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40 Healthy And Really Delicious Meals You Can Make Under $5

40 Healthy And Really Delicious Meals You Can Make Under $5

Ever had those moments where you really wanted to eat something delicious and healthy but didn’t have the financials means to do so? Whether you’re a student or parent, this compilation of 40 great, healthy, and inexpensive recipes will make every night special and delicious! No more meals where you have to force the food down! It’s time to make that budget your best friend and turn it into great recipes. Enjoy!

1. Fish Tacos in Crunchy Shells ($3.56 per serving)

Is there a better way to end the day than a Fish Taco dinner filled with protein and nutrients and is easy on the wallet? This recipe calls for a boys’ or girls’ night in front of a good movie or game.

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    2. Mini-Meatball Noodle Soup ($3.43 per serving)

    We’ve heard of the delicious spaghetti and meatballs recipes, but imagine having that same meatball goodness in a soup? It’s like Christmas in a bowl. Healthy, warm, and only $3.43 per serving.

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      3. Spaghetti and (Vegan) Meatballs ($2.13 per serving)

      Now it’s time to look at the traditional spaghetti and meatballs recipe, but with a little twist: vegan meatballs. This way, you can enjoy the Italian tradition without adding on the extra calories. I’m sold!

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        4. Kabocha Squash and Lentils ($3.12 per serving)

        Absolutely delicious way to end the day with a Kabocha Squash and lentils dinner. The beauty of this recipe is that you can actually make many other things from the mixture, from dips to full-on meals. All under $5 per serving.

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          5. Baked Coconut Lentils ($0.91 per serving)

          Coconuts are always a good idea, but it doesn’t have to be eaten only for dessert or breakfast. With this great recipe, you can now eat a lunch or dinner filled proteins and a coconut twist. Yum!

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            6. Easy Marinated Roasted Chicken ($3.40 per serving)

            We love chicken and at less than $5 per serving, we are in heaven with this recipe. Add some vegetables and rice on the side and you’ve got yourself a full meal!

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              7. Organic Greens and Goat Cheese Gratin ($2.36 per serving)

              This is absolutely divine. You get in your healthy greens and your fat macros with this great recipe. Takes only a few minutes to make and it’s easy on the wallet. Bon Appetite!

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                8. Beef Pot Roast ($3.22 per serving)

                One word: perfect. This meal will warm your insides and fill you up with the high protein content.

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                  9. Fajita-Style Quesadillas ($0.43 per serving)

                  If you want to eat Mexican tonight but want to stay in your budget, this Quesadilla recipe is your best friend. It’s tasty and filled with healthy ingredients for less than a dollar per serving.

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                    10. Fish Tostadas with Chili Lime Cream ($2.82 per serving)

                    Another great lunch idea for the busy days ahead. Prep this in the morning or the night before and you’ve got yourself a healthy and cheap lunch meal!

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                      11. Beef and Black Bean Chili ($1.36 per serving)

                      Might not look like much, but this amazing chili is actually extremely healthy for you. The protein from the beef and the carbs from the black beans will fill you up in no time, and keep you full for a long period of time. Delicious and warm, just right for the winter!

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                        12. Crispy Fish and Peppers ($2.18 per serving)

                        Amazing recipe for anyone looking to change up their meals while keeping their macros in check and not going overboard on spending. Satisfies your crunch tooth (see what I did there?) and gives you all the protein you need to stay full and lean.

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                          13. Vegetarian Gumbo ($1.50 per serving)

                          You have the perfect macro mix here with the carbs, fats, and proteins. At less than $5 per serving, you’ve got yourself a meal that will last for the whole week!

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                            14. Mexican White Bean Soup ($0.99 per serving)

                            With the cold weather creeping in, it’s not a surprise that soups are coming back in style. This great Mexican White Bean Soup dish will keep you warm for winter without making a hole in your pocket.

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                              15. Black Beans with Mango & Cilantro ($0.38 per serving)

                              Mangoes make every dish a little bit sweeter, which is why we absolutely love this recipe. A normal rice and bean dish might be a little meh, but add the sugary taste of mangoes and you’ve got yourself a party!

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                                16. Bean Burritos ($0.71 per serving)

                                If you’re having people over tonight and don’t want to spend too much time or money on food, this dish is a great option! You can even cut up the burritos into pieces and make finger foods while everyone’s watching the game or gossiping.

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                                  17. Five-Spice Beef Kabobs ($2.43 per serving)

                                  The spices in this recipes add a delicious twist to the beef kabobs, which is definitely worth trying!

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                                    18. Cornmeal Crusted Pork ($1.92 per serving)

                                    If you like the fried crunch but want to opt for a healthier alternative, cornmeal is your man. This healthy recipe will satisfy all your fried desires without making you pop open your pant’s button.

