15 Delicious Meals Under $5 | Budget-Friendly Recipes

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You don’t have to miss meals just because you’re on a budget. Similarly, if you’re often in a rush, skipping meals isn’t the ideal option, especially if you need to get your day started. With that in mind, here are some quick and easy healthy, and delicious meals just for $5!

Cooking meals under $5 have always been an exciting activity for me. It’s cheap, fast, and most of all, always delicious. I’m guessing you’re finding meals under $5 recipes, don’t worry because I got you covered.

I have the best meals under $5, and I’m excited to share them with you. I was speechless when I discovered how innovative the recipes were. I hope you continue reading because I’ll be sharing different types of meals that you’ll want to try.

Best and healthy meal options under $5 

Fast food meals under $5 sound the best and brightest deal, but I’ve got something better for you. Did you know that creating healthy meals under $5 is possible? Get your creative appetites going because I’ll be sharing some of my favorites.

Baked Coconut Lentils are healthy and under $5! Coconuts are refreshing and always a good idea to have for your meals. Fill yourself with proteins while staying healthy and under the budget.

Fajita-style Quesadillas are my favorite when craving some Mexican food, but I have a tight budget. It’s tasty, filling, and you can add many vegetables to your quesadillas, making it extra healthy. No one could ever go wrong when making quesadillas, and it’s always a go-to food.

Beef and Black Bean Chili is also a meal under $5, and it’s also one of the best healthy meal options. Chili is exceptionally healthy for you, and beef gives you the protein that you need. It’s excellent in keeping you filled for longer times, and it can warm your stomach on a cold night.

Family meals under $5 

It sounds bizarre, but it is entirely possible to create family meals under $5. There are over 150 family meals under $5, and I’m sure you can find one to serve for dinner tonight. Your family is undoubtedly going to praise you when they taste your delicious prepared meal.

One of my favorite cheap family meals under $5 to serve is Poor Man’s Stew. The stew consists of potatoes, carrots, onions, beef, and a savory sauce. It may be a cheap meal, but it’s bursting in so many rich flavors.

Who could ever forget the classic Macaroni and Cheese? I sure don’t! It’s gooey, cheesy, filling, and indeed, it can be made under $5. If your family is looking for just a relaxing night and maybe watch a movie together, then a Macaroni and Cheese is the best meal to go for.

What meal can I make under $5? 

When finding cheap meals under $5 for one, the possibilities are endless. You can actually try a lot of cuisine choices without breaking the bank. I have some recipes in mind that I want to share with everyone.

Kimchi Fried Rice is under $5, and it’s a great way to have a taste of Korean delicacy. It’s one of the easiest meals you can make for yourself. You only really need the main star, Kimchi, and other ingredients that can be added depending on your preference.

Warm Tofu with Spicy Garlic Choice is a healthier alternative while still having that spicy kick that you’re looking for. The dish only needs soy sauce, tofu, sesame oil, garlic, and red chili flakes. It would be great pairing this meal with a refreshing fruit juice like lemonade or cold orange juice.

What can you cook for dinner with $5? 

I have a great list of choices with what you can cook for dinner at $5. It seems kind of impossible, but I tried it myself, and it works! It’s always exciting when you realize that you can make delicious dinners under $5.

Roasted Cauliflower Pesto Pasta is a dish that’s under $5, and I’m sure you’ll love it. Just prepare cauliflower, pesto sauce, your choice of pasta, and cheese to garnish. Experiment with it by adding a bit of lemon juice to bring out the underlying flavors of cauliflower and pesto.

Egg Noodles with Butter and Parmesan is an easy dinner meal for under $5. It’s pretty straightforward because you only need egg noodles, butter, and parmesan. At the end of the night, you’ll be thanking yourself for eating such a delicious and cheap meal.

How to cook on a low budget? 

Cooking on a low budget shouldn’t be that hard or complicated. Open your mind to creating innovative ways on how you can bring out the best in every meal. Meals under $5 are the most practical choice right now to save more money.

Look around your available ingredients in your pantry or refrigerator, assess what meals you could do with them. You’ll be surprised at how much you’re going to save when you start considering how much each meal costs. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different ingredients or spices.

You can even plan ahead for every meal. Planning ahead your meals will help you budget your day-to-day expenses, and you’ll be able to monitor how much you spent on the entire meal. It’s a good habit to have when trying to save money.


There should be no shame when having meals under $5; you should be proud! Fancy restaurants and dinners are great to have occasionally, but meals under $5 can step up to the game. There are hundreds of thousands of meals under $5 that you can try out at any meal of the day.

I could go on forever with breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner meals that are under $5. Even if it’s $5, it doesn’t have to automatically mean it’s unhealthy because there are many healthier options. You could even score some good discounts in markets when finding ingredients for your meal; always go for that. 

Whatever your reason is for finding meals under $5, always remember that you should be enjoying the meal too.  Share some good and healthy recipe meals under $5 to your friends and family as well. I hope I helped you out by providing simple, cheap, and even healthy meal options.

