Cheap Money Saving Meal Ideas

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By Forrest | Last Updated: January 9, 2020

So the month is winding down and you’ve been sticking to your budget however the pantry is dwindling, also. You have to eat, but you also want to stick to your budget.

Keep reading to learn some of the cheapest meals so you can stick to your budget and save more money!

Peanut Butter & Jelly

This one is a household staple, and extremely cheap. Bread, peanut butter, and jelly are all it takes usually costing less than a quarter to make. Simply spread your peanut butter on one slice and spread your jelly on the other, then sandwich them together and enjoy.

Scrambled Eggs & Toast

Eggs are super cheap right now, almost too cheap. A dozen eggs usually runs for less than one dollar at your local grocery store, making them less than 10 cents apiece. Try making a few scrambled eggs and toast for your next dinner, which should run less than 50 cents per meal. Talk about cheap!

Egg Sandwich

Similar to scrambled eggs, an egg sandwich can provide much-needed protein for a low cost. A couple of eggs, two slices of bread, a splash of milk, salt and pepper is all it takes to make this meal.

Ramen Noodles

Bring back the college days with Ramen noodles. While they bring absolutely no nutritional value, they can certainly save your budget. Costing less than 30 cents per package, this meal can save your hard-earned cash. And the best part about it, all it takes is a bowl, some water, and a microwave!

Chicken Fried Rice

Rice is a staple in Asia and with good reason. It’s extremely affordable and filling! For this recipe, you’ll need chicken breast, white rice, vegetable oil or butter, and eggs (optional). First, cook your rice according to the package. If desired, scramble an egg to add to your rice. Cool your rice before frying. Then add your cooked rice to a pan with butter or vegetable oil and mix in the egg. Cook until hot. Sauté the chicken breast and mix it in with the rice, adding soy sauce as desired.

Soup and Crackers

Soup and crackers are a great low-cost meal that provides a little more nutritional value than Ramen noodles at a similar cost. Just purchase your favorite soup and heat accordingly for a meal that takes less than 10 minutes to prep.


Oatmeal can be a quick and easy meal any time of day. It typically costs around $.20 per serving and will keep you feeling full throughout the day. You can opt for a single-serve instant oatmeal package that you simply pop in the microwave or go make it yourself stovetop.

You can add fruit to your oatmeal to mix up the flavor and get extra nutrients.

Grilled Cheese

Grilled cheese is a cheap way to save money for your next lunch. All it takes is two slices of bread and your preferred cheese to make a delicious meal in less than 10 minutes.

Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce

Who doesn’t love an Italian classic? Spaghetti is a great dinner idea and is extremely affordable! Just purchase the pasta and some inexpensive tomato sauce at your local grocer then bring the appropriate amount of water to boil and add the pasta and cook to taste. Heat the pasta sauce in the microwave or stovetop and combine. It’s that simple.

Want to get fancy? You can purchase pre-made meatballs or make them yourself for some added protein.

Tuna Sandwich

Looking for a healthy and affordable lunch option? Look no further than a tuna sandwich. Two slices of bread, a can of tuna, and some mayonnaise are all it takes to craft this high protein lunch option. Add pickle relish as desired for taste.

Cheese Quesadillas

Want a savory dinner for the whole family for less than $5? Try making quesadillas! You can customize them to order using several ingredients like cheese, vegetables, meat, and more. Heat up the griddle, use some butter to grease your pan, and grill until warm.


Pancakes are a super cheap option for your next breakfast. You can choose to buy a mix or make them homemade with a few simple ingredients. Either way, you can start your morning with a full stomach for less than a couple of bucks.


If you're looking for a classic Caribbean recipe, it doesn't get much better than Mofongo.  Check out this Mofongo recipe that I love. While you might not have all of the ingredients on hand already, be sure to add them to your grocery list for next time with this cheap meal.

Yorkshire Puddings

Yorkshire puddings can be a great cheap dish to go with any meal. You can learn how to make Yorkshire puddings here!

French Toast

Combining two breakfast staples, eggs and bread, French toast is a very affordable breakfast meal to save you money and delight your taste buds. Just a couple of slices of bread, eggs, and some cinnamon is all it takes.

See the recipe here!

Macaroni and Cheese

It’s not just a food for kids! Macaroni and Cheese is an extremely cheap dinner meal. Noodles and cheese, does it get much cheaper than that? We don’t think so!

Eggs with Hashbrowns

Potatoes and eggs go great together and are a great option for any time of day. Cook your eggs as desired and fry up some hash browns for a meal less than a few bucks.

How to Save Even More on Your Meals

Want to save even more money on your meals? Use these tips to help lower your grocery bill or check out these high protein vegetables for meal prepping!

Buy Generic

By purchasing generic ingredients you can save anywhere from 30 to 50% off of the cost of your ingredients. And because you don’t consume them straight, you typically won’t be able to tell the difference.

Use Coupons

Coupons are another way to save a few dollars on your ingredients. With today’s technology, you can even download them to your phone for your convenience.

Shop Around

Some groceries are more expensive than others. Make biweekly trips to different groceries and purchase the cheaper items at each one respectively.

Check Price Matching

If you don’t want to make a couple of trips to different groceries, find a grocery that will price match instead. This can save you more than you think, so it’s always worth checking.

Make Crockpot Meals

Crockpots can be an extremely affordable way to make your next dinner. Check out some of these crockpot recipes for more help!


There are many ways you can save money on your next meal. Try crafting some of the meal above and use our money-saving tips on your next trip to the grocery to save even more.

Forrest is a personal finance, entrepreneurship, and investing enthusiast dedicated to helping others obtain life long wealth. He owns several different blogs and is also passionate about health and fitness.
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