Here are a few ideas for super-cheap meals that will feed your whole family for $1.00 a serving (or less)! These are not new ideas–just a reference for when you want to make a meal that hardly costs a thing. I would also love to hear any of your ideas for really inexpensive meals.
Baked Potato Bar
Cover baked potatoes with cheese or homemade cheese sauce, steamed broccoli, sour cream, crumbled bacon, etc. One reminder: don’t get too extravagant on the toppings or else you could end up spending more than $1 per serving.
Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese
Make your own soup or buy it in a can. Buy fresh French bread from the grocery store for $1.00 to use for the grilled cheese sandwiches.
French Bread Pizza
Buy French bread at the grocery store. If you are not going to use the bread the same day, freeze it. To defrost, simply take it out of the freezer and set it on the counter a couple of hours before you are ready to use it.
Slice the bread lengthwise and broil on a pan in the oven for 1-2 minutes until it starts to toast. Watch carefully, it toasts fast! Toasting the bread prevents it from getting too soggy when you put sauce on it.
Preheat the oven to 450. Spread inexpensive store-bought spaghetti sauce over both pieces of bread. Cover with a little mozzarella, toppings of choice, then sprinkle a little more cheese on the top to hold the toppings down. Bake for 5-8 minutes, or until cheese is melted and golden on the top. Note: again, use simple toppings to make this less expensive. Buy veggies that are on sale, or make a simple cheese pizza.
Serve with a simple green salad.
Fry corn tortillas flat in hot oil. Drain on paper towels. Top with refried beans, salsa, cheese, lettuce, and sour cream.
I always make the refried beans myself. Sooooo good, and a lot cheaper than buying them canned. Once I made them myself, I never saw canned refried beans the same way again. See the article, “Meatless Mondays,” for my recipe for homemade refried beans.