These super cheap meals are for those times when you need to spend very little on food!
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Wondering how to eat clean for very little money? Here are the cheapest healthiest meals you can find anywhere!
These meals are for those times when money is really tight, but you still want to feed your family healthy nourishing meals. Each of the ideas are around $3-$5 a meal for an average family of four!
These meals have enough protein and healthy fat to be filling as well as frugal.
You are probably wondering “How do you feed a family with $5?” Here are some awesome options to feed your family-
5 Dollar Meals for 4
Black Bean Soup and Cornbread
One way to make dirt cheap meals is to use beans in your meal. Beans can replace the meat in your meal because they provide protein. One caveat: The protein in beans isn’t complete by itself. To make a complete protein you would need to add a whole grain. For example, if you make a bean soup, you could serve it with cornbread.
I definitely recommend organic cornmeal to make your cornbread with because almost all the regular corn in the grocery stores is genetically modified and sprayed heavily with pesticides.
Seasoned Black Beans for Rice Bowls
You can also use beans to simply “stretch” your protein, meaning you can just eat less meat which quickly reduces the cost of the meal. These Seasoned Black Beans for Rice Bowls use this principle. You can use chicken or cheese in your rice bowls for protein, but you won’t need as much since the black beans are a main part of the meal. Also you could use the cheapest healthy white rice for this recipe. (Since meat is already in the meal, you don’t need whole grain brown rice to make a complete protein.)
Crispy Black Bean Tacos
These crispy black bean tacos are about $3 if you buy Walmart’s brand cheese ($1.74 for 8 oz), and make homemade corn tortillas. (I would recommend buying organic masa harina to make sure that the corn is not genetically modified.)
Tip: If you have trouble digesting beans or whole grains, try soaking them before you cook them. This cornbread recipe has instructions for making the recipe a “soaked recipe”. The best method for soaking dried beans can be found here.
Make Ahead Breakfast Bowls
Eggs are super healthy and super cheap! (My favorite combination :)) Eggs are high in the type of vitamin A that boosts immunity. This helps you to avoid illness or helps you to get over it quicker. Eggs contain many other vitamins and minerals including vitamin E, vitamin D, B Vitamins, and Iron.
Eggs raised on pasture and bought from a local farmer have even more of these vitamins and minerals than eggs bought in the grocery store. Obviously, pasture raised eggs will bring the price of the meal up some, so just use regular cheap eggs if you are wanting to make super cheap meals.
One idea for making a family meal from eggs is to prepare Make Ahead Breakfast Bowls. Of course, you don’t have to make them ahead or eat them for breakfast if you don’t want to. 🙂 I would just serve these right away. (The recipe has more than 4 servings, so save the rest for another meal to keep the cost under $5.) Serve with an inexpensive vegetable to make a cheap meal.
Simple Paleo Sweet Potato, Broccoli, and Egg Breakfast Hash
One especially easy and delicious ways to eat eggs is to make a breakfast hash. This paleo breakfast hash recipe is super healthy.
Eggs can also make “pancakes”-although they aren’t exactly a traditional type pancake.
Banana pancakes are oh so easy and really tasty! They are made from two very cheap ingredients: bananas and eggs.
Since these are full of protein, you could simply add a side and have a nourishing meal.
Quiches are also delicious and cheap. There are many variations-the ones without meat will be the cheapest though.
Scrambled eggs are easy and very quick. They can be served with rice or potatoes and a veggie. Fresh tomatoes taste good with eggs, but my kids prefer just a plain vegetable like roasted broccoli.
Here are the easy steps I take to make roasted broccoli:
- Grease a pan with a healthy oil like coconut oil or avocado oil.
- Place frozen broccoli florets on the pan and drizzle with a little oil.
- Add salt and pepper or italian seasoning.
- Bake until tender (around 20-25 minutes at 400 degrees-this depends on how tender you like your broccoli.)
Sicilian Chicken Soup
Chicken soup can be really inexpensive. Whole chickens are not usually very expensive, and when a whole chicken is boiled, you get lots of broth. Broth helps make the meal more nourishing, and so less chicken meat can be used. And you will still end up with a hearty meal for very little money.
For example, this Sicilian Chicken Soup makes 10-12 servings. This could last for around 3 meals. It would be close to a $5 meal even as it is written, but if you need to cut the cost even more here are a few options:
Buy chicken when it is on sale.
Use dried parsley instead of fresh.
Add a little bit of extra potatoes or noodles to stretch the soup farther.
I hope these healthy meals under $5 help you to stretch your money whenever things are really tight. Or, just help you to save your money for something else you would rather buy! 🙂