5 Ways to Cook a Whole Meal for Less Than $10


Need a few ideas to help you keep your budget in check?  One way to do that is with the food you eat.  With a few simple changes, especially joining in on Meatless Monday, you can make simple meals that are under $10!  I've out together a list of our 5 favorite meals under $10 and some of them will even have leftovers which makes them that much more affordable!

5 Ways to Cook a Whole Meal for Less Than $10

5 Ways to Cook a Whole Meal for Less Than $10

Idea 1 – Meatloaf

Not my favorite use of ground meat I prefer meatballs but the kids seriously can't get enough meatloaf they'd eat it every day of the week.  I pair the meal with some green beans and noodles which costs less than $10!  The simple meatloaf recipe I use is:

Simple Meatloaf
Author: Real Momma
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • bread crumbs
  • 1 envelope onion soup mix
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F
  2. Mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl, add enough bread crumbs to make it stick together (usually about 1/4-1/2 cup or so)
  3. Place in a loaf pan.
  4. Cook for 45 minutes.

Idea 2 – Roast Chicken

This is one of my favorite ways to stretch a dollar, I've shared my multi-use chicken dinner before and how I love to make stock after, we can usually turn a whole chicken into 5 meals for us!  A chicken might seem expensive but it isn't by the time you add some potatoes and carrots you have a whole meal and then there are so many options with the leftovers!

Idea 3 – Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Nothing beats a hearty bowl of stew with a baking powder biscuit!  The best part is you can throw it in the slow cooker and let it do all the work for you!

Not sure how to adapt your favorite recipes for the slow cooker?  You'll love this post ==> 4 Quick and Easy Ways to Adapt Your Recipe.

Simple Beef Stew
Author: Real Momma
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
  • 1-2 lbs of stew meat, depending on how meaty you like your stew
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup flour seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 6 red potatoes, quartered
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • Carrots and peas
  1. Toss stew meat in flour mixture and brown in oil.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients in slow cooker.
  3. Add browned meat and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4.

Idea 4 – Vegetarian Tacos

This is very simple and basic. To make it more filling, use beans instead of meat. Just heat your favorite beans in a pan with some chipotle pepper. Add your taco shells, salsa, lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese and you have a quick and cheap taco dinner for the whole family.

Idea 5 – Chili


Whether you like to go vegetarian or meatless, chili can be inexpensive.  Our favorite recipe is Sweet Potato Tex-Mex Quinoa Chili.  This hearty chili is great by itself, no side needed!

So those are just five recipes you can make that won't break the bank. A few of the others I wanted to sneak in are One Pot Pasta, Tortilla Soup and Pantry Chili!

What other meals do you like to make that cost less than $10?


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