If you’re looking for cheap and easy meal ideas, look no further! These 21 recipes will help you make delicious, affordable meals for $5 and under. Whether you’re cooking for one or for a whole family, these recipes are sure to please.

5 and under meals pin 1

Being on a budget does not mean you have to skimp on flavor or nutrition. With a little bit of creativity, you can whip up some delicious meals that are not only budget-friendly but will also leave you feeling satisfied.

I’m here to show you that there are plenty of delicious, easy-to-make, and filling meals out there that won’t cost you a fortune to make and will happily feed your whole family!

From hearty soups to veggie-packed stir-fries, there’s something for everyone here. And the best part is that each meal costs $5 or less per serving.

Need more budget-friendly recipes that your family will enjoy?

Ready? Let’s get started with the cheap and easy meal ideas!

Make These 21 Healthy and Delicious Meals For $5 or Less

If you’re looking for ways to save money on groceries and still eat well, look no further than this list of 21 delicious and budget-friendly meals.

Silly Chili Macaroni

silly chili

This is an incredibly easy dinner to make that does not cost much at all. All you need is a box of macaroni and a couple of cans of chili, and you can have a quick meal in no time.

Get the recipe here: Silly Chili Macaroni

Pasta Fagioli

pasta fagioli

You can cook this meal in an Instant Pot one busy night, and it should only cost you a few dollars for some pasta and beans. It is a healthy vegetarian meal you can whip up in half an hour!

Get the recipe here: Pasta Fagioli

Mexican Bean Salad

mexican bean salad recipe

Grab a few cans of beans to whip up this Mexican bean salad one night for a healthy light meal. It is packed with protein and can be eaten as a side dish or the entire meal!

Get the recipe here: Mexican Bean Salad

Oven-Baked Potatoes

oven baked potatoes

Everyone loves a good oven-baked potato. These classic potatoes can be stuffed with any ingredient you have in your home, making it a super cheap meal.

Get the recipe here: Oven-Baked Potatoes

3 Bean Salad

3 Bean Salad Recipe

Three cans of beans, a can of corn, some chopped veggies, and a bit of dressing are all you need to make this bean salad! This delicious vegetarian/vegan dish is nutritious and will cost less than $5 to create.

Get the recipe here: 3 Bean Salad

Pan-Fried Gnocchi

pan fried gnocchi

All you need to grab is some gnocchi from the store, and you will be all set to create this easy yet delicious meal.

Get the recipe here: Pan-Fried Gnocchi

Eggplant Pasta

eggplant pasta pasta alla norma the heirloom pantry

Make this affordable pasta in under 30 minutes one busy night and enjoy a simple yet delicious meal.

Get the recipe here: Eggplant Pasta

Egg Muffin Cups

Egg muffin cups

Egg muffin cups are perfect for meal prep! They’re an economical breakfast or lunch. Plus, the recipe is so versatile! Use whatever meats and veggies you have leftover.

Get the recipe here: Egg Muffin Cups

Green Smoothie

green smoothie

For another light and healthy meal, create a green smoothie. Use whatever vegetables and fruits you have in your house, or go and grab a couple from the store.

Get the recipe here: Green Smoothie

Keto Crack Slaw

wholesomeyum low carb crack slaw egg roll in a bowl

This keto crack slaw is the perfect egg roll in a bowl dish that is so easy to make and will become your family’s favorite meal. All you need is some ground beef or turkey, coleslaw mix, and whatever seasoning you have!

Get the recipe here: Keto Crack Slaw



This simple dish is made with ingredients you probably already have in your pantry, so it’s incredibly frugal, and it’s ready in just 30 minutes!

Get the recipe here: Mujadara

Vegetarian Potato Lasagne

vegetarian potato lasagne

Not only is this vegetarian potato lasagne delicious, but it is also gluten-free too. You probably already have all the ingredients to make this dish in your home too!

Get the recipe here: Vegetarian Potato Lasagne

Red Lentil Curry

red lentil curry

Lentils are a super cheap thing to grab from the store, but they are so nutritious for you too! Whip up some red lentil curry next time your budget is tight.

Get the recipe here: Red Lentil Curry

Vegetable Kabobs

air fryer vegetable kabobs

Your family will love some vegetable kabobs! Simply grab $5 worth of veggies and fry them up on the grill. It’s a great vegetarian meal for a light dinner.

Get the recipe here: Vegetable Kabobs

Frozen Okra with Chili

Frozen okra

Pair this frozen okra dish with rice, and you’ve got yourself a meal for under $5. The best part is it’s healthy, quick, and easy to make.

Get the recipe here: Frozen Okra with Chili

Tomato Pulao

tomato pulao

Tomato Pulao is a very budget-friendly dish to make for your family one night. It costs less than $5 to make, and you can even cook it in your Instant Pot!

Get the recipe here: Tomato Pulao

Mushroom Crostini

mushroom crostini

Have some mushroom crostini next time you have a low budget for food. You can use anything you have leftover in your house too! If you don’t have bread, use pasta.

Get the recipe here: Mushroom Crostini

Turkish Shepherd Salad

turkish salad

Instead of the traditional salad, make this Turkish shepherd salad instead! It uses fresh veggies and is not hard to make at all. Plus, it tastes delicious!

Get the recipe here: Turkish Shepherd Salad

15 Bean Soup

15 bean soup

For another vegetarian option, try this 15-bean soup! It is so heart-healthy and is incredibly easy to make. All you really need is the dry bean mix, a can of tomatoes, and some seasonings!

Get the recipe here: 15 Bean Soup

Gluten-Free Ramen

gluten free ramen

This ramen is cheap and perfect for a quick and easy meal or family dinner too. Plus, everyone in your family can enjoy it since it is gluten-free!

Get the recipe here: Gluten-Free Ramen

Instant Pot Risotto

Instant Pot risotto

On a busy night, make this incredibly easy Instant Pot risotto. All you need is some rice, mushrooms, parmesan cheese, and some seasonings. Add in leftover veggies to make it even healthier!

Get the recipe here: Instant Pot Risotto

$5 can go a long way when it comes to food. With these 21 recipes, you can enjoy a delicious and budget-friendly meal without breaking the bank. What will you make for your next cheap and tasty meal?

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