What are your favorite $5 meals - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 10-06-2013, 09:19 PM - Thread Starter
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What are your favorite meals that cost $5 or less?  How many people are you feeding? Do you trade off prep time for lost cost?

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#2 of 14 Old 10-17-2013, 08:34 AM
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Here are some of our favs:
-breakfast burritos with scrambled eggs and fried potatoes
-tofu fajitas with sautéed bell peppers and onions, served with refried beans and salsa
-pasta with homemade pesto. I add canned tuna for protein, frozen peas and kale to the pesto
-rice and bean bowls with cheese, salsa, and avocado
- soup and grilled cheese sandwiches
- curried yellow lentils with veggies, served with naan or rice
-homemade pizza (maybe a little over $5 depending on what toppings and how much cheese you use, but much cheaper than other pizza)
- stir fry with tofu and veggies- I use whatever vegetables are on sale- broccoli, purple cabbage, bell peppers, green beans, carrots, etc.
- pancakes and eggs (breakfast for dinner)

We eat a mostly vegetarian diet, so it's pretty easy to keep the cost low. All these meals feed 2 adults and 1 three year old.
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#3 of 14 Old 11-11-2013, 11:19 PM
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- Pinto beans/homemade cornbread
- Pasta w/veggies
- Fried potatoes, green pepper/onion, turkey sausage (skillet meal)

"If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere." -Vincent Van Gogh
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#4 of 14 Old 11-19-2013, 12:04 PM
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Cheese enchiladas with zucchini (in season)

Crockpot Black Beans (slightly modified from Stacy Makes Sense to up veggie count) and rice.

Vegetarian Chili (beans, onion, tomato, broth)

Lentils (with diced carrot, celery, onion)

Chicken liver with sauteed onion, mushrooms, peppers

Baked potatoes topped with chili


It's me, my husband, our 4yo and 2yo.

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#5 of 14 Old 11-30-2013, 05:41 PM
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Black bean enchiladas
Veggie chili
Sometimes we will just have baked potatoes and salad

DH 31; Me 30; DD 6; DS 1; Baby boy due Dec 17th

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#6 of 14 Old 11-30-2013, 06:38 PM
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I'm feeding 4, 2 adults and two kids and we almost always gave leaflet overs as my kids are young

DH 31; Me 30; DD 6; DS 1; Baby boy due Dec 17th

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#7 of 14 Old 11-30-2013, 07:21 PM
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rice and been burritos with some cheese


homemade mac and cheese w/ broccoli


ham and potatoes fried with onions


I  like to buy turkeys when they are under a dollar a pound and freeze them. they feed us about 4 meals if were smart maybe 5 and it usually costs 10$ or less for the whole turkey

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#8 of 14 Old 12-25-2013, 10:13 PM
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We do a lot of these..We eat very frugally...LOL


Poormans Dish....basically I cube 5 potatoes and start them to frying in some canola oil with seasoned salt on low...When they are half way cooked through I quarter 2-3 hot dogs and put in with them...I serve this with a veggie...This is one of my 6 year olds favorites ...Sounds gross but it is not only super simple but very good..


Hamburger Gravy served over Noodles or Mashed Potatoes...I brown a pound of ground beef until done..I Drain all the grease except for about 3 tablespoons of it which I leave in..I add 1/2 cup flour to the meat/grease and mix till combined..I then add 2 cups of milk and simmer till thick..I season with salt and pepper,,,,I serve with mashed potatoes and French green beans..


Breakfast foods...Eggs,Pancakes,Gravies,waffles...the possiblities are endless and you can mix them up and inner change them..Sometimes we eat cubed Spam with eggs and hm Hashbrowns several times a week...Filling and good..


Soups...I like to do Chicken Noodle or Potato Soup...Super easy, cheap and filling..Plus super yummy...


Go to You Tube and look up Clara the Depression Cooking Lady...she is sweet and shows meals and a few treats that her family lived on in the depression..Super easy, cheap and actually taste good...I made several of her recipes..


I make all these meals gluten and dairy free by the way... :)

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#9 of 14 Old 12-26-2013, 05:02 AM
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Quesedillas with black beans and cheese

Sweet potatoes with fried eggs

Sweet potatoes with caramelized onions

Sweet potatoes with lentils and seasoned with cumin (burrito like, minus the wrap.  Think I got a real recipe from MDC years ago)

Sweet potatoes with black bean soup


I guess we eat a lot of sweet potatoes!


My kids favorite cheap meal is fried dough.  Basically bread dough cooked in oil. with lots of powdered sugar!  When I was a kid we had this most sundays after church.  We eat it for special days when I know they'll be getting plenty of other real food!  Any bread dough works (wheat, oat, white, spelt, etc.  except soy flour burns too quickly)   2 people in the house have been grain free for about 3 months now, so I don't know when we'll have this again!



family of 6.  I only make what we'll eat so no leftovers.

Me.  With 1 spouse, 4 kids, 16 chickens, 74 matchbox cars, 968,562+ legos, a dishwasher waiting to be emptied, a washing machine waiting to be filled and a lost cup of tea in the house.

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#10 of 14 Old 12-30-2013, 04:34 PM
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We love:


daal w/ rice and a vegetable

beans and rice w/ side of steamed cabbage

black bean soup w/ bread and a veg. on the side


I'm noticing they're all bean dishes!  


we also do a lot of tofu stir fry w/ rice noodles or over rice, but I bet that realistically comes out to more than $5 a meal


It's the protein that I find keeps the cost of the meals high.  We prefer organic/ pasture raised, which is so expensive that we really only eat meat 1-2 times a week, if that.


I love reading other people's ideas

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#11 of 14 Old 02-19-2014, 07:41 PM
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Our favorite fancy cheap meal is to buy one nice fillet of salmon, and then cook it with BBQ seasoning, flake it, and mix with rice to stretch it out for three people. Serve it with lots of buttered vegetables and it feels kind of like a cookout in the dead of winter.

Every once in a while you'll find salmon on sale, if you don't mind buying farm raised. So with the vegetables and rice you're looking at about $2-3 per serving.
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#12 of 14 Old 02-19-2014, 07:44 PM
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Hands down, it's Black Beans and Rice (brown) if me and my family of 3. I follow the recipe on the side of a can of Goya black beans. The only adjustment I make is that I use organic ingredients.

Jennifer, first time Mom, working full time, married to Paul. Katherine "Kate" Mary Lou was born 8.10.10.
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#13 of 14 Old 07-16-2014, 04:56 PM
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I think my most preferable 5$ meal is:

Pasta with veggies
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#14 of 14 Old 08-22-2014, 08:51 AM
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We have 3 people who eat solids, and a lot of our meals cost <$5. Eating very little meat keeps costs down.

Cook some pasta. Steam some veggies. Cook diced onion and herbs (oregano, rosemary, etc., whatever you have) in lots of olive oil. Mix all of these together with nutritional yeast flakes and sunflower seeds.

Baked beans (canned or homemade), cornbread, and some fruit (fresh or canned).

This is a great one if you find a sale on canned salmon: Lemon Creamy Salmon with Tangy Greens.

And the winner for hearty, super-cheap, super-easy main dish: Honey Baked Lentils!!! Bake alongside squash or sweet potatoes, or serve on top of salad.

Mama to a boy EnviroKid 10 years old and a little girl EnviroBaby !
I write about parenting, environment, cooking, and more.
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