Cheap and Easy Ideas for Getting Supper on the Table

Roasted chicken and vegetables

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Focus on a Whole Chicken with Potatoes and Green Beans in a Pan Out of the Oven, One Hand Wearing an Oven Mitt Holding It

Step Up to the Plate

Forget going out to a cheap fast-food chain. Learning a few easy dinner recipes that work within a budget is key to a lifestyle that is healthy and frugal. It's even better to find recipes that are easy and quick, making cooking at home nearly as convenient as ordering takeout. Below you'll find everything from chicken dishes to beef-centric meals to pork, turkey, and vegetarian-friendly recipes here to suit every dietary preference — all arranged by groups.

Kris Scott contributed to this story.

Related: 35 Big-Batch Meals That Will Last for a Week

Focus on a Raw Whole Chicken on Butchers Paper

Chicken Recipes

Perhaps more than any other protein, chicken is a versatile ingredient for making dinner. From a simple roast chicken or casserole to chicken tacos and coq au vin, here are 30ish cheap dinner ideas that offer home cooks a wide range of chicken-centric options.

Related: 20 Chef Secrets for Crisp, Juicy Fried Chicken

Focus on Simple Roast Chicken with a Cutting Knife on a Wooden Cutting Board
Liv friis-larsen/shutterstock

Roast Chicken

Classic roast chicken costs less than $10 to make for a family of four, even with root vegetables such as potatoes and turnips added to the pan for bulk and nutrition. Chicken cooked from room temperature roasts faster and more evenly, and develops a crispier skin.

Recipe: Epicurious

Closeup of Two Easy Weeknight Chicken Tacos on a Periwinkle Ceramic Plate
Joshua Resnick/shutterstock

Chicken Tacos

Soft corn tortillas are less expensive than their crunchy cousins and add fun, hearty nutrition to the simplest of fillings, such as quickly sautéed chicken with spices — using thighs rather than breasts for an extra flavorful and cheap mix.

Recipe: How Sweet Eats

Related: 26 Tasty Taco Places

Closeup of Spinach and Feta Stuffed Chicken Breast Surrounded by Spinach and Sweet Potatoes on a Light Blue Plate

Spinach and Feta Stuffed Chicken Breast

Stuffed chicken breast is sophisticated enough to serve at a dinner party but still simple and cheap enough to make many servings. Use homemade bread crumbs to shave off some of the overhead cost.


Closeup of Easy Chicken Gumbo with Rice in a White Bowl with a Spoon and a Slice of Garlic Bread on a Matching White Saucer

Chicken Gumbo

A classic peasant dish, gumbo was born out of the need to feed a family on a modest budget. An old-fashioned preparation starts with inexpensive whole chickens and a few common vegetables for authentic and robust flavors.


Related: Five-Ingredient Soups and Stews for an Easy Meal

Closeup of Dump-and-Bake Chicken Mushroom Casserole in a White Bowl
Emad Omar Farouk/shutterstock

Chicken and Mushroom Casserole

This one-pot meal combines protein-rich chicken and mushrooms in a creamy and cheesy sauce, all baked with pasta. Making cream sauce from butter, flour, and milk is cheap and nearly as easy as using a canned soup.

Recipe: The Seasoned Mom

Related: Dump-and-Bake Casseroles You Can Make in Minutes

The Best Chicken and Rice in a Lime Green Skillet on a Bamboo Cutting Board

Chicken and Rice

Cheap cuts of chicken, simple vegetables and flavorings, and rice combine to make a comforting home-style dinner. Keep costs low by using homemade broth made from leftover vegetable scraps and chicken bones, or water and seasonings, rather than store-bought broth or stock.

Recipe: The Seasoned Homemaker

Closeup of Chef John's Coq au Vin on a White Plate on a Black Checkered Cloth
One Pot Chicken Risotto in a Rimmed White Bowl with Delicate Herb Powder Along the Rim

Chicken Risotto

Risotto is indulgent and fancy yet super cheap, especially when using homemade broth or stock. Swapping mushrooms in for chicken is an easy way to turn this dish vegetarian.

