Many of us like to save money when cooking. However, this does not mean that you cannot have healthy and nutritious meals. If you think about swapping a meal or lunch out just twice a week for a home-cooked meal you’ll automatically save dollars. When you shopping for groceries there are many items you can shop for that are well priced and healthy. These items include peanut butter, canned beans, lentils, Rice, frozen fruits, and vegetables. Purchasing simple items like the ones listed above can really make inexpensive tasty meals. In this post, we will be showing you cheap and easy meals under 5 dollars.
Cheap and easy meals under 5 dollars
Below we have a number of cheap and easy meal ideas for you to get stuck into. From breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks we have every meal time covered for you. Furthermore, the great thing about our meal ideas is that they are all under $5. Let’s show you some cheap and easy meals under 5 dollars below.
Cheap and easy breakfast ideas
- Scrambled Egg on Toast: This is a popular breakfast and dinner meal for many families on a budget. All you need to do is whisk up some eggs add them to a pan and your egg is done. Lastly, butter some toast and add the egg. In addition, you can even get the kids involved by letting them add toppings such as jam and Nutella to the toast. Furthermore, I wouldn’t recommend adding an egg to the kids’ toast!.
- Berry and Banana Oatmeal: Oatmeal is one of the easiest breakfast ideas you can cook up. Just add some oats to a pan, some milk or water, your fruits, and your good to go. You can even try adding some raisins or cinnamon to give it that extra flavor. This is a cheap meal that will keep you energized and full for the day.
- Frozen Banana Smoothie: This is another great breakfast item that will keep you fuller for longer. We all have those bananas that are about to go bad and what a great way to use them. Peel back the skin and throw them away. Wrap the peeled banana in cling film and freeze. Furthermore, once the bananas are frozen add them to a blender with 1 1/2 cups of the milk of your choice. This can be cows milk, almond milk, soy milk, or oat milk. Add a little touch of vanilla extract and blend. Remember depending on the type of milk you use will determine the thickness of the smoothie.
- Pancakes with fruit: Even though it can be easy to make homemade pancakes from scratch it works out more cost-effective using a premade pancake mix. There are many mixes out there where you add water and you’re ready to add to the pan. Make sure they are golden brown on both sides add your favorite fruit, golden syrup, it’s ready to eat.
- Fresh Fruit Salad: It’s as simple as it sounds add your favorite fruits to a bowl and you’re ready to eat. We recommend avoiding bananas as they go brown and can make the salad slimy. Why not add some gree yogurt with honey to add some texture.
- Cereal: This is as cheap and as simple as it gets. Toss your favourite breakfast cereal into a bowl and add the milk of your choice. In addition, You can make more fancy by adding frozen fruits.
Cheap and easy lunch and dinner ideas
- Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup: Grilled cheese is easy to make just butter a slice of bread on one side and add it to a griddle pan. Add a slice of cheese and add another slice of bread on top. Remember to butter the top of the bread. Flip the sandwich over and cook until golden brown and the cheese has melted. You can also add bacon or tomato to add some more flavor. To make the soup you can simply purchase a can of Campbell’s soup and add a tomato bisque to it. However, if you’d like to make your own why not follow this simple tomato soup recipe from all recipes.
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich: Another popular lunch treat across many families in the US. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are really simple to make. All you need is 2 slices of your favorite bread, with peanut butter and jelly smothered ontop. You can have this famous sandwich at any time of the day.
- Fried Rice: Fried rice is a great way to use that leftover rice you have in your fridge. In a large pan add some oil, chopped onion, a little bit of garlic, and let it fry up. Most people would tell you to add the egg then the rice but I prefer to add the rice and then the egg and let it cook. If your cooking for kids you may stop here. For adults or kids who like to experiment try adding some, corn, peas, mushrooms, broccoli, carrots, or anything you have to hand. top it off with a couple of spoons of soy sauce.
- Pot Roast and Vegetables: This is a great comfort meal for when you’re ill or just feel like a home-cooked meal. To start this filling meal add a rump roast of Lamb or Beef into a crockpot and cover it with water. You can even add to a slow cooker. You’ll need to cook it for 3 hours on high heat. Furthermore, once the 3 hours are up add some chopped potatoes, peeled carrots, and salt, and pepper to taste. Now cook for another 3 to 4 hours and server.
- Rice and Beans: Once again you can use up that leftover rice we all have in the fridge. Place some oil in a pan add some garlic and onions and cook. Open a can of black beans and add to the pan, add salt and pepper to taste. You can fry the leftover rice then add the beans on top or just heat it up in the microwave and then add the beans.
