Budget Meals That Taste Expensive

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Mexican Stuffed Sweet Potatoes are cheap, tasty, and healthful! A can of black beans ($.78), four medium sweet potatoes ($2.50), and an avocado ($.78). 

Thai Peanut Noodles

Make Thai Peanut Noodles at home to save money and avoid takeout! Peanut butter and soy sauce sauced rice noodles ($2.20) are needed. Two ingredients you probably have. Add cilantro, scallions, and sliced red pepper ($1.50). The total is $4.70.

Greek Chickpea Soup

Greek Chickpea Soup contains vegetable broth ($2.50), three cans of chickpeas ($2.40), yellow onion ($.78), carrots ($.98), three celery stalks ($1.84), two lemons ($1.16), and seasonings. Total: $9.66. 

Lentil Goulash

Try American Goulash with Lentils instead of meat. Less costly and healthy. Green lentils ($1.08), yellow onion ($.78), garlic ($.49), green pepper ($.86), tomato sauce ($.88), diced tomatoes ($.88), vegetable stock ($1.25), elbow macaroni ($.98), and spices are needed. The total is $8.45.

Tofu Chop Suey

Popular Chinese takeout meal Chop Suey is cheaper at home. This cheap, tasty dinner uses tofu instead of chicken. You can substitute tofu for grilled chicken, but it will cost more. Extra-firm tofu ($1.99), garlic ($.48), bok choy ($2.00), one carrot ($.25), onion ($.78), mushrooms ($2.00), and mung bean sprouts ($2.50). The total is $10.

Pesto Veggie Pasta

This tasty Pesto Pasta features homemade pesto sauce and lots of veggies. Penne pasta ($.98), zucchini ($.93), yellow squash ($.89), red pepper ($1.38), 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes ($1.00), fresh basil ($1.98), arugula ($1.10), cashews ($1.25), and olive oil ($.49). The total is $10

Lentil Tacos

Quick and easy lentil tacos! Chili powder and cumin give the lentil filling a smokey taste and ground beef-like texture. Soft or firm corn tortillas ($1.98), brown lentils ($1.14), yellow onion ($.89), garlic ($.49), green bell pepper ($.86), avocado ($.78), cherry tomatoes ($1.14), cilantro ($.48), and scallions ($.48) for garnish. The total is $8.24.