back to top

15 Easy And Healthy Meals For When You're Completely Broke

Just because it's the end of the month, doesn't mean you have to head to Maccy D's.

Posted on

1. Make a boatload of vegetarian chili.

Beans + tomatoes + whatever vegetables are about to go off in the bottom of your fridge = a wonderful, possibly delicious concoction you can stretch over several meals. Lovely Jamie Oliver has a recipe you could attempt, or just experiment with whatever you have knocking about. Make sure you're buying your vegetables from the cheapest place in your neighbourhood – try smaller markets rather than big shops which individually wrap their produce.

2. Make an enormous vat of lentil soup.

Lovely, voluminous lentils are your friend when you're hungry and in hard times. Find a recipe here.

3. Experience the budget-friendly wonder of barley risotto.

Here's a recipe for a version with chorizo and rosemary that quite frankly you should try even if you're rich. And the nice thing about rosemary is that it's likely to be readily available in your neighbour's front garden.


4. Cook an actual mountain of couscous.

Learn the basics here, add whatever vegetables are cheapest, then go forth and conquer your mountain with your mouth.

5. Dive into an ocean of carrot soup.

You'll need an immersion blender for this one – maybe you're broke because you just bought an immersion blender – but once you have that, you don't need much more than lovely, super-cheap carrots and maybe some bread on the side. Find a recipe here.

6. Fill up on an omelette.

Eggs are basically free. If you know a chicken, they are actually free. So if you don't already know how to make a cheap and filling omelette, learn how.


8. Stuff a baked potato with some vegetables.

Jacket potatoes are wonderfully cheap, but how can you make them healthier? Try this recipe with broccoli and kale.

9. Make all of the macaroni.

Ok, this is not strictly healthy, but our main aim here is getting enough of those sweet, sweet calories to make it to pay day. Find a basic recipe here, and bake in some broccoli or serve with a side salad if you're feeling virtuous. Or bacon, if you're not.

10. Fill your poor, hungry body with tuna pasta salad.

All you need is pasta, cucumber, mayonnaise, a tin of tuna, and a tin of sweetcorn. You probably already have these things in the cupboard. Now you only need to put them together. Find out how here.

11. Cook a cheap vegetarian curry and imagine that you can afford restaurants.

Have you checked what's lurking in the bottom of your freezer? Because this recipe uses frozen vegetables.


12. Add salad-y things to your usual ramen to make yourself seem less desperate.

Ramen noodles don't have to be unhealthy and soul-crushing every time. Add some vegetables to your normal ramen fare, or get fancy and make a crunchy ramen salad with cabbage, almonds, and sunflower seeds.

13. Roast a magnificent tray of vegetables.

It couldn't be easier to roast vegetables, and you get a ton of food for not much money. Add your delicious roasted creations to whatever pasta you can steal from your roommate with their noticing.

14. Stick cut-up sausages and vegetables on a skewer and call it a kebab.

Here's some instructions that have literally been written for children. You really can't go wrong.

15. Soak up the delicious, life-giving protein of a chicken casserole.

If you're desperately missing meat, a chicken and chick pea casserole won't break the bank. Never made a casserole before? Here's a recipe.

A previous version of this post incorrectly referred to lentils as a grain. An astute commenter pointed out that lentils are, of course, a legume rather than a grain. BuzzFeed regrets the error.