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Top 10 Meals on a Budget

Ravyn . . . Comments

Here is part 2 of our Frugal living list – 10 inexpensive meals. The best thing about frugal living is that you get to enjoy much nicer food than you would if you were constantly buying fast food. So, here are ten great cheap meals.

10. Mac and Cheese

Mac And Cheese

This is an easy one to make and doesn’t cost much. You will need 1 box of Elbows or Twisted Macaronis. You can usually get the 1 pound box for $1USD. Then you will need a block of cheese, the Velveeta kind. I would recommend the store brand as it tastes just as good. This usually runs between $1 and $2USD for the pound. Then you will need about 1/4 cup of milk. Boil the noodles until they are just soft, then take them off the heat and drain. Do not rinse with cold water. If you feel you need to rinse them, do it with the hottest water possible. Return the noodles to the pot and add the cheese pre-cut in to 1 inch cubes. Mix together until the cheese is almost melted (the mix will be stiff and kind of hard to stir).

Return to a low heat and slowly add the milk slowly creating a thick creamy sauce. This will make enough to feed 5-6 people generously. If you are making just for 1 person, store the excess in sandwich baggies (press out as much air as possible) or in a food sealer in the freezer. When you want to make some just pull out a bag in the morning to defrost. When you are ready for it, make sure it is completely defrosted, pour into a bowl, sprinkle a light amount of water on top and microwave for about 1 min (give or take depending on your microwave). You can compliment this with a can of tuna but do not freeze if tuna is mixed in.

9. Tortilla Pizza


For this you will need a pack of tortillas, a small jar of pizza sauce, a package of shredded cheese and what ever toppings you choose (cheaper with plain cheese). Preheat the oven to 300 degrees (F). On a cookie sheet place 1 to 3 tortillas (depending on the size of the pan). With a spoon spread sauce to about 1/4 inch from the edge of the tortilla. Sprinkle cheese on top trying to stay on the sauce. Place your toppings of choice over cheese. Place in oven for about 5 minutes.

8. Ramen Noodle Stir Fry


You will need 1 to 2 packages of Ramen noodles, 1/2 to 1 bag generic mixed vegetables, and meat to match the noodles (chicken for chicken flavor, etc). Cut the meat to small pieces. Heat a small amount of oil in a large pan, or wok if you have one. Brown the meat. Boil the noodles for about 2 minutes. Remove meat from heat and let sit on a paper towel to remove excess grease. Add vegetables, ramen flavor packet, and any other seasonings you want to the pan. Add a splash of liquid (water, orange juice, etc). Stir constantly. Add noodles and meat to the vegetable mix.

7. Beef and Rice Casserole


You will need 1 pound of ground beef (hamburger), 2 cups of rice, 1 package of onion soup mix, 4 cups of water, and 1 15 ounce can of cream of mushroom soup. Brown the ground meat and drain if necessary. Add everything else, mix and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes or until rice is done.

6. “Hamburger Helper” Casserole

Gm Minestronecasserole

Don’t bother buying a box of Hamburger Helper; Instead you will need 1 pound ground beef (or whatever meat you choose to use), 1 tablespoon butter, 1 chopped onion, 1 clove of garlic (crushed), 1 can of cream soup (mushroom, chicken, etc), 1/2 cup water, a bag of egg noodles or rice, and salt and pepper. Heat the oil and sauté the onion and garlic. Add the meat and brown. Drain any extra grease. Add soup, water, salt and pepper, and heat thoroughly. Remove from heat. Serve over the cooked rice or noodles.

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5. Taco Salad

Taco Salad

You will need 1 pound of ground beef, 1 packet of taco seasoning, 1/2 head of lettuce, 1 large tomato, 1 cup chopped scallions, 1 – 2 cups shredded cheese, sour cream, and 1 bag of store brand tortilla chips. Brown the beef and drain the extra grease. Add the packet of taco seasoning and coat the beef thoroughly. Cool slightly and place beef in a large bowl. Break the lettuce into small pieces or shred if you prefer, adding to the beef. Dice the tomato and add to the bowl. Add the scallions and shredded cheese. Mix together. Serve on top of the chips and top with a dollop of sour cream.

