Who says it’s too expensive to eat well? Cooking from scratch could be the very best way to save money – cheaper than takeout or convenience food, and far better for you. In the early new year, most of us are trying to eat well and save money – here are 10 real meals that will help you do both, for around $10 to feed a family of four.
Ricotta Gnocchi with Lemon and Basil 1 of 10Gnocchi — little potato dumplings traditionally served in Italian restaurants — are cheap and filling, and easy to make from scratch. These light ricotta gnocchi with lemon and basil bring a taste of spring early.
Make ricotta gnocchi
Vegan Black Bean Soup in the Slow Cooker 2 of 10This rich, simple soup is made by simmering dried black beans — no need to soak them — in the slow cooker. You can't get much cheaper than dry beans! To add meatiness and flavor, toss in a leftover hambone or crumbled sausage.
Make vegan black bean soup
Winter Pizza 3 of 10Pizza made from scratch is far more inexpensive than takeout, and making the dough can be a fun after-school project for the kids! Try yours with inexpensive caramelized onions. Yum.
Simple Bites has the recipe!
Two-minute Chili 4 of 10Not only is this chili cheap, it's unbelievably fast. You'll save time and money, and feed your family well!
Make 2-minute chili
Roasted Carrot and Cilantro Soup 5 of 10You can't get much cheaper than soup — which can be made using virtually any ingredients you have on hand. A bag of carrots is cheap and good for you, delivering fiber and a healthy dose of beta-carotene.
Simple Bites has the recipe!
Mexican Fried Rice 6 of 10With a small quantity of ground beef or sausage, canned black beans and rice, this one-dish meal is divine — and a favorite among kids!
Dinner with Julie has the recipe!
Two-minute Tuna Wraps 7 of 10DIY tuna wraps — just like you might order at a restaurant — are healthy, easy and cheap — and the kids will love being able to eat dinner with their hands! Perfect when you want something casual to serve in front of a movie, too.
Cheeky Kitchen has the recipe!
Easy Falafel from Scratch 8 of 10Homemade falafel is fantastic. Using canned chickpeas, it's as easy to make as hummus. Fry the patties in a drizzle of oil in a heavy skillet, and serve wrapped in pitas and drizzled in tzatziki. Cheap!
Make easy falafel
Butter, Onion & Tomato Sauce 9 of 10Everyone should be able to simmer up a good red sauce — not only is this utterly simple, it's one of the best. Make a double (or triple) batch and freeze extra for quick meals down the road without opening a jar.
Patent and the Pantry has the recipe!
Butternut Squash Soup with Gruyere Croutons 10 of 10Why should French onion soup get all the cheesy toast? Try floating a Gruyere crouton atop squash soup for a hearty, comforting, inexpensive mid-winter meal.
Family Bites has the recipe!
Photo credit: istockphoto.com/sjlocke
Plus, check out more meals you can make under $10