Cooking on a budget doesn’t have to feel like you’re back in university. With a little creativity, basic ingredients like beans, rice, and chicken can be transformed into gourmet meals that won’t hurt your wallet. 

    1. Southwest chicken skillet – Budget Bytes

    Beth Moncel from Budget Bytes is a self-proclaimed foodie and meticulous budgeter. In 2009, she launched her blog to show people that it’s possible to cook delicious and healthy meals without breaking the bank.

    One of Beth’s most popular recipes is the southwest chicken skillet. Costing a total of $6.76 ($1.69 per serving), this hearty dish consists of only eight ingredients: rice, salsa, pre-cooked chicken, black beans, chilli powder, cheese, and green onions. The best part? It takes less than 30 minutes to make.

    2. Slow cooker pot roast – Tasty 

    Created by BuzzFeed, Tasty has been winning over millions of food lovers with its viral recipe videos. It started as a Facebook-only cooking platform in 2015 and has transformed into a mega-brand with its own line of cookbooks and kitchenware. 

    Home cooks rave about Tasty’s slow cooker pot roast because of how budget-friendly and effortless it is. All you need to do is throw a seasoned chuck roast, onion soup pack, vegetables, and water into a slow cooker and then let it cook for four to eight hours depending on the setting. Feel free to serve it with rice or egg noodles if you’re extra hungry.

    3. Shrimp and spinach pasta – The Frugal Chef 

    Mary Ann Jacobs Allen achieved success in the real estate industry but was forced to start over after the Great Recession. She taught herself how to eat well within a budget and now shares her knowledge with her cost-conscious fans on The Frugal Chef.

    If you’re craving Italian, skip the restaurant and give this shrimp and spinach pasta a try. The quick recipe calls for a dozen ingredients, most of which are probably already in your pantry. Remember to devein the shrimp first and cook it for just a few minutes (any longer and it will taste rubbery). 

    4. Lemon butter chicken – Eazy Peazy Mealz 

    A busy mom with four kids, Rachael Yerkes knows what it’s like to not have a lot of time for cooking. The Eazy Peazy Mealz creator believes tasty meals shouldn’t be complicated to make and has mastered the art of preparing food her family loves with low-cost staples. 

    Her lemon butter chicken recipe is the perfect weeknight dinner solution if you’re crunched for time or not in the mood to spend hours in the kitchen. Creamy, savoury, and packed with flavour, this simple dish is cooked in a skillet and then finished in the oven.

    5. Red lentil dahl – Madeleine Olivia

    Madeleine Olivia is passionate about the environment and uses her platform to encourage veganism, minimalism, and low-impact living. She hopes to inspire people to eat more plants and buy less stuff – actions that can help you save a lot of money in the long run.

    The vegan red lentil dahl recipe she put together is a household favourite. It costs a couple dollars to whip up with a fast prep time of five minutes. Madeleine recommends serving it with rice and a crunchy vegetable like broccoli. You can also turn it into more of a lentil soup by adding extra water.

Eat deliciously for less

Thanks to these budget-friendly recipes, eating on a dime never tasted so good. Try cooking a few of them this week and say goodbye to ramen noodles and instant mac and cheese.



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