General Question

talljasperman's avatar

What are some examples of low cost meals (or food items), for two adults, that one can eat over and over daily?

Asked by talljasperman (21739points) January 4th, 2011

I’m thinking varied sandwiches for lunch; Instant Oatmeal for breakfast; Mashed potatoes and creamed corn with a meat for supper… and some milk and tap water before bed…and fruit every so often (like Avocados with salt and pepper, banana’s and oranges)

How much would it cost…per month in Canada; and is it healthy?

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13 Answers

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

Canned tuna makes for a variety of nutritious meals, and it’s cheap. You can add it to pasta, bake it into casseroles, eat it with tomatoes, or just make it into sandwiches. It’s healthy, although there are concerns about the mercury levels in some ocean fish.

Eggs also have a lot of variations and are inexpensive. The downside is the cholesterol unless you remove the yolks.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Pasta is great for low cost meals. It pretty much goes with anything.

jenandcolin's avatar

Are you able to have a garden? That is very inexpensive and can create healthy meals.

chyna's avatar

A big pot of spaghetti, a pot of chilli, a pot of beans, are all low cost meals that last quite a few days. I don’t know the cost.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Also, give me a ham hock or ham, and I can make a lot of different things for next to nothing.

jaytkay's avatar

Cook for Good is a site with menus, shopping lists and recipes which shows you how to cook extremely cheap. $1.72 US per meal and it’s healthy and has a lot of variety. It’s all vegetarian, but nobody’s stopping you from throwing in a pork chop when you want.

The one-month menu is a great illustration of the possibilities:
A Month of Menus for the Winter Months

Another example from another site:
1 Chicken, 17 Healthy Meals, $26 Bucks

YoBob's avatar

Beans. Not only are they great as a stand-alone meal, they are also good for re-use in subsequent low cost meals.

For example.

Cook up a large pot of pinto beans. The cost of the wole pot including bacon (or salt pork) for flavoring is only a couple of bucks. Serve with greens and corn bread for a very tasty and healthy meal.

So.. now you have a bunch of beans left over. cut a potato (also pretty low cost) into some ¼” cubes. Fry some of the bacon that you didn’t use in the beans and then brown the potato in the bacon grease. Slap some of those beans on a tortilla, add some of the potatoes along with a strip of bacon and a sprinkle of cheese if you have it. Roll it up and add salsa for a wonderful breakfast taco.

You should still have some beans left over. Pull out some fresh squash, carrots, and/or whatever other veggie suits your fancy. Cut into strips and either steam or nuke until tender. Slap some beans and cheese in a tortilla, add the veggies and a bit of cheese. Roll up and nuke until the cheese is melted. Top with salsa for a nice low cost veggie burrito. Cook some rice to serve on the side (also very low cost).

The next day you should still have some beans as well as rice left over. How mixing them together and adding some Cajun seasoning to make some red beans and rice…

Ok. you get the idea…

nebule's avatar

I’ve just made a load of beef stew (stewing beef is cheapish here £2.89 the bit I bought…) with loads of veggies (whatever was left in my fridge after Christmas) and that should do me and my little boy at least 4 meals each..I shall freeze it too so I don’t have to eat it night after night. I liked the ham hock idea too :-) x

SamIAm's avatar

Polenta with frozen peas and some balsamic is really good and I, personally, could eat it every day. You can add some cheese (I use goat or parmesean) too. That meal wouldn’t cost you much at all! Polenta is very inexpensive, as are frozen veggies. And you could always add a meat too.

EmpressPixie's avatar

Lentil Stew is cheap, tasty, and freezable.

I don’t know what it is called, but lentils & rice with onions and sausage is fantastic, extremely quick. Add a dash of apple cider vinegar at the very end and spice the lentils with cumin while they cook.

Use an onion, garlic, and ground beef to spice up bottled pasta sauce, then freeze what you don’t use immediately.

Don’t make instant oatmeal—instead get steel cut oats from the bulk section of your grocery. Make it once a week (the oatmeal will stay good in the fridge) and add a bit of sugar and handful of whatever nuts and fruit or dried fruits you have on hand or can get for cheap. My favorite is to add brown sugar, cinnamon, apple, and walnuts. It is so much tastier.

Stir fry is another low-cost item. Get whatever meat is on sale and whatever fresh or frozen veggies are also on sale. You can get a generic stir fry sauce or look up recipes online. Last night, for example, we had skirt steak, snow peas, and onion stir fry. It’s quick, easy to make for only two, and super tasty.

To address the health issue—mashed potatoes are usually heavy on cream, butter, and salt. Creamed corn also usually has a high level of fat—not only from the cream but also from butter. You don’t want to forget your green veggies, either. To get more green veg in, get some frozen spinach and mix it in with your pasta sauce.

A lot of cooking on the cheap is being flexible enough to know what generally goes well together and taking advantage of what’s on sale. For example, if you plan on stir fry, you can pick up the sale meat and sale veg to go in it. If you plan on tacos or fajitas, again, you can get the best meat at the store while sticking to the general meal plan.

perspicacious's avatar

omelet with cheese and a green veggie, plus a slice of toast

ganeshe's avatar

Eggs and their food atoms

BeeVomit's avatar

I got a “great answer” for you. My favorite healthy, extremely low-cost snack is plain yogurt and veggies, mixed right into the cup. Or nuts, fruits, whatever. Anyhow, I bet you can eat a healthy probiotic lunch with few simplified carbs for two people under 4 bucks a day. Less if you buy in bulk.

A lot of people like yogurt and granola, but I don’t care much for it, myself.

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