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Most of us have been there. Times can be tough and we need a way to budget our cash whenever possible. These five recipes will not only keep some extra cash in your wallet, but they’ll make sure to give you the proper nutrition that you need.
1. Fried Rice With Ham
Ingredients: Rice, vegetables, eggs, and ham.
Cost: $1.79 per serving.
This is by far one of my favorite recipes. A good way to budget your bill on this one is to buy rice in bulk from Amazon at only $18 for a 15-pound bag. This will last you for months. Eggs are always cheap, and you can use canned vegetables if you’d like to save even more. You’re going to have to forego the more expensive ones such as bell peppers, but you can still make a cheap and nutritious meal using ingredients such as tomatoes, asparagus, and corn.
2. Beef And Broccoli Stir Fry
Ingredients: Beef, broccoli, rice and oil.
Cost: $1.84 per serving.
Using the 15-pound bag of rice we mentioned above, we can add on beef and broccoli to make another delicious meal. This one will usually cost you anywhere from $7 – $8 at a Chinese restaurant. You’re not going to be eating top-class beef in this case, but you’re still getting something delicious with a couple of servings of vegetables with the broccoli. Feel free to add in some other greens too like a handful of spinach or asparagus.
3. Tomato Salad With Chicken And Olive Oil
Ingredients: Lettuce, tomatoes, olive oil, spinach, and ham.
Cost: $1.98 per serving.
Fortunately for us, lettuce and tomatoes are usually pretty cheap. All you have to do is cut up some tomatoes and romaine lettuce, put them in a bowl, and add some olive oil. I usually throw in some other vegetables such as spinach or cucumbers if I’m feeling spendy. A good substitute for meat is eggs. As for the olive oil, always buy it in bulk. You can buy this 2 quart bottle from Kirkland for around $20 on Amazon. Buying the same amount in small bottles will add up to well over $30.
4. Black Beans & Rice
Ingredients: Rice, black beans, green onions, olive oil, pepper, spinach leaves.
Cost: $.98 per serving.
This one is probably the cheapest and simplest of them all. Cook up some rice and beans and put them together. I usually mix them both in with olive oil for some extra taste along with home-grown scallions. You can usually buy cans of beans in bulk, and you can use any type that you want. You can even find a can at your local dollar store, but I usually stray away from this as I don’t usually trust their quality.
Ingredients: Tuna, lettuce, olive oil, onions and tomatoes.
Cost: $1.64 per serving.
This was by far one of my favorite recipes while living abroad, and I often preferred it over going out to eat. Buy tuna in bulk and you can cut it down to just $.50 cents per pack. If you get sick of eating tuna all the time, you can also substitute it for packed salmon which will cost under $1 per pack. Add in an avocado for some extra taste, but it’s not necessary if you’re really trying to save.
How Can I Save Even More?
I tend to save a lot on my groceries using Amazon Prime Pantry. Look carefully and you can usually find some great deals on products that you can buy in bulk.
Save an extra 5% on all Amazon purchases by using Giving Assistant, a cash back portal that pays you each time you use one of their affiliate links to make a purchase. Plus you get a bonus of $5 just for signing-up. This year I’ve already saved over $20.
Just because you’re not spending a lot of money doesn’t mean you have to be unhealthy. I recently cut my food budget down to $200 this month because of some life changes that I’ve been wanting to make, and my stress has notoriously decreased.
As it turns out, I’ve been healthier than ever. I’m cooking nutritious meals and don’t waste money on products (such as candy) that I know will cost me extra money or make me tired. This will only result in me spending more.
Of course, you may be spending a bit more depending on the area that you live in, but these meals should help you save money in the end. Do you have any inexpensive but nutritious meals that you don’t see on this list? We’d love to know about them in them comments below!
My name is Jason Wuerch and I'm currently located in Madrid, Spain running a personal finance blog called Frugal For Less. My goal is to help everyone and anyone willing to make and save money through easy and simple ways that don't require much effort. Just because you're frugal doesn't mean you have to give up life's luxuries.