4. Egg Noodle Lasagna


This is a crock-pot (slow cooker) recipe. You will need about 7 – 8 cups of egg noodles, 3 tablespoons of butter, 1 1/2 pounds ground beef, 2 1/2 cups spaghetti sauce, 7 ounces diced cheese (like Velveeta, preferably store brand), and 3 cups shredded mozzarella. Cook noodles according to package and drain. Add butter and toss to coat. In a skillet brown the beef and drain. Spread 1/4 of the sauce in the slow cooker. Layer with 1/3 of the noodles, then 1/3 of the beef, then 1/3 of the remaining sauce. Finally add 1/3 of the cheeses. Repeat two more times (you should have nothing left) Cover and cook on low for about 4 to 5 hours.

3. Pizza Bake


You will need 1 pound ground beef, 16 ounces pizza sauce, 4 ounces mushrooms (optional), pepperoni (optional), 1 tablespoon oregano, 1 teaspoon garlic salt, 2 cups rotini noodles. 2/3 cup milk, and 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Brown the beef in a skillet and drain. Stir in pizza sauce, mushrooms, oregano, and garlic salt. Bring to a boil. In a separate bowl combine the rotini and milk. In a casserole pan, Layer half the meat sauce, rotini mix, and cheese. Repeat with remaining halves. Cover with foil or a lid and bake for 25-30 minutes.

2. Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken Noodle Soup

You will need 3 to 6 chicken breasts (depending on how many you are feeding), egg noodles, 1 chopped onion, 2 chopped carrots, 1 can of peas, any seasonings you prefer, and 1 can of chicken broth, or 7 cubes of chicken broth concentrate. Boil chicken in a large pot (make sure the water completely covers the chicken. When chicken is done do not discard the water. Take chicken from water and shred. Add onion, carrots, peas, chicken broth/cubes, noodles, shredded chicken, and seasoning. Boil until noodles are cooked thoroughly.

1. Shepherd’s Pie

Sheppard's Pie

You will need hamburger, potatoes, and corn or green beans. Brown the hamburger. Mash the potatoes. In the bottom of your casserole pan layer the corn or green beans. On top of that layer the hamburger. Top it all off with the mashed potatoes. Bake in the oven at 300 degrees (F) for about 20 minutes.

Bonus: Monkey Bread


Okay, it is not a meal but a dessert. You need a can of refrigerated biscuits, 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, 1 tablespoon cinnamon, and 3/4 cup of butter. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees (F). Cut the biscuits into quarters and roll them in a cinnamon-sugar mix. Melt the butter, cinnamon, and sugar together in a small saucepan. Place half the biscuits in a bundt pan. Pour 1/2 of the butter mix on top. Place the remaining biscuits in the pan and top with 1/2 of the remaining butter mix. Bake in the oven for 30 – 40 minutes. Warm the remaining butter mix on the stove top with the heat from the oven. Remove bread from bundt pan and drizzle with the remaining butter mix.

Contributor: Ravyn

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  • Ravyn, I love you!, you just planned out my meals for the next month for me. Thanks!


    A real good idea is take a roast(beef or pork)use a crock pot and slow cook for a few hours depending on how big a roast you have,cook untill it breaks apart easily, add chopped green chilies and you have makings for a ton of shredded beef or pork burritos. Add whatever else you like(cheese,beans,potatoes,jalapenoes)and grub for days.

  • hehe… no problem Juggz. I am always glad to help

    • Ken

      Sorry, just read this list. On the pizza bake one, do you cook the rotini before mixing with milk or are they dry and let the baking cook them?


  • JOE ROSSON: What a great idea! I don’t have a slow cooker – I am going to have to buy one.

  • Cyn

    wonderful list. should be prefaced w/ warning to not read if starving. thankfully i’d eaten. saves wiping drool off the keyboard. *grins*

  • PT

    JOE ROSSON – this sounds fabulous I’m having to wipe the drool off my keyboard

  • petey mcgee

    pork shoulder or boston butt roast makes amazing pulled pork. slice an onion and place in crock pot, salt and pepper your roast and place in pot. slice another onion to cover roast. add any other spices to taste (garlic, thyme, oregano etc…). fill halfway with water. i put it on the lowest setting all night. in the morning i drain and take the meat out. the fat should all peel off. then i shred and return to the pot with the onions and your favorite sauce. heat through and serve! i have also done this with beef but i think the pork is better.

  • PT

    petey mcgee – stop it m8 this is starting to get silly how on earth can I go to bed (Please allow for the time difference) when you and Joe R start coming up with recipes like these!

  • Emily

    for the chicken noodle soup, instead of having to cook chicken you can use the packages of chicken chunks (like the sweet sue brand) you can find it by the tuna. it tastes just as good and is a lot easier.

