Healthy Meals for $2 or Less
Tweak your shopping habits just a bit and make family meals that are easy on the budget.
Black Beans and Rice
Cost per serving: $.81
Healthy benefit: It's hard to beat this classic combo for high protein and fiber. Bell pepper and green onions add vitamin C.
Save-money tip: Go meatless once a week or more to trim your grocery bill and add variety to your menus. This recipe calls for canned beans, but you can use dried ones instead and save even more. Soak them overnight, rinse and drain, then cook until tender.
Braised Chicken Thighs with Carrots and Potatoes
Cost per serving: $1.56
Healthy benefit: Carrots sneak in vitamins A and C, plus brain-boosting choline.
Save-money tip: This recipe uses chicken thighs instead of breasts–a great way to cut cost without sacrificing flavor.
Twice-Baked Salmon Potatoes
Cost per serving: $1.87
Healthy benefit: Salmon packs protein, and green onions add vitamin C.
Save-money tip: Cut costs with canned salmon, which has more calcium than the fresh kind.
Turkey and Bean Chili
Cost per serving: $1.75
Healthy benefit: Use turkey as a low-fat, inexpensive alternative to traditional beef. Beans pack fiber, while canned tomato provides cancer-fighting lycopene.
Save-money tip: Freeze leftovers to use for another meal or for sloppy joes.
Cost per serving: $1.88
Healthy benefit: Low-sodium chicken broth and no-salt-added tomatoes make this soup better for your heart than the store-bought kind.
Money-saving tip: OK, we cheated on this one. Since fresh basil accounts for more than half the cost, we substituted 1/2 teaspoon dried basil instead. Have a sunny window? Start a mini herb garden, and grow your own.