Recipe: Sweet C's

Mediterranean Chickpea and Chicken Soup in a White Bowl with Focus on a Spoon Holding a Chunk of Chicken

Mediterranean Chicken Soup

Chickpeas make this twist on classic chicken soup a crave-worthy weeknight meal full of protein and tangy, zesty flavors. Use tasty, inexpensive chicken thighs instead of breast to add flavor to the soup while cutting costs.

Recipe: The Kitchn

Related: 30 Easy Soup Recipes That Last for Days

Closeup of Chopped Greek Salad with Chicken in a White Bowl on a Grey Wooden Table
AS Food studio/shutterstock

Greek Chicken Salad

Low-carb, gluten-free, and paleo-friendly, this versatile dish makes a satisfying and healthy dinner, basically no matter what meat and veggies are used.

Recipe: Eating Well

Three Crispy Chicken and Avocado Wraps on a White Plate on a Rustic Napkin and Wooden Table

Chicken Avocado Wraps

This deliciously healthy, simple hybrid between sandwich and burrito can use leftover cooked chicken — and calls for larger, bright green avocados rather than small Hass avocados to bring costs down even more.

Recipe: Gimme Delicious Food

Easy Chicken Parmesan on Spaghetti Noodles on a White Plate
Brent Hofacker/shutterstock
Selective Focus of Easy Shredded Chicken in the Slow Cooker on a White Plate and a Yellow Ochre Napkin
Joshua Resnick/shutterstock

Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken

This basic shredded chicken recipe is easy in a slow cooker. Add a favorite homemade sauce to create a flavorful filling for sandwiches, quesadillas, burritos, or tacos for quick, easy, and cheap meals on the fly.

Recipe: The Kitchn

Closeup of Chicken Tagine with Apricots and Almonds on a White Plate

Moroccan Chicken Tagine

This traditional sweet and savory meal uses low-cost spices and vegetables to get big flavor out of a whole chicken. The classic combination of almonds and apricots can be switched with a favorite nut and dried fruit with good results.

Recipe: Epicurious

Closeup of Better Than Takeout Chicken Fried Rice with a Pair of Black Chopsticks Holding a Piece of Chicken
Warren Price Photography/shutterstock

Chicken Fried Rice

This dish has all the flavor and excitement of takeout for a fraction of the price. Use frozen vegetables for extra savings. Get the cost down even further by opting for chicken thighs, rather than pricey breasts, or using leftover roast chicken.

Recipe: The Recipe Critic

Selective Focus of Several Baked Buffalo Wings on a Wooden Cutting Board with Dipping Sauce and Celery
Joshua Resnick/shutterstock
Chicken with Lemon-Caper Sauce on a Blue Ceramic Plate

Lemon Caper Chicken

Capers are a cheap ingredient that provides a ton of flavor, which is why they are used all over the Mediterranean. Serve with an inexpensive grain such as pasta or rice for a complete meal.

Recipe: Cooking Light

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala in a Brown Ceramic Bowl, Selective Focus, with Naan to the Right
Five Middle Eastern-Style Grilled Chicken Kabobs on a White Plate, Selective Focus, on a Avocado Green Napkin
Tatiana Volgutova/shutterstock

Chicken Kabobs

Authentic kabobs get their flavor from a blend of rich spices and a yogurt marinade. They work well with any cut of chicken.

Recipe: Once Upon a Chef

Closeup of Quick Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry in a White Porcelain Bowl with a Gold Rim
Alena Haurylik/shutterstock

Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry

This quick and easy stir-fry pairs with chewy noodles for a satisfying and balanced dinner. Using frozen vegetables such as broccoli florets helps make this meal even less expensive, and it works well with any cut of meat on hand or on sale.