  • Emily: that is a great suggestion but it cost $4 for a large can and you do not get as much chicken as you would for $3 for a pound of fresh chicken…this is after all the cheaper route not the easier.

    just fyi

  • jfrater: yes you are going to have to get a slow cooker…you will save so much money in the long run and the food is just sooooo good

  • Wooo! Shepards Pie numbah one!! It’s one of my favorite meals, luckily for my parents. No baked beans, a hot dog, and an apple? That’s a budget meal. Espeically if there’s cheese on the beans and relish on the hot dog. That’s all the food groups, haha.

  • Kelsi: lol, yes that is a meal…but…umm… sorry doesn’t sound too appealing when you look at the list… I mean come on who doesn’t like mac and cheese?

  • Ravyn: My son doesn’t

  • Juggz: lol…just got to be difficult, eh? Bet your son would like Monkey Bread. Besides you son prolly doesn’t like the boxed Kraft mac and cheese… he might like this. It tastes alot better. But then he might not… who knows…

    Bah on you

  • Wombat

    The meals that substitute a boxed kit are a lot healthier, too, aren’t they? Bonus!

    Monkey Bread reminds me of a similar thing my stepmom used to make, only she used frozen bread rolls, sprinkled them with vanilla pudding mix and butter and let them rise over night. She’d cook them the next day and that was breakfast. XD

  • Wombat: yes they are alot healthier. They don’t have all the extra perservatives and junk that make the boxed stuff not so good. And when you make it with out the box you can make so much more.

  • Ravyn: Everybody likes monkey bread!
    But yah all I ever have is boxed, maybe one day I will make this and see if he likes it.

  • Juggz: Monkey Bread is awesome. I figured you probably only ever made boxed mac and cheese. Most people do. Try it some time. He might like it. And if he doesn’t you can freeze it for yourself for lunches at work or something. And you wouldn’t have spent alot on it.

  • Ravyn: now i need something sweet to eat.
    anyone know a recipe for funnel cake?

  • Juggz: awww here

    1 cup water
    3/4 stick butter (6 tablespoons)
    1 tablespoon sugar
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    1 cup flour
    1 cup eggs, about 4 large eggs and 2 whites
    Vegetable oil, for frying
    Powdered sugar, for topping

    Boil water, butter, sugar, and salt together in a saucepan. Add flour and work it in until it is all incorporated and dough forms a ball. Transfer mixture to the bowl of a standing mixer and let cool for 3 to 4 minutes. With mixer lowest speed, add eggs, 1 at a time, making sure the first egg is completely incorporated before continuing. Once all eggs have been added and mixture is smooth, put dough in a piping bag fitted with a number 12 tip. Heat about 1 1/2 inches of oil in a heavy pan. Pipe dough into oil, making a free-form lattice pattern; cook until browned, flipping once. Remove cake from oil, drain on paper towels, and top with powdered sugar. Continue until all of the batter is used.

    never made it…found the recipe on the food network site :d

  • hmmm THANK YOU!

  • anytime… that actually doesn’t look all to bad to make. I think I am gonna make some too

  • Oyster

    this is where the freshmen 15 come from…..

  • Diogenes

    Isnt Sheppard’s Pie the pie that crows hide in and burst out of?

    Some of these dont look so bad. The mac-n-cheese and the raman noodles (R.I.P. Dr. Raman) are a given with any food budget list.

    I stay away from “hamburger helper” ( and “hot pockets” for that matter) I want to be able to scape off some dignity from penny pinching meals…and toss it in as spice.

    You guys seem to love monkey brains…ah, I mean monkey bread. By the photo, I would probably not touch it at a party.

    I think variation is best with limited means. I have quite nack for getting good results with very little and with “normal” ingredients. mixing them around into different dishes.

    the Tortilla Pizza is just wrong to me. a baking sheet cant be more than a couple of bucks, the rest is not that much money ..and you can get pizza doe mix for a buck or so..and make the real deal and you’ll be able to get 3 mediums out of the final price. That thing above just looks pathetic..I’m sorry, somebodies got to say it….Make authentic mexican meals with a tortilla for the same price….but on the other side of the pallet, I gotta say the Pizza Bake does look worth trying.
    The egg noodle lasagna is worth a try. A college roomate once showed me a similiar recipe, but with slices of eggplant acting as the layers.

  • Diogenes

    Charlie Chaplin’s “Tramp”, would probably just boil shoe leather.
    Buster Keaton would add salt.

