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Your quick run to the grocery store is about to become more expensive. The cost of food has been steadily rising in recent years, with average inflation of 7.9%. The cost of meat alone has skyrocketed 13%, while fruit prices have jumped 10% since 2021!
So how can you strike a balance between healthy eating and not breaking the bank? Get creative with these five delicious cheap meals guaranteed to satisfy you and save a few dollars!
1. Scrumptious Soup
We love a cool gazpacho for the upcoming summer season. This vegetarian-friendly dish uses a few simple ingredients and takes zero effort. Pick up some tomato juice, tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers.
Blend with olive oil and garlic until smooth and refrigerate for a few hours. Top with hot sauce and cilantro. Now you’ve got a refreshing lunch option that costs less than $10 and lasts for a few days!
2. Beautiful Burrito Bowls
The basis of a good burrito bowl is rice and beans. These are two of the cheapest ingredients available at every grocery store. Large bags of rice and dried beans are less expensive than single-serve packages, so stock up.
Start by boiling the rice and beans according to the package instructions. Then customize your burrito bowls with any ingredients you have on hand. We love a classic chicken and cheese bowl or a vegan-approved veggie bowl with peppers, onions, and mushrooms.
3. Perfect Pasta
Don’t know how to cook? Start with pasta, one of the most quintessential cheap dinner recipes! A package of spaghetti and a can of pasta sauce can cost as little as two or three dollars.
Then it’s time to upgrade your meal with some culinary magic! Start experimenting with your pasta dishes by using new techniques or adding surprising ingredients. We recommend making pesto sauce, adding chickpeas, or baking instead of boiling.
4. Breakfast for Dinner
Transform the classic breakfast into filling dinners or lunches with some creativity. We know the basis for a traditional breakfast is eggs, toast, pancakes, and bacon. But bacon prices are at a 40-year high with an average cost of $7 per pack!
Skip the bacon and pick up an inexpensive pack of hot dogs for a dollar or two. Whip up a simple, sophisticated sausage and spinach quiche with only a few cheap ingredients! Or use a muffin tin to make mini-quiches perfect for on-the-go breakfasts and work lunches.
5. Pizza Bagel Bites
We all love pizza, but we don’t love the prices! A delivery pizza can set you back $15 to $20, and even frozen pizza averages out to $7 to $10. Trim the costs by switching to customizable pizza bagel bites!
Pick up a pack of bagels, a jar of pizza sauce, and your toppings of choice. Then it’s as easy as slicing, toasting, and spreading on the goodness! You’ll be able to make several satisfying servings with these ingredients for under $10.
Colorful, Cheap Meals Every Night of the Week
Cheap meals don’t have to be boring, unhealthy, or repetitive. With a sprinkle of creativity, you can create healthy meals on a dime. A lot of flavors come from spices, sauces, and side dishes.
Find a recipe you enjoy and swap out expensive ingredients for cheaper alternatives. Then make sure it’s well-seasoned and dig into some tasty, healthy food. For more food ideas and healthy recipes, check out the articles below!