6 Cheap and Tasty Recipes That Will Save You Money!

recipes-save-you-money

Today, the average person spends just under 10 percent of their annual income on food, down from almost 18 percent in 1960.[1]

Here’s the thing though: 10 percent is still a pretty big chuck of change! And if you are someone who eats out more than you cook, you’re probably spending more than 10 percent – maybe way more! If you’re looking to save money – and maybe pay down some debt—it helps to take a look at your food spending.

And you know what’s the best way to cut down on your food spending? Cooking food at home! That’s why we’ve rounded up six inexpensive and easy-to-cook recipes from six fantastic, budget-conscious food bloggers.

The road to financial wellness passes through your home kitchen. Here are some meals to get you started.

    1. Marinated Lentil Salad – BudgetBytes.com (@Budget_Bytes)

About the Meal: Not every great meal requires that you can cook like a 3-star chef. Sometimes, the right ingredients in the right combination is all you need to create a healthy, hearty and cost-effective meal! That’s the case with this yummy salad dish, courtesy of Beth Moncel and her BudgetBytes blog. With only a few core ingredients (lentils, tomatoes, onions, and feta) this salad costs under $7 to prepare. And if you think this won’t fill you up, don’t worry – Beth recommends some other ingredients you can throw in as well.

Click here to see the recipe on BudgetBytes.com.

    1. Mushroom Steaks – BrokeAssGourmet.com (@BrokeAssGourmet)

Now we know what you’re thinking: mushrooms aren’t steaks, they’re something you have on the side with your steak! Well guess what? It’s 2016, and the Chicago Cubs are World Series champs. Literally anything is possible. These steaks are delicious, nutritious, and, oh yeah, cheap as heck! With this recipe, food blogger Gabi Moskowitz marinates some King Oyster mushrooms (which are much bigger than the standard portobellos you’ll see in the grocery store) and then grills them in a cast iron skillet. It’s perfect for vegans, vegetarians, and even meat-lovers for whom a cut of beef would cost an arm and a leg.

We think that BrokeAss Gourmet is a great blog to follow if you’re looking to cook great meals while keeping your costs low. And Gabi agrees:

“Cooking at home instead of going out or ordering in is one of the easiest and most rewarding changes you can make to save money. The recipes on my blog help you make high quality, delicious meals at home, and the ingredients always cost less than $20 (usually way less).”

-Gabi Moskowitz (@BrokeAssGourmet)

Click here to see the recipe on BrokeAssGourmet.com.

    1. Buffalo Chicken Tacquitos – Well Plated by Erin (@WellPlated)

What’s not to love? Buffalo chicken? Good. Tacquitos? So Good. And this recipe from Erin Clarke puts them together in a way that will keep both your prep time and your costs to a minimum. The recipe utilizes a slow cooker, which means that the total cook time is longer (they don’t call it a slow cooker for nothing), but the preparation itself is still simple. By the way, if you’re looking to make more food at home in order to cut down on your food costs, buying a slow cooker is a great place to start. Plus, Well Plated by Erin has dozens of slow cooker recipes for you to try!

Click here to see the recipe on WellPlated.com.

    1. Potato Chip Chicken Strips – 5DollarDinners.com (@5dollardinners)

If you have kids, then you are always looking to keep your food costs to a minimum. Well you’re in luck, because Erin Chase of $5 Dinners recently did a series of blog posts titled “31 Days of Kid Friendly Recipes.” And one of the tastiest entries was for these quick and easy chicken strips that you can make right at home with potato chip “breading.” As Erin points out in her blog post, one of the great things about this recipe is that you and your kids can have fun making it together! One of the great things about $5 Dinners is that they offer more than just recipes. Check out their website to learn more about their $5 Meal Plan service and their FreezEasy Freezer Cooking Meal Plans.

Click here to see the recipe on 5DollarDinners.com.

    1. Earl Grey Amira Rice Pudding with Wine, Lemon and Vanilla Nectarines – MommysMemorandum.com (@jonbonjovious)

Just read that title to yourself a couple times and we guarantee that your mouth will start to water. Rice pudding is a fantastic, healthier dessert option that you can make at home with minimal fuss. If you have trouble battling a pesky sweet tooth, this is the perfect recipe to sate your cravings without busting your budget. Your taste buds and wallet will thank you, even if your dentist and friendly neighborhood vending machine company might not. Mommmy’s Memorandum is not strictly a food blog. Blogger Julee Morrison writes about a number of different parenthood related subjects (and Bon Jovi). The site is a wonderful, oftentimes hilarious read – but the great recipes are a real bonus!

Click here to see the recipe on MommysMemorandum.com

    1. Green Chile and Cheddar Quesadillas – LeanneBrown.com (@leelb)

Sometimes you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Quesadillas are simple, inexpensive, and delicious. And this recipe from author and food scholar Leanne Brown takes it up a notch without getting too fancy. While the recipe is available on her website, LeanneBrown.com, it’s actually from her cookbook, Good and Cheap. The book is available for purchase on Amazon, plus you can download the PDF for free on her website!

Click here to see the recipe on LeeanneBrown.com.

Every single one of these authors is a great resource for easy and inexpensive home-cooked meals. If you’re serious about cooking for yourself to save money, we strongly recommend subscribing to their newsletters, following them on Twitter, and checking out everything they’ve written, both online and off. When you’re just starting out, cooking for yourself can be a scary proposition! So let these writers be your guides. Your stomach and your bank account both deserve it.

References:

  1. Barclay, E. “Your Grandparents Spent More of Their Money on Food Than You Do.” Retrieved November 3, 2016 from http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/03/02/389578089/your-grandparents-spent-more-of-their-money-on-food-than-you-do

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