    Smily face icon goes here.

  • The Dum Guy

    You forgot the cheapest and easiest, the Ketchup Sandwich.

    Take two slices of bread (any kind will do) and layer ketchup in between, viola.

    The best thing is, is the fact you can get free ketchup at most fast food joints.

  • Diogenes: Thank you for your comment. I think the crows hid in a plum pie but I could be mistaken.

    The hamberger helper is actually a hamberger strugonoff (sp) but I called it hamber helper because that is what my family calls it when I make it (And I am not going to tell them otherwise)

    Monkey Bread is rather good. It is like a cinnamon glazed doughnut, kind of.

    These recipes are by no means set in stone and no changing up. They are a base that you can “doctor up” any way you chose. The recipes above are by the cheapest (and most frugal) means.

    The tortilla pizza is actually pretty good too. The thing about it is, is not the fact you can make 3 mediums for the same price. You can make between 20 and 40 of these (depending on the bag of tortillas you get). And being as I am a mother of three very hungry kids (they act like they are starving sometimes I swear) this recipe is a very quick (7 mins tops) lunch to make for kids (and yourself if you like) and get them to finally stop whining about how much longer til lunch. lol You don’t have to like it though, but my kids absolutly love it and I think it taste great myself. (personal opinion) I was rather surprised to find a picture of one on the web as I didn’t have the cheese to make them myself and take pics. It is a rather pathetic looking thing in that picture I will say. Mine goo with cheese and have a hardy amount of toppings.

    The pizza bake is very good specially if you use the pizza toppings.

    These are all out of my personal recipe box and I have made all of them several times. It feeds my family excellently.

    Dum Guy: That doesn’t sound like that very good of a meal. But if it works…..

  • Yarr

    Ravyn- kickass list.
    I have some recipes myself that sre pretty cheap and easy. (Maybe a slightly different version of the chicken soup, too!)
    When I have some time I’ll throw ’em up here.

  • Yarr: That would be beautiful… I am always looking for more recipes. I got this box and I want to fill it. lol…

  • Man! you forgot chilaquiles!

  • TMo

    Yo. Tell me why… Sheppard’s Pie is so dammed delicious. I mean, it’s hamburgers. It’s mashed potatoes. It’s veggies. Yet together, who would have thought, it tastes like candy-coated heaven with nutella and jesus on top.

  • TMo: My guess is the fact that it is full of fat from the hamburger – fat carries flavor.

  • TMo

    Hahah but Jesus isn’t fat.

  • a_marie

    The Dum Guy: Ive eaten a few ketchup sandwiches in my lifetime lol. And also the mayonaisse sandwich, and the jelly cracker sandwich-delicious!

  • Sean the pyro

    I love my gourmet mac and cheese. I just make it from the box but add a little Velveta or similar generic, some browned ground beef or sliced up keilbasa and a can of cream of mushroom soup. Sounds crazy but it is fantastic.

  • Diogenes

    So sorry Ravyn, it looks like I totaly dissed your tortilla pizza recipe. You do agree that the picture isn’t very appetizing….And your point alters my opinion to some degree. I tend to only have my one mouth to feed and not three kids’ like yourself. As long as you dont make ten of them per kid. I just read that the U.S. government may start sending letters to the parents of obese children soon to encourage healthy living or who know’s what else(apparently true).

  • Diogenes: I hope I didn’t sound rude when I replied to you. I usually only need to make one or two per kid. My kids are not obese though (they just eat like they are). The picture used for the tortilla pizza was the best one I could find (if that is saying anything) and I was very iffy on using it. The pizza is awesome for those quicky meals that you don’t have time to make something huge or wait 30 mins for a homemade pizza. No offense taken though. I don’t expect everyone to love everything list.

  • Mathilda

    Damnit! I shouldn’t have read this before dinner! What a great list! I love cooking and I love saving money so this is great. I’d add pot roast, chicken paprikash and petey mcgee‘s pork butt, all in the slow cooker. Also spaghetti and meatballs, meatloaf and baked potatoes, and a nice sausage/onion/potato fry-up. A nice pot of split pea or bean soup is very filling and with some bread makes a meal.