Recipe: Damn Delicious

Chicken Pot Pie in a Small White Porcelain Dish on a Avocado Green Napkin with a Matching Spoon on a Gold Rimmed Porcelain Plate
Elena Shashkina/shutterstock

Chicken Pot Pie

This comforting favorite uses humble and cheap veggies and staples such as butter and flour to create a thick and creamy sauce for tender chunks of chicken. Making dough from scratch is easy in a food processor and saves money.

Recipe: Ina Garten

Closeup of Easy After Work BBQ Chicken in a White Plate
Closeup of Jamaican Jerk Chicken, Focus on One Drumstick, Surrounded By Three Other Drumsticks, on a Slate Serving Plate
Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

Jerk Chicken

The key to authentic and spicy jerk chicken is the complex blend of spices in the marinade. After that, it's just about lighting a grill or baking and finishing under the broiler. This low-cost alternative to steaks is ideal during grilling season.

Recipe: Food & Wine

Closeup of Classic Chicken Salad in a Sandwich with a Leaf of Lettuce, on a Tiny Blue Lined Napkin
Easy Spicy Asian Chicken Salad in a Square White Bowl with a Red Napkin and Two Wooden Chopsticks

Spicy Asian Chicken Salad

This piquant and tangy recipe turns leftover chicken into a meal. Or start from whole pieces of chicken, opting for the cheapest cuts — any part of the chicken tastes good in this salad. Cut veggies at home to avoid the high price of precut store versions.

Recipe: Further Food

Focus on Classic Chicken and Dumplings in a White Bowl
Top View of Six Chicken Enchiladas in a Ceramic Rectangle White Pan on a Red Table Mat on a Wooden Table

Chicken Enchiladas

Use leftover cooked chicken and homemade enchilada sauce to make this fiesta of a dish for a large crowd. Vegetables or another cooked meat can be substituted for the chicken.

Recipe: Gimme Some Oven

Closeup of Chicken Curry in a Black Ceramic Bowl, Next to a Terracotta Bowl of Rice and a Wooden Spoon
Ramon grosso dolarea/shutterstock
Four Pieces of Crispy Fried Chicken Piled Together on a Square White Plate, Selective Focus, on a White Napkin

Fried Chicken

Homemade fried chicken might take a few practice rounds but is well worth the effort. Perfect the seasoned flour and frying techniques and you'll never have to spend on marked-up restaurant fried chicken again.

Recipe: Taste of Home

Seven Sweet & Spicy Roasted Chicken Legs Piled Together on Rustic Brown Paper on a Dark Brown Wooden Table
Tatiana Volgutova/shutterstock

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Legs

These skinless drumsticks are inexpensive and healthy, yet big on flavor from marinating in a combination of spices before baking. The technique can be used on other cuts of chicken, as well.

Recipe: Mrs. Happy Homemaker

Raw Brisket Angus Beef Slab on a Sheet of Wax Paper on a Wooden Cutting Board on a Slate Grey Table
Vladimir Mironov/istockphoto

Beef Recipes

You know the old TV commercial tagline: "Beef. It's what for dinner." If this is true for you tonight, here are 15 beef recipes — using different cuts of meat — that range from stew and shank to spaghetti and shish kebabs to add to your collection of easy weeknight dinner ideas.

Related: Can't Get Ground Beef? This Meatless Burger Fooled Our Tasters

All-American Beef Stew in a White Ceramic Bowl Next to a Rustic Spoon on a Red and Blue Plaid Napkin with Two Pieces of Bread
Slawomir Fajer/shutterstock
Closeup of Easy BBQ Short Ribs on a Wooden Cutting Board, with Knife Lines in View
Martin Turzak/shutterstock

Barbecue Beef Shank

Instead of short ribs, use shank, which is similar but costs less and generally comes with the bone in. Separate the bone for a quick and easy recipe and use it later to make a hearty homemade beef stock.

Recipe: Sunny Anderson

Closeup of Four Slices of Steak Frites on Slim French Fries on a Black Ceramic Plate with a Few Herb Leaves on the Right

Steak Frites

Indulgent steak frites can cost a lot at restaurants, but it's easy to prepare them at home for a fraction of the price, even when opting for a favorite cut of steak for a special occasion.

