Dinner for $15 or less

posted 3 years ago in Cooking
Post # 3
8850 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

Brown rice, dried (then soaked and cooked) beans or lentils, sauted veggies (farmer’s market? or whatever’s cheap at the store), and whatever kind of sauce you can wrangle from the ingredients in your fridge door…  Or salsa or whatever.  Cheap and healthy and tasty!

Post # 5
3948 posts
Honey bee

I’m assuming you have the basics stocked already?

Whole wheat pasta (usually store brand is $1/box), with sauce (can make your own with the $1 crushed tomatoes and some seasoning).

Breakfast for dinner (can make pancake mix or buy the box for about $3). Eggs are $3/carton

Big batch of lentil soup with chicken soup-lentils are $1/bag and chicken can sometimes (depending on the week and the store) be on sale for $1.99/pound. You can get two meals out of this.



Post # 7
2474 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Hm, well Spaghetti is always a good start. I know that pasta isn’t particularly good for us, but once in a while it’s not bad. It usually provides leftovers, too. I was able to get a jar of pasta sauce and a box of angel hair pasta from target on Sunday for around $1. (I add a lot to my spaghetti but usually start with the basics). Oh – and I used a coupon for the deal – it’s on the Target website. 

Every now and then we have beef, rice and corn – Ground beef, mixed with beef rice, and a can of corn. Literally, that’s it. It’s all about the seasoning, though, and it always makes leftovers. 

Grilled Cheese is pretty inexpensive, and you can usually get a can of tomato soup for less than $1. 

You could also try to make paninis if you have lunch meat, cheese, and whatever extras you laying around. Occasionally we do that with our foreman grill and it comes out great! (We usually add jalapenos though). 

Hope this helps some!


Post # 8
1595 posts
Bumble bee

Get a pre-roasted chicken (4.99 at costco or also inexpensive at other places) that will be multiple meals. 

It can be a hot meal the first night… then take the leftovers and you can make a lettuce salad with some of the chicken — chicken caesar; buy a bag of ramen and make an oriental salad for another night.  finally you could do chicken and noodles.  Depending on how your pantry is stocked… any noodles or pasta left in there, oil and vinegar to make dressings etc, you can stay within 15.00.  

also chicken caesar wrap or add taco type seasoning for a southwestern type wrap.  Lots of ways to eat off of a 4.99 roasted chicken. 

Post # 9
950 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

Any combination of beans and rice – burritos, chili, some kind of casserole – all you need is onion, tomato sauce, beans, rice and ground beef.  

A frittata or something egg based (quiche, breakfast for dinner).

Lentil or chickpea soup – broth, beans or lentils, some spices (cumin, salt and pepper or garam masala), onion – blend and serve with a squeeze of lemon.

Pasta or homemade pizza.



Post # 10
579 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

A big batch of chili? You can serve it Cincinatti style with spaghetti, or over corn chips. One night you can spoon it over baked potatoes. 

Post # 11
3538 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

@star_dust:  You’re welcome! Yes! You can get wraps and get different deli meats to keep it from getting boring.  I believe turkey is probably the healthiest.  Also, tuna can be pretty cheap and also healthy if you don’t use a ton of mayo. A bag of shredded lettuce isn’t that expensive either. If you already have, or get, cheese, use the wraps to make quesadillas one night or something.  FI and I are in money saving mode also because we are paying for our honeymoon, and I’ve been making sandwiches to bring to work. I also buy a jar of pickles already speared to eat with my sandwich, helps to feel full and not hardly any calories. 

Post # 12
2243 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: January 2012

legumes, noodles & rice will go a long way on your budget. There are tons of variations you can do – casseroles, tians, stir fries. :). I’d suggest buying a bit of sausage or flavourful curred meat to get your carnivore fix (if you need it). Meat can be expensive so you’ll want to stretch it as long as you can.

Post # 13
416 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

$15 per dinner for two?  I would suggest whole wheat pasta, chicken, and a ton of veggies.  You can probably make a box of pasta with the same volume of vegetables for about $30, and have meals for both of you for at least 3-4 days with leftovers.  Pasta is fine as long as it’s not a huge bowl of pasta with a couple veggies here and there – you should have an even ratio of pasta to other stuff.  But that would be easy because you’d only have to cook one night.

Other options would be taco stuff (again, buy a bunch, you can make 3 meals out of it), chicken/rice/side, etc.  Cheapest way would be buying main ingredients in bulk and then just switching up the sides for interest.

Post # 15
2243 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: January 2012

@star_dust:  MMmmmm! My hubby makes a delicious lentil casserole. 1 can of lentils, 1 can of tomato sauce, 1-2 boxes of rigatonni & some pieces of sausage. Now I’m kind of craving casserole too!!

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