    For something different, easy and cheap, you can make hominy. (Well, some of you can. I don’t know if you’ll be able to get it overseas.) Hominy is corn soaked in lye; if it’s ground up then it’s known as grits. Take three cans white hominy (rinse them), and mix them in a casserole with two cans chopped green chilies, 8 oz. sour cream, salt and pepper. Dot with butter, cover top with grated Monterrey Jack cheese and pour a bit of cream over all. Cover and put in a medium high oven until heated through. Mmmmm! Hominy just has a kind of neutral starchy taste and let’s face it, anything covered in sour cream and cheese is going to taste fabulous!

  • Diogenes

    Your not being rude at all RAVYN. I tend to be the one thats rude (for the most part accidentally) in commenting on the internet. …And I wasn’t calling your kids fat. I was joking in regards to the twenty to thirty tortilla possibilities.
    Anyway, I got it wrong in my comment about the U.S. sending out letters , its Britain. Here’s the story:

  • Diogenes: I know you were not calling my kids fat. lol It is s shock to me still that they are not with how they eat. :)

  • T

    “petey mcgee’s pork butt”

    This would be a great name for a punk band.

  • T

    OK, I just have to say that I got back from the grocery store… for $40 (and that includes tax), I was able to buy enough food to make #1, #6-10 AND the monkey bread!!!! The only ingredients I didn’t have to buy were the cinnamon and the garlic, since I had those on hand.

    I live alone, so I’m going to have enough food to last me several weeks!!! Rayvn, you’re so awesome for posting these recipes.

  • T: I am impressed! I don’t think I could do better!

  • Pingback: Keptjib.Com » Comment on Top 10 Meals on a Budget by jfrater()

  • T: It was my pleasure.

  • StewWriter

    Here’s a quick one that my kids request I make all the time! Now, keep in mind that I’m a chef by trade and I still enjoy whipping up the gourmet feasts when the wallet’s a bit fatter, so, this is really something and it’s super easy!
    It’s called CHICKEN DIVAN by my family, it might go by another name, but here’s the recipe:
    Diced chicken (we prefer thighs because they’re tastier and so much cheaper) about enough to feed 5 is what I go by.
    A can of each of the following: Cream of chicken soup, cheddar cheese soup, and cream of broccoli if you like it.
    One bag of frozen broccoli.
    A shake of the following: garlic powder, onion flakes, curry powder, salt, and pepper.
    Shredded cheese to top, it doesn’t matter the type.
    Mix soups, spices, and cooked chicken together, pour over frozen broccoli, and mix thoroughly. Top with shredded cheese, bake 375 for 45 minutes, Awesome on rice or small noodles. Enjoy!

  • StewWriter: That sounds really good. I will have to give it a try.

  • Chocypink99

    :P :) :0 :(

  • Chocypink99

    :) :) :) :) :) :) :P :P :P :P :P :P.

  • Well tonight I made the stir fry. I posted a pic of it in the forums. You can veiw it here

    What’s For Dinner?

  • thekingofguff

    No beans on toast! It’s a staple British classic! You could easily feed half a dozen people on a single English £! Two slices of bread and a tin of baked beans is all you need for culinary perfection…

  • James Lloyd

    Shepherd pie is my favorite.

    I use peas as my veggie though

    Mashed Potatoes

    Ground Beef


    Doesn’t get any better IMHO

  • Those meals are too elaborate to be considered inexpensive. What about a plate of rice (pure energy) and beans (pure protein)? It has everything you need and nothing you don’t. You can get 10 gallon drums of each for like a dollar. If that sounds too boring then for variety get some tuna or egg whites for the protein.

  • footobear: You need to enjoy the food as well :)

  • Why? People should eat to live not live to eat. It shouldn’t be a religious experience.

  • footobear: it doesn’t have to be religious – but there is nothing wrong with sitting down and making meals an event – it adds spice to life.

  • footobear: You ever hear those commercials from the “At the Dinner Table” series. If you don’t, they are the ones promoting dinner as a bonding event for families. You know, sit down at a table with mom and pop and the kiddos and talk about the days events. It is a time to relax and get off your feet for a few moments. Find out how the kids basketball game went (or what ever extra-cirricular activity) or what the spouce/significant other’s new project at work is. Find out if the kids want to do anything special over the next week that you can plan for. Enjoying a healthy meal with the family doesn’t mean to take it to a boot camp style and serve them slop and everyone needs to be completely quiet. Now rice and beans is very yummy, but it is better as a side not a main course. As T said in comment #43, he was able to get ingerdients for 7 of the 11 recipies for $40 and since he is single that $40 will last him a month or two using the very awesome invention called a freezer. All of the things on the list makes enough for my family of 5 (2 adults and 3 kids) and a guest. 6 healthy servings. Most will have left overs/second helpings. When I go shopping, I will get the things on this list (some X2). This will usually cover up to 15 days of dinners. It usually cost me about $60. Let me restate that. $60 for 15 days of dinners for a family of 5 to give everyone a healthy fill and not have to be hungry. Everything else I buy, I buy in bulk.

