One Simple Meal to Eliminate Extra Spending


I love food and preparing beautiful meals, but I don’t like meal planning or wasting food. I know meal planning can save time and money, but I’ve never been very good at it or interested in getting better. The easiest way to stress less about “what’s for dinner?” and to spend less money on food is to eat more of the same thing each week.

Part of my Declutter Your World in 10 Days Challenge is to eat the same 3 or 4 meals all week. I don’t mind getting hooked on a few favorites for weeks at a time. Right now there is one simple meal being served here almost everyday that provides awesome nutrition, crazy flavor and even a little variety.

Simple vegan street tacos


  • Earth Balance (vegan spread) or oil
  • corn tortillas
  • lettuce
  • avocado
  • black beans
  • cilantro
  • tomatoes
  • spicy peppers
  • sweet peppers
  • salsa
  • lemon zest


Crisp up corn tortillas in a pan  with a little Earth Balance or oil so they have a bit of crunch but are still soft enough to fold.  Add your ingredients and enjoy. Don’t underestimate the lemon zest. It calms the spicy peppers and adds wonderful flavor.

Any left over ingredients can be used for your next meal.

When I get bored with simple vegan street tacos, or when tomatoes go out of season (whichever comes first), I’ll move on to a few of my other favorite meals or create something new.

What is one meal you could eat several times a week?



  1. says

    These sound yummy and easy, Courtney. I’m all about easy. We have the same lunch every day Monday – Thursday. We also have the same dinner Monday – Thursday. Come to think of it, we eat the same breakfast too. Some call us strange, but we like easy. Our meals consist of eggs, nuts, and bananas for breakfast, spinach, black beans, and brown rice bowl for lunch, and hummus, apples, and kidney beans for dinner. We feel better than we have in years. I like to hear new recipes, so thank you. Dan Garner at Zen Presence is whipping up some great things too. Have a great weekend!

  2. says

    I have long been a fan of the simple meal eaten many times a week. Every Sunday I make a big pot of brown rice and pot of beans so that I have these ready for week. I typically eat beans and rice with veggies for at least two meals a day. sometimes three. It is the only way I found to eat healthy consistently. I have to admit I find so much comfort in eating the same thing over and over again.

  3. says

    We only grocery shop once a week (we have a tiny fridge and no freezer) so I cook in batches after a shopping day. A good staple meal for us to always have on quick hand though is mangalica bacon and eggs with some clabbered milk on the side, some fresh veggies and wild plants to go along with it. We don’t strive for sameness in our diet in day to day meals, rather cherishing the garden, the seasons and what is on hand at the moment.

  4. says

    I’m a big fan of simple eating, though my meals probably don’t look much like yours since I have trouble with nuts, beans and grains (allergies and other food sensitivities).

    My current favorite meal is a big salad. I top it with either hard boiled eggs, cooked salmon, tuna salad or a piece of grilled chicken, and, of course, homemade yogurt ranch dressing!

  5. Elizabeth says

    We have frittatas many times/week. So simple and inexpensive — I add in whatever’s seasonal, on hand, or already cooked and left over in the fridge. Examples include spinach and feta, sliced potatoes and peppers, or my favorite, brown rice and mushroom. You can make a one-person size frittata in an omelet pan, or make a family sized one in a larger skillet. There are limitless variations, so no one ever gets bored! 😉

  6. says

    I love making large chicken dishes in the crockpot. I’ll double the recipe, then freeze half of it, to eat some time when I don’t feel like cooking, and keep the other half out to eat for dinner each night that week.

  7. says

    I’m with LLH. I think of it as chicken casserole in a slow cooker, but the principle is the same. I can do the same with vegetable curry, too, but my other half isn’t keen.

  8. says

    Thanks Courtney! The above is my go-to meal as well several times a week! Although I make my own corn tortillas (takes slightly longer but is very cheap and more importantly, so tasty). Unfortunately my tortilla press’ handle broke, so I need to stand on it to flatten them out… not the most elegant, but it works.

  9. says

    I make a batch of taco meat 1-2x a week and eat tacos for lunch most days, often with slices of a granny smith apple + cashew butter for a side. It has become my lunch “uniform”. Yes, keeps things simpler! (we eat pretty much the same breakfast every day, also.) I’m glad I’m not the only one who isn’t very enthusiastic about meal planning! I always think “I should”, but I get overwhelmed just thinking about it.

  10. says

    I have a dish like that that I do all the time – vegan chili! I can put everything in it and it is delicious. It is very common for me to eat the same lunch every day for a week. I make a big batch of something and bring it to work everyday with a piece of fruit, some nuts and some raw veggies. As long as the food is healthy and tasty, I find I don’t need to vary my meals too much.


  11. Kathy Mader says

    This was the most helpful post, Courtney…I love the idea of simple eating. All the crazy recipes and cooking shows and magazines out there…totally overwhelming. Thanks everyone for sharing your great ideas, too! Simple is bound to be healthier and also less waste. Win-win. And tastes better than elaborate dishes…win-win-win.

  12. Rose says

    Good ideas! I do refrigerator oats or a protein smoothie each morning. Snacks are almonds and a hb egg. Lunches have been chicken salad or leftovers. Dinners are the hardest for me, I hate cooking after a long day at work. I try to do things like chili, beans and rice, veggie pasta, etc on the weekends for make-aheads, and then do simple things like grilled cheese/tomato soup later in the week when the fridge gets emptier.

  13. Adrienne says

    Hi! I just wanted to let you know how very many times we’ve enjoyed street tacos since this post. The kiddos have their’s with cheese, but otherwise almost exactly your recipe. This success has led to other “build your own” meals; pizza, sandwiches, etc. if I can put a pile of chopped veggies, beans, (and maybe a little cheese) on the table and my family is happy and well fed, I’m happy! Thanks for making dinner time easier. And, thus, happier. Love your blog!