Healthy money saving meals: 44 recipes for budget cooking

money saving meals

If you are wondering how to cook on budget, then you have come to the right place. This article from VKool.com will give you the best answer by providing you with a rich source of recipes for healthy money saving meals. Just take a look!

Healthy Money Saving Meals – 44 Easy Recipes For Cooking On Budget

1. Roast Chicken With Butternut Squash And Potatoes

money saving meals

Cost:$1.62 / serving

Pantry Checklist:

  • Dried and rubbed sage
  • Minced garlic
  • 1 roasting chicken (about 3½ pound)
  • Butter
  • Red potatoes (about 12 ounces)
  • Butternut squash

2. Shrimp Fra Diavolo

money saving meals

When it comes to money saving meals, it is important for you to choose the proper size of the ingredients used. Just make sure that you use inexpensive medium-size shrimp in this spicy, garlicky classic.

Cost:$2.47 / serving

Pantry Checklist:

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Dried oregano
  • Dried basil
  • Linguine
  • Medium shrimp (about 1 pound, which are peeled as well as deveined)
  • Diced onion
  • Minced garlic
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Tomato paste
  • Diced tomatoes (about 1 can)
  • Canned and crushed tomatoes

3. Grown-Up Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

money saving meals

In the list of healthy money saving meals, this is a new take on the familiar favorite pairs of grilled cheese with a BLT for such a luscious vegetable-packed sandwich that makes you feel like you enjoy an indulgence. It can serve with zesty dill pickle spears. In case you can spend more money, you can pair it with a sweet-tart hard cider.

Cost:$2.14 / serving

Pantry Checklist:

  • Red onion
  • Garlic clove
  • Shredded reduced-fat sharp
  • White cheddar cheese
  • White bread
  • Fresh leaves of spinach
  • Bcon which is center-cutted
  • Tomato

4. Squash And Stewed Pork

money saving meals

When it comes to money saving meals for cooking on budget, you do not have to spend up to $5 to have a delicious meal. With just about $2, you will totally get what you want. Squash and stewed pork – you can serve this dish with simple pantry-friendly corn muffins in order to comprehensive the meal.

Cost:$2.12 / serving

Pantry Checklist:

  • Onion
  • Boneless pork shoulder (about 1 lb.)
  • Ground red pepper
  • Garlic clove
  • Chili powder
  • Ground cumin
  • Butternut squash
  • Chicken broth (less-sodium, fat-free)
  • Stewed tomatoes (about 15-oz. can)

Recommend reading: top recipes for paleo diet

5. Rice And Chicken With Mushrooms

money saving meals

Cost:$2.31 / serving

Pantry Checklist:

  • Porcini mushrooms, dried
  • Salt
  • Skinless and boneless chicken thighs
  • Olive oil
  • Sweet paprika
  • Cremini mushrooms
  • Fresh thyme
  • Black pepper
  • Frozen green peas
  • Onion
  • Brown basmati rice

6. Onion And Chicken Kebabs

money saving meals

In the list of money saving meals, this is a family-friendly dish, in which chicken is marinated within Worcestershire sauce, olive oil, and lemon juice, then skewered alongside the onions and well grilled to perfection. You can serve it with a sweet-and-tangy barbecue sauce that you make at home.

Cost: 66 cents / serving

Pantry Checklist:

  • Bottled or homemade barbecue sauce
  • Ketchup
  • Onion, grated
  • Lemon juice
  • Tabasco sauce
  • Boneless and skinless chicken breasts (about 1 3/4 lb.), cut into many 1-inch cubes
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Oive oil, plus more for brushing
  • Onions, quartered, layers separated
  • Pepper and salt

7. Ham And Cheddar Supper Waffles

money saving meals

With this dish, homemade waffle batter is well dressed up with salty bite of thinly sliced ham and the sharp creaminess of the cheddar cheese. You can decide how to consume them: with sour cream, syrup, or plain! These waffles are a great budget-friendly meal.

Cost: 92 cents / serving

Pantry Checklist:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Milk
  • Large egg, lightly beaten
  • Unsalted butter, which is melted and then cooled
  • Thinly sliced ham, chopped
  • Shredded sharp Cheddar

8. Creamy Tomato Soup

money saving meals

You can create your own heart-warming version of the tomato soup which costs less than the can you would buy at the local store. With this dish, crushed tomatoes are mixed well with sautéed onion plus with garlic, pureed, and then turned into a velvety concoction by slightly stirring in the heavy cream.