Recipe: Rachael Ray

Closeup of Beef Bourguignon in a Wide-Rimmed White Porcelain Bowl

Beef Bourguignon

Inexpensive vegetables bring down the overall cost of this dish, even when making it with a moderately priced cut of beef such as chuck. Use leftover wine — even from various bottles — to avoid one of the bigger expenses in the recipe.

Recipe: Serious Eats

Related: Two-Step Meals You Can Make in a Flash

The Best Burger, Stacked with Fresh Lettuce, Onions, Tomatoes, and Peppers, on a Wooden Cutting Board
Closeup of Two Slices and Whole Meat Loaf with Herbs on a Wooden Cutting Board
Brent Hofacker/shutterstock
Flap Steak Salad in a Wooden Bowl with a Clean Silver Fork, Selective Focus, on a Wooden Table

Flap Steak Salad

Flap steak is a thin and cheap cut of beef. It can be tough, though. Cooking it medium rare and cutting against the grain helps achieve a tenderness ideal for topping salads.

Recipe: Shockingly Delicious

Focus on Ground Beef Chili in a Wide-Rimmed Beige Ceramic Bowl, on an Olive Napkin on a Rustic Wooden Table
Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

Ground Beef Chili

Most authentic beef chili recipes call for chunks of beef that can add considerable cost. This recipe is based on ground beef, which fits any budget.


Related: 13 Regional Chili Recipes to Try

Two Beef and Bean Burritos Pile with Lettuce and Tomato on a White Plate, Selective Focus, on an Artisanal Wooden Table

Ground Beef Burritos

When combined with other cheap fillings, such as beans and vegetables, ground beef goes a long way in this Tex-Mex staple. Consider making a large batch and freezing some for another meal.

Recipe: The Pioneer Woman

Closeup of a Piece of Classic, Savory Shepherd's Pie with a Fork on a Rustic Ceramic Beige and Black Bowl with Garnish
Closeup of the Best Easy Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry with Separate Rice on a Black Plate on a Bamboo Table Mat
Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

Beef and Broccoli

This recipe works well with a tri-tip steak cut, which is considerably less expensive than some other cuts. The tri-tip is also lean, which makes it best enjoyed with some added sauce.


Spaghetti and Meatballs on a White Plate, Selective Focus, a Slight Diagonal
Closeup of a Pile of Five The Best Shish Kebab Skewers on a Narrow Wooden Serving Board, Selective Focus

Shish Kebab

Mixing marinated chunks of beef with veggies is a smart and healthy way to maximize portions from one piece of meat — and it can feel as indulgent as an entire steak.

Recipe: The Mediterranean Dish

Closeup of Four Pieces of Mark Bittman's Grilled Skirt Steak with Chimichurri Sauce on a Slab of Slate
Brent Hofacker/shutterstock
Five Delicious Beef Tongue Tacos in a Circle Around a Small Bowl of White Dipping Sauce, Slight Horizontal View
Top View of NYC Corned Beef and Cabbage on a White Plate, Next to a Fork and Knife on the Top Left
Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

Corned Beef and Cabbage

This stick-to-the-ribs dinner is at least half cheap and healthy vegetables such as potatoes and cabbage. Flavoring the meat with fresh seasonings and herbs creates layers of complexity without relying on expensive store-bought sauce.


Several Different Kinds of Raw Cuts of Pork Meat on a Wooden Cutting Board

Pork Recipes

When it comes to easy, cheap dinner ideas, pork brings home the bacon. Here are a handful of easy pork recipes that range from savory and juicy ribs to tamale pie, cabbage rolls, and a bacon-laden mac and cheese.

