dirt cheap

Say goodbye to ramen noodles! Check out these flavorful dirt cheap recipes:

Dirt Cheap Breakfast Recipes

Breakfast is cheaper than lunch or dinner so I usually have one or two “breakfast for dinner” days during the week.

  1. Brown-Sugar Cinnamon Oatmeal
  2. Scrambled Eggs and Toast
  3. Baked Eggs in Tomato Cups
  4. Fried Egg Grilled Cheese Sandwich
  5. Roasted Apples
  6. Breakfast Sandwich
  7. Breakfast Burrito (filling ideas: scrambled egg, salsa, frozen breakfast sausage, black beans, cheese, diced potatoes). Burritos are very versatile; you can just add what you have / can afford.
  8. Potato and Egg Hash
  9. Omelets
  10. Biscuits (with Jam and Butter)
  11. French Toast
  12. Parfait – yogurt, fruit and oats or cereal
  13. Easy Three Ingredient Healthy Muffins with bananas, oats and milk
  14. Scrambled Egg Muffins
  15. Fried eggs and buttered toast – I add a dash of hot sauce to give the eggs a little kick
  16. Southwest Breakfast Scramble (eggs, salsa, cheese, and black beans)
  17. Crepes  – They are surprisingly easy and cheap to make. You just need flour, egg, milk and butter
  18. Cheesy Grits – You can add cheese or bacon bits for extra flavor, but you can make basic grits with just cornmeal, butter and milk
  19. Tomato Cheese Toast
  20. Breakfast Cookies – These cookies can be made with only bananas, oats and cinnamon
  21. Pancakes (Check out these 3 ingredient pancakes made with eggs, bananas and cinnamon)
  22. Fried Cornmeal Mush – tastes better than it sounds. You can serve with syrup, honey, powered sugar or jam
  23. Waffles – Here is a simple recipe for waffles – You probably have all the ingredients in your pantry. You can make waffles more filling by turning it into a PB&J waffle sandwich.
  24. Homemade Cereal Bars – This recipe is only 3 ingredients (oat cereal, peanut butter and honey). You can get bagged generic cereal at Dollar Tree.
  25. Cinnamon Roll Oatmeal – cinnamon, oats, milk, sugar
  26. Apple Toast – apples, bread, butter and cinnamon
  27. French Toast Sausage Roll-ups – You can get the breakfast heat-n-serve sausage links at ALDI for $1 a box
  28. Scrambled Egg and Cheese Bagel
  29. Sausage and Egg Breakfast Pizza
  30. Charred Tomatoes with Fried Eggs on Garlic Toast
  31. Frittias – you can fill them with anything you have on hand (eggs, potatoes, ham, onion, etc.)
  32. Hash Browns – Requires a little effort to make, but you only really need potatoes and oil or butter
  33. Make Your Own Yogurt – If you have the time, making your own yogurt is easy and only requires two ingredients (milk and active cultures). To make it even easier, you can use a crock pot to cook the yogurt (2 hours and 45 on high)

    Dirt Cheap Lunch Recipes

  34. PB & J Banana Sandwiches
  35. Fried Egg Grilled Cheese Sandwich
  36. Fried Bologna Sandwiches
  37. Banana and Peanut Butter Sandwiches. You can grill it too.
  38. Three-Ingredient Tomato Sandwich – tomato, mayo and bread
  39. Banana and Peanut Butter Quesadillas
  40. Apple and Peanut Butter Wrap
  41. Peanut Butter Banana + Honey Roll Ups
  42. Cucumber Sandwich
  43. Egg & Tomato Sandwich
  44. BLT (without the bacon or you can get turkey bacon at ALDI for $1.50, which is a lot cheaper than regular bacon. It’s a bit less flavorful, but still good in a BLT)
  45. Chicken Salad Sandwich
  46. Bagel, Cucumber, Chive and Onion Cream Cheese Sandwich. I tried this last week. It’s very good and filling.
  47. Leftover Stuffing Muffins – has stuffing, ham, spinach in it, but you can just put what you have into it.
  48. Tuna Salad Sandwiches
  49. Tuna Stuffed Pepper
  50. Chicken Lettuce Wrap
  51. Black Bean Burger
  52. Egg Salad Sandwiches
  53. Tuna Melts
  54. Sloppy Joes – sloppy joe sauce, ground beef and buns are all you need. I like to add dill pickle chips too.
  55. Soup and Saltine Crackers. Canned soups can be expensive. ALDI has good everyday prices on soups though. I wouldn’t pay over $1.25 per can because you can usually find them on sale for $1. Here are some cheap homemade soup options:
  56. Taco Lettuce Wrap

