Yes, you can eat wonderfully flavored and healthy meals for a buck. With planning, you can eat 3 meals and a few snacks for $3.00 a day. If you have a family, you can save even more money. The more you have the more you save!
The key is buying everything in bulk and using the 5 Healthy Meal Hacks for Tight Budgets. The recipes here are all created with fresh ingredients and bulk food items. When buying meat look for sales and packaged deals.
Bulk Bin Tip: When buying certain food items if you have access to bulk food bins where you can scoop out or poor into a bag or jar, the exact amount that you want to buy, you can save as much as 50% off what it costs packaged.
Breakfast Meals for .25 to .50
Fried Egg Sandwich
1 tbs salsa
2 tbs butter
2 slices whole wheat toast
Cost .25 cents
Add in 1/4 avocado .25 cents
Add in slice of bacon .20 cents ($3.00 per pound or less 15 slices per pack)
Season your egg anyway you like. I actually like my egg sandwich with mustard.
1 cup cooked rolled oats
1 tbs honey, agave syrup or brown sugar
1/2 banana sliced
Add 5 chopped almonds .25 cents ($7.00 per pound)
Grilled bacon and cheese sandwich
2 slices of bacon cut in half
2 slices of bread
1 tbs of organic mayo or butter.
Cost .50 cents (Yep, that’s right. 2 slices of wheat bread made from scratch using bulk wheat flour costs about .02 cents per slice. 2 slices of bacon at $3.00 per lb cost about .20 cents per slice.
Add tomato slices .15 to .20 cents
Add 1/4 avocado .25 cents
Cost is about a dollar if you add it all in. Yah-Baby!
Butter burns at a lower cooking temperature than mayo. If you find your cheese doesn’t melt as much as you want you can use mayo. You’ll be able to keep your bread on the grill longer if you use may which will allow your cheese to melt without burning the bread.
This may not be “healthy” for anyone with high cholesterol due to the fat content in the cheese and bacon, but it’s “healthier” due to baking your own bread. Think of it as a yummy meal that you can eat now and then rather than everyday or so.
Peanut Butter and Jelly
2 slices of whole wheat or white sour dough bread
2 tbs peanut butter
1 tbs jelly or you could use honey
Cost .50 cents
Your cost will depend on the type of jelly you buy and how much peanut butter you slather on your bread. But you can pretty much go crazy and it will be less than a buck. Jelly is one item that is pretty expensive to create from scratch unless you have a fruit tree or a garden full of berries.
Vegetarian Taco’s – Cost $1.00
1/2 cup White long grain rice or jasmine brown rice cooked and seasons with home made taco seasoning.
1/2 cup cooked seasoned beans (pinto or black)
3 Corn tortillas lightly cooked on skillet with olive oil.
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup chopped spinach (or leafy green of choice)
1/4 cup salsa
Meat Lovers Taco’s
3 corn tortillas
1/2 cup cooked seasoned beans
1 cup seasoned ground beef, pork, or chicken ($2.00 per lb or less)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Refried Bean Burritos or Tortilla
1 flour tortilla
1/2 cup refried beans
1/2 cup cooked seasoned rice
1 tbs salsa
2 tbs shredded cheese
If you’ve had a .25 cent breakfast (eggs or oatmeal) you can use the extra .50 to .75 cents on extra items for your lunch or dinner meals. Refried beans are pretty inexpensive if you have yet to create your own. However, they are super easy to create and pretty delicious so once you get the hang of this home cooking thing be sure to try cooking up a batch.
Add 1/2 avocado .50 cents (Costco price)
Add 1/2 fresh tomato .15 cents (.99 cents a pound)
Bananas make great snacks. You can typically get them for .20 to .25 cents each.
Apples in a bag run less than .50 cents each.
Banana bread, lemon poppy seed bread, and home made cookies can be a nice treat once in a while. Very easy on the budget if you are using the bulk food and planning hacks.
Nuts are great healthy snacks but can be expensive. Buying in bulk will save you a little, but they are still pretty pricey. If you’re budget is really tight, you may want too save them for meals that are greatly enhanced by adding in nuts and seeds.