Cost: 47 cents / serving

Pantry Checklist:

  • Olive oil
  • Onion, chopped
  • Garlic, chopped
  • All-purpose flour
  • Crushed tomatoes (about 1 28-oz. can), with juice
  • Low-sodium chicken broth
  • Heavy cream, warmed
  • Pepper and salt

Check out: easy chicken recipes

9. Sautéed Chickpeas With Parmesan And Broccoli

money saving meals

Chickpeas are a wonderful substitute for more-expensive meat as they are jam packed with protein and can fill you up fast. In this dish, you combine chickpeas with the fresh broccoli, add garlic and sautéed onioncrushed red pepper, canned broth, and complete it with the tangy bite of shaved Parmesan cheese.

Cost: 80 cents / serving

Pantry Checklist:

  • Olive oil
  • Onion, thinly sliced
  • Garlic, thinly sliced
  • Pepper and salt
  • Broccoli, containing stalks, trimmed and chopped
  • Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • Chicken (vegetable broth can be replaced)
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Parmesan shavings

10. Pork Tenderloin With Mushroom Sauce

money saving meals

Cost:$2.45 / serving

Pantry Checklist:

  • Pork tenderloin
  • Olive oil
  • Black pepper
  • Salt
  • Garlic
  • Button mushrooms
  • Lower-sodium chicken broth
  • White wine vinegar
  • Fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Crème fraîche (sour cream can be replaced)
  • Dijon mustard

11. Lamb Plus With Sausage Cassoulet

money saving meals

Cost:$2.08 / serving

Pantry Checklist:

  • Great Northern beans, dried
  • Olive oil
  • Water
  • Kosher salt
  • Boneless leg of lamb
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Bacon
  • No-salt-added
  • Celery
  • Turkey kielbasa
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Carrot
  • Tomato paste, no-salt-added
  • Lower-sodium, fat-free chicken broth
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Brandy
  • Fresh parsley
  • French bread baguette

12. Wheat-Cracker “Nachos”

money saving meals

Cost:$2.21 / serving

Pantry Checklist:

  • Corn kernels, fresh
  • Decreased-fat wheat crackers (like Triscuit)
  • Monterey Jack cheese
  • Shredded cheddar
  • Kosher salt
  • Organic black beans
  • Avocado
  • Lower-sodium mild green salsa
  • Plum tomato
  • Romaine lettuce
  • 1/3-less-fat cream cheese which is softened

13. Shrimp, Grapefruit, And Avocado Salad

money saving meals

Cost:$2.48 per serving

Pantry Checklist:

  • Olive oil
  • Brown sugar
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Peeled, deveined medium shrimp
  • Grapefruit
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Tarragon
  • Avocado
  • Shallots
  • Grapefruit

14. Turkey Sausage, Potato Gratin, And Mushroom

money saving meals

Cost:$2.27 per serving

Pantry Checklist:

  • Hot turkey Italian sausage
  • Kosher salt
  • Butter
  • Red potatoes
  • Onion
  • Cremini mushrooms
  • Lower-sodium, fat-free chicken broth
  • Swiss cheese
  • Fresh thyme
  • Cooking spray

15. Baked Italian-Style Cauliflower

money saving meals

Cost:$2.50 per serving

Pantry Checklist:

  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Ground sirloin, lean
  • Black pepper
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Cauliflower
  • Lower-sodium marinara sauce
  • Kalamata olives
  • Pecorino Romano cheese
  • French bread baguette
  • Cooking spray

16. Savory Baked Apples

money saving meals

Cost:$1.87 per serving

Pantry Checklist:

  • Lower-sodium, fat-free chicken broth
  • Apple cider
  • Brown rice
  • Dried cranberries
  • Butter
  • Rome apples
  • Carrot
  • Green onions
  • Sweet Italian sausage
  • Garlic
  • Cinnamon
  • Yellow onion
  • Ground red pepper
  • Swiss cheese
  • Walnuts
  • Dried rubbed sage
  • Kosher salt

Wanna find out more recipes for money saving meals? Keep reading!

