Bills, clothes, rent—There are a lot of things to pay for when you become an adult. There's no way around it (well, there is a way around it, but not one that doesn't involve going to jail). We guess what we're trying to say is that while there are some expenses that you just can't avoid paying for, there are areas where you can save. Like groceries, for instance.
You don't have to shell out a ton of cash to make a delicious dinner. Stick to your budget with ease by checking out these 15 meals that you can make for under $5.
15 Slow Cooker Chili Mac
Elbow macaroni, black beans, tomatoes, corn, and ground beef are all you need to make this zesty chili mac recipe. Okay, you caught us. It also calls for a few spices, like pepper and cumin. And, yes, there are some onions, too. But the point is, this recipe calls for just a few staple ingredients which can be obtained for around five dollars.
Slow cooker to the rescue! Once you've browned the ground beef, all you have to do is stir in the rest of the ingredients (minus the pasta), and stick it all in the crock pot. After letting it cook on low for eight to ten hours, add the pasta and two cups of water. Wait another hour, and your delicious, budget-friendly recipe will be ready for you to dig into.
14 Poor Man's Stew
Yes, this recipe is called Poor Man's Stew, but don't let that fool you. This dish may be cheap to make, but it is definitely rich in flavor. It's got potatoes, carrots, onions, and beef, all nestled in a savory juice that is just perfect for dipping a roll in. To make things even better, this recipe is designed to be made in a crock pot, and you know what that means. It means all you have to do is toss the ingredients in, adjust the settings knob, and be on your way. Best. Dinner. Ever.
Save some cash without skimping out on flavor by making this for dinner tonight. The ingredients should come to a total of about five dollars, and you'll be amazed that something so inexpensive could taste so good!
13 Chicken Pot Pie Fettuccine
Sitting pretty on the top tier of ultimate comfort foods, chicken pot pie is a delicious combination of chicken and vegetables, suspended in a warm roux, and sandwiched between two flaky crusts. And yes, it is every bit as epic as it sounds.
When we heard about this chicken pot pie fettuccine, our ears perked up, and our stomachs started growling. It has all of the things that make traditional chicken pot pie amazing. Yes, there is no crust, and it's okay if this makes you feel a little sad. However, it should cheer you to know that, instead of crust, this recipe features pasta. Now that's what we call a consolation prize! You can make this recipe in under half an hour, and for about five bucks.
12 Black Bean Soup
Beans are one of the best things in the world. You can do so much with them. You want 'em refried? Sure, they can do that! You want 'em as a side dish? They are so up for it! You want to shape 'em into a hamburger patty and serve 'em on a bun? That's entirely possible, friends!
Beans are cool—hence the phrase, "cool beans"—and you can use them to do practically anything. Anything food-wise, that is. You can't use beans to, like, fly or become invisible, or anything like that (sadly). One of the epic things that you can do with beans is make this recipe. It's simple to whip up, and it won't break the bank. Eat well on a budget with this delicious black bean soup.
11 Margherita French Bread Pizzas
Oh, French bread, you always know just what to do! This French bread has so thoughtfully turned itself into a decadent personal pizza by draping itself in tomato sauce, basil, garlic, and mozzarella. Wait. Hang on a sec, you guys. It turns out that the French bread doesn't do this on it's own, you have to do it for yourself. That's okay, French bread. We forgive you. Don't ever change.
A loaf of French bread should only set you back about two bucks. Total that with the cheese, sauce, and other ingredients in this budget-friendly recipe, and you'll be at or near five bucks. This tasty dinner is easy on your wallet, and it's even easier to make and eat. Give it a shot. Get the recipe here.
10 Microwave Macaroni And Cheese
We have just received a bit of dangerous information. Apparently, it's possible to make macaroni and cheese in the microwave. This is not a drill.
Ooooh, yeah. You know what? We don't know if we actually need to be able to make macaroni and cheese that quickly. It seems like that could go terribly wrong. The main reason why we don't eat macaroni and cheese more often is because it takes twenty minutes to make. That's it. That's the only thing standing in our way. If it turns out that we can make our favorite comfort food in ten minutes or less, we will never stop eating it. If you're sure that you can restrain yourself, check out the budget-friendly mac and cheese recipe right here.
9 Cheeseburger Quesadillas
Um, okay. Yeah, sure, this makes a lot of sense. It took mankind centuries to put a few guys on the moon, but for some reason, it took us even longer to figure out how to invent cheeseburger quesadillas. Hmmm. Seems like we should reevaluate our priorities. Tortilla inventions should be first on our list, not space exploration. This is indisputable.
If the fact that these are cheeseburger quesadillas isn't enough to convince you to make them, then there is nothing that we can do to help you. You obviously don't want to be happy. Frankly, we don't need people like you in our life. We're cutting you off. And when we're done ditching you, we're going to make some of these. They're inexpensive and delicious. There's no reason not to love this recipe.
8 Chicken Yakisoba
"Ah, yes. Ramen noodles. It certainly has been a long time, hasn't it? Gosh, when was the last time we saw each other? Senior year of college? My, how the years have flown. You haven't changed a bit. You're just as bland, unsatisfying, and cheap as you were on graduation day."
