However, not everyone can afford a meal delivery service every week to save them time in-between their busy gig schedule. What do you do for cheap, on the fly, with little planning, and little change in your pocket? Thankfully, the Internet's got you covered.
Reddit user, u/Sarnick18, wanted to know each of our great tasting and, most importantly, cheap eats when they asked:
Breakfast For Dinner?Giphy
Potatoes and eggs
I love dicing potatoes and making fresh hashbrowns. Throw that in a skillet with onions and garlic, scoot it over and fry two eggs in the same pan and you have a fantastic meal.
If you aren't super confident with cooking potatoes in the skillet, you can precook them in the skillet and then, whip up some eggs, add cheese and make that into an omelet.
I could go on. I always keep eggs, potatoes, onions, and garlic in the house.
It'll Last You A Couple Of Days, Too
Just basic tomato pasta is pretty cheap.
In the U.K: bag of pasta that would serve 2/3 people £1. Can of plum tomato's: 40p. Onion: 40p. Garlic: 50p. This feeds two people and some leftovers for less than £3. If you wanna spruce it up you can chop any veg in, or add some cheese w/e. When I was a broke a-- student me and my boyfriend lived on tomato pasta.
Filling And Inventive
When I lived in an apartment and money was tight Me and my significant other would have banana rolls for supper. This consisted of a tortilla wrap with a banana either cut up or just whole Some peanut butter a little bit of yogurt and honey drizzled on top
Put An Egg On anything
Rice with and over-easy egg on top
Weird, But Open For Anything
Mmmm... Probably spaghetti and beans. Tried it once because it was the only thing left in my pantry and I LOVED it!
Cheaper In Bulk
Microwave Mac and cheese
Boil literally any pasta Microwave a handful of shredded cheese and a lil milk (water if you don't have milk) Mix the pasta into the melted cheese Pop that bad boy into the microwave again and eat it like the king you are
Seriously, Egg On Everything
A poached egg on toast.
Runny in the middle.
No more than $1.
It's All In The Name
My wife has this dish she calls "Peasant Food" It's literally Rice and ground beef with metric tons of garlic salt and soy sauce and a touch of sugar. Can't begin to tell you how many times that have saved us when we were a week away from being paid.
"Oats. Oats. Oats. Oats. Oats."
Oats oats oats.
Better nutritionally wise than rice and potatoes. cheapest ones are about 0.8 Eur/kg, the difference from more expensive ones being that they have some shucks that are not filtered out, so just do it yourself while eating. Take 100-130g of dry oats, boil in water and they are ready to consume (I don't even use salt nor sugar, just plain oats, still taste good). Combine with banana or any affordable fruit, coffee or milk for a drink and peanut butter and you have yourself real champion's meal.
Soup As A Topper
Cook a serving of rice (bag of rice is quite cheap for how many servings - I'm talking Asian rice bags). This is about $25 for 15 pounds. A serving is 90 grams meaning 1 bag is 75 or so servings. So $0.33 per serving. Buy whatever discount can of soup you can find. Dollar store is a great option. Heat that up and mix into the rice. You now have poor mans risotto. $1.33 per meal and you can buy a bunch of different flavor soups to change up your meals.
You get carbs, protein, veggies all in 1 meal. If you want to be extra frugal you can split the soup into 2 servings. So $0.83 per meal.
You'll be hard pressed to find a cheaper meal.
Remember This Song?
Potatoes; Boil 'em, mash 'em, stick 'em in a stew...
Tortillas > Bread
Eggs are on the cheaper end and they are really good for you.
Tortillas are cheaper than bread.
Find a deal for some kind of meat. Beef, Pork, Chicken, Turkey. Etc.
Scramble the eggs, cook the meat, heat up the tortillas and you have a solid meal. Nice and filling, tastes great, and amazingly cheap if you're smart about it.
Starkist chunky light tuna and rice.
Maybe a fried egg on top with some sriracha or something to give it more flavor. Could add other staples like beans, baked potato chunks. A 4-can pack of tuna is like a little over $4 so you can easily get several meals in.
Cheaply Buy In Bulk For Repeat Usage
Poor man's dessert, cook a tortilla put butter on it then mix some cinnamon and sugar sprinkle it on top and then you can cut it in triangle parts and it's pretty good
A Throwback to College Dorms Everywhere
Ramen is pretty good. I like to add hot sauce and crackers to it
I like to drop a whisked egg into it 20 seconds before I take it off, siracha, and left over meat if available.
Anything To Get Those Calories
At my worst when I didn't have electricity I would buy single portion packs of instant mashed potatoes and eat the powder and follow up with water. It was basically like astronaut food. 50 cents a meal, son.
This is honestly the best answer to the original question. Other people talking about frying, baking, and actual cooking with butter and spices. This guy is swishing around instant potatoes with cold water in his mouth to get his calories.
The King Of Cheap
Rice and beans have kept poor peasants alive for centuries.
I used to make a big pot of rice & beans and it would last for days. For the beans take two cans of pinto beans and dump them in the pot, one can of water (refill one of the bean cans with the water to measure), one little mini can of tomato paste, a spoonful of sugar and some salt or salzon seasoning, then toss in a potato and onion (or couple of garlic cloves) to add flavor and let it boil, then simmer for 45 mins or so. Take out the potato and onion and serve over the rice.
Here's A Few...Giphy
I'm a very frugal and lazy cook but I try to eat reasonably well. I prefer fresh ingredients simply prepared. Here are some of my staples:
- Spaghetti and butter, salt and lots of cracked black pepper. Optionally saute pepper flake, lemon zest, and/or fresh garlic before tossing in pasta. Many people overcook pasta, learn how to cook it al dente.
- Roast chicken thighs and root vegetables over rice. Lots of variation here, but rendered chicken fat and rice is delicious.
- Oatmeal. Whole milk, brown sugar, butter, salt, raisins.
- Chicken salad. Get chicken breast on sale, you can make a huge batch with celery and onion and have sandwiches all week.
- Baked sweet potato, loaded with literally any savory toppings. Maybe it's just me but it's much better than a regular baked potato
- Chana masala (sauteed/curried chickpeas)
- Learn how to stir fry. There's too much to summarize here but basically learning how much heat to use and when, and how to layer ingredients into the pan is very valuable skill in the kitchen. And acid + sugar (even just white vinegar and white sugar) to round it out.
Never Discount The Food Of The Peasants
Ratatouille. I know it sounds fancy but my monthly budget is already screwed for October and I fed 3 people 2 meals each for $5 from our local farm market
Wasn't it literally peasent food?
Yes. It's thinly sliced veggies roasted with some seasoning and garnish.
The movie didn't quite go into detail on this, but that's WHY it was so monumental to the food critic guy.
Here he is, in an upscale restaurant, just READY to be disappointed. But then out comes a dish of ratatouille, something his mom made for him growing up and is never considered to be an actually high-class dish.
And he just gets blown away. It's made with such care and attention that he literally feels like he's back in his loving mother's kitchen again.
One of my favorite scenes from any movie.