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Recession Recipes: 100 Cheap Eats That Are Still Really Healthy

With so many people out of work or cutting back on spending, there’s never been a better time to learn some recipes that are not only healthy and delicious, but also pretty easy on the wallet as well. These recipes utilize ingredients that pack a whollop when it comes to vitamins, minerals and other nutritious ingredients, but rarely cost more than a few dollars to buy at the store. So the next time you’re looking to save while eating well, try out a few of these amazingly cheap and delicious recipes.


Start your day off on the right foot with these yummy budget meals.

  1. Cabbage, Chickpea, and Chorizo Soup: Soup may not be your usual go-to for breakfast, but this one will help get you up and provide energy throughout the day– all at a budget price!
  2. Quick Breakfast Taco: Simple scrambled eggs, salsa and cheese make up this hearty breakfast.
  3. Whole Wheat Waffles: Served with fresh fruit, these whole wheat waffles turn a sugary dish into a healthy one and for about the same price to boot.
  4. Egg and Salmon Sandwich: While the salmon in this recipe might cost you a bit, it’s well worth it to get the nutrients and energy it will give you throughout the day.
  5. Classic Bran Muffins: Check out this recipe for this classic morning treat.
  6. Banana Oat Bran Muffins: Spice up your bran muffins with a little banana, a cheap but tasty addition.
  7. Almond Joy Oatmeal: Oatmeal is one of the cheapest and most nutritious things you can buy, so use this recipe to make the most of your morning meal.
  8. Fruity Couscous: Never had couscous for breakfast? This recipe may inspire you to try it out.
  9. Baked Oats: Try out this alternative to regular old oatmeal.
  10. Citrus Berry Smoothie: With some cheap frozen fruit as the base, this smoothie is a tasty and inexpensive way to start the day.
  11. Six Grain Crockpot Breakfast: Fire up that crockpot and head to the bulk section to pick up these incredibly healthy and budget-conscious grains.


Cut back on spending by bringing one of these great recipes with you to work.

  1. Golden Delight Egg Salad: This adaptation of a lunchtime classic will save you money and have you eating well.
  2. California Veggie Wrap: Cut out the meat in your lunch and still enjoy a nutritious meal by using this recipe for a great veggie wrap.
  3. Turkey Sloppy Joes: Made ahead at home, this recipe is a healthy way to enjoy a classic, and it won’t cost you a pretty penny.
  4. Cuban Turkey Sandwiches: By using turkey, this recipe gets a healthy upgrade – and doesn’t sacrifice on taste, either.
  5. Lunch Box Taco Salad: Enjoy an inexpensive and delicious lunch made from scratch with this recipe for a Mexican favorite.
  6. Tuscan-Style Tuna Salad: Forget the boring tuna salad and try this recipe instead. The addition of white beans and cherry tomatoes won’t cost you much, but offers a whole lot of taste.
  7. Tijuana Torta: Why go out for lunch when you can make this delicious and healthy sandwich at home?
  8. Salmon Salad Bento Lunch: Using canned salmon helps reduce the cost of this meal, but doesn’t hurt it in terms of taste.
  9. BBQ Chicken Sandwich: Got some leftover chicken? Mix it up with carrots and BBQ sauce and you’ve got a whole new tasty meal on your hands.
  10. Chicken Curry Salad: If BBQ isn’t your thing, you can use that leftover chicken to make a healthy and delicious chicken curry salad instead.
  11. Chicken, Artichoke and Rice Salad: Made in season, few ingredients in this dish will be expensive, letting you enjoy a healthy lunch for less.


If you get hungry in between meals, try out one of these low cost snacks.

  1. White Bean Spread with Garlic and Rosemary: Get all the nutrients garlic and beans have to offer – and all the taste as well – when you cook up this spread.
  2. Cumin Curried Hummus: You’ll never want to go back to plain old hummus after trying out this recipe.
  3. Avocado Corn Salsa: In the summertime, this recipe can be a cheap and delicious way to enjoy the flavors of the season. In the winter months, consider frozen corn instead of fresh.
  4. Roasted Eggplant Spread: Inexpensive and flavorful, eggplants are an often overlooked grocery store treat that come alive in this recipe.
  5. Mango Salsa: Whether for chips or as a relish for a main dish, this simple recipe provides a lot of taste for not a lot of money.
  6. Kale Chips: This recipe will help you turn those tasty greens into a healthy and delicious snack.
  7. Applesauce: Why get store bought applesauce when you can make your own and control everything that goes into it? This recipe will show you how.
  8. Easy Granola Bars: Buy grains in bulk and use them to make these treats at home instead of buying them pre-made.
  9. Roasted Pumpkin Seeds: In the fall, this pumpkin seed recipe is the perfect way to celebrate the season.
  10. No Bake Bumpy Peanut Butter Nuggets: Get the protein you need by cooking up these nut-filled treats for a snack.