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                                      19. Chicken, Tomato & Cucumber Dinner Salad ($2.57 per serving)

                                      Easy to do, extremely healthy, and super delicious. A must-try!

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                                        20. Lentil Soup with Beef and Red Pepper ($1.90 per serving)

                                        I can’t believe how cheap this meal is, especially for all the nutrients it contains. You can make a big pot on Sunday night and divide it into small portions to last you a whole week.

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                                          21. Smoky Mushroom Stroganoff ($1.90 per serving)

                                          Craving pasta but not sure what to top it off with? How about smoky mushrooms with a twist?

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                                            22. White Bean Tuna Salad ($1.36 per serving)

                                            You can add this White Bean Tuna Salad in your sandwich or just eat it as-is for a quick lunch on a busy day.

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                                              23. Sausage Eggwiches ($0.80 per serving)

                                              Who says you have to eat fast food to get an eggwich? This delicious recipe will give you an amazingly healthy eggwich for less than a dollar per portion. Can you say Breakfast?

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                                              Sausage-Eggwiches

                                                24. Baja-Cali Black Bean Salad ($1.17 per serving)

                                                Great snack to add to a movie-night with friends. You don’t have to use chemically-processed salsas anymore, you can now use this homemade salad for your chip dips.

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                                                  25. Gnocchi, Sweet Corn & Arugula in Cream Sauce ($2.24 per serving)

                                                  Italians always knew how to make carbs look good! This delicious Gnocchi recipe will give your lunch a whole new meaning. Easy to make and only $2.24 per serving.

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                                                    26. Vegetable Lasagna ($1.73 per serving)

                                                    If you were looking for a healthy lasagna, you’ve just found it. At under $5 per serving, you can fill yourself up right away without putting on the extra calories.

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                                                      27. Fajita-Ranch Chicken Wraps ($2.05 per serving)

                                                      Don’t know what to make for lunch this week? How about delicious chicken wraps with a healthy ranch? This recipe will make all your lunches, even the quick ones, healthy and colorful.

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                                                        28. Quinoa with Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts ($1.24 per serving)

                                                        A dish that has quinoa and brussel sprouts can’t be unhealthy, it just can’t, which is why this dish is one to keep in the books. Easy to make, healthy, and will keep you full for a long period of time.

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                                                          29. Butternut Squash Chili ($1.04 per serving)

                                                          You don’t need meat to make chili now that you have this recipe! It’s 100% healthy, filling, and smells absolutely delicious.

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                                                            30. Fast Shrimp Bisque ($2.03 per serving)

                                                            Seafood doesn’t have to be expensive if you know how to do it right, and this fast shrimp bisque is a great recipe to try if you’re in the mood for some seafood!

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                                                              31. Chicken-Noodle Casserole ($0.98 per serving)

                                                              Looks divine doesn’t it? This super easy to make dish will satisfy all your taste buds without burning a hole in your wallet or adding a few extra numbers on the scale.

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                                                                32. Burrito Cups ($1.18 per serving)

                                                                Entertaining someone tonight and don’t know what to make as appetizers? These burrito cups are a great alternative to chips or other greasy finger foods. All you need to enjoy it is a spoon and a cup.

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                                                                  33. Lemon-Dill Shrimp & Pasta ($2.45 per serving)

                                                                  Another impressive shrimp recipe under $5 per serving. The lemon-dill twist adds a great taste to the dish.

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                                                                    34. Potato Frittata ($0.87 per serving)

                                                                    If you want to eat potatoes for breakfast but still want it to be healthy, this is the recipe for you. At under a dollar per serving, this potato frittata will make you see potatoes in a whole new light.

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                                                                      35. Grilled Pork and Pineapple ($2.67 per serving)

                                                                      Meat and fruits? Oh, yes. The juiciness of the pork mixed with the liquid sugar in the pineapple will make you wish you knew about it sooner.

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                                                                        36. Greek Honey-Lemon Pork Chops ($2.15 per serving)

                                                                        Another splendid recipe mixing sweet and salty for a healthy meal. Easy to make and absolutely mouthwatering.

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                                                                          37. Jamaican Pork Stir-Fry ($2 per serving)

                                                                          You can add this healthy stir-fry to any dish as a side or amply enjoy it as-is for lunch or dinner. You can even make a wrap sandwich out of it if you’re in a rush to eat.

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                                                                            38. Herbed Salmon ($2.49 per serving)

                                                                            Salmon contains a healthy dose of fats that will boost your metabolism, lower inflammation, and make you happier. At under $5 per serving, need I say more?

