Nearly 40 million people today depend on food stamps (formally, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP). The average benefit? Around $133 a month, or about $4 a day for food.
Many of the rest of us struggle with food prices, too. So who doesn’t want ideas for cheap but tasty meals?
Clipping coupons and taking advantage of manager’s specials only go so far. What we really need are good, nutritious, and cheap meals to make for our families – meals they will actually eat and enjoy.
That was the impetus behind Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4 a Day by Leanne Brown. You can download a PDF of the book for FREE or you can order one when the book is finished this fall – for just $5, and that includes shipping.
Included are recipes for starters like curried butternut squash soup. For dinner, maybe broiled tilapia with lime? And for dessert? Caramelized bananas. In all, there will be nearly 200 recipes when the book is finished.
The book is heavy on vegetables and grains – good for you and your budget. Check it out.
All You offers 100 cheap and easy recipes. The dishes are not quite as economical as Brown’s book, but the site claims that each recipe costs less than $1 per serving. AllYou also offers a meal planning guide and printable coupons. Not bad.
At Cheap Cooking, find recipes for budget cooks that include an option to calculate your meal cost. It also has ideas for meal planning and inexpensive things to pack for kids’ lunches.
Whether or not you are a college student, you might get some ideas from OnlineCollege, including tasty breakfast items (breakfast burritos and frittata) and half a dozen creative things to do with ramen noodles. Soups, salads, lots of chicken dishes and ways to use your slow-cooker and microwave dominate the 100 or so recipes here.
The site also offers cheap takes on traditionally expensive meals, like beef stroganoff and chicken parmesan.
There are dozens more websites that might help you find that perfect budget-friendly meal for your family. Just Google “cheap recipes” and the list will be long. Some are geared to one company or product (like Pillsbury or Kraft) but many are generic enough you can take away what you need.