The cost of food is soaring … it’s no secret. But with a touch of innovation and a bit of resourcefulness, ordinary (and mostly inexpensive) ingredients can transform into extraordinary budget-friendly meals.
Here’s a list of easy and affordable but delicious meals inspired by creative minds over on Reddit:
1. Leftover Remix
Embrace the leftover revolution by wrapping yesterday’s meal in a warm flour tortilla. Whether it’s pasta, BBQ brisket, burgers, or mac ‘n’ cheese, transform your leftovers into burritos for a quick and satisfying meal.
2. Mouthwatering Mujadara
Mujadara, a Middle Eastern dish, combines crispy fried onions, lentils, and rice with a tantalizing blend of spices. Freeze it in batches and enjoy it as a filling for stuffed flatbreads – a frugal and flavorsome choice.
3. Fajita Bowls
The initial spend on this one will seem high but pound for pound, it’s usually the best deal …
Roast a whole chicken and use the dark meat for fajitas. Pair it with affordable bell peppers and onions. For a budget-friendly twist, substitute tortillas with rice, creating a wholesome meal.
Don’t forget the magic touch – a long-lasting fajita seasoning for a burst of flavors.
4. Shepherd’s Pie Reinvented
Prepare a hearty shepherd’s pie by cooking ground beef and onions, then enriching them with tomato paste, beef broth, and spices. Add frozen peas and carrots, topping it with creamy mashed potatoes. Bake it to perfection.
Enjoy this budget-friendly classic, which only gets better with time.
5. Maruchan Upgrade
Instant noodles reach new heights by adding sesame oil, an egg, Kraft singles, crushed red pepper, green onions, and sesame seeds. Pair it with saltine crackers for a satisfying crunch. This budget-friendly fusion dish proves that a variety of flavors can emerge from basic beginnings.
6. Spaghetti Carbonara
Craft a delicious spaghetti carbonara with bacon, onions, egg yolks, Parmesan cheese, and spices. Master the technique of achieving a velvety sauce without cooking the eggs.
This affordable Italian dish feeds a crowd and turns a simple pasta dish into something fresh.
7. Stir Fry Savings
Embrace the stir-fry revolution by using chicken thighs, rotisserie chicken, or ground beef.
Add an array of veggies and whip up a quick, budget-friendly sauce using soy sauce, cornstarch, and a hint of sugar. This adaptable dish accommodates whatever is in your fridge, making it a perennial favorite.
8. Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup
Prepare a hearty chicken tortilla soup by combining kidney beans, black beans, corn, diced tomatoes, taco seasoning, chicken breasts, and chicken broth in a crockpot.
Let it simmer to perfection. Shred the chicken and serve the soup with tortilla chips and cheese. It’s a budget-friendly feast that keeps on giving.
9. Roast Revival
Give leftover roasts a delicious twist by using them as fillings for empanadas.
All you have to do is prepare a dough using flour, water, salt, and a bit of fat, then roll it out and cut it into circles. Fill each circle with your desired filling, fold the dough in half, seal the edges, and bake or fry until golden brown and crispy.
10. Filipino Flavors
Craft a budget-friendly chicken or pork adobo with soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, onions, and a hint of spice. Let the flavors meld together, creating a savory delight.
Pair it with rice for a fulfilling but economical meal, bringing a taste of Filipino cuisine to your table.
11. Dirty Mashed Potatoes
Think deconstructed Cottage Pie.
Combine browned hamburger meat and onions with mashed potatoes. This simple yet hearty dish, aptly named “dirty mashed potatoes,” offers a comforting taste of home.
It’s a budget-friendly creation that brings warmth and satisfaction to the table.
12. Fried Rice Feast
Transform leftovers into a bowl of tasty fried rice by using whatever ingredients are in your fridge. From veggies to meat, let nothing go to waste.
This versatile and budget-friendly dish makes sure food doesn’t go to waste and introduces you to new flavour combos you may not have considered.
13. Sauerkraut Sausage
Cook sausages with sauerkraut, sugar, vinegar, and caraway seeds then serve with potatoes, perogies, veggies, or any side you like.
This budget-friendly dish offers a unique taste experience, proving that affordability and taste can harmonize beautifully.
14. Peanut Butter Paradise
Elevate a simple peanut butter sandwich by incorporating mashed bananas. This combination adds natural sweetness and nutrition, creating a budget-friendly snack that is both satisfying and wholesome.
15. Family-Friendly Feast
Host an oatmeal dinner featuring brown sugar, sweetened condensed milk, toasted nuts, maple syrup, honey, or dried fruits as toppings.
Let everyone customize their oatmeal bowl, turning an ordinary ingredient into a budget-friendly culinary experience.
16. Beautiful Beans
Prepare a soul-warming black bean soup with smoked sausage, beans, broth, and an array of seasonings. Cook it in a crockpot all day, allowing the flavors to meld into a delightful symphony.
Serve it over rice with a generous splash of hot sauce for a budget-friendly feast that satiates the soul.
17. Hearty Chili
Craft a hearty and filling chili using beans, lentils, and an assortment of vegetables. Don’t worry if you wouldn’t normally find it in chili … the goal is to experiment with inexpensive flavours.
Let the aroma of spices fill your kitchen, creating a budget-friendly dish that keeps you warm and satisfied.
18. A British Classic
Revamp the classic British dish of beans on toast by adding sausages.
This hearty and affordable meal offers simplicity and flavor, proving that even the most straightforward dishes can be wholesome and delicious.
19. Basil Pork Brilliance
Create a Thai-style basil pork stir fry using ground pork, basil, peppers, and an assortment of sauces.
This budget-friendly dish offers a burst of flavor without breaking the bank.
20. Cauliflower Cuisine
Utilize cauliflower as a budget extender in various dishes. Whether riced or chopped, cauliflower blends seamlessly with ground meat, adding volume and nutrition without compromising taste.
Embrace the versatility of cauliflower in your budget-friendly culinary creations.
21. Classic Comfort
Indulge in the timeless duo of grilled cheese and tomato soup.
The melty cheese sandwiched between golden-brown bread, paired with a steaming bowl of tomato soup, offers a budget-friendly indulgence that brings warmth and satisfaction to any mealtime.
Dinner Doesn’t Have To Break The Bank
When frugality meets flavor, the result is a treasure trove of delicious recipes born out of necessity but crafted with creativity and taste.
Embrace the art of budget-friendly dining and transform ordinary ingredients into extraordinary meals.