Related: How to Feed a Crowd 15 Ways With a Cheap Cut of Pork

Great Ribs in the Oven on a White Plate, Selective Focus, with French Fries on the Other Side of the Plate

Oven-Baked Pork Ribs

Ribs are a beloved indulgence. Learning how to cook them at home in the oven makes them enjoyable for a reasonable price. Start by buying ribs in large quantities at a wholesale club such as Costco.

Recipe: The Kitchn

Simple Pork Posole in a Terracotta Bowl on a Matching Decorative Saucer, Selective Focus


This classic braised pork stew is Mexican comfort food made from simple and cheap ingredients. Fluffy hominy kernels add substance for just pennies a serving, and pork butt is a low-cost option.

Recipe: Food & Wine

Related: 20 Comfort Food Recipes That Freeze Well

Closeup of One Pork Chop on a Black Frying Pan Grill with Another Chop in the Top Right

Pork Chops

Pork chops go on sale regularly, freeze well, and can be cooked from frozen for easy dinner preparation. Stock up when they're on sale and freeze in family-size portions.

Recipe: Parenting

Pork and Vegetable Lo Mein in a White Ceramic Bowl on a Wooden Table

Pork and Vegetable Lo Mein

Easy-to-find, low-cost ingredients such as pork tenderloin and spaghetti re-create a Chinese takeout favorite. Use whatever vegetables are on hand or on sale to keep costs low.

Recipe: Taste of Home

Related: 21 Takeout Meals Made Cheaper at Home

Top View of Pork Tamale Pie in a Round Cast Iron Skillet, with Two Wooden Spoons on Top, One Piece Is Missing

Pork Tamale Pie

This recipe yields all the flavors of moist pork tamales without the hassle of creating individually wrapped tamales. The rich flavors combine to make a stick-to-the-ribs meal from everyday staples such as butter, cornmeal, vegetables, and spices.

Recipe: Country Living

Related: Savory Pies From Around The World

Focus on a Pile of Five Chinese Egg Rolls on a Bamboo Cutting Board, Surrounded By More Egg Rolls
Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

Pork and Cabbage Egg Rolls

Egg roll wrappers and cabbage are cheap ingredients. Mixed with other vegetables, pork, and seasonings, they become a satisfying meal. Use ground pork to keep costs low.


Roast Pork Loin with Rosemary and Garlic on an Artisanal Serving Board, Selective Focus, on a White Table
Anna Hoychuk/shutterstock

Roast Pork Loin

The simple, clean flavors of this dish let the natural juiciness of pork loin shine. Use leftover wine or substitute a mix of half water, half vinegar to minimize costs. Serve with sautéed vegetables for a chic entree that would be welcome at the fanciest of dinner parties.

Recipe: Bon Appétit

Related: Sheet-Pan Meals That Will Make Dinner Easy

Bacon Macaroni and Cheese in a White Bowl on the Left, Selective Focus, with a Fork and a Knife on the Right, Slightly Blurred
Yulia Grigoryeva/shutterstock
Bean with Bacon Soup in a Brown Ceramic Bowl with Two Handles on Each Side, Slight Diagonal, on a Round Fiber Table Mat
Sea Wave/shutterstock

Bacon and Bean Stew

Use bacon to add richness to beans — ideally starting from dried beans to keep costs as low as possible.

Recipe: The Pioneer Woman

Closeup of Five Thick Slices of Simple Baked Ham in the Foreground on a Slate Serving Board
Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

Baked Ham

Baked ham is a festive meal that can provide leftovers for days. While the initial cost may seem high, buy a whole ham and use it for many meals — it's cheaper than buying deli meat and smaller cuts of ham a few at a time.

Recipe: Cooking Light

Related: 21 Creative Ways to Spice Up Leftovers

A Raw Turkey in a Metal Baking Pan, Surrounded By Carrots and Other Vegetables, on an Island in the Kitchen, Next to a Skillet with Cut Vegetables and a Wooden Spatula, on the Stove

Turkey Recipes

If you're looking for a leaner option than beef, turkey is a great option, and it's just as versatile. Here you'll find turkey meal options encompassing burgers, chili, sandwiches, roast, and meatballs.

