There comes a time in everybody’s life when you just don’t have enough money to get super healthy foods and eat well, be it in college or right after, when you didn’t get the job you’ve dreamed about or ended up being an intern. We’ve all eaten the frozen TV dinners that if eaten with your eyes closed, you wouldn’t know what they were. We’ve got some really cheap meal ideas for those who can’t afford steaks, lobsters and fresh fruit and vegetables. Just make sure you don’t eat these foods for too long… they will take a toll on your health.

10. Spaghetti


Spaghetti’s not expensive and all you need to do is throw them in a pot of boiling water with a bit of salt and let them simmer. In the meantime, get whatever sauce or vegetables you may have in your fridge and whip up a sauce. If you’ve got an onion and some tomato sauce, then you’ll really make something delicious. Just be careful with the salt, you wouldn’t want to stress out your heart too much.

9. Canned Food

canned food

Don’t let it fool you, canned food can be expensive, when all you’ve got is a food ticket or a couple of bucks, but if you look long and hard in the store, you will find those extremely cheap cans of food. They’re not as good as the more expensive ones, but they’ll put food in your belly and that’s what food is primarily supposed to do.

8. Potato and Tortilla Chips

tortilla chips

One bag of those has enough salt to put an entire retirement home in the hospital… but they’re really tasty and filling. Actually, they’re not as filling, you just get so sick from them that you don’t feel like eating anymore, for a really long period of time. If you can make some dips for the chips, then you’ve really got something good going on.

7. Fridge Salad

whatever salad

Fridge salad is a specialty that anyone can whip up in a matter of minutes with pretty much anything and everything they have in their fridge. Whatever you find in there, use it. Chances are it will be edible and if it is not, then you at least gave your best.

6. Anything with Ketchup


Another of those cheap meal ideas includes anything with ketchup. Once, when I was in college, I was so broke and hungry that I ate some old bread fried with a lighter dipped in ketchup. It was the best thing (and the only thing) I had tasted that week and I will never forget that taste. I wish I could forget it, though.

5. Colored Cheese

cheap cheese

Have you noticed that the cheapest cheese is also the most colored? It’s because it’s not really cheese, it’s just some cheese dust, vegetable oils and food additives. Only if you’re dirt poor, do we recommend you buy this, because it will rot your insides. Kidding, but do watch out for any side effects.

4. Hotdogs


Hotdogs are very cheap food. It’s meat (or so they claim) and it’s got all the nutritious protein and vitamins you find in meat. We’re just kidding, hotdogs have nothing of the sort, it’s just a bit of meat, some chemicals and pig’s feet made to taste good. We really don’t recommend them.

3. Frozen Pizza

frozen pizza

Frozen pizza is cheap and pretty filling and some brands can even be delicious, but no matter how delicious and great the pizza is, you’re still eating frozen pizza, which is pretty damn low. But you know what they’re saying: pizza is just like sex, even when it’s bad, it’s still pretty good!

2. Potatoes

fried potatoes

Potatoes are the most versatile vegetable in the world and when you’re poor, that means a lot. You can boil them with some salt and pepper and then mash them and you get a wonderful side dish which you can enjoy with a nothingness steak or you can get a big bottle of vegetable oil and fry that stuff up until the cows come home. You’ll get all the fattening calories your body needs, without any of the vitamins and minerals!

1. Ramen


Ramen, or the student’s best friend, is something that should be in every kitchen. One day, you’re just not in the mood to do any cooking, throw some boiled ramen in a pan and some vegetables and you’re good to go. Or make soup – the kind with all the salt in the world. These noodles will save you from dying of hunger and that’s about it.

What is your favorite cheap meal? Do you have anything special that you do when you don’t have enough money to eat decent food? Are you going to try any of our cheap meal ideas? Tell us your thoughts in the comment section below.