Low Cost Classics

Just because you’re trying to save money doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some tasty comforting and familiar foods. Try out these recipes for familiar favorites that won’t break the bank.

  1. Pasta Sauce with Spaghetti: This recipe will teach you how to make a cheap and healthy sauce you can put over your favorite type of pasta.
  2. Easy Black Beans and Rice: Black beans and rice are a great way to make a meal go far on a budget, and with this recipe you’ll get loads of flavor as well.
  3. Turkey Cabbage Rolls: A Hungarian and German classic, this recipe won’t cost much to mak, but is sure to fill you up right.
  4. Baked Ziti: Enjoy this hearty classic for less using this recipe.
  5. Black Bean Burrito Bake: If you’re looking for a cheap Mexican-inspired entree, this dish could fit the bill.
  6. Chicken Fried Rice: There’s no need for takeout when you can make seriously awesome fried rice at home for cheap using this recipe.
  7. Stuffed Peppers with Black Beans and Corn: This recipe offers up a whole lot of taste and plenty of vitamins as well, so you get the best of both worlds.
  8. Light Macaroni and Cheese: Who says comfort food has to be bad for you? This recipe lets you made a wallet-friendly mac and cheese that’s also much healthier than its traditional cousin.
  9. Pizza Margherita: Use inexpensive store bought whole wheat dough to throw together this cheap and healthy meal in minutes.
  10. All-American Meatloaf: This recipe will let you see a healthier and veggie-filled take on this American classic.

Soups and Chilis

Soups make numerous servings, so they’re a great way to eat well on a budget. These recipes will not only fill you up, but are good for you as well.

  1. Turkey Chili Recipe: Using turkey gives this recipe some extra health for not a lot of money.
  2. Black Bean Soup: Black beans are extremely inexpensive but, as this recipe shows, can still offer up some tasty meals.
  3. Chicken Noodle Soup: Whether you have a cold or just want to enjoy a childhood favorite, this recipe will help you make some great chicken noodle soup.
  4. Garbanzo Tomato Pasta Soup: Try out a new bean in your soups with this recipe for a garbanzo bean variety that’s sure to please.
  5. Tomato-Rice Soup with Roasted Garlic and Navy Beans: All the ingredients in this soup can be had for pretty cheap, but that doesn’t mean it skimps on flavor.
  6. Roasted Garlic-Onion Soup: If you don’t mind having bad breath, this soup can be a cheap and delicious way to enjoy a meal.
  7. Winter Vegetable Chili: Stock up on cheap and delicious winter veggies to make this soup.
  8. Rustic Cabbage Soup: Cabbage is a classic food to eat in hard times, and for good reason. As this recipe shows, it’s not only cheap but makes a great soup to boot.
  9. Leek and Potato Soup: This soup packs a lot of flavor into just a few inexpensive ingredients.
  10. Bacon, Black Bean and Corn Chowder: The addition of a slightly more expensive ingredient, bacon, makes all the difference in this chowder recipe.


Try out a few of these delicious main courses for food that impresses for less.

  1. Spanish Baked Fish: Using an inexpensive fish like perch lets you enjoy a dinner that feels fancy without the high price tag. Plus, it’s just plain good for you.
  2. Linguine with Garlic and Olive Oil: Enjoy this simple but flavorful taste on an Italian classic by putting this recipe to the test.
  3. Goat Cheese and Arugula Pizza: This recipe shows that even a fancy-sounding recipe like this doesn’t have to cost much to make.
  4. Bean and Kale Ragu: Beans and kale are ingredients that are both cheap and nutritious, and when combined in this recipe they’re pretty darn delicious too.
  5. Grilled Flank Steak with Tomato Relish: Who says you can’t eat steak on a budget? This inexpensive cut offers up a way to make an impressive dinner at fast food costs.
  6. Penne Pasta with Peas and Prosciutto: The few thin slices of prosciutto help turn this recipe from run-of-the-mill into amazing.
  7. Sweet & Sour Chicken with Brown Rice: Make this Chinese classic at home for a tasty meal that will feed your whole family.
  8. Sauteed Chicken with Asparagus and Mushrooms: Try out this healthy dish for a main course– it looks fancy but won’t cost you a pretty penny to make.
  9. Lime-Honey Glazed Chicken: Spice up your chicken by using this great recipe.
  10. Beef Pot Roast: This recipe will teach you how to make this American classic in a budget-friendly way.
  11. Stir-Fried Pork and Vegetables with Rice Recipe: This recipe is low cal without sacrificing taste or loading up on fancy, expensive ingredients.


You don’t have to be a vegetarian to appreciate one of the benefits of eating less meat– saving money.