Related: 13 Things You Didn't Know About Turkeys

A Best Turkey Burger with Slices of Onion, Tomato, and Lettuce, Selective Focus, on a Rustic Wooden Table
Brent Hofacker/shutterstock
Laura's Quick Slow Cooker Turkey Chili in a Dark Wooden Bowl, Selective Focus, with a Wooden Spoon Next to It on the Left

Turkey Chili

Ground turkey is an inexpensive source of high-quality protein and makes a flavorful chili in a slow cooker. Canned beans can add extra cost; start instead with dried beans prepared before adding to the recipe.

Recipe: Allrecipes

Classic Turkey Club on an Artisanal Round Wooden Serving Board, Selective Focus
Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

Turkey Club Sandwiches

This classic American favorite is loaded with hearty turkey, inexpensive vegetables, and bread for bulk that fills up big eaters. Use turkey bacon or simply omit bacon to make the sandwich even cheaper, healthier, and quicker to prepare.

Recipe: Boar's Head

Related: The World's Most Amazing Sandwiches

Top View of an Oven-Roasted Turkey Breast Partially Cut Into Slices on Crumbled White Paper, Surrounded By Herbs
AS Food studio/shutterstock

Roast Turkey Breast

Turkey breast is one of the cheapest cuts of meat, and provides a ton of low-fat protein (it also offers a welcome change from chicken). A roasted turkey breast makes a complete meal when paired with vegetables and grains.

Recipe: Allrecipes

Three Large Baked Turkey Meatballs, One Is on a Wooden Spatula While the Other Two Is on a Wooden Serving Board

Baked Turkey Meatballs

Using dark-meat ground turkey costs less and creates a more tender, flavorful meatball. If the grocery store doesn't offer dark ground meat, go to a butcher or see if your stand mixer has a meat grinder attachment.

Recipe: Wishful Chef

Top View of Several Different Kinds of Seafood Including Slices of Salmon, a Bowl of Shrimp, a Bowl of Sardines, a Bowl of Lobster, Oysters, Octopus, and More with Herbs
Olesia Shadrina/istockphoto

Seafood Recipes

Seafood is a delicious and varied choice for dinner. String shrimp on a skewer, mold crab into some savory crab cakes, or use another water-borne protein in a stew, salad, and more. Here are 12 seafood recipes for getting a meal on the table tonight.

Related: 20 Amazing Seafood Shacks Across America

Closeup of Four Spicy Chipotle Shrimp Skewers on an Olivewood Serving Plate with Herbs

Spicy Chipotle Shrimp Skewers

The blend of spices used to flavor these shrimp is less expensive than store-bought sauce and packs more punch. Use frozen shrimp for extra savings, and adjust the cooking time based on the size of the shrimp.

Recipe: Simply Scratch

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Baked Bluefish with Zucchini and Sliced Bell Pepper in a White Porcelain Bowl, Slight Diagonal

Baked Bluefish

Bluefish is among the least expensive seafood and packs a lot of nutrition. Its characteristic strong flavor stands up well to inexpensive yet pungent flavorings such as lemon, herbs, and garlic.

Recipe: Simply Recipes

Baked Cod with Ritz Cracker Topping in a Red Ceramic Gratin Dish with a Fork Holding a Chunk of It, Selective Focus
Ekaterina Kondratova/shutterstock

Baked Stuffed Cod

Cod is inexpensive to begin with, and goes even further when stuffed with a tasty blend of low-cost ingredients such as crackers, homemade bread crumbs, and herbs. (Other inexpensive white flaky fish also works.)

Recipe: Simply Recipes

Closeup of Two Maryland Crab Cakes Stacked on One Another, Surrounded By Arugula and Raspberries
Bochkarev Photography/shutterstock


Fresh crab can be expensive, depending on season and location. Inexpensive canned crab meat isn't good for everything, but does work well for crab cakes as a cheap way to satisfy a craving.