17. Spinach-Sausage Garlicky Gratin

money saving meals

Cost:$2.42 per serving

Pantry Checklist:

  • Onion
  • Olive oil
  • Pork sausage
  • Garlic
  • Eggs
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt
  • French bread baguette
  • All-purpose flour
  • Ground red pepper
  • 2% decreased-fat milk
  • Cooking spray
  • Spinach

18. Lamb And Indian-Spiced Lentils

money saving meals

Cost: $2.33 / serving

Pantry Checklist:

  • Ground lamb, lean
  • Olive oil
  • Red pepper
  • Red curry powder
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground cumin
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Carrot
  • Tomato paste
  • Jalapeño pepper
  • Water
  • Peeled tomatoes
  • Brown lentils
  • Light coconut milk
  • Lower-sodium, fat-free chicken broth
  • Cilantro
  • 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt

19. French Toast Peanut Jelly And Butter

money saving meals

Cost:$1.64 / serving

Pantry Checklist:

  • Milk, 2% reduced-fat
  • Salt
  • Baking powder
  • Large egg
  • Vanilla extract
  • Canola oil
  • White whole-wheat sandwich bread
  • Powdered sugar
  • Peanut butter, creamy
  • Strawberry preserves

20. Summer Vegetable Pizza

money saving meals

Cost:$2.49 / serving

Pantry Checklist:

  • Cooking spray
  • Store-bought pizza dough
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Cornmeal
  • Red bell pepper
  • Corn
  • Asparagus
  • Kosher salt
  • Part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • Basil
  • Red pepper, crushed

21. Linguine With Lemon Ricotta

money saving meals

Cost:$2.20 / serving

Pantry Checklist:

  • Milk, 2% reduced-fat
  • Cider vinegar
  • Plain Greek yogurt
  • Kosher salt
  • Lemon rind
  • Olive oil
  • Linguine
  • Zucchini
  • Yellow squash
  • Garlic
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Black pepper
  • Mint leaves
  • Lower-sodium, fat-free chicken broth

22. Maple-Brined Pork

money saving meals

Cost:$2.50 / serving

Pantry Checklist:

  • Lower-sodium, fat-free chicken broth
  • Water
  • Black peppercorns
  • Garlic
  • Whole allspice
  • Kosher salt
  • Bay leaf
  • Boneless pork chops
  • Maple syrup
  • Cooking spray
  • Black pepper
  • Peaches
  • Butter
  • Green onions
  • Plums

23. Tomato Soup And Roasted Chickpeas

money saving meals

Cost:$2.15 / serving

Pantry Checklist:

  • Olive oil
  • Heavy whipping cream
  • Red bell pepper
  • Garlic
  • Whole peeled tomatoes, no-salt-added
  • Ground red pepper
  • Chickpeas
  • Smoked paprika
  • Country ham
  • Sliced almonds
  • Salt
  • Flat-leaf parsley
  • Cumin

See more: soup recipes for fat burning

24. Chicken Satay

money saving meals

Cost:$2.45 / serving

Pantry Checklist:

  • Dry-roasted peanuts, unsalted
  • Lime juice, fresh
  • Toasted cumin seeds
  • Garlic
  • Dark sesame oil
  • Shallot
  • Toasted coriander seeds
  • Brown sugar
  • Light coconut milk
  • Ground turmeric
  • Fresh ginger
  • Skinless and boneless chicken thighs
  • Serrano chile

25. Creamy Linguine With Veggies And Shrimp

money saving meals

Check out this easy-to-make recipe among healthy money saving meals:

Cost:$2.42 / serving

Pantry Checklist:

  • Linguine
  • Salt
  • Butter
  • Broccoli florets
  • Mushrooms
  • Onion
  • Medium shrimp
  • Garlic
  • Ground black pepper
  • Cream cheese, 1/3-less-fat
  • Carrot

26. Rice Salad And Cold Chicken

rice salad and cold chicken

Cost:$2.49 / serving

Pantry Checklist:

  • Salt
  • Skinless and boneless chicken breast halves
  • Cooking spray
  • Black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Long-grain rice
  • Dried cranberries
  • Lemon juice
  • Celery
  • Red bell pepper
  • Green onions
  • Green onion tops
  • Green lettuce leaves
  • Pimiento-stuffed olives
  • Lemon wedges

Learn more: Top Easy And Good Dessert Recipes For Sweet Parties

27. Pasta Puttanesca

money saving meals

When it comes to healthy money saving meals, this recipe is so easy-to-make. Serve with a salad of green leaf lettuce, fresh parsley, and red onion, and dressed with 1 tbsp of olive oil plus with fresh lemon juice.

