non-stick frying pan and return to the stovetop over medium heat. Scoop 1/3 of the batter into the frying pan and tilt to cover the bottom of the pan. Cook until the top is puffed up for about 5 mins. Use a spatula to remove the omelet from the pan and repeat twice more.
  • Store the fried rice in a separate container from the omelette in the fridge for up to four days. Before serving, add the rice onto half of the omelette and then fold the other side over. Reheat in the microwave and enjoy!

Japanese-Style Tofu "Egg" Sandwich

  • Cut tofu in 1/2 cm slices. Pat them dry with a towel. Then, cut the slices in 1/2 cm cubes! Add the tofu to a medium mixing bowl followed by the green onion, vegan mayo, English mustard, sugar, salt and, black pepper.
  • Stir carefully, to combine everything.
  • Store the tofu "egg" salad in a container in the fridge until you are ready to use it. Before serving, assemble your sandwich by lightly spreading some Dijon mustard on one slice of bread and adding some tofu "egg" salad. Top with another slice of bread. If you wish, carefully cut off the bread crust.

Vegan Teriyaki Eggplant Bowl

  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the soy sauce, mirin, rice wine vinegar, brown sugar, ginger, and garlic together. Make sure the brown sugar is dissolved.
  • Add the eggplant chunks to a larger shallow bowl and pour over the marinade. Stir and make sure all the pieces are well-coated.
  • Allow the eggplant to marinate for at least 20 minutes.
  • While the eggplant is marinating, cook the rice or any grain you wish to serve with the teriyaki eggplant and chickpeas.
  • Place a griddle pan on the stove over medium-high heat! Once it is hot, add the marinated eggplant.
  • While it is cooking, pour over the leftover marinade! Cook for a few minutes on each side, until it is nicely browned and charred.
  • Once the eggplant is done cooking, add the chickpeas and toss.
  • Divide the Teriyaki Eggplant (and chickpeas) amongst 3 meal prep containers and serve with rice. Garnish with some spring onion and sesame seeds!
  • Store in the fridge for up to four days or freeze for up to three months!


Calories: 1088kcal | Carbohydrates: 164g | Protein: 46g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 12g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 3456mg | Potassium: 1812mg | Fiber: 27g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 4868IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 362mg | Iron: 9mg

This post was all about budget vegan meal prep!

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