Recipe: Allrecipes

Thai Red Curry Fish Stew in a White Porcelain Bowl with a Silver Spoon on the Left Side, on a White Napkin

Curry Fish Stew

Most of the flavor in this stew comes from the rich, curried broth, so save money by opting for inexpensive fish such as tilapia. Although it won't impart much flavor, it will soak up the other elements of the dish.

Recipe: Sunset

Top View of Spanish Shrimp Paella in a Round Cast Iron Skillet on a Blue Checkered Napkin with a Square Brown bowl of Natural Cooked Shrimps in the Bottom Left
Closeup of Shrimp Fried Rice on a Square Porcelain White Plate, Selective Focus, with a Fork on the Plate to the Right
Hywit Dimyadi/shutterstock

Shrimp Fried Rice

Turn a humble pan of rice and vegetables into a complete, protein-packed meal by adding small, less expensive shrimp, which actually work better in this recipe.

Recipe: Damn Delicious

One Tuna Salad Sandwich Cut in Half on a Brown Paper Napkin with Sliced Pickles
Nicoise Salad in a Shallow Round White Porcelain Bowl, Selective Focus, on a Purple Rimmed White Porcelain Plate
Ivan Mateev/shutterstock

Salad Nicoise

This loaded salad is full of hearty and cheap vegetables, eggs, and tuna. Opt for high-quality canned tuna and avoid spending on fresh tuna steaks.

Recipe: Simply Recipes

Six Homemade Fish Sticks Stacked on a White Porcelain Plate
Mateusz Gzik/shutterstock

Fish Sticks

This family favorite is often bought already prepared. Making fish sticks from inexpensive fish and bread crumbs is quick and easy, and yields a fresher meal at a lower cost.

Recipe: Taste of Home

Fish and Chips on a Red Rimmed White Plate with Ketchup in a Small Yellow and White Inside Dipping Bowl

Fish and Chips

This British staple is made from humble ingredients such as low-cost fish and potatoes. The most expensive part is the frying oil. Bake or shallow-fry the potatoes and fish fillets instead.

Recipe: Jamie Oliver

Whole Grilled Bluefish on a White Porcelain Plate, Artistically Arranged
7th Son Studio/shutterstock
Variety of Fresh Organic Vegetables and Fruits in the Garden, Tomatoes, Bell Peppers, and Grapes in a Wicker Basket, Strawberries in a Paper Basket Next to It and More

Vegetarian and Vegan Recipes

Whether due to concerns for health, the planet, or a waistline, more and more people are turning to vegetarian and vegan recipes, even if it's not 100% of the time. Try fitting a few more plant-based recipes into your weekly meal schedule with the options below.

Related: 20 Dirt-Cheap Vegetarian Meals

Three-Bean Chili with a Spoon in a White Bowl, Diagonal, on a Beige Napkin with a Piece of Bread, on a Brown Speckled White Bowl

Three-Bean Chili

This simple vegetarian chili uses whole foods and natural ingredients for maximum flavor and health at minimal cost. It's a recipe best started from dried beans; canned beans can cost up to three times as much.

Recipe: Smitten Kitchen

Many Falafel Piled in a Stainless Steel Bowl, Selective Focus, on a Natural Napkin with Herbs and White Dipping Sauce


Fresh falafel is one of the tastiest vegetarian meals to prepare, and is made from cheap ingredients such as chickpeas, vegetables, and spices. Serve over salad or in a pita sandwich for a hearty vegan meal.

Recipe: Tori Avey

Related: Where to Find Great Greek Food in Every State

Five Loaded Baked Potatoes on a Wooden Serving Plate
Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

Loaded Baked Potatoes

Fully loaded baked potatoes are cheap, quick, and easily adapted to fit almost any dietary preference. This vegan, gluten-free version is simple and cheap, and easily adapted for paleos and omnivores.

Recipe: Well Vegan

A Slice No-Fuss Vegetarian Spinach Lasagna on a White Porcelain Plate with a Fork, Diagonal, Selective Focus