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                                                                              39. Five-Spice Pork Kabobs ($1.96 per serving)

                                                                              Exquisite recipe under $5 per serving that will most definitely awe everyone at your dinner party.

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                                                                                40. Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Mango-Black Bean Salsa ($1.24 per serving)

                                                                                You don’t have to eat sweet potatoes alone anymore with this flavorful recipe.

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                                                                                  Featured photo credit: Featured Photo Credit: 5 Dollar Dinners via 5dollardinners.com

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                                                                                  Sarah Anton

                                                                                  Editor and founder of The Fitrepreneur, aspires to improve people's living style.

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                                                                                  Last Updated on June 26, 2020

                                                                                  25 Easy Tips on How to Save Money Fast

                                                                                  25 Easy Tips on How to Save Money Fast

                                                                                  “How to save money fast?” This is the question asked by all of us not in the top 1% of rich people.

                                                                                  If you are looking for ways to drastically reduce your expenses immediately, first look at what you need to spend money on every week. And I mean really need.

                                                                                  You don’t really need to order in food. You don’t really need to buy expensive perfume.

                                                                                  Building from that, you can work out how your regular expenses can be reduced.

                                                                                  As for irregular expenses, they can also be deceptively costly in the long run. Once-off buys can also be tackled with some prudent planning and a little extra research.

                                                                                  And remember: a budgeted lifestyle does not mean a bad or boring one!

                                                                                  But first, understand what budget you can cut down on daily:

                                                                                  • Regular expenses for the average adult (can be trimmed but not eliminated):
                                                                                    • food
                                                                                    • rent/mortgage
                                                                                    • cell phone
                                                                                    • insurance
                                                                                    • socializing/entertainment
                                                                                    • transportation
                                                                                    • hygiene products
                                                                                    • household bills
                                                                                  • Irregular expenses for the average adult (can be eliminated or cut down a lot):
                                                                                    • travel
                                                                                    • clothing
                                                                                    • medication (*depends)
                                                                                    • grooming (hair, nails etc.)
                                                                                    • gifts

                                                                                  Now, let’s dive right into the 25 ways to save money fast:

                                                                                  Save Money on Food

                                                                                  1. Bring a stock of food to the office/work

                                                                                  Instead of popping out for an overpriced salad and a smoothie, leave a set of basic utensils at the office as well as a stock of non-perishable goods such as tinned fruit, tuna, rice crackers and so on (try to avoid the junk food and this can turn into a pretty great diet!).

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                                                                                  Stocking up means you won’t forget or say “I didn’t have the time” when you rushed out to work in the morning.

                                                                                  2. Buy the store-brand version

                                                                                  Many basic foods, such as bread and milk, will taste exactly the same as their branded alternatives. Go for stuff with minimal additives and preservatives. Meat in a tube is probably insanely unhealthy!

                                                                                  3. Eat cheaper cuts of meat

                                                                                  Learn how to tenderize and flavour cheaper meat and fish, and save on the (typically) most expensive item on your grocery bill.

                                                                                  4. Have group dinners

                                                                                  If 10 friends put $5 each in the kitty, it’s pretty easy to make a giant lasagne and get refreshments, as well as hang out with your favourite people.

                                                                                  Save Money in Transport

                                                                                  5. Get a bicycle

                                                                                  Save on gas money and bus/metro fares with this underrated mode of transport.

                                                                                  6. Use public transport and/or don’t get taxis

                                                                                  Some places can only be reached by car. But as a good practise, check your public transport website and see if any routes pass nearby where you need to get to. Walk as much as you can.

                                                                                  7. Find the cheapest gas

                                                                                  Regularly check out where the cheapest gas can be bought.

                                                                                  Save Money in General Shopping

                                                                                  8. Shop online

                                                                                  Not only will you save on the gas or transport fares from going to the shopping mall but you will also find better deals

                                                                                  9. Sell your old stuff

                                                                                  Get your unwanted belongings up on eBay ASAP and earn a few dollars.

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                                                                                  Here’re more ideas for you: 25 Things to Sell to Make a Lot of Money

                                                                                  10. Bulk buying stores

                                                                                  For regular non-perishable/slow perishable purchases such as toilet paper, cat food, pasta, washing powder and so on, do an epic stocking-up trip to a co-op or equivalent (my mum used to go to a place that restaurants buy from).

                                                                                  Be wary of supermarket “deals”, as some have been found to be fraudulent after working out a simple calculation.

                                                                                  11. Become a flea market/car boot sale/street market guru

                                                                                  You can find original gifts and develop good negotiation skills at these places.

                                                                                  12. Generic brand medication

                                                                                  More often than not, the generic version of paracetamol and other basics work the same as the branded version.