We get it. You lived on Ramen noodles throughout your college experience. You probably never want to see them again. It's understandable. But they have changed since then. They're responsible noodles, now. They have a steady job, a condo, and a Subaru. Sure, there was a time when all you could do was boil them and top them with the little chicken flavor packet that came with them. But they're capable of so much more, now. So please, will you give them another chance and try out this recipe? We promise you won't regret it.
7 Spinach And Artichoke Melts
If a recipe has the word "melt" in its title, we get super excited. Why? Because when the word "melt" starts getting tossed around, it implies that there will be cheese involved. We love cheese. It's our soulmate.
These spinach and artichoke melts take cheese to a whole new level by bringing toasted bread into the mix. We're still questioning what we could have done to deserve such goodness, but we're quickly coming to terms with it. Snuggled between two heavenly crunchy slices of sourdough rests a thick layer of mozzarella, cream cheese, spinach, artichoke hearts, and sliced chicken breast. Hard to believe that you could make a sandwich of such a high quality when you have a budget to stick to, but it is possible. Get the recipe here.
6 Stuffed Bell Peppers
'Round these here parts, we hold the bell pepper in high esteem. It's a festively-colored edible vessel that can be filled with any manner of mouthwatering ingredients. How many vegetables can boast an impressive resume like that? Bell peppers are cheap, too. You could buy a dozen of them for just a couple of bucks. They're one of the most budget-friendly veggies around.
These stuffed bell peppers are our new favorite thing. Filled with a combination of ground beef, onion, corn, and rice, and topped with an irresistible layer of cheese, there is nothing about this dish that isn't fantastic. Meal prep for this one couldn't be easier, just follow the steps laid out in the recipe. A cheap dinner for any night of the week, plus these are great to take to family gatherings.
5 Sloppy Joes
A sloppy joe is one of those sandwiches that always hits the spot. They're just always perfect. We have a lot of nice things to say about sloppy joes, but the best thing about them has got to be the fact that they are so easy to make. Seriously, what could be more simple than browning some ground beef, stirring in some tomato sauce, and ladling the delicious mixture onto a hamburger bun? Nothing, that's what.
They're delicious, they're easy to make, and they're super cheap. Five bucks is all to takes to make a fantastic dinner that will leave you full. Make this sloppy joe recipe ahead of time and let it sit in the fridge for a day or two until you need it to help save on time.
4 Broccoli And Cheese Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
Just because you're on a budget doesn't mean you have to give up healthy eating. And just because you're trying to eat healthy doesn't mean that you have to eat salads for every meal—because, let's be real here, salads are healthy, but they are in no way filling. Ten minutes after a salad, and it's like you never ate anything. Stay fit and full on your limited budget with this broccoli and cheese stuffed spaghetti squash recipe.
Spaghetti squash is an inexpensive alternative to wheat pasta, and it has the benefit of being significantly lower in carbs. It's an easy substitute for regular pasta in any recipe, but it really shines in this one. Boasting copious amounts of antioxidant rich broccoli and delicious cheese, these spaghetti squash boats deserve a regular spot in your weekly meal rotation.
3 Slow Cooker Potato Soup
Even if cooking is your jam, you have to admit, some days it's nice to have an easy recipe to fall back on. This slow cooker potato soup fits the bill. It's a cheap meal to make, and all you have to do is stick everything in the crock pot and let it sit for a few hours. We wish every meal was this straightforward.
Potato soup always hits the spot, and you can make a ton of it for about five bucks. So not only are you getting dinner with this recipe, you're getting a few extra meals worth of leftovers. Plus, potato soup is one of those meals that gets better the longer it sits, so every time you reheat this recipe, it will only get better.
2 Bean And Cheese Burritos
Burritos have never done us wrong. They have never betrayed us. They are our tortilla-y, cheesy friends who always have our back, and we love them. So when we learned that we could make these bean and cheese burritos for less than seventy-five cents per pop, we just had to share it with you guys.
It takes no time at all to make a batch of these things. Just heat up some beans, spread them on a tortilla, sprinkle some cheese on there, roll them up, and you're done. An added bonus about these burritos is that you can stick them in the freezer to be microwaved at a later date. You have the power to create an endless supply of burritos. Go forth with this information, and be at burrito peace.
1 Broccoli Rice And Sausage Casserole
Rice is a staple for every pantry, but it's especially helpful when you're on a budget. Sadly, rice meals can get boring really fast. Rice and beans, fried rice, chicken and rice casserole. Those recipes are all delicious in their own right, but eating them again and again, well, it's easy to get burned out on them.
Switch things up a little bit with this sausage, broccoli, and rice recipe. Broccoli and rice are dirt cheap, and with a link of the sausage of your choice, this recipe comes in at nearly five dollars. Top this casserole with some hot sauce or cheese, and serve it up with a slice of cornbread. An easy meal that can be made in one pot, and it's one that is always delicious.