Price:$2.22 / serving

Pantry Checklist:

  • Garlic
  • Olive oil
  •  Canned and crushed tomatoes
  • Anchovy fillets
  • Capers
  • Kalamata olives
  • Parmesan
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Parsley
  • Fettuccine

28. Sausage And Egg Burrito

money saving meals

This can be served with a salad of sliced red onion, cubed cantaloupe, and fresh spinach.

Cost:$2.11 / serving

Pantry Checklist:

  • Red onion
  • Radish
  • Kosher salt
  • Avocado
  • Eggs
  • Ground black pepper
  • Garlic
  • Butter
  • Whole-wheat flour tortillas
  • Reduced-fat pork sausage
  • Organic pinto beans

29. Pork Salad Provençal

money saving meals

Serve this elegant salad with baguette slices toasted with feta cheese.

Cost:$2.49 / serving

Pantry Checklist:

  • Pork tenderloin
  • Garlic
  • Black pepper
  • Salt
  • Lemon rind
  • Cooking spray
  • Lemon juice
  • Dried thyme
  • Olive oil
  • Flat-leaf parsley
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Plum tomato
  • Celery

30. Fettucine With Garlic, Red Pepper, And Olive Oil

money saving meals

What are the next in healthy money saving meals? Go for fettuccine with red pepper, olive oil, and garlic. You can serve this simple pasta with zucchini sautéed in 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

Cost:$1.40 / serving

Pantry Checklist:

  • Garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Fettucine
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Flat-leaf parsley, fresh
  • Grated fresh Parmesan

31. Spring Risotto

money saving meals

Fresh asparagus, in fact, will be most economical in the spring as it is in season.

Cost:$2.40 / serving

Pantry Checklist:

  • Lower-sodium, fat-free chicken broth
  • Olive oil
  • Asparagus
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Edamame
  • Arborio rice
  • 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh thyme
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Ground black pepper

32. Onion Tart

money saving meals

The earthy flavor of this tart along with touches of feta tang, pairs beautifully with a nutty and peppery salad.

Cost:$2.45 / serving

Pantry Checklist:

  • Onion
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Thyme
  • Frozen pie dough
  • Black pepper
  • Shredded reduced-fat Swiss cheese
  • Crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
  • Large egg

33. Smoky Potato Pancakes

money saving meals

If you are looking for such a perfect accompaniment that will not overpower the delightfully tasty potato cakes, then these smoky potato pancakes will satisfy you.

Cost:$1.85 / serving

Pantry Checklist:

  • Onion
  • Hickory smoked bacon slices
  • Garlic
  • Leek
  • Sharp cheddar cheese
  • Baking potato
  • Ground black pepper, fresh
  • Salt
  • Cooking Spray
  • Eggs
  • Sour cream, reduced-fat

34. Green Chile Chili

money saving meals

You can serve this tangy chili with corn muffins or corn bread. However, you should not forget to garnish with the sharp cheddar and sliced green onion to get a winning presentation.

Cost:$2.49 / serving

Pantry Checklist:

  • Ground sirloin
  • Canola oil
  • Hot paprika
  • Chili powder
  • Salsa verde
  • Dark beer
  • Garlic
  • Canned tomatoes, no-salt-added
  • Green chiles, canned
  • Sharp cheddar cheese
  • Organic canned kidney beans
  • Green onion

What are your favorite recipes for money saving meals? Check out more below.

35. Greens And Garbanzo Beans

money saving meals

You can replace escarole or another hearty green such as collards if you do not like using kale. Serve with torn baguette bread for soaking up all the delicious juices.

Cost:$1.79 / serving

Pantry Checklist:

  • Carrot
  • Bacon slices, which are center-cutted
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Kosher salt
  • Paprika
  • Red pepper, crushed
  • Ground cumin
  • Water
  • Lower-sodium, fat-free chicken broth
  • Fresh kale
  • Organic chickpeas, canned
  • Lemon wedges (this is optional)
  • Plain 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt

Recommend reading: quick ways to cook kale

36. Mushroom And Barley Risotto

money saving meals

Barley, in reality, does not include as much starch as rice; thus, this “risotto,” although tasty, is not rather as creamy as other traditional recipes.