  1. Vegetarian Refried Beans: By using this recipe, you’ll be able to make a healthier version of these beans that will fill you up.
  2. Pasta e Fagioli: Tomatoes and beans make up the healthiest and most delicious part of this pasta dish.
  3. Black Bean And Tomato Quinoa: Quinoa doesn’t get the attention it should as a cheap and healthy superfood. Learn to make it right using this recipe.
  4. Grilled Portobello and Arugula Burgers: Enjoy a delicious burger, without the meat of course, on a budget with the help of this recipe.
  5. Bok Choy with Sesame and Garlic Tofu: This stir-fry recipe is incredibly healthful and can be made for only a few dollars.
  6. Balsamic-Glazed Chickpeas and Mustard Greens: Neither chickpeas or mustard greens will cost you much, but they will offer up some great flavors when combined in this dish.
  7. Falafel with Tahini Sauce: You won’t want to get take-out falafel anymore after this recipe teaches you to make the Middle Eastern dish at home.
  8. Lemon Risotto with Asparagus: Impress your friends with this healthy, veggie-filled and inexpensive meal.
  9. Butternut Squash Risotto: If asparagus isn’t your favorite, consider a squash risotto instead. When in season, these are a flavorful and nutritious way to make a meal.
  10. Vegetable Lo Mein: This recipes shows you a cheap and relatively healthy way to enjoy this classic food.
  11. Tofu Banh Mi: Cook up some of these Vietnamese sandwiches in your own kitchen using this recipe.

Side Dishes

These sides will complement your main course and help you stay on track with a budget.

  1. Crockpot Beans and Rice: This recipe will let you cook up a big batch of beans and rice that you can serve with a wide variety of main courses.
  2. Curried Rice: Rice is cheap, but can be bland on its own, so give yours a little flavor by using this recipe.
  3. Garlic Tomato Couscous: Used canned tomatoes to cut costs when making this flavorful dish.
  4. Swiss Chard with Tomatoes and Chickpeas: Packed with nutrition, chickpeas and Swiss chard combine to form a perfectly delicious and nutritious side dish.
  5. Spicy Sweet Potato Fries: As a side to a meal or just on their own, these sweet potato fries are a healthy alternative to their regular potato cousins.
  6. Roasted Beets and Sauteed Beet Greens: Use up the whole beet to make this great recipe.
  7. Slow-Braised Collard Greens: This recipe for greens will teach you to love these nutrient-rich leaves.
  8. Bulgar and Spinach Pilaf: Give your grains some tasty and inexpensive flavor by using this recipe.
  9. Bean & Tomato Salad with Honey Vinaigrette: Try out this recipe for a great way to enjoy summery flavors all year long.
  10. Country Potato Salad: Need to bring something to a backyard BBQ? This recipe will let you do so without spending a fortune.

Baked Goods and Desserts

If you’re looking to indulge, these recipes offer up sweets and treats that are cheap to make and actually contain some good stuff as well.

  1. Rice Pudding: With just milk, water and rice, along with a few spices, at the center of this recipe for only a few bucks you can enjoy a pretty yummy dessert.
  2. Oatmeal Cookies: As cookies go, the oatmeal variety is one of the healthier choices. If you feel the need for a little something sweet, try out this recipe.
  3. Black Bean Brownies: Cut out some of the calories and the cost of making brownies by using this recipe.
  4. Crunchy Pecan Cookies: These cookies offer up a lot of taste for not a lot of money.
  5. Addictive Pumpkin Muffins: Enjoy delicious fall flavors in these healthy muffins, great for breakfast or a snack.
  6. Light Banana Bread: This lighter version of banana bread can help you make use of those bananas without all the extra calories.
  7. Blueberry Tart with Walnut Crust: While it might not be the best choice for your health, as desserts go this one does offer some protein, antioxidants and other vitamins that put it ahead of the rest. Better yet, it’s inexpensive to make.
  8. Banana Bars: Use those cheap bananas to make a tasty treat by using this recipe.
  9. Super Carrot Muffins: These muffins are not only a bargain, but also provide you with some great nutrients.
  10. Cheddar Cornmeal Biscuits with Chives: Add these biscuits onto a meal or eat them alone. Either way they’ll sate your appetite without hurting the bottom line.


Getting kids to eat what they should can sometimes be an uphill battle. These healthy recipes are sure to be a hit and they won’t cost you a fortune.

  1. Baked Chicken Nuggets: Few kids can resist the allure of chicken nuggets and this recipe will let you make a healthier version at home for less.
  2. Pizza Roll-Up: Make lunch fun for kids with these healthy and cheap roll-ups.
  3. Loaded Twice-Baked Potatoes: Potatoes are filling, but also offer up some great nutrition as well. This recipe will turn a regular old potato into something kids will be begging to eat every day.
  4. Hamburger Buddy: Try out this healthier version of Hamburger Helper for a great, kid-friendly meal that wont’ break the bank.
  5. Almond Crusted Chicken Fingers: Get a little more health out of those chicken fingers your kids love with this nutty recipe.
  6. Old-Fashioned Spaghetti & Meatballs: Few meals go as far as good old-fashioned spaghetti and meatballs. This recipe offers up one way to concoct this classic that is budget-friendly.

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