15. Easy Lentil Shepherd’s Pie (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

This insanely Easy Vegan Lentil Shepherd’s Pie is made in less than 30 minutes! This hearty meatless recipe is just 10 main ingredients, gluten-free, allergy-free, featuring protein-packed lentils, veggies, and simple dairy-free mashed potatoes! Healthy and budget-friendly comfort food the whole family will love and devour!

Check it here.

14. Easy One-Pot Vegan Gluten-Free Louisiana Red Beans & Rice (Allergy-Free)

An easy one-pot recipe for the classic Southern dish! This Vegan & Gluten-Free version of Louisiana Red Beans & Rice is full of deep smoky and spicy flavors, rice, kidney beans, and veggies. It’s allergy-free, oil-free, and still a hearty and comforting meal without the meat!

Check it here.

13. Homemade Spaghetti O’s (Allergy-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan)

Kick the can and make this healthy recipe for the kids instead! Homemade Spaghetti O’s that are allergy-free, gluten-free, and vegan! A super easy lunch or dinner that’s kid-friendly and mom-approved!

Check it here.

12. Dump And Start Instant Pot Chicken Spaghetti

Pasta is a great choice when you’re looking for a family-loved, hearty, comforting, and budget-friendly meal. Cheese, sauce, and pasta are warm and tasty, and adding just a bit of chicken to this meal takes it over the top while still being easy on your wallet.

Check it here.

11. Instant Pot Fajita Rice

Top this easy Instant Pot Fajita Rice, loaded with juicy chicken and lots of cheese, with your favorite toppings to make a tasty meal your whole family will love.

Check it here.

10. Ramen Noodles Stir Fry

Enjoy Asian comfort and budget-friendly food at home with this quick-cooking 10 Minute Ramen Noodles Stir Fry. This vegetarian dish cooks quickly but is packed with flavor, and it’s easily customizable.

Check it here.

9. Poor Man’s Stew – Slow Cooker or Instant Pot

Poor Man’s Stew is a budget friendly meal made with ground beef that costs less than $2 per serving! It’s absolutely delicious, plus it’s very simple to make. This recipe is Whole30 and Paleo compatible, and you can make it in the Slow Cooker, Instant Pot, OR Dutch Oven!

Check it here.

8. Entomatadas Recipe: Cheese and Onion

This entomatadas recipe is the closest you’ll get to the comfort of a Mexican version of grilled cheese and tomato soup. It’s everything you love, perfect for a quick and cheap breakfast or lunch.

Check it here.

7.  4-Ingredient Tomato Basil Egg Casserole {Keto}

With only 4 ingredients, this tomato basil egg casserole is quick to make and bake up. It’s the perfect brunch dish or Christmas morning breakfast!

Check it here.

6. Fluffy Egg Casserole {Keto, Paleo}

This recipe is my go-to recipe for brunch with friends and family! It can be whipped up so quickly and it’s also an easy weekend breakfast when you don’t want to go to the trouble of making anything fancy.

Check it here.

5. Simple Boiled Egg Sandwich Recipe

Simple boiled egg sandwich recipe: A delicious protein-packed sandwich that can be made in just 10 minutes, if boiled eggs are already in hand.

Check it here.

4. Prawn Pulao Recipe | Shrimp Pulao

Prawn pulao recipe with step by step photos and tips: A simple, light, super delicious one-pot prawn pulao prepared with basmati rice, a few spices, and the star ingredient prawn. That can be made in just 30 minutes.

Check it here.

3. Easy Pasta Dinner Recipe

It is full of yummy noodles and cheesy goodness, it also happens to be one of the quickest and easiest dinners I make. So if you are needing a simple, budget friendly dinner idea, this is for you!

Check it here.

2. Kielbasa and Potatoes Recipe

This Kielbasa and Potatoes Recipe is such a classic combination, that it is sure to become a family favorite. Yes, it is a simple smoked Polish sausage recipe, but many of the best dishes are simple.

Check it here.

1. Easy Slow Cooker Vegan Chili (Gluten-Free, Allergy-Free)

This easy Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili is a dump-and-go crockpot meal you can set and forget! This healthy three bean chili is vegan, gluten-free, allergy-free, and full of plant-based protein, veggies, and bold Southwest flavors!

Check it here.

healthy meals under $5

Healthy and Delicious Meals Under $5 - Cheap and Healthy Recipes

Healthy and Delicious Meals Under $5 - Cheap and Healthy Recipes

Skipping meals is still not your best option especially if you need to kickstart your day. With that said, here are healthy and delicious meals under $5 that are easy to do!


  • Vegan Lentil Shepherd’s Pie
  • Louisiana Red Beans & Rice
  • Homemade Spaghetti O’s
  • Instant Pot Fajita Rice
  • Ramen Noodles Stir Fry


    1. Choose any meals under $5 from the post that you like.
    2. Click on the link below the photo to get the full recipes and instructions.
    3. Try the best meals under $5 and share your photo under my pin on Pinterest!

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