Dinner on a budget doesn't have to mean drive-through. The average American household spent $2,434 on food away from home in 2004, according to the National Restaurant Association. As you're trying to save money and cut back, we're right there with you, bringing you five mouthwatering recipes that ring up at less that $4 per serving!
Pasta with shrimp and peas This lemony pasta dish will feed a family of four for less than $14. Not only are peas and shrimp economical, but they're also packed with nutrients. A serving of shrimp has about 50% of your protein needs for the day, and peas are rich in vitamin C and fiber.
One takeout meal will cost you the same amount as this four-serving dish. Pork is inexpensive and low in saturated fat, so it makes the perfect economical entree. Bell peppers are good sources of folic acid, fiber, and vitamin B6, all of which help prevent cardiovascular disease.
There's no reason you can't have steak on a budget. Lean and rich in iron, flank steak is a delicious, easy-to-cook meat. Rosemary and thyme provide just enough flavor while still keeping your tab under $15. The mashed potatoes will fill you up, and the green beans provide 25% of your recommended dietary amount of vitamin K, which maintains strong bones.
Spicy and savory, this dish helps you cut down on your grocery bill without cutting the flavor. The chile powder adds a kick to lycopene-rich tomatoes and corn, while the oregano adds some flavor to the chicken. Plus, chicken is rich in niacin, which may help lower your cholesterol and process fat. Although the recipe is great on its own, serve it with black beans to add a boost of fiber.
This rich recipe tastes gourmet but will cost you less than $10. Low-fat cottage cheese creates a creamy base while keeping the dish figure-friendly. Although this recipe provides plenty of protein and more than 25% of your daily calcium needs, it's lacking veggies. So be sure to serve a mixed-greens salad on the side.