  • this topic is still here eh?

    Ravyn: I went and picked up all the stuff for that delicous ramen chicken meal and its been sitting in my fridge i still have yet to make it…..I will this weekend i promise.

  • Juggz: I made chicken ramen noodle stir fry last week….oooo so yummy…I used Sunny D this time instead of 100% oj since that is what I had…still came out great. My kids were asking for more and it was gone in no time at all.

  • jojoppp


    egg noodle lasagna-egg noodles=moussaka

  • Diogenes

    aaahhhrr–aaahhhaarrhh. Stop! That was so long ago! Forget and Forgive for God’s sake. Why must you bop me one in the gut? I twist and turn.! damn.
    knotty twines of root spin apon this brow, you serpent!

  • jbjr

    Great list. I gotta make the shepard’s pie or get someone to make it for me.

  • Rick B

    Nifty in a pinch recipes – however – one almost made me puke thinking of it. My son is a Ramen noodle connosieur. Much to my chagrin. Let me tell you, that garbage is absolutely AWFUL for you! The worst part of it is the seasoning package and this is where I lost it. The nutritional numbers are through the roof for Ramen noodles and mostly because of what is in that tinfoil. The recipe for the noodles is to add the package to TWO CUPS of water and in your recipe you use a “splash of liquid.” Why don’t you just put a horse size salt lick in your pot and be done with it?

  • sorry you don’t like the idea of a ramen noodle stir fry. You could always substitute the seasoning pack with a chicken or beef bullion or chicken or beef stock. With all the meat and vegitables you add to the mix, it isn’t to bad. The recipie doesn’t call for any water but after browning the meat and heating the vegitables there is plenty of moisture in the pan. I use orange juice for my splash of liquid which tends to give it a different taste.

    But as i stated before, I don’t expect everyone to like everything on this list. Being a mother of three with a very limited income, I usually have to make due with what I can get.

  • Wanderer

    One thing i love to make in my slow cooker is sweedish meatballs. Just buy a package of frozen meatballs, some type of alfredo sauce ( i like alfredo mushrooms type sauces) and let them slow cook for 4-5 hours on a low heat. Then just boil some noodles, ( i usually get some that are like 2 bucks for a 2lbs)

    that can last me like 4-5 days if i cook it all

  • devilishgrin66

    It might not fit into the categor but I’d love to throw this in as a suggestion:

    Fat sandwiches from the grease trucks at Rutgers. I KNOW you have heard of these. Maxim rated the fat sandwich as the number 1 sandwich in the world. For 5 dollars you get a 7 inch sub (hoagie, submarine, whatever you call it) with your choice of anything and everything from :

    Cheese steak
    Mozzerella sticks
    Marinara sauce
    Bleu cheese
    Chicken fingers
    ..the list goes on. My favorite is the fat darryl, chicken fingers, french fries, mozzerella sticks and marinara sauce (although i replace it with ketchup or no sauce). One of these will keep you fed for two days.

  • Lewis

    Wat are Mac and cheese(‘s?)like? I’ve never had one :(

  • bubba

    Just one little point I’d like to make. Shepherds pie is made with Lamb (shepherds only look after sheep), Cottage pie is made with Beef

  • Star

    Food, what a pleasure

  • xdr

    Now I am even more hungry than I was.
    One small advice. Don’t let the cheese to cook. If you make pasta with cheese, put cheese last and shut off the fire. Just mix very well.

  • Nope

    i find Mr. Jello-Noodle soup to be a delicious and cheap alternative. Simply buy a package of mr noodle and a package of jello (less than 2$ all together) cook the noodles as directed and then pour in the flavouring. after that add another cup of boiling water and dissolve the jello powder into the noodle soup pan. Add another cup of cold water and put the stuff in the fridge and in 3 short hours you have Patented “Delicious Mr. jello-Noodle Soup”

  • ruderoy

    Now this is bad, one dollar is 45 INR, which makes these dishes a king’s recipe :(

  • Aimée

    For the dessert one, by biscuits does he mean scones or cookies?