Cost:$2.27  / serving

Pantry Checklist:

  • Olive oil
  • Porcini mushrooms, dried
  • Cremini mushrooms
  • Onion
  • Pearl barley, which is uncooked
  • Garlic
  • Brandy
  • Pecorino Romano cheese
  • Lower-sodium, fat-free chicken broth
  • Flat-leaf parsley
  • Salt

37. Pork And Sweet Potato Hash

money saving meals

Sweet potatoes and sliced mushrooms add an interesting twist to this familiar comfort food. Although the pork takes a while to cook, the simmering is hands off.

Cost:$2.16  per serving

Pantry Checklist:

  • Boneless pork shoulder
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • Fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
  • Garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Sweet potato
  • Onion
  • Ground red pepper
  • Cremini mushrooms
  • Green onions

38. Vegetable And Crab Gumbo

money saving meals

The gumbo-blend vegetables consist of chopped celery, corn, bell pepper, onion, and okra. In case that you could not find this special blend, you can substitute a mixture of corn and frozen okra.

Cost:$2.49 / serving

Pantry Checklist:

  • Onion
  • Butter
  • Salt
  • Carrot
  • Ground red pepper
  • Cumin
  • Garlic powder
  • Black pepper
  • Lower-sodium, fat-free chicken broth
  • Celery
  • Water
  • Frozen gumbo-blend vegetables
  • Long-grain white rice
  • Crab claw meat
  • All-purpose flour

Read more: 35 Healthiest Fruits And Vegetables

39. Bacon Pierogi Bake

money saving meals

Cost:$1.84  / serving

Pantry Checklist:

  • Frozen potato, onion pierogies
  • 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
  • Bacon
  • Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Green onions
  • Cooking spray
  • Garlic
  • Plum tomato
  • Lower-sodium, fat-free chicken broth
  • Black pepper

40. Pork-Potato Hash With Eggs

money saving meals

Want to know more recipes for money saving meals? Check out below:

Pork sold as “country-style ribs”, in fact, might not always come from the rib section; it could be cut from the pork shoulder roast, too. Yet, either way, it is so conomical and generally cut into individual “ribs,” thereby making it so easy for you to ask the butcher for the number you need.

Cost:$1.81 / serving

Pantry Checklist:

  • Pork country-style ribs (2 ribs)
  • Crushed garlic cloves
  • Olive oil
  • (1/2-inch) cubed red potatoes (1 ½ pounds)
  • Large eggs
  • Ground red pepper
  • Chopped onion
  • Green onions, thinly diagonally sliced

41. Cheese And Rotini

money saving meals

This hearty one-dish meal will combine smoky bacon with the tangy cheddar to create a family-friendly midweek meal which comes together just within a flash.

Cost:$1.01 / serving

Pantry Checklist:

  • Butter
  • Bacon
  • Onion
  • Olive oil
  • All-purpose flour
  • Garlic
  • Low-fat milk (1%)
  • Dijon mustard
  • Kosher salt
  • Sharp cheddar cheese
  • Cooked rotini
  • Ground black pepper, fresh
  • Green peas

42. Stir-Fried Chinese Egg Noodles

money saving meals

Cost:$1.31 / serving

Pantry Checklist:

  • Chinese egg noodles
  • Lower-sodium soy sauce
  • Cremini mushrooms
  • Garlic
  • Canola oil
  • Green onions
  • Lime juice, fresh
  • Brown sugar
  • Ketchup
  • Dark sesame oil
  • Spinach
  • Large eggs
  • Chile paste (like sambal oelek)

Learn more: Top Healthy Food Choices For You

43. Yellow Rice And Black Beans

money saving meals

Cost:$1.86 / serving

Pantry Checklist:

  • Cooking spray
  • Black beans, dried
  • Spanish chorizo
  • Black pepper
  • Salt
  • Ground cumin
  • Orange bell pepper
  • Onion
  • Jalapeño pepper
  • Long-grain rice
  • Garlic
  • Ground turmeric
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Fresh tomato

44. Tuna Melts With The Avocado

money saving meals

Price:$2.41 / serving

Pantry Checklist:

  • Shallots
  • Olive oil
  • Black pepper
  • Dijon mustard
  • Solid white tuna in water (about 1 can)
  • Salt
  • Avocado
  • French bread
  • Lemon juice
  • Swiss cheese
  • Cherry tomatoes

These are top 44 super healthy money saving meals that you can try out right today to not only save your time and money with supermarket convenience foods, but also make delicious dishes for your family.

What are your favorite money saving meals? Share your thoughts with us below this post or other food and recipes topics introduced in VKool. We will respond all as soon as possible!

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