How can you save about $3000 every year? Cook most of your meals at home! By doing your own meal prep, cooking, and cleanup, you could save a lot of money that you can spend shopping, traveling and having fun. You don’t need to be a 5-star chef to create delicious food from the comfort of your own kitchen. Here are some of the cheapest dinners you can make that taste amazing and will save you some bacon.
If you’re tight on money but still feeling hungry, these are some of the best, cheapest dinners to make. These dishes will satisfy you without costing more than $2.50 per serving and are fairly easy to prepare!
If you want other meal options, check out my article on the cheapest meals.
This classic Italian dish is famous for a reason. It’s delicious, nutritious, and cost-effective. This simple dish doesn’t need a ton of ingredients, either. In fact, you can make your own for just under $2 per serving!
The best part? Cooking up one batch can give you quite a few extra servings. A single batch can feed you for two to three days by preserving it in your fridge. That way,
By cooking up this dish, you can save both time and money.
Another Italian favorite, pizza, can be a great affordable dinner option. You only really need dough, sauce, cheese, and your choice of toppings to get started. Hundreds of pizza recipes are available, but this one comes at around $1.41 per serving. It’s also great to whip out during parties and potlucks!
Having the cheapest dinners doesn’t have to mean unhealthy dinners. If you want something healthy and different, try out some of these inexpensive salad recipes. Many of them are also incredibly easy to prepare.
You can buy lettuce and other veggies at your local farmers’ market to guarantee their freshness. Mix them with some tuna or salmon, minced meat, tofu, and/or nuts and some seasoning, and you’ve got a healthy inexpensive meal.
Sometimes a simple dinner is all you really need to satisfy your cravings. You can never go wrong with any food you put between two pieces of sliced bread. Whether it’s a grilled cheese or PBnJ, a sandwich will fill you up without emptying your wallet.
Intermittent fasting isn’t just a fad diet but something that’s changed many people’s food and financial lives. It’s not just skipping dinner, but eating more during other times of the day so that you’re not hungry during dinner. By doing so, you can end up saving a ton of money since dinners are often your most expensive meals.
This is an Indian dish that comes bursting with flavor. You can make an amazing meal with chicken, butter, curry, and spices. Many of the ingredients needed for this dish can be bought in bulk. That way, you can use some of them for tonight’s dinner while saving some for your upcoming meals!
A Hawaiin favorite, Musubi is an affordable, savory, and easy-to-prepare snack. It involves wrapping a piece of sliced spam with some rice and Japanese nori. While the official recipe calls for a sauce, you can skip it entirely to save even more.
Linsensuppe, or German lentil soup, is one of the cheapest dinners served all across Europe. As the name suggests, it needs lentils and other vegetables to prepare properly. The kicker is to add a few frankfurter slices to give it some extra protein. It’s a delicious and healthy soup that won’t cost too much to cook or time to prepare!
Curry is a great choice whether you’re looking for something spicy or savory or something in between. This dish is a staple in Japanese and Indian cuisine and goes well with meat and veggies alike. It’s healthy, tasty, and incredibly inexpensive to make. You can also cook a big batch and save some in your fridge for later in the week!
Cooking curry from scratch can be quite the challenge–which you can completely avoid by using curry cubes. These cubes are made of all the ingredients you need to make an amazing batch of curry. All you have to do is pop them right into your cooking pot.
Rice is a staple in many cuisines, so why not give it more flavor? Sinangag is a Filipino fried rice dish. It’s usually served for breakfast, but there’s nothing wrong with having it for dinner. It only needs five ingredients: rice, oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. If you want to serve it in the traditional Filipino way, use leftover rice when making this dish. That way, you minimize food waste!
Try these recipes if you have more time and don’t mind doing prep work. They’ll fill you up and make your wallet happy, just like all of the cheapest dinners on this list.
While at it, you might want to learn some tricks to save money when prepping your meals. Here’s my list of tips that every meal planner on a budget should know.
What’s a steak doing on the list of the cheapest dinners? The chuck eye is often called the “Poor Man’s Ribeye.” This is because it’s similar in fat content while still relatively affordable. It usually costs just $6-10 a pound!
If you want even more flavor from this piece, try marinating it in pineapple juice. The enzymes found in pineapple can break down the steak to be even more tender. By doing this before cooking, you won’t even realize the meal costs just $6!
Roasting chicken with some herbs and spices can make it incredibly delicious. A whole chicken only costs an average of $1.50 per pound. It’s a delicious and cost-efficient meal that can feed a whole family! It’s also an incredibly versatile food, pairing well with all kinds of side dishes and seasonings.
Forgot to go on that grocery run? You can cook up a potato frittata with just some eggs and potatoes! It’s a tasty meal loved by grown-ups and kids alike.
If you want to save money on your next grocery run, check out my article on spending wisely.
This tasty classic can take some time in the oven, but it’s worth it. Flaky, creamy, savory chicken pot pie is a great dish for beginner and experienced cooks alike!
If you’re craving something hearty, rich, and tangy, you can’t go wrong with tomato soup. It’s an easy-to-prepare, delicious meal that tastes amazing after a long workday.
If you want to pair tomato with something, flatbread, like naan, is a great partner to tomato soup. If you can, you’ll want to try making it from scratch because it’s almost always less costly!
Who says going vegan is expensive? Here are some vegan dishes that don’t cost much to try out.
If you need a filling meal after a long day, you can grab some overnight oats. This protein-packed snack can be a great, inexpensive dinner. By preparing them overnight or while you’re at work, you can have them waiting for you when you get home! Pair it with some bananas and other fruits for extra flavor!
Guacamole is a versatile side dish that goes great with everything, especially tortilla chips (which can be made from home). With a blender, lime, and avocados, you can make some guacamole too! They’re the perfect meal to accompany your after-work binge-watching session.
Fun fact: tofu is significantly less expensive than pork, beef, and chicken. It’s a versatile source of protein, which can be grilled, fried, roasted, and even served raw. There are all kinds of tofu dishes that can satisfy whatever dinner craving you might be having!
Stir-frying is an Asian cooking style where vegetables are the star of the show. You give them all new flavors by constantly stirring your veggies and mixing them in different seasonings. Additionally, this dish only needs vegetables and some seasoning, making it incredibly cost-efficient and healthy!
Need some vegan comfort food for dinner? Try cooking up a burger and fries–vegan style!
If necessary, you can even make your own vegan patties by using beans mixed with some other herbs and veggies.
Furthermore, oven fries are a healthier alternative to your typical deep-fried potato strings. Instead of frying them in oil, which can be expensive, you can instead bake them in your oven. You’ll use less oil while still tasting just as good.
If you’re looking for even more tips to save money, look no further! By joining the money squad, you’ll receive weekly life-changing financial tips that will help you live the life you want! It’s completely free and takes less than a few seconds, so sign up today!
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Dollars Makes Cents by Shaquana, Financial Coach and Wealth Expert, resources helps professional millennial women of color with the tools and skills they need to eliminate their debt, amplify their savings, and build generational wealth — without having to compromise their lifestyle.
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