In Sunday’s New York Times, food writer Mark Bittman challenged America’s notion that junk food is cheaper (get the article here). I agree and always have; a spin through McDonald’s can cost my family of three at least $15 or more. At home I can make a complete meal for much less, usually with left overs to stretch into the next day.
If you’re wondering how easy it is to feed a family for $20 or less, take a look at these recipes, each easy enough for a week night or make-ahead ready. And when in doubt, make soup. With a store-bought rotisserie chicken, an onion, some celery, a few carrots, a handful of cooked pasta or rice, and water from the tap, you’re set.
Greek Salad Sandwich This is one of the most requested recipes on my blog, and for good reason: it’s cheap, it’s easy and it’s delicious. Add a side salad, and you’ve got Meatless Monday covered.
Turkey Chili This really can be made after work, just set out some carrots and celery to keep little tummies quiet while you work. Or make this on Sunday to enjoy well into the week. I usually keep a few trays of ground turkey in the freezer; defrost in the microwave while you chop, and you’re good to go.
Roast Chicken As Bittman notes in his article, you can whip up a roast chicken dinner for under $15, complete with side salad. And if ever a dish was easy to make, it’s roast chicken. Ignore that voice in your head saying it’s hard, I can’t do it… you can. Give it a shot.
Split Pea Soup with Barley Split peas are what, $1.50 a bag? Add some barley, carrots, celery, an onion, and maybe some broth (water’s fine), and you’ve got a protein-packed soup that warms you from head to toe.
So the next time someone says you’re a cheap date, say yes, yes I am. And use these recipes to prove your point. What are your go-to, affordable make-at-home meals?