                                                                                  13. Choose deodorant, not perfume

                                                                                  It blows my mind when someone drops $70 on a bottle of spray. Stick with a nice deodorant, and not only will you smell just fine but you’ll be sweat-free as well!

                                                                                  Cut Down on Household Expenses

                                                                                  14. Printing

                                                                                  Ink is one of the most expensive substances in the office and coloured ink is doubly so. B

                                                                                  e more efficient and choose black and white, and if your printer doesn’t have a print-both-sides options, just print odd pages first, re-insert the paper and print even pages.

                                                                                  Expand the margins of what you are printing as often as you can to save on paper.

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                                                                                  15. Minimize SMS and phone calls

                                                                                  A combination of a free chat service such as WhatsApp and a free call service such as Skype can reduce your bill to nothing (so long as you have a decent Wifi connection).

                                                                                  16. Shop around for insurance

                                                                                  Most people don’t spend enough time searching for the best insurance deal.

                                                                                  Keep a watchful eye out for deals and new competitors in the market.

                                                                                  17. Try re-negotiating your rent/mortgage

                                                                                  If you have built up a good credit history or a good rapport with your landlord, then chances are a frank chat about needing to tighten your spending could result in lowering your payments. You’ve nothing to lose from trying.

                                                                                  18. Don’t get a TV

                                                                                  Invest in a computer/laptop and an internet-only package. You can watch more (and often better) entertainment on the web, and skip the advertisements as well.

                                                                                  19. Pool your internet bill with a neighbour

                                                                                  My apartment building is basically a big old house split into three apartments. There are five of us in total. We pool the internet bill, making it crazy cheap.

                                                                                  Save Money in Socializing, Entertainment And Travel

                                                                                  20. Have house parties

                                                                                  Instead of paying for overpriced drinks, set up a series of in-house get-togethers with your friends. Everyone takes a turn, so it’s not always your house that needs cleaning.

                                                                                  For sound insulation, hang heavy drapes on the walls and windows. For music, invest in a good second-hand set of speakers which you can connect to your computer. Let Spotify or Grooveshark playlists do the rest.

                                                                                  21. Open festivals, meetups and events

                                                                                  It never fails to surprise me how much underground stuff goes on around me for free or for very cheap. Find out who runs the blogs and websites that list all the less well-known cultural activities.

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                                                                                  22. Volunteer

                                                                                  If you can’t pay for a ticket, volunteer and get to be there anyway.

                                                                                  23. Housesit

                                                                                  There are multiple housesitting websites offering you the possibility to avoid paying hotels and skip the discomfort of crummy hostels.

                                                                                  Save Money on Hygiene and Beauty

                                                                                  24. DIY beauty

                                                                                  French manicures, pedicures, waxing, eyebrows… pretty much all of these can be achieved at home (and done well) with some practise. There are plenty excellent blogs and YouTube tutorials to help.

                                                                                  25. Fewer haircuts/volunteer at a trainee hairdresser

                                                                                  If you can’t bear the risk of a trainee touching your locks, learn more ways to manipulate your hair as it grows and get haircuts sparingly. Women’s haircuts are outrageously priced in many cities.

                                                                                  Bonus: Effective Money-Saving Tips for Everything

                                                                                  Here’s a summary of what you can generally do to save more money:

                                                                                  • Share/pool resources. Organize a neighbourhood sharing scheme, common resources for your apartment block or with your friends. Not everybody needs an individual lawnmower.
                                                                                  • Buy energy-saving everything. The easiest way to lower your bills – replace those lightbulbs!
                                                                                  • Buy in bulk. Be sensible about it (i.e. make sure you have space!), and drastically reduce weekly expenditure.
                                                                                  • DIY. Skill up using YouTube tutorials on plumbing and many other essential services so you never have to pay for simple problems again.
                                                                                  • Research a lot before making a decision. Most money-wasting is the result of poor preparation and planning. Don’t shirk this part just because you don’t like it!
                                                                                  • Use your network. Your network is full of resources that can ease the pain of budgeting. Ask for help.
                                                                                  • Stop and think. Do I really need it?

                                                                                  Unfortunately, there are some things that require plain ol’ giving up for the time being. This can include high-cost sports such as skiing, the latest versions of some technologies, the finest brands of food/drinks, premier seats at the opera and most other indulgences.

                                                                                  What is important to remember during lean times is that when you look back on your life, it will be the experiences that stand out, not the extra comforts.

                                                                                  Living on a budget can teach you a lot about how much you can really get out of your paycheck. We only live one life, so make the most of every penny you earn!

                                                                                  More Tips for Personal Finance Management

                                                                                  Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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