Cheap Meals 101

9 Jul

Raysha Duncan, Financial Aid Administrator
www.purdue.edu/mymoney

yogurt & strawberries; text overlay: Cheap Meals 101

One of the easiest ways to cut back on your spending is to reduce your food expenses. The quickest way of course is to stop eating out! Okay, so now that you’ve done that…what now? Well, you need to learn some cheap go-to meal ideas, so I’m sharing some of my favorites with you below.

Rice and Beans

This is my favorite meal. It’s really simple, really cheap, and really good for you. If you’re a little bored with the idea of just eating plain old rice and beans, it’s really easy to jazz it up some too. Just add a little salsa and/or cheese and/or avocado and/or creole seasoning and you’ve got a brand new exciting (and spicy if you went for the Creole seasoning) meal!

Crockpot Chili

Throw a big crockpot of chili ingredients together all at once and it can cook either all day and be ready for dinner or all night and be ready to divvy up into lunch containers. You’ll also get a ton of leftovers if you’re cooking for one. The bulk of it may seem expensive, but if you break it down over how many meals you’ll get out of it, you’ll quickly see what a great deal it is to make a meal in bulk like this. Want to make it even cheaper? Leave out the meat and go vegetarian with it!

Chicken Salad

The most common way is of course to mix some canned chicken with mayo. You can do that of course or add in some chopped onion and celery or get super fancy and add grapes or walnuts or tarragon. Or go totally crazy and swap out mayo for mashed avocado – trust me, if you love avocado, you’ll love this swap. And another tip, make a lot of chicken salad at once so you have leftovers!

Breakfast for Dinner

This was one of my favorite meals as a kid and still is. Breakfast food tends to be pretty cheap and there’s such a wide variety to choose from! Scrambled eggs, toast, a bowl of cereal, yogurt and fruit, smoothies, breakfast burritos…the possibilities are endless!

What are your go-to cheap meal ideas? Share them in the comments below!

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