Family Meals for $5

Alicia W
by Alicia W
4 servings
35 min

Whether you're looking to save some money or struggling to make ends meet, an inexpensive meal sounds like a great way to stretch your hard-earned dollars.

Here are four super easy, super delicious budget friendly meals for less than $1.50 per person*.

These fish tacos are filled with fresh ingredients that you may already have on hand.

This meal cost me $1.49 per person.

The most expensive ingredient for this recipe was the tilapia; however, if you can find it on sale or buy a less expensive mild white fish, that would save even more money.

This recipe is a copy cat lettuce wrap from a well know chain restaurant but tastes way better because you made it.

This meal cost me $1.20 per person.

Ground chicken, at $3.99 per pound, was the most expensive ingredient; water chestnuts were $1.50 but I had everything else on hand.

This rich tortellini with Alfredo sauce and peas is sure to fill all those hungry bellies.

This meal cost me $1.12 per person

The fresh tortellini was $3.99 and the alfredo sauce was on sale for $0.99. We always have peas in the freezer.

Guess what? A baked potato can be a meal! Add some fresh toppings, you've got a great dinner that everyone will love.

This meal cost me $1.16 with bacon or $0.66 without bacon.

Potatoes were $0.43 each and the crown of broccoli was $0.94. We already had shredded cheese and butter. The most expensive item was the prepackaged bacon pieces but you could make you're own bacon or skip it.

Recipe details
  • 4  servings
  • Prep time: 15 Minutes Cook time: 20 Minutes Total time: 35 min
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Fish Tacos
  • Fish Seasoning:
  • 1 pound tilapia or white fish of your choice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp Butter
  • Fish Taco Toppings:
  • 1/2 small purple cabbage
  • 2 medium avocado, sliced
  • 2 cups picot
  • 1 cup Cotija cheese, grated
  • 1 lime cut into 8 wedges to serve
  • Fish Taco Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice from 1 medium lime
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Sriracha sauce, or to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 12 white corn tortillas
Lettuce Wraps
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha, optional
  • 1 (8-ounce) can whole water chestnuts, drained and diced
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 head lettuce
Alfredo Tortellini with Peas
  • 9 oz package of tortellini
  • 15 oz jar Alfredo sauce
  • 16 oz bag of frozen peas
Baked Potatoes
  • 2-4 Russet potatoes
  • 1 crown of broccoli
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • sour cream or Ranch dressing
  • bacon pieces - optional
Fish Tacos
Preheat oven at 375 degrees
Line large baking sheet with parchment
In a small dish, combine seasonings
Sprinkle seasoning mix over both sides of tilapia
Lightly drizzle fish with olive oil and dot each piece with butter.
Bake for 20-25 min. To brown edges, broil for 3-5 minutes at the end if desired.
Combine all taco sauce ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk until well blended.
To serve the tacos, toast quickly toast the corn tortillas on a large dry skillet or griddle over medium/high heat.
Assemble and enjoy!
Lettuce Wraps
Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium high heat.
Add ground chicken and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the chicken as it cooks; drain excess fat.
Stir in garlic, onion, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ginger and Sriracha until onions have become translucent, about 1-2 minutes.
Stir in chestnuts and green onions until tender, about 1-2 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
To serve, spoon several tablespoons of the chicken mixture into the center of a lettuce leaf, taco-style.
Alfredo Tortellini with Peas
Make tortellini according to package
Drain tortellini and place back into pan
Add alfredo sauce and peas to pan with tortellini
Heat thoroughly and enjoy
Baked Potatoes
Wash and dry potatoes
With a fork, poke holes into the potatoes
Wrap potatoes in plastic wrap
Microwave 5-6 minutes per potato
Chop broccoli crown, place in a bowl and microwave 2-3 minutes
Carefully unwrap potatoes (they will be hot)
Cut the top of the potato then squeeze the sides of the potato to open it
Add toppings and enjoy
  • *prices for items will vary from state to state, store to store
Alicia W
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