    Dirt Cheap Dinner Recipes

    For dinner, we are only having meat once or twice a week because meat is the most expensive part of the grocery bill. For the rest of the week, we are having meatless meals like bean burritos or vegetable stir fry. Sometimes we substitute tofu for meat because its cheaper. If we do buy meat, it’s chicken thighs, drumsticks or ground beef.

    Mexican Dinner Ideas
  57. Bean Burritos – You just need tortillas, can of refried beans, and salsa, You can also add in rice and cheese if you want to.
  58. Poor Man’s Burrito Bowl
  59. Black Bean and Corn Quesadillas – All you have to do is mix a can of black beans and corn, salsa and cheese together and  put in between two tortillas. This is one of my favorite recipes. We have it at least 3 times a month.
  60. Creamy Black Bean Taquitos
  61. Chicken Quesadillas – chicken, taco cheese, taco seasoning and tortillas is all you need. You can serve with sour cream or salsa
  62. Salsa Chicken
  63. One Pan Crack Bean Burritos
  64. Mexican Rice and Beans
  65. Yellow Rice and Beans with paprika chicken thighs or drumsticks
    Italian Dinner Ideas
  66. Spagetti with Garlic Bread
  67. Butter Noodles
  68. Stuffed Bell Peppers
  69. English Muffin Pizzas – This is a quick and easy dinner idea and you can serve with a basic salad.
  70. Texas Toast Pizza
  71. Classic Goulash
  72. 3-Ingredient Italian Chicken – pasta sauce, bell pepper and chicken
  73. Pasta with Olives and Tomatoes
  74. Garlic Chicken – cheap to make and delicious
  75. 3 Ingredient Pizza Crescents (with crescent rolls, pizza sauce and mozzarella cheese)
  76. Pizzadilla – Obviously, you don’t have to follow that exact recipe, just use what you have on hand. It could just be cheese, sauce and pepperonis
  77. Homemade Pizza – You can get pizza crust and sauce at Dollar Tree (for $1 each) or you can make homemade pizza dough with this recipe (no yeast required)
  78. Italian Mac and Cheese – just need cheese, oil, garlic and egg.
    American Dinner Ideas
  79. Chili Cheese Hot Dog Bake –  canned chili, hot dogs, cheese and crescent rolls
  80. Broccoli and Cheese Potatoes with a side salad
  81. Chili Cheese Potatoes with a side salad
  82. Chili Dog Tater Tot Casserole – frozen tater tots, canned chili and cheese
  83. Beans ‘N Franks
  84. BBQ Chicken Thighs or Drumsticks with baked beans
  85. Cheesy Chili Spagetti – canned chill, elbow noodles and cheese. You could also make your own chili with beans, tomato sauce and diced tomato.
  86. Tuna or Salmon Patties -You don’t have to use breadcrumbs. You could use crushed saltine crackers instead — that’s how my grandmother makes it. Also, you don’t need the parmesan cheese. Just canned tuna, crushed crackers, onion and seasonings will be just as good.
  87. Skillet Turkey Kielbasa ($1.50 at ALDI) with potatoes and peppers.
  88. Ham and White Beans with cornbread
  89. Tuna Casserole -canned tuna, noodles, veggies and cream of chicken soup. You could also add cheese or crushed potato chips on top, but that’s optional.
  90. Butter Chicken – chicken, egg, butter and buttery round crackers. This is a very delicious recipe!
  91. Chicken, Broccoli and Cheesy Rice Casserole – This recipe uses canned chicken. You could use shredded cheese instead of Velveeta. It’s healthier and cheaper.
  92. Mac and Cheese – noodles, cheese and milk is all you need! I like to add spam, bacon or broccoli for extra flavor.
  93. Black Beans and Rice
  94. Chili – ground beef, chili seasoning, chili beans with chili sauce, tomato sauce, garlic and onion powder. We like to cook it in the slow cooker and top with taco cheese or chili cheese corn chips (the ones from Save-A-Lot are the best).
  95. Chicken Parmesan – We buy this $3 bag of chicken patties (Walmart brand) and top with pasta sauce and mozzarella and serve with noodles. It’s quick, tasty and lasts at least a couple of days. I call it the poor man’s version of chicken parmesan!
  96. Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings – chicken, biscuits, onion and cream of chicken is all you need. You can add some frozen or canned veggies to it as well.
  97. Chicken Pot Pie – chicken, pie crust, cream of chicken and veggies
  98. Tater Tot Bake – tater tots, ground beef, onion and cheese
  99. Shepard’s Pie – We just use  3/4lb -1lb ground beef, brown gravy, 2 cans of veggies and 2 cups of mashed potatoes. You can top with cheese (optional). It always lasts us at least 2-3 dinners. It’s a good way to stretch your meat further.
    Asian Dinner Ideas
  100. Egg Fried Rice – vegetables, rice, eggs, soy sauce, and sesame oil
  101. Thai Peanut Noodles – peanut butter, ramen noodles or thin spaghetti, soy sauce, and sriracha (if you like it hot). This is surprisingly good. I was hesitant to put peanut butter in noodles, but it’s actually pretty tasty especially with the sriracha
  102. Vegetable Stir Fry or Vegetable Lo Mein – mixed frozen or canned asian vegetables, noodles and soy sauce and/or stir fry sauce.