  • Masha

    Tortilla pizza was a popular one with me and my bf when we first moved out.
    Lately I have been making mushroom soup a lot. You make mushroom broth, take the mushrooms out and fry them with onions, put them back in with some chopped potato and a bay leaf, and simmer until the potatoes are soft. It’s a Russian classic…
    Potatoes are a great thing to buy if you don’t have much money — one or two dollars for a bag that can last you a month, and countless options as far as what to make.

    • CanRil67

      how did you make the much water…how many mushrooms?

  • creepygirlfriend

    Yummmy, monkey bread! My father grew up in the south and I grew up in a city where soul food and country cooking was the menu. Between those folks I know how popular monkey bread is! Anyhow, I have tried damn near every one of these (minus the ramen stir fry) and have to say thanks for the list. Streching a dollar is very important, and since there is an economic crunch in the States… lets just say this came in handy to myself and a few friends!

  • Mark

    75. creepygirlfriend : An economic crunch in the States… And the rest of the world? Lol, this is a pretty appropriate list at the moment isn’t it?

    By the way, not stalking you, just like your comments. They’re fun to reply to :)

  • creepygirlfriend

    Mark: Touche. I must say, I am very thankful to have that dollar to strech though. I know this list has to get a once over by everyone!

    And thank you kindly. I wouldn’t think such a thing. Besides, its nice to bump into someone who isn’t combative but :gasp: constructive!

  • Mark

    77. creepygirlfriend : I didn’t think you’d jump to stalking, just something Gabi said to me a couple of days ago when she replied to a couple of my comments, thought I might as well chuck it in just in case :)

    Constructive is the way to go on LV, unless your name is Pi…

  • gunn

    try making pizza on lebanese bread and crisping in the oven

  • dandjthimmes

    hey i have a meal to try. i call it steak and rice its really good and easy to make and it doesn’t cost that much. you need round steak and chop it up in bit size pieces then put it in a pan and cook it with about 2 teaspoons of butter wieshire sauce not a bunch just enough to top the meat with then you make instant rice you can do 4 to 6 cups as your rice sets put a can of cream of mushroom soup in your meat and let it get hot if you want it more creamy add a bit of milk don’t drain the juices from the meat. when rice is ready and meat and sauce is hot mix it together and its done.

  • profstrog

    A small point, but seeing as common misconceptions are a popular subject on this site.

    The recipie for no.1 is actually for Cottage Pie, not Shepherds. It’s a very common mistake, but Shepherds Pie uses lamb, not beef, hence the name. They are, otherwise, the same thing.

    Oh, and I agree with the poster about beans on toast, classic British budget food.

  • sallysweet

    Coincidentally, I’m having Ramen stir fry for dinner tonight…

  • Gernreich

    I used make mac&cheese and add cooked turkey hamburger(cheeper than beef hamburger) that make it a great meal for me.

    I also remember buying whole turkey legs, roasting them staight in the oven and acting like a (nice) King Henry VIII

  • lizzy procopio

    i mad the macncheeese. it was goodd.

  • lizzy procopio

    i like mac n cheese

  • healthnut

    okaaayyyy…these meals may be cheap to make (though making them completely from scratch would be even cheaper — i.e., real homemade pasta sauce instead of the nasty canned stuff), but they are NOT healthy. they are not much better than fast food, if at all. I suggest a lesson in basic nutrition and a perusal of the many recipe websites available for better dining options.

  • Bobnoxious

    I have another recipe. Its called toast.

    Take a slice of bread.
    Put it in a toaster and push the slider at the side down.
    Wait till it pops up.
    Spread some butter on it.

    There is also a variety of this recipe where you put heated baked beans on top of the toast.
    Its called beans on toast.

  • TJ

    This is a very good list!!! I am starting a cooking phase in life and this list just made it much better…. Deff gonna cook up one of these meals when I gt the munchies.. Taco Salad sound pretty good right now..

  • tadpole

    I can’t help myself. The picture in #7 is beef stew which, I am quite sure, looks better than a picture of beef and rice casserole would. Done most of these. Good picks.

  • tadpole

    How about the Sandwish. Take two pieces of bread and just wish you had something to put between them.

  • santa

    is there some european equivelant of velveeta?i live in ireland and ive never heard of it or seen it in my life.

  • plate

    Macaroni and cheese Not mac!

  • rian

    uhmmm yummy list

  • Oh, my. What an unhealthy lineup of food. I would only stoop to these levels if I were so poor that the alternative was to starve to death.