- Simply Tasty Pasta: Who doesn’t love pasta? even kids love it nowadays. Simply boil the pasta of your choice in a saucepan with a pinch of salt. In another pan add some olive oil, onion, and cook. Add some chopped tomatoes, vail, and bring to the boil. You can add the feta cheese to the sauce or add it when serving. Add salt and Pepper to taste and your good to serve. Just add the sauce on to the pasta and you’ve got yourself a tasty pasta dish.
- Mediterranean Pasta Salad: This simple dish will get you away from those pre-cooked pasta pots which are normally drenched in mayonnaise. All you need to do is boil some pasta and drain it. Add the pasta to a bowl and add black or green olives, chickpeas, some chopped fresh tomatoes, and a dressing of your choice. This could be Italian dressing, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and even just salt and pepper.
- BLT: A simple but classic sandwich we all love. Add oil to a pan and fry a good amount of bacon in a pan and cook until crispy on both sides. Remove from the pan and be sure to pat the bacon down with a kitchen tissue to remove excess grease. Get 2 slices of your favourite bread and spread both slices with mayonnaise, ketchup or even butter. Chop up thin slices of tomatoes, some iceberg or romaine lettuce and you’re ready to build your sandwich. Pop the bacon onto the bread add the tomatoes and then lettuce and your good to go. Beware there’s no right or wrong way to build your sandwich so you can layer it in any order.
- Homemade Mac N’ Cheese: Another dish we all love. We all have a tendency to buy the packet mix or even ready-made meals but ditch that and try this easy to follow receipt. Boil the pasta of your choice in a pot. In a separate pot add flour and milk with salt and pepper to taste. You’ll need to stir constantly until it nearly boils, at this point lower the heat and stir until mixture thickens. Now add the cheese until its melted. With the sauce done you can add it over the pasta and serve. If your feeling adventurous why not add some chopped ham, bacon crumbs or tomatoes. If you have some extra time you can turn this dish into a pata bake. Simply add the mixture to a cassarole dish add some bread crumbs on top and back in the oven for 20-25 mins.
Cheap and easy snack ideas
- Fruit with Peanut butter: This snack is as easy as it sounds. Simply cut up your favorite fruits such as apples, pears, melon, mango, and enjoy with a side of peanut butter.
- Carrots and Cucumber with Hummus: Once again chop up some carrots and cucumber and enjoy with a side of hummus. You can buy ready-made hummus in stores or why not try making your own homemade hummus.
- Nuts: Buy yourself a bag of mixed nuts or a bad of your favorite nuts and have them as a healthy snack. You may think nuts are high in fats but these fats are good for you so don’t be put off by the fat content.
- Cheese cubes and Celery: Cut up some cubes of your favorite cheese and some fresh celery and eat. You could have feta cheese, cheddar cheese, or even mozzarella. Small amounts of cheese are good for you but try not to eat too much.
- Popcorn: Popcorn is a great alternative to crisps and other unhealthy snacks. why not try popping your own popcorn at home. Add a teaspoon of oil to a large pot and heat up. add the popcorn and cover. in a minute or so you’ll hear the popcorn pop cook on medium heat until the popping stops. Learn how to cook the perfect popcorn.
Cheap and easy dessert ideas
There are lots of desserts that are cheap and easy meals under 5 dollars. Here is a list of easy desserts you can make. Some of them will take you no time and some may require a little longer. It will be worth the effort.
- S’mores Ice-Cream: This is a great way to get summer started and children smiling. Also, who doesn’t love Ice-cream?
- Gluten-Free Fudge Brownies: Desserts can be enjoyed by everyone why suffer if your gluten intolerant. These fudge brownies will definitely tickle your taste buds.
- Peanut Butter Cookies: One of my personal favorites these cookies can be left in a container and used as a snack during the week.
- Peanut butter fudge: I love fudge really reminds me of going to my Grandma’s house and having a piece together. These can also be left in a container as a snack.
- Home Made Hot Chocolate: What better way to end the evening than with a nice cup of homemade hot chocolate. This really reminds me of Christmas and cold winter nights.
- Mango Lassi: Lassi is a type of fruit yogurt milkshake that can be sweet or salty. It’s a great fresh summery drink.
- Non Bake Summer Desserts: Here are a list of easy and fun summer desserts that you dodn’t even have to bake!.
- Strawberry Mouse: This strawberry mouse is na great winner. Along side white chocolate this will really win over.
- Blondies: Blondies are rich, buttery and chewy. These little chunks are great after a work out or for kids soccer games.
- Butterscotch cookies: Brown sugar melted with butter will get all the noses turning in the family. These crispy brown cookies are a great alternative to the usual cookies we’re all used to.
Enjoyed our blog on Cheap And Easy Meals Under 5 Dollars? Check out our blog on 16 Smart Ways To Save Money On Groceries. Once you’re done with saving money on meals and groceries you’ll definitely have a fuller wallet.