Cheap Food Ideas

What are some recipes you make/cook which are healthy and cheap? :shallow_pan_of_food:

Starting January, I will start making my own food, every Sunday - 4 or 5 different dishes and store them so we have food. :canned_food:

I make traditional food, especially for my partner, he likes meat a lot so I make things like stuffed vegetables, meat balls etc.

I am planning on making 3 meatless dishes and 2 with beef or chicken.

What are some healthy affordable foods that you make?

:link: Post links please! So everyone can check :link:


This is a vegan dish I make. It is delicious. And you can add beef filet cubes to it.

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Tonight I’m probably making spaghetti sauce for the millionth time, because it is so cheap and good, and feeds me for days. Sorry I don’t have a recipe to link, as the recipe exists only in my head, developed it over the years :slightly_smiling_face:. I also make goulash and chili mac quite often, for the same reasons.

My chili recipe also only exists in my head, but I copied and pasted my goulash recipe below. You could add onions to it; I don’t have any onions in there, because I can’t stand them.

1-1.5 lbs ground beef
1 T minced garlic
2 C beef broth
2-3 T olive oil
2 lbs Romas, 1 lb blended in food processor and 1 lb diced
½ T Italian seasoning
½ T Adobo seasoning
1-2 bay leaves
½ T seasoned salt
1 t black pepper
1.5 C elbow mac, uncooked
1 C finely shredded mozz
½-1 C shredded cheddar
Frank’s Xtra Hot to taste

Cook ground beef until mostly cooked, drain, then add olive oil and garlic and cook 1-2 min more.
Add remaining ingredients, except for Frank’s, elbows and cheeses, simmer 30 min.
Add elbows, simmer for 10-15 min, or until elbows are cooked.
Add Frank’s to taste. Mix in ½-1 C cheddar, top with 1 C mozz, allow cheese a few min to melt, as goulash cools slightly.

Edit: you certainly don’t need to use a full teaspoon of black pepper like I do; I just like black pepper. This whole thing is a modified version of something I found online; I changed it to suit my tastes (such as the black pepper, or adding hot sauce to it). To find Adobo seasoning, you may need to look in the Mexican section of the ethnic food aisle, that’s where I find it where I shop.


I guess I realize these macro ingredients and spices are so important.

This is a mistake I make, I try to remove some of the ingredients in most recipes because in my mind it is a waste of time but it matters a lot.

I want to give cooking a chance next year.


I eat a lot of macaroni and cheese from the Dollar Tree. They used to have very good and cheap, powdered mac and cheese dinners at the grocery store, but they have gone downhill. They cost more now, and they aren’t as good. They don’t have a lot of vitamins, but they do have protean.

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Beans and rice together are VERY nutritious and affordable.


I make vegetarian stewing seitan :slight_smile: (sort of like stewing beef, but with vegetables and seitan instead):

Makes food for about 4 adults.

1 onion diced,
4 cloves garlic minced,
8oz mushrooms,
1 red bell pepper sliced or diced,
2 green bell pepper sliced or diced,
3 carrots sliced,
8oz seitan diced,
2 tablespoons tomato paste,
1 veggie bouillon cube,
3-4 tablespoons corn starch,
1 teaspoon sage,
1 teaspoon thyme,
about 1 tablespoon soy sauce,
about 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce,
olive oil,
salt and pepper to taste.

put the olive oil in a deep pot and fry onions, mushrooms, and garlic till soft. Add carrots, bell peppers, bouillon and 1 cup water. put cover on and simmer until carrots and peppers are soft. Add soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, sage, and tomato paste. Stir together. Mix corn starch in a separate cup with cold water (~1/2 cup) until it dissolves. Add the corn starch solution to the pot and mix well - it will thicken it into a sauce. Note, you might need some more water if the sauce is too thick. Add more water as needed. Add about 1/2 cup milk and mix again. Add seitan. Bring to a boil again. Add salt and pepper to taste. Now it is ready to serve.

I wish you luck in your cooking endeavors!

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I used to do more more bachelor things too like open a can of black beans, add two scoops salsa add a couple of slices of pepperjack cheese and microwave it and eat it. It was good too and pretty affordable.


I’ve written this on other threaDS. the USDA has a thrifty meal plan Everything I’ve tried is really good American food. It introduced me to cod, which is really healthy, tasty and cheap.

I like cod, but then I like white fish in general. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Do we get paid for this? I’m a busy man.


Just make pasta and throw some food in it. :metal:


Yeah, just cut up anything that ain’t alive and throw it in a frying pan.


My ex-gf once made ham with northern white beans, and it was very good and very cheap. I’ve though about making it for myself, but I don’t know what kind of seasonings she put in it. Honestly, I don’t think it required a whole lot of seasoning. Just had to buy a cheap chunk of ham and big jar of beans.

Beans and Cornbread:

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My vegetarian chili recipe is super easy and cheap.

1 can of corn, drained
1 can of black beans, drained
1 can of kidney beans, drained
1 can of seasoned chili beans with juices
1 32oz (double size) can of tomato purée

Throw it all in a pot, add cumin, garlic, onion powder/diced onion, chili powder, and salt to taste. If you over-spice it, you can cut up a potato into chunks and stick it in for ten minutes to absorb the extra spices, then throw the chunks out.

Bring it to a boil, then reduce to low until it’s at the thickness level you like. Stir every 5-10 minutes so the bottom doesn’t burn. Or, if you have a crock pot, cook it on high and leave the lid off so the moisture boils off. Serve over rice or on its own. I also add cheddar cheese to the top of mine, but you don’t have to.

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A favorite of mine is chili and eggs. For on person just whip three eggs and put then in a heated greased frying pan. When they aren’t runny anymore add a can of chili and combine the two in the pan, stirring with a wooden spoon. Cook until it’s just right.
If you want to feed more than one person simply more eggs or more chili.


That sounds interesting, never heard of that before.