What’s your favorite cheap homemade meal?

I’m riffing off this post at Cheap Eats this busy morning. One of my favorite affordable meals has got to be potato soup, topped with a dab of crumbled bacon and a sprinkle of cheddar cheese.  Yum.  What’s your favorite cheap meal at home?


  1. I love some cheap ol’ red beans and rice! 🙂 Yummmy!

  2. Ummmmmmm, I guess my favorite would be chciken and dumplings. We love potato soup too!


  3. bean and cheese burritos with tapatio sauce, sour cream and salsa. And maybe some guacamole when avocados are actually on sale. And because I always have a hard time picking just one, I love pasta carbonara-I always have those ingredients on hand.

  4. I recipe for Shepherd’s Pie I made up a few years ago. Cheap and a HUGE favorite at our house. It’s quick, has very few ingredients, it’s cheap to make….yummy!

  5. lentil soup with homemade bread, or even better–bread soup. Bread soup is the best because it uses all sorts of leftovers–stale bread, leftover spinach or cabbage, half an onion–whatever is in the crisper

  6. Sorry, my hands are too quick today…….make that Chicken and dumplings! Not chciken and dumplings!


  7. Cook up brown rice. Drain some beans (we like kidney, black and pinto). Scoop hot rice into bowls, top with room temperature beans (this also doubles as “fast food” at our house.) Top with your choice of sour cream, shredded cheese, chili powder, cumin, green onions, jalapenos, etc. etc.

    My kids LOVE this!

    Another “fast food” that equals cheap at our house is egg sandwiches. We have chickens, so the eggums are free! Bagels are $.99 / four on sale. A little cheese, a slice of bacon. Mmmm!

    Potato soup is awesome, too!

  8. Broiled salmon, a box of rice pilaf and frozen green beans. I can do the whole meal for less than $5. AND it’s super fast – on the table in 20 minutes!

  9. Migas – which takes advantage of whatever leftover meat in the fridge/freezer, eggs, stale tortillas (or chips) and peppers and onions – easy and delicious! This link gives you a general idea – but I always add in some shredded ham, chicken, pork or beef to give it some real substance!http://homesicktexan.blogspot.com/2008/05/migas-in-morning.html

  10. This is not only cheap food, it also ranks as my most favorite comfort food – macaroni and milk. The rest of the family can’t stand it, so it doesn’t count as a family cheap food at our house.

    Sort of like cheap mac and cheese – cook macaroni, put back in sauce pan with enough milk to cover. Let cook on very low until warm through. Add lots of pepper, salt to taste, and a couple of slices of american cheese (velveeta is wonderful if you have it).

    Ladle into bowl and enjoy.

  11. Pork and Beans and Eggs. you end up poaching the eggs in the beans. Easiest to do in the Micro and best served on toast.
    Simply break an egg or two per person into the beans and microwave until the eggs are cooked through. Don’t stir if you can help it. Be sure to have it covered but not sealed or the lid will blow off. Good camp food but it takes a long time to cook over a fire.

  12. Macaroni and tomatoes. Cook macaroni, open can of tomatoes, blend till smooth. Put together and heat up. Serve with butter and salt. Yum! It doesn’t get much easier than that!

  13. Baked beans on toast with cheese on top. Wouldn’t be able to buy what I needed for under $5, but it uses what is already in the fridge and pantry. Add scrambled egg as well and this is our simple cheap meal to have on the night we pack to go to the caravan

  14. Scrambled eggs with toast.

    Anything with black beans.


  15. We make what I call egg gravy with toast.

    You scramble some eggs in oil or butter in a deep skillet. I only cook 8 for the six of us. Then just when they start to set, add flour until thick, then thin with milk to make “gravy” in the skillet. Add salt and pepper, serve over toast.

    It is very filling. I know it sounds strange, but it’s good. I got the recipe from a cookbook about meals during the depression.

    Beans and rice is another favorite around here.

  16. I love Homemade Peach Cobbler!! YUMMY! 🙂

    Not a dinner, but a dessert, yes!

  17. I love “once” (Spanish for “eleven”- the fiance makes this based on the cooking he learned in Chile.)

    Scrambled eggs (he uses butter and does this special stirring thing) and mashed avacados. Mmm! Eggs are always cheap, and when avacados are on sale, you can do this meal for very cheap!

    We also love pancakes and eggs, vegie soup and biscuits, and quesadillas.

  18. Chili is my favorite cheap meal, I just wish my kids would eat it.

  19. most everyone’s said eggs…and i completely agree. had scrambled eggs with hasbrowns mixed in them tonight!

    i do a lot of beans…black, kidney, fava, chickpeas, navy, pinto… we eat them in burrito wraps with salsa and rice and sometimes cheese… as soup/stew, with rice (of course)

    one of my recent faves is Cabbage soup –
    head of cabbage (1.99)
    1 onion ($.75)
    1 lb of ground meat (1.99 – I use ground turkey sausage)
    1 can of beans ($.75 – I use black beans)
    1 cup of cooked rice
    brown the meat, add the onions and beans, onion powder, other spices you like, then add chopped cabbage and enough water to cover. Cover the mixture and cook until the cabbage is translucent… 🙂 Add rice and stir. YUM. for about $6.00 my daughter and I have enough to have two meals each, plus put some in the freezer for later!!! Makes at least 6 nice sized servings.

    Melissa 🙂

  20. Homemade chicken noodle soup. Just made a huge pot. Yum!!!

  21. Egg salad sandwiches or pancakes and eggs.

  22. tomato soup with a grilled cheese sandwich.

    All day long.

  23. Spaghetti bake. Pasta of your choice. Always bought in buy/get offers. Jar of whatever sauce you bought that was ‘buy one-get one free’ at the grocery store. Bag of shredded Italian cheese. Cook pasta al dente. mix with cheese and sauce. Bake 12-15 minutes. Scarf down with milk. Happy kids. This meal can be enhanced with so many extras limited only by your imagination and budget. But you said frugal. Since I don’t grow my own food, there ya go…

  24. Beans and cornbread (I can’t believe I just typed that because I couldn’t stand either of them before a year ago. It’s amazing the things that prayer can change!)

    Chicken Corn Chowder

    Chicken and Vegetables Soup

    Fried Rice

    Cream Dried Beef on Toast

    Pancakes and Eggs

    Bean and Cheese Burritos

    Naked Spaghetti (noodles with olive oil and shredded parmesan)


    Taco Soup

    Ham and Bean Soup

    Ummm, as you can tell, I can’t think of just one thing…

  25. i had fun reading through everyones meals…. stirfry and rice is most common around here…but as for super cheap…. fried spam and eggs…wtih rice of course…and banana ketchup.

  26. Enchilladas with whatever leftover meat you have. Breakfast dinner- pancakes, eggs, hashbrowns made from leftover baked potatoes. Latkes, fried rice, or freezer soup made from the dabs of leftovers from past dinners frozen in a container until there is enough. Bready things like calzone or stromboli.

  27. Egg drop soup. Especially when it’s cold – this is cheap, easy, and oh so yummy 🙂

  28. Tacos! They are so easy, cheap and yummy!

  29. Chopped chicken
    Shredded lettuce
    Shredded cheese
    Caesar dressing
    Whole wheat pita

    Cut the pita in half, open (Whole wheat pits are easier to open and rip less easily)

    Put other ingredients in a bowl, stir them together.

    Stuff into pita.

    Eat with chips, and be happy!


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