25 People Share Their Go-To Budget-Friendly Meals

Published 7 months ago

With the rising cost of living maybe you’re prone to cutting back on expensive meals and are sticking to an affordable staple you can stomach. Maybe that’s your favourite Ramen flavour, or maybe it’s bread but when you’ve been eating something long enough, you learn to get creative with it and stretch it out as long as possible to avoid starving. 

When folks were asked about these little tricks and tips they’ve picked up over the years to make their food go a long way while still being affordable, they stepped up to deliver with a number of clever suggestions. Scroll to check out the most popular recommendations found on the thread, which we’ve shared in the gallery below. 

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#1 Grilled cheese and tomato soup is my f*****g jam.

Image source: whatssofunniedoug, Soup_and_sandwich

#2 Beans on toast. Beans and sausage on toast if I’m feeling flush and have an extra 20p in my pocket

Image source: DavosLostFingers, wikipedia.org

#3 Two fried eggs and toast. Awesome meal

Image source: massatronics, Krisztina Papp

#4 Cheese sandwich. Many years this simple meal sustained me

Image source: AccomplishedWinter41, Pixzolo Photography

#5 Chicken tortilla soup. Dump in one big can of kidney beans, one small can of black beans, one small can of corn, one large can of petite diced tomatoes, two packs of taco seasoning, four or five boneless, skinless chicken breasts, and chicken broth. Cook all day in the crockpot on low. Shred chicken when done and return to crockpot. We eat it for two days with tortilla chips and cheese. We are a family of four.

Image source: Single-Fox-6532, wsox74

#6 Baked potato

Image source: anon, Pixabay

#7 The good ole rice and beans

Image source: TheManWhoLovesCulo, Zi’s Food&NatureArt

#8 A peanut butter sandwich with banana mixed in

Image source: wheresmychin, Karolina Grabowska

#9 Mujadara! It’s literally just crispy fried onions, lentils, and rice, but it’s so damn good! You can keep it simple if you want, but I really like it with some spices like ras el hanout, cumin, and cinnamon. I made a big batch a few days ago and froze most of it in single servings. It’s also a really delicious filling for stuffed flatbread, which I also make in large batches and then freeze.

Image source: NenyaAdfiel, Mujaddara

#10 Asian poor kid meal. Complete with white rice and choice of fried egg or fried spam.

Image source: KCN2017, makafood

#11 Peasant’s pasta otherwise known as Agile e Olio- it’s bloody delicious. Pasta, olive oil, garlic, parmesan cheese.

Image source: Minimalist12345678, wikipedia.org

#12 Throwing leftover anything inside a warmed up flour tortilla. Now it’s a burrito.

Image source: LadyDreamcatcher, Nishant Aneja

#13 Chili is great and filling. Really anything with beans or lentils. Vegetarian meals are generally cheaper since meat can be expensive.

Image source: ar0827

#14 When I was a kid in a family of nine, we had an oatmeal dinner once a week. It was served with brown sugar and sweetened condensed milk. I loved it, and I’m sure it helped with the family budget. I’m sure there are other things that can be added to make it healthier, too. Nowadays, I add toasted nuts and maple syrup. Honey and dried fruit are other good options. Just try to buy on sale when you can.

Image source: trexartist, MART PRODUCTION

#15 Cauliflower can be added to pretty much any kind of dish to bulk it out. For example, with any recipe with ground meat, you can add riced cauliflower to stretch it out, and you will barely notice it if cooked right.

Image source: EnviroTron, Karolina Grabowska

#16 Fried rice. You can use everything you have left in the fridge.

Image source: Elena_Prefleuri, Trista Chen

#17 Spaghetti and tomato sauce.

Image source: Musikaravaa, wikipedia.org

.98 cents for a pack of spaghetti noodles and 1.18 for a can of hunts spaghetti sauce, feeds about 6. Add a loaf of bread for 1.48 and some butter for .98 cents and some 1.18 garlic powder and you’re set for a meal for a family or easy dinner for a week.

#18 One I love making is shepherd’s pie (but I think it’s technically cottage pie when you use ground beef). You cook the beef and onions in the same pot, turn it into a bit of a stew/gravy by adding tomato paste, beef broth, and flour. Add salt and pepper, rosemary, thyme, and Worcestershire sauce for flavor, add frozen peas and carrots. Put it all in a casserole dish, top with mashed potatoes, and bake. Always creates a lot of servings, super comforting, inexpensive, and tastes better the next day.

Image source: verytinytim, wikipedia.org

#19 Boiled Potatoes with Seasoning

Image source: zipzap21, sq lim

#20 Beans on or in a tortilla. You can have it so many different ways that it doesn’t feel like eating the same thing over and over again.

Image source: Wenuwayker, swagginpoop

#21 Buttered toast with cinnamon/sugar sprinkled on top

Image source: ThoseBrightBabyBlues, Chuck_Roast1993

#22 ramen and a boiled egg. It’s very japanese.

Image source: Safe_Butterscotch239, Ryutaro Tsukata

#23 Go to aldi and get a pack of hot dogs and buns, it’s like $2 for a weeks worth of meals. Sure you’re probably going to get scurvy but, you won’t starve to death.

Image source: crabbyass2023, Daisy Anderson

#24 Omlet

Image source: moesdad, Engin Akyurt

#25 I’ve been known to make what we call dirty mashed potatoes. Brown up some hamburger meat, crumble it up small, with some onions if ya have ’em, add salt and pepper or whatever spices you enjoy. Then, mix the meat in with some mashed potatoes, either instant or real, depending what you have on hand. The offspring love it and eat that up.

Image source: Reinventing_Wheels, Gio Bartlett

Shanilou Perera

Shanilou has always loved reading and learning about the world we live in. While she enjoys fictional books and stories just as much, since childhood she was especially fascinated by encyclopaedias and strangely enough, self-help books. As a kid, she spent most of her time consuming as much knowledge as she could get her hands on and could always be found at the library. Now, she still enjoys finding out about all the amazing things that surround us in our day-to-day lives and is blessed to be able to write about them to share with the whole world as a profession.

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affordable food, budget-friendly, cheap, cheap meals, food, Meals, poor man's meal
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