10 Dinner Ideas for $2 or Less

Times are tight. Budgets are even tighter. It seems everyone nowadays is pulling in those purse strings just a bit, waiting for the economy to decide when it’s going to thrive once again. But, eating on a budget can be so blah. Here’s 10 quick and easy meals that will feed an entire family on two bucks or less. You likely haven’t made many of these recipes before. They aren’t the usual high-fat, overly pre-packaged sorts of recipe you usually see in a list like this. Many–of not most–of the recipes make ample use of seasonal vegetables which are in such affordable abundance this time of year. Enjoy!

Need more cheap meal ideas? Check out: Babble’s Top 10 Budget-Conscious Mom Food Bloggers

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  • Baked Egg Pasta 1 of 10
    Baked Egg Pasta
    The simplicity of this recipe is stunning. You've got eggs laying around the house. You've got a package of pasta, maybe even a handful of frozen peas. If you've got those cheap, basic ingredients, you've got a bowl of Baked Egg Pasta just waiting to be enjoyed.
  • 2-Minute Chili 2 of 10
    2-Minute Chili
    What if your $2 dinner only took 2 minutes to cook up? You'd be in luck! Because we've got a recipe that is just that. Make 2-Minute Chili tonight.
  • Golden Gnocchi 3 of 10
    Golden Gnocchi
    Looking for a gourmet dinner that is so inexpensive to make? This Golden Gnocchi with Caramelized Onions is just the thing you're looking for. Sweet and savory mixes with the heartiness of gnocchi (potato dumplings) to make a meal that is sure to wow.
  • Baked Potatoes with Zucchini 4 of 10
    Baked Potatoes with Zucchini
    What could be cheaper than zucchini and potatoes? These two veggies are abundant in the summer, and often priced as low as 88 cents per pound. So, when you put them together into Zucchini Baked Potatoes, you don't just have an inexpensive meal, you've got one that is healthy and delicious, too! To cut down the cost of this recipe, feel free to omit the cheddar cheese and/or sour cream and just us margarine, salt, and pepper.
  • Thai Noodles 5 of 10
    Thai Noodles
    Thai Peanut Noodles are an easy way to feel like you're eating take-out, even while eating on a serious budget.
  • Italian Veggie Hoagies 6 of 10
    Italian Veggie Hoagies
    Looking for a splendid summertime recipe? Grab your favorite cheap veggies at your local farmer's market, toss them on a slice of bread, and enjoy your very own Italian Veggie Hoagies.
  • Vegetable Fried Rice 7 of 10
    Vegetable Fried Rice
    Vegetable Fried Rice makes a great meal that feeds a table full of guests in a healthy, filling way.
  • Easy Tabbouleh Salad 8 of 10
    Easy Tabbouleh Salad
    Traditionally a sidedish, a bowl full of fresh Tabbouleh Salad makes a healthful, simple salad for dinner.
  • Tuna Empanadas 9 of 10
    Tuna Empanadas
    A roll of canned biscuits and cheap jar of tuna make these Tuna Empanadas a tasty dinner that's super easy on the budget.
  • Chinese Noodles 10 of 10
    Chinese Noodles
    Try your hand at these Chinese Noodles, which make use of Ramen to pull together a filling meal that feeds a crowd!

 

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