15 People Share Their Favorite “Poor Man’s Meals” For When Money Is Tight
You don’t have to be rich to eat like a king if you know how to be creative in the kitchen. There are many ways to turn a few simple and inexpensive ingredients into a meal for yourself or your whole family.
Reddit user NFDBTCREPo asked, “What’s a delicious poor man’s meal?” and many people shared inspiring answers. Whether you’re not sure how to use up the items in your pantry or you’re trying to cut back on grocery costs, these simple “poor man’s” recipes will keep you tummy full and your tastebuds satisfied.
Learn how to stretch your ingredients without sacrificing flavor with these inexpensive meals that are all fairly easy to make.
Loaded Baked Potato
Reddit user oh_sneezeus wrote:
Baked potato with cheese and broccoli on top.Buy a pound of baking potatoes, a block of cheese, and frozen bag of broccoli. It’ll make you at least 3-6 of those. If your’e feeling really crazy, then throw in some chili too. Canned chili for hotdogs works best. it can be as cheap as like, .50 cents.
I came here to say baked potato — I grew up so broke, we had potatoes at LEAST once a day.There are so many ways to make potatoes. Potato cakes were a staple, just mashed potatoes mixed with flour and an egg to bind it, fry that up in some oil. Horrible for you, I’m sure, but it’s delicious.
Simple Spaghetti Recipe
Spaghetti with oil and garlic. Quick. Easy. Cheap.
Flavorful Black Beans
Serious answer here: get a can of black beans and some cheap salsa. Put the drained beans and some salsa in a skillet and let it cook for like 10 min. Crack a couple eggs and let them poach in the beans. Serve with cheap bread or tortillas.
It Starts with Ramen
Ramen noodles with a couple of eggs poached in the broth. Maybe toss in some frozen vegetables. Absolutely delicious.
Beans and Rice
Another Reddit user wrote:
Beans and rice. You can get massive bags of dried rice and beans for pretty cheap at wholesale stores, and a big bag will last you a long time. Add a little butter and some cheap spices, and you’ve got yourself a tasty and healthy meal.
My old housemates and I would make “Poverty Pasta”. Grated zucchini and carrot, a tin of mushrooms and diced tomatoes, a cheap stir-through sauce. Easy, filling, kinda healthy, and dirt cheap.
“Poor Man’s Steak”
Poor man’s steak…Seasoned hamburger pattie, with sauteed mushrooms, & onions on top.
A Pasta Meal That Lasts 2 Days
$3-$4 meal that lasted 2 nights for me and my 2 kids when they were smallish: Box of whole grain wheat or spinach spaghetti, butter, dry parmesan, olive oil if I had it, garlic, and a bag of frozen mixed veggies all tossed together.
It Starts with Canned Tuna
Another recipe from mmgvs:
$3 meal that was a few lunches for all of us: can or 2 of tuna, mayo, a bit of seasoning or sauce that was handy, and a box of whole grain shell or macaroni. A head of romaine lettuce, wrap scoops of the tuna salad in lettuce leaves.
Eggs in a Basket
Eggs in a basket. Sometimes called Toad in the hole. Cut out a circle in a piece of bread, toast up in a pan with melted butter, crack an egg in the middle and use the bread remnants to dip in the runny yoke. So so simple but feels fancy.
“White Trash Rice”
Fried spam, scrambled eggs, rice. White trash fried rice as I call it. If you want, you can throw in any veggies you have on hand. Personally I just like the main three ingredients, maybe a little soy sauce on the rice
Fried Sausage and Taters
Fried Sausage and TatersPut just enough vegetable oil in a skillet to cover the bottom. Maybe a little more, but don’t overdo it. Throw in diced potatoes (maybe gently place- don’t be stupid and burn yourself). Cook covered on medium heat, stirring occasionally. Slice ecker’s beef sausage. Throw in the skillet when the potatoes are about 1/2 cooked. You can add diced onions too. If you do, have pretty thick chunks. Try to keep the sausage on the bottom so it browns. Salt and pepper. Cook until potatoes are soft. Low and slow is key.
Poor Man’s Lasagna
Poor mans lasagna. Macaroni, jar spaghetti sauce, cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese. Cook noodles, add sauce and cottage cheese, stir, top with mozzarella, broil till brown. Eat!!!
Recipes with Rice and Potatoes
Finally, a bunch of recipe ideas from artmoloch777:
Here’s how I kept my brother and I alive for less than twenty bucks a week in college. RICE WITH BEEF: rice, hamburger, cream of mushroom. RICE WITH CHICKEN: rice, canned chicken, cream of chicken. PENNE: box of penne, jar of sauce. STEW: potatoes, carrots, corn, onion, chicken broth, kielbasa sausage. If you are feeling jazzy, get a cheap box of water only biscuit mix and throw a few scoops in the pot at the end. The blow up into dumplings. CHICKEN NUGGET PIE: instant mashed potatoes, either chicken nuggets or patties. Condiment of your choice. TACOS: black beans, rice, cheese, tortillas. If you are a stock broker, add canned chicken.