Cheap Meals?

November 27, 2006 3:11am CST
A while ago I wrote a short article about meals that would feed the family for under £1 (less than $2) and I thought it might be a good topic for here too. I appreciate different countries have different costs of living, so the 'rule' for this game is that your recipe should feed 4-6 people for about a third of your standard average hourly wage, Try to base your thinking on known prices, and remember that things like spices may cost a bit to buy in originally but as you use them by the pinch they goa long way and are a cheap way to add flavour to food. My article, if you want a look at what I write before, is here£1.00-a-Meal.8637 What cheap recipes do you use all the time?
2 people like this
4 responses
@emeraldisle (13139)
• United States
4 Mar 07
I would have to say spaghetti. I can buy the noddles and the sauce for under $2.00. It will feed about 4 people and it is just under a 1/2 of the minimum wage for my area. The only other thing I can think of is like a tuna helper. For both the tuna and then the Helper mix it would cost around $2, maybe a bit more depending on what type of tuna you buy.
@SaraCate (184)
• Canada
19 Jan 07
Black beans - I've posted the "recipe" I use on other threads on mylot. We like these best in tortillas (burritos), but and beans & rice variant would be even cheaper. Burritos/fajitas are still very affordable - a large flour tortilla here works out to about 33c, the beans are roughly 89c/lb. dry. Other ingredients for the beans (a few onions, tomato paste, a pepper, spices...) might add 50c. After that, toppings can be as inexpensive as they need to be. A simple, good salsa can be made from a fresh tomato or two, cilantro, jalapeno, line juice, some onion (in its most basic form...I usually add more ingredients). Sip the cheese, unless it's on sale. We saute onions and peppers in olive oil. The whole meal probably costs 50 cents to a dollar per person, depending on toppings. We can usually get at least 8 meals out of a pound of dry beans. (1 person = 1 meal) Another one we like is peirogi skillet. We can get no name frozen peirogis for $1.49/kilo. Brown some sausage (if you have it), saute onions, add peirogis, let steam a while. Add a generous amount of frozen peas shortly before serving. Use some shredded cheese if you like and you have it on hand. We eat sauerkraut alongside this - I'm a stickler for getting vegetables into my meals! Anything with a rice base and minimal meat - e.g. stir fries made with in-season vegetables. Also homemade whole wheat bread as a base. (I can make a loaf of bread for roughly 50 cents and 10-15 minutes worth of labor. I don't own a bread machine.) This can include sandwiches or soups/stews - which are good frugal meals in themselves. Oh - pasta with sauce. We buy 900g of spaghetti for 99 cents. We can get a decent base sauce for 99 cents a tin/jar. If we use two jars and dress it up with reduced produce (mushrooms, peppers) and onions, this quantity would feed 6-10 pretty hungry adults. Add a pound of ground beef bought on sale for $1.79 to make it heartier. Those are what come to mind off the top of my head - I'll post more if I think of them! ~Sara
@tokster (165)
• Philippines
19 Jan 07
drink water
@myslewis (286)
• Australia
19 Jan 07
My cheapest and most satisfying meal in Pasta with Pumpkin Sauce - The sauce is made by roasting pumpkin,onions, a bay leaf and carrots in a little olive oil. mash together when soft and add nutmeg, some sour cream and a little curry powder. Cheap healthy and EASY!