  103. Oven Fries – you just need potatoes, oil and seasoning to make your own french fries!
  104. Skillet Green Beans – frozen or canned green beans + soy sauce + sesame oil
  105. Pan Roasted Corn – frozen or canned corn, seasonings, oil
  106. Easy Roasted Carrots
  107. Pinto Beans
  108. Potato Pancakes
  109. Cornbread
  110. Roasted Cabbage Slices
  111. Sweet Potato Fries
  112. Garlic Green Beans – you can omit the parmesan cheese if you want. It tastes just as good without it.
  113. Buttery Cooked Carrots
  114. Homemade French Bread
  115. Corn on the Cob
  116. Sautéed Apples
  117. Roasted New Potatoes
  118. Seasoned Rice


  119. Flavored Popcorn
  120. Pan Fried Cinnamon Bananas
  121. Baked Cinnamon Banana Chips
  122. 3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Oat Squares
  123. Homemade Baked Tortilla Chips – all you need is tortillas, oil and salt!
  124. Vienna Sausages and Saltine Crackers
  125. 2-Ingredient Banana and Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Bites
  126. Tuna or Chicken Salad on Crackers
  127. Homemade Protein Bar
  128. Healthy Three-Ingredient Rice Krispie Treats
  129. Peanuts
  130. Homemade Potato Chips
  131. Homemade Cottage Cheese
  132. 3 Ingredient Banana Smoothie
  133. Homemade Applesauce
  134. Celery or Carrots and Ranch Dressing
  135. Homemade Yogurt
  136. Apple Nachos with Peanut Butter and Chocolate
  137. Homemade Hummus and Vegetables
  138. Homemade 3 Ingredient Guacamole and Chips
  139. Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars – oats, PB&J, sugar, egg, butter
  140. Sweet and Salty Saltines


  141. 3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies
  142. Bread Pudding – This recipe only has basic ingredients like milk, sugar, cinnamon, and eggs. Great dessert to make for super cheap bread from bread outlets
  143. Apple Crisp
  144. Banana Bread
  145. Vanilla Pudding
  146. Sugar Cookies
  147. Classic Peanut Butter Cookies
  148. Peach Cobbler
  149. Oatmeal Muffins
  150. 3 Ingredient Butter Cookies – butter, sugar and flour
  151. Brownies (homemade version with cocoa)
  152. Creamy Rice Pudding
  153. Peanut Butter Fudge
Do you have a dirt cheap recipe that you would like to share? Please let me know in the comments!