18 Cheap, Easy Meals Under $5 (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner!)

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Imagine always having food that’s: Cheap. Delicious. Healthy. Wouldn’t it be a dream if every meal could be those 3 things? It turns out, with a little meal planning and list making before the grocery store, you can.

Here are cheap, easy meals that are under $5…and also delicious!

Cheap, Easy Breakfast Recipes


The morning can be a rushed, chaotic time. When we’re trying to get ready and head out for the day, we often don’t have 10 extra minutes to cook breakfast. Here are cheap recipes under $5 to help with that:

 

Freezer pancakes

Pancakes are a great way to start the day, especially if they have blueberries or blackberries on top of them. Simple reheat them with this method of making freezer-friendly pancakes.

 

French toast with apple buternut squash compote

The word compote makes this sound fancy, but it’s a very simple, cheap breakfast recipe. Learn how to make french toast with apple butternut squash compote here.

 

Breakfast bowls

Filling and nutritious, there lots of cheap breakfast bowls. My latest favorite? Savory oatmeal with fried eggs on top. Find this savory oatmeal recipe and other breakfast bowls recipes at the Buzzfeed blog: 24 Delicious Breakfast Bowls That Will Warm You Up.

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Peanut butter, banana toast

Toast, check. Peanut butter (or almond or cashew butter), check. Sliced banana, check. I like to also  add cinnamon and honey on mine to really start the day off right.

 

Breakfast cookies

These fiber-packed breakfast goods are a lot more healthy than a normal cookie. Simply make a batch of them on the weekend, and you’ll have an easy morning meal every day that week. I love this recipe for blueberry coconut pecan breakfast cookies.

 

Avocado toast

Hearty whole wheat toast and spread avocado on top. Your favorite seasonings, like chili flakes or salt and pepper on top. Yum. If you have the time? A fried egg or two on top adds a solid amount of protein.

 

Easy Lunch Recipes

By bringing an inexpensive lunch, you save money and precious minutes going to a nearby restaurant. 

 

Bagel sandwich

Use a whole wheat bagel and your favorite sandwich toppings. I just started putting dill cream cheese and avocado on mine, sometimes adding turkey for extra protein. A delicious, cheap and healthy lunch.

 

Pasta salad

Very easy to whip up the night before or make a big batch on the weekend for lunches to come. You just can’t go wrong with an easy pasta salad with zesty italian dressing.

 

Black beans and coconut rice

Regular black beans and rice isn’t too interesting. Throw coconut in there? Now that’s something co-workers will be jealous of. Here’s a great black beans and coconut recipe.

 

Chicken fried rice

Basic staples like rice, chicken and vegetables are super cheap. Fry them together for a great meal with this recipe: Better Than Takeout Chicken Fried Rice. For an extra healthy version? Try out this ground turkey and quinoa stir fry.

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Veggie-packed quesadillas

Sinfully cheesy, yet super healthy because of all the vegetables. Just make it the night before or morning of. Then, stick it in the microwave at lunch time. Here’s a great vegetable, fajita style quesadilla recipe.  

 

Fast, Cheap Dinner Ideas

When I get home from work or the gym, if I had the willpower to go after work!, I’m starving. That’s why I like to come home knowing an easy meal I can make fast. Here are quick, easy dinners to make under $5.

 

Grilled cheese & tomato soup

Either buy canned tomato soup or, if you want to take it to the next level, make a tomato soup in a crockpot. Just turn it on in the morning; it’ll be ready when you get back.
Make a healthy grilled cheese to go with it, one kids will love, too, with recipes like this basil & mozzarella grilled cheese or this spinach and ricotta grilled cheese.

 

Barbecued black eyed peas

Beans are super cheap, are very healthy and are a great source of protein & fiber. Here’s an amazing recipe to make them with: Barbecued Black Eyed Peas.

 

Beef pot roast

This meat-heavy recipe is great on a chilly night. Warm yourself up with this beef pot roast.

 

Vegetarian carbonara

For any family members or guests who are vegetarian, please them and meat eaters with this Vegetarian Carbonara Recipe.

 

Warm tofu with spicy garlic sauce

It took me a long time to warm up to tofu. I truly wasn’t a fan…until recipes like this: Korean Tofu Spicy Garlic Sauce.

 

Bean & cheese burritos

These are best for larger families or for when you’re having company over. Roll up several, and bake them all at once. (Pick well-priced tortillas and ingredients? You could make burritos as cheap as 40 cents each!) Here’s an easy bean burrito recipe.

 

Casseroles

Easy to do in bulk, cheap & delicious. There are so many good ones to choose from, like these 24 casual chicken casseroles and easy cheesy zucchini bake.

 

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