Nutrition

Five Healthy and Cheap Meals Under Five Dollars

Forget about the dollar menu with these simple and cheap recipes.


One of the biggest misconceptions people have about eating healthy is that it’s expensive. But you don’t need fancy juice cleanses or gourmet meal delivery services to have a nutritious diet.

At its very core, a balanced meal contains proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and a variety of vitamins and minerals. There are many meals you can make by selecting healthier items that are on sale and by using affordable staples such as beans and frozen vegetables.

To get you started on your journey to eat healthy without breaking the bank, we found five nutritious meals that are all under $5 per serving.

1. Greens and Goat Cheese Gratin
Via Whole Foods 

For around $2 per serving, this cheesy dish is perfect as an appetizer or for a meal. Leeks and any other green of your choice (kale, mustard greens, etc.) provide a vegetable base, while complemented with creamy goat cheese and low fat milk.

2. Easy Chicken and Vegetable Bake
Via Cook, Eat, Go 

Get your protein and plenty of vegetables with this simple chicken bake. This recipe makes two chicken breasts, enough to last one person two days. Carrots, potatoes, and green beans are used in this bake, but feel free to mix up the vegetables depending on what you like.

3. Cajun-Seasoned Vegetarian Gumbo
Via Better Homes and Gardens 

Using canned beans and tomatoes along with frozen okra and other stir-fry vegetables, this is an easy recipe to make year-round. The recipe is designed for a slow cooker, but if you don’t have one you can simmer all of the ingredients on the stove together for 25-30 minutes.

4. Sweet Potato and Chickpea Burgers
Via Frugal Living Mom 

For meatless Monday, these burgers are an easy and cheap option. The recipe is designed for those that are gluten-free, but if you aren’t sensitive to gluten go ahead and swap the buns for whole wheat buns or iceberg lettuce wraps instead.

5. Fish Tostadas with Chili Lime Cream
Via Better Homes and Gardens 

For just over $2 per serving and made in only 20 minutes, this meal includes fish for protein, avocado for healthy fats, and some vegetables and a tostada for carbohydrates. If desired, try swapping the sour cream for Greek yogurt