Food Budgeting Tips: 4 Recipes That Will Help You Save Money

Food Budgeting Tips: 4 Recipes That Will Help You Save Money

According to some recent studies, food insecurity is a problem experienced by 60% of Americans.

While improving one’s financial situation and advocating for measures aimed at making food accessible to everybody are crucial steps, the most immediate step most people can take to tackle this issue is to look for cheaper alternatives without compromising their nutritional needs and the enjoyment of a tasty meal.

For this reason, we have collected four recipes that will help you save money while still treating yourself to a delicious meal.

Recipe 1: Spaghetti Aglio e Olio

Ingredients and Estimated Costs

  • Spaghetti (500g): $1.00
  • Extra-virgin olive oil (1/4 cup): $0.60
  • Garlic (4 cloves): $0.20
  • Red pepper flakes (1 tsp): $0.10
  • Parsley (1 bunch): $1.00
  • Salt: $0.05

Total Estimated Cost: $2.95


Start by boiling water and cooking spaghetti until it’s perfectly al dente – the ideal level of chewiness! But hold on, don’t forget to save 1 cup of pasta water before draining.

In a sizzling hot pan, let olive oil work its magic as thinly sliced garlic turns golden. Spice things up with a dash of red pepper flakes for that extra kick.
Now, reunite the drained spaghetti with the reserved pasta water and a pinch of salt. Stir and watch as the pasta embraces the garlicky goodness.

And voila! Sprinkle some freshly chopped parsley and serve immediately. For the final touch, if desired, add a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese on top.

Food Budgeting Tips - Recipes: Spaghetti Aglio e Olio

Recipe 2: Tuna Casserole

Ingredients and Estimated Costs

  • Canned tuna (2 cans): $1.80
  • Pasta (500g): $1.00
  • Frozen peas (1 cup): $0.60
  • Cream of mushroom soup (1 can): $1.50
  • Milk (1/2 cup): $0.20
  • Bread crumbs (1/2 cup): $0.30
  • Butter (2 tbsp): $0.10
  • Salt and pepper: $0.05

Total Estimated Cost: $5.55


Let’s get this pasta party started by preheating the oven to 375°F (190°C). Follow the pasta package instructions like a boss, but here’s the fun part: add frozen peas at the last minute.

Once the pasta is cooked to perfection, drain it and reunite it with the pot. While the pasta is doing its thing, heat up the soup and milk in a saucepan until it’s hot! And oh, don’t forget to give the tuna some love with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

Now comes the exciting part! Pour the sensational soup mixture over the pasta and peas, making sure they get cozy together. Grab a casserole dish and transfer this deliciousness into it because we’re about to take it to the next level. Melt the butter, mix it with breadcrumbs, and voila! We have a mouthwatering topping.

Sprinkle this golden goodness over the casserole for an extra burst of flavor. Now, pop it in the oven and let the magic happen for approximately 25-30 minutes. Wait till the top turns a beautiful golden brown, and the dish becomes deliciously bubbly.

Let it sit for 10 minutes before you dive in because good things come to those who wait.

Recipes 3: Chicken Stir-Fry

Ingredients and Estimated Costs

  • Boneless chicken breast (500g): $3.00
  • Mixed vegetables (fresh or frozen, 2 cups): $2.00
  • Soy sauce (2 tbsp): $0.20
  • Garlic (2 cloves): $0.10
  • Ginger (1 tsp, grated): $0.10
  • Vegetable oil (2 tbsp): $0.10
  • Salt and pepper: $0.05

Total Estimated Cost: $5.55


Begin by gracefully slicing the chicken into thin, succulent strips and allowing it to marinate in the flavorful sauce for a boss-like 15 minutes.

Next, heat up the wok or frying pan, add a cheeky drizzle of oil, and let the chicken sizzle to perfection. Once cooked, set it aside and keep it company on the side.

In the same pan, add a touch more oil if necessary, and sauté the garlic and ginger until their delectable aromas fill the air. Toss in the vibrant veggies and stir-fry until they reach the ideal balance of tenderness and crispness, just the way we prefer.

Reunite the chicken with the mix, pour in the remaining soy sauce, and let the flavors mingle harmoniously like long-lost friends. Cook for an additional 2 minutes, ensuring everything blends seamlessly and becomes tantalizingly hot.

Now, prepare yourself for the grand finale! Present this sizzling Chicken Stir-Fry alongside steamed rice or noodles, and let your taste buds embark on a euphoric dance of delight.

Food Budgeting Tips - Recipes: Chicken Stir-Fry

Recipe 4: Lentil Soup

Ingredients and Estimated Costs

  • Dried lentils (1 cup): $0.70
  • Carrots (2, diced): $0.30
  • Onion (1, diced): $0.20
  • Celery stalks (2, diced): $0.20
  • Garlic cloves (3, minced): $0.15
  • Vegetable broth (4 cups): $2.00
  • Cumin (1 tsp): $0.05
  • Olive oil (2 tbsp): $0.20
  • Salt and pepper: $0.05

Total Estimated Cost: $3.85


Let’s kick things off by heating up some olive oil in a big pot.

Toss in diced onion, carrots, and celery, and watch the magic unfold as they transform into soft and translucent goodness in just 5 minutes.

Now, it’s showtime for the dynamic duo of garlic and cumin, releasing their incredible aromas like a symphony of flavors.

It’s time to add the rinsed lentils and vegetable broth, generously season with a pinch of salt and pepper, and let the lively boil take center stage.

Once the curtain rises, lower the heat to a gentle simmer, cover the pot, and let it work its magic for around 30 minutes until the lentils are perfectly tender.

Don’t forget to taste and tweak the seasonings, adding your personal touch to this culinary masterpiece. Feeling adventurous? Give half of the soup a whirl in the blender for a smoother texture, or savor its chunky goodness as is.

Serve this comforting soup piping hot, accompanied by a side of crusty bread.

Can a Personal Help When Struggling with Food Costs?

In certain situations, it may be helpful to take out a personal loan to cover food expenses. For example, this could be the case of somebody who is experiencing a temporary financial setback.

In this case, applying for a personal loan at attractive conditions with a reputable online lender like Level can help you cover groceries and other necessary expenses until you get back on your feet. You can easily apply online and get a quote right away.

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