    Some of these sound tasty as an occasional treat but I would never, ever feed my children meals like this regularly.

    I bet you’ve never heard of things like quinoa, kale, edamame, and the like.

  • wickedangel211

    @candoia: Most people probably have, but If you’re on a tight budget (and who isn’t in this economy) that sort of stuff is a luxury. These things don’t look half bad, much healthier than what somebody with a tight budget could be eating(junk food, cup of noodles, etc.)

  • My favourite budget meal consists of noodles, steamed carrots and grated cheese. I steam a few sliced carrots while cooking the noodles in vegetable stock. Then I just pour the noodles on a plate and add the steamed carrots and grated cheese on top. The secret is the organic vegetable stock powder I use in the cooking water for the noodles. It makes even ordinary macaroni taste delicious.

  • Jess

    Are you made of beef and cheese? – Too much saturated fat to be honest, wouldn't feed that to children or anyone on a regular basis. I'm sure there are healthy vegetarian recipes that don't cost much. I suggest going easy on the cheese and trying cheap ingredients like courgettes, tinned tomatoes, mushrooms, canned sweetcorn, frozen peas etc. to add to pasta sauces or pizza bases. It depends on where you live but if you buy what's in season and readily available you can have a good diet for less.

  • jan

    Excellent list, personally i'm not all gung ho about health (who really wants to live forever) so for my family this is perfect stuff that we generally eat.

  • Barb

    Sorry for sounding kinda stupid, but what the hell is a tin of biscuits???!!!

  • Jay

    It's one more than a nine of biscuits.

  • Marcia

    Homemade mac and cheese is the best. A cheap meal I make is enchiladas which you can make a ton of and are good for quick dinners. I'm not sure how everyone else makes them but I get an 8 pack of tortillas (burrito sized $1.50), 2-3 cans of red sauce (.80 cents a piece), chicken breast ($6.00 for frozen pack of 6 and need only two pieces for this), Mexican blend cheese ($1.50), salsa and sour cream optional. So for $6.40 I get three days worth of enchiladas considering that they are burrito sized.

  • none yo bees wax


  • Lisa Lou

    Can’t wait to try the hamburger helper casserole… In was going to make my black bean rice and corn casserole but my husband would love a switch up!!!

  • Lisa Lou

    Wownwhyndo people lookmhere if they don’t want a budget meal? Trust me it’s nice to have some new dishes, I make some good ones up but what a nice change! Hopefully budget meals onlynhave to streach a bit longer, although my son has learned t be very creative in the kitchen now that he is 19.. Thanks!!

  • faye

    A can of biscuits?? I am so glad I don’t live in america.

  • hedwig

    Many these low budget cost meals are high in fat, salt, starches, and calories. In a health conscious society, everyone should be able to afford to eat healthy.

  • rahul

    i want to know any suger meal in chittorgarh district.

  • ketts

    shepherds pie is lamb, cottage pie is beef, the abomination you have described can only be called a burger pie. Being a brit i almost found this offensive, luckily i’m not that pedantic (JUST MAKE SURE IT’S CHANGED!!!).

  • Rafa

    White bread and oily tuna fish. Margarine or butter makes a big difference. I know its basic but how many DAys I eat this and the amount of money we saved.

  • elcigaret

    My brother suggested I would possibly like this web site. He was once totally right. This publish truly made my day. You cann’t believe just how a lot time I had spent for this information! Thank you!

  • Bridget

    This is not food. Food is fresh fruit vegetables and nuts. This is a list of things u can eat but probably should avoid if your quest is longevity

  • CanonyTroully


  • adiawesome

    a can of kidney beans isnt half bad, all you gotta do is put the beans on a skillet or pan, butter the pan, then heat up the beans and spice ’em up with some salt and pepper.

    i’ve never had shepherd’s pie before, although it does sound awesome.

  • Paleo-On-A-Budget

    Shameless plug:
    Again, cheap recipes made cheap because they are largely grain-based. To make most of these meals cheaply, you’d need a heavy amount of grain per portion. If you make them nutrient-dense, the grain just adds calories and expense!
    If you want recipes for meals under one British Pound a portion that AREN’T full of potato, rice, pasta… etc, stop by
    Every meal is filling, nutritious, tasty and without “bulk” food, all for £1 a portion!
    Happy hunting!



  • ree


  • Jeff

    Seven of ten contain wheat, primarily durum semolina. Pasta, sauce and protein is the same meal option no matter how you dress it or enter it over and over in a list.

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