10 Frugal Meals for under $2

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This is how I easily make 2 weeks worth of weeknight meals for under $20. The main concept is to use your leftovers to make more meals. I love cooking a $5 whole chicken and then shredding the leftover meat for chicken noodle soup, chicken n’ dumplins, and chicken enchiladas. Many of these recipes are in my recipe rotation for my menu plan.

I know a lot of these are simple recipes, but that’s the beauty of them. Come home from work, throw a quick and (mostly) healthy supper together for under $2. It can’t get any better than that.

Spaghetti – $1.66

1/2 Box of Noodles – $0.44

1/2 Can of Sauce – $1.03

1/2 Onion – $0.19

Spaghetti is such a simple meal to make, I often overlook it because I think it is boring, or just overrated. When I am strapped for time and not hungry for what is on my menu plan for the night, I grab a box of spaghetti sauce and a jar of sauce. Since I make and can my own spaghetti sauce, this recipe is even cheaper. Even if you buy jars of sauce at the store, it is a cheap and simple meal.

Chili – $1.85

1/2 lb black beans – cooked – $0.49

1/2 lb red beans – cooked $0.49

1/2 onion – $0.19

1 bell pepper – $0.68

Chili Powder, Cumin, Onion Powder, whatever spices you prefer

I love chili, throw it in the crockpot and let it simmer all day. When I come home then, the whole house smells warm and spicy. I grab a couple of heels of the homemade bread I make each week and the kids and I enjoy a filling and thick chili for supper, (plus it makes great leftovers).

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Mac N’ Cheese – $1.62

Mac N’ Cheese – $0.65 (I stock up when I find it at the discount store)

1/2 Head of Broccoli – $0.47

2 or 3 All Beef Hotdogs – $0.50

I feel like this is cheating, but this is a great and cheap supper, plus I add a ton of healthy stuff so it’s not just junk food (or so I tell myself).

beans and rice – $1.50

1 cups white rice – $0.25

1 cups black beans – cooked – $0.25

shredded Cheddar Cheese – $0.50

1/2 cup mild salsa – $0.50

This is so easy to make! All I do is cook my rice in my rice cooker, with one small adjustment, I add the salsa to the water and rice. Once it is cooked I add the black beans and cheese and cook it until it is melted together. This is a great dish to add extras too as well. Throw some avocado, sour cream, diced tomatoes, etc in to add some bright color and personalized flavor.

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Tuna MELTS – $1.19

1 Can of Tuna in Water – drained – $0.49

1/4 cup Mayo – $0.15

2 teaspoons finely diced red onion – $0.05

Dash of garlic salt

Shredded Cheddar Cheese – $0.50

Thick slices of Homemade Bread

I mix a simple tuna noodle salad, then pour a thick layer over thick slices of bread, topped with cheddar cheese. A few minutes in the oven yields a warm and wonderful tuna melt.

Sloppy Joes – $1.78

1/4 lb ground beef – $0.50

1/4 lb pinto beans – cooked – $0.25

1/2 onion – $0.19

Sloppy Joe mix – $0.65

Bread

I love supplementing food in recipes, it makes a tight budget stretch even further. I add the beans to the cooked ground beef and onions, then add the can of Sloppy Joe mix like normal. My kids love it when I do open faced sandwiches with mashed potatoes and this Sloppy Joe mix.

CHILI DOGS – $1.00

3 All Beef Hotdogs – $0.50

Bread slices

Shredded Cheddar Cheese – $0.50

Leftover Chili

I am lazy and love using the same dish multiple ways. All I do for chili dogs is to lay the hot dogs in the bread and fold the slices in half to fit in a 9 inch baking dish. Then I pour on a ton of chili and cheddar cheese on the top. 15 minutes in the oven and I have a deliciously messy dish that the kids (and I) love.

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Tuna and Noodles – $1.97

1/2 bag of Egg Noodles – $0.50

1 can Tuna in Water- drained – $0.49

1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup – $0.50

1/2 head of Broccoli – $0.47

Cook the noodles, add in the broccoli a few minutes before straining the pasta. Drain the pasta and broccoli, add in the tuna and cream of mushroom soup. Solid gold! My kids would eat this 3 meals a day if they could. It’s filling and it’s the only way I can get them to touch fish with a 10 foot pole.

Beef and mushrooms – $1.93

1/2 bag of Egg Noodles – $0.50

1/2 lb Mushrooms – $0.45

1/4 lb – Stew meat – $0.50

1 package Brown Gravy – $0.29

1/2 Onion – $0.19

I love to make beef tips and mushrooms, or beef and slugs as my four year old calls mushrooms. It’s so simple to cook the beef and onions together, add the mushrooms and mixed brown gravy then pour over the noodles or even mashed potatoes.

Cornbread & CHILI goulash – $0.45

Cornbread mix – $0.45

Leftover Chili

Maple Syrup

This is something I used to eat when I was a kid, and I loved it! Now my kids love mashing the cooked cornbread with the leftover chili and pouring a bit of maple syrup over the top of everything. It’s so simple and a great way to use up extra chili, I often forget about it.

What would you add to the list?