This post brought to you by American Frozen Foods Institute and the Frozen Food Roundtable. All opinions are 100% mine.
If you have been following the blog for any length of time you probably know by now that we all love to cook! Unfortunately we're also busy ladies. In addition to being the senior editor for Surf and Sunshine, I'm also a full time student, mom, chef, well.. I'm sure you seen the long list of hats we moms wear throughout the day. Sometimes I wonder how I'm ever going to manage time to cook and eat three meals! On those days where I'm only responsible for feeding myself, I find it all too easy to push meal time aside.
However, when I was tasked for shopping the frozen food options from some of my favorite brands like Schwan’s, General Mills, Heinz and Kelloggs; I was surprised at how many 'meals' I could create in under 10 minutes, for under $10 with 350 calories or less!
For breakfast I had two light and crispy Eggo Buttermilk Waffles. One of the things I like about frozen foods is that it’s easy to add your own personal touch. I skipped the sweet syrup and topped it with fresh berries and cool whip instead. Total calorie count? 225 calories!
After breakfast I spent the morning running errands and didn't get home until after two this afternoon. I was starving and need something quick and easy so Smart Ones Three Cheese Ziti Marinara it is. I loved that I got a huge plate of food for only 300 calories. I'm a total pasta addict and a huge cheese head too. Most of the time I have to add more cheese to just about everything I make. Surprisingly, not the case with this dish.
All too soon it was time for dinner. As usual I kept pushing it off until I was past the point of just being hungry. One of the benefits of frozen foods is that freezing acts like a natural pause button suspending the meal until the moment I need them. So even though I waited way too long, dinner was done in less than 10 minutes so I could eat before I turned into Mrs. Hide made her appearance. For dinner I decided on Morning Star Farms Black Bean Burger with a side of Green Giant Cheese and Broccoli. I had never had a Black Bean Burger before but I'm trying to eat more meatless dishes and I've heard even carnivores like myself like them.
It really was good! I liked the spice too and while I could definitely tell it wasn't an actual burger, the textures weren't too different. Bonus: It was less than 250 calories – and I could go back for seconds on the cheesy broccoli and still stay under 350 calories.
I usually struggle eating three meals a day but when everything takes less than 10 minutes to prepare, it really was a breeze! I figure with all of that good eating I deserved a treat right? Edwards single serve Hershey's Creme Pie with it's chocolate crumble crust, layers of chocolate and vanilla creme, topped with chocolate chips and drizzle on top was screaming my name. Fortunately, they were already pre sliced and individually packaged so no cheating for me! (I'm sooo weak!)
And this, my friends, is the look of pure chocolate joy! Thankfully she was there to help me save even more calories by splitting my pie with me. It was great being able to have meals on hand to whip up in such little time. Plus, I never realized how easy it easy to keep track of calories when shopping the frozen food section. There were clear serving sizes and complete nutritional information right there on the box. It made staying on track a breeze!
It was also so convenient. To be honest I was always on fresh side of the fresh vs frozen debate. But really, why is there such debate? Frozen food from quality brands are made from real recipes and real ingredients. Frozen. How Fresh Stays Fresh It acts as a natural pause button that keeps just picked, just baked and just crafted foods at the peak of freshness. Also, while my lunch was definitely a serving of one, the rest of these meals came in family friendly packages of two or more which is a plus in my book.
34 thoughts on “Budget Friendly Meals For Busy Moms Under 350 Calories”
You are making me hungry. I was in a cooking rut, so this gives me some new ideas.
I love how your daughter was really enjoying the Chocolate Pie!! I have no problem shopping in the frozen aisle and everything in your pics looks delish1
Yep those black bean burgers are for sure going to be on our menu soon. That broccoli and cheese with it looks amazing.
These are such great suggestions! I never have enough time to make myself lunch when home with our daughter……
Quick AND healthy? This looks like a mother’s dream.