Meals for Cheap

Scrambled eggs and bread

Putting together meals that are both healthy and tasty can seem like an impossible task during a busy day. But creating low-cost recipes for you and your family can be fun and go smoothly if planned ahead of time.

The following recipes should not cost you much  per meal and should be adaptable to different tastes and different schedules. Here’s to ending the endless game of trying to figure out what’s for dinner every day.

If you are eligible for SNAP/FNS benefits in the state of North Carolina, you can also use your EBT card every month to buy the ingredients for the recipes below. The More In My Basket staff can assist you with eligibility screenings and application assistance through our contact page.

Breakfast: Tomato Scrambled Eggs

Serves 2


  • ½ tablespoon butter
  • 4 small or 2 large, chopped fresh tomatoes (or 2 cups chopped canned tomatoes)
  • 4 eggs
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  • Adding chopped fresh basil or other herbs


  1. Melt the butter in a nonstick pan over medium heat
  2. Add tomatoes and cook until it releases juice
  3. Crack the eggs into a bowl and add salt and pepper to taste
  4. Beat the eggs lightly with a fork
  5. Turn the head down to low and add the eggs to the pan
  6. Using a spatula, gently mix the eggs with the tomatoes and stir carefully
  7. Turn off the heat and add any chopped herbs once eggs are cooked to your desired consistency
  8. Serve the eggs on, in, or alongside toast or tortillas.
  9. Enjoy!

Lunch: Broccoli Apple Salad

Serves 4 as a side


  • 1 large crown and stem of broccoli
  • 2 apples


  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Slice the stem of the broccoli into 1/8-inch disks
  2. Set the broccoli in a bowl
  3. Halve and core the apples, then slice them into thin 1/8-inch pieces
  4. Dump the apples into the bowl with the broccoli
  5. Mix the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a smaller bowl
  6. Pour the dressing over the broccoli and apples and mix it
  7. Enjoy!

Snacks: Winter Squash Puree

Serves 4 as a side


  • 1 tablespoon butter, plus more for the pan
  • 1 butternut, kabocha, acorn, delicate, or other winter squash (except spaghetti squash)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  • Yogurt or sour cream
  • Brown sugar and cinnamon
  • Finely chopped chiles
  • Curry powder
  • Raisins
  • Sage


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Butter a baking sheet
  2. Slice the squash in half; scoop out the innards
  3. Set the halves face down on the sheet
  4. Bake in the oven for about 30 to 40 minutes
  5. Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat
  6. Add the garlic and sauté about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
  7. Scoop the squash into a large bowl with the garlic, butter, and any other additions
  8. Stir until smooth
  9. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed
  10. Enjoy!

Dinner: Teriyaki Carrots Hot Dog

Serves 1


  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 2 to 3 carrots, grated
  • 1 (or more) hot dog buns
  • 1 (or more) hot dogs


  1. Add the soy sauce, brown sugar, and garlic to a hot pan over medium heat
  2. Let it sizzle
  3. Once sugar is dissolved, add the carrots in
  4. Cook until the carrots absorb the sauce, about 2 minutes
  5. Add it on top of your hot dog
  6. Enjoy!

For questions about the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or to receive SNAP Application Assistance contact the More In My Basket staff:


English Toll Free: 1-855-240-1451

Spanish Toll Free: 1-888-382-7105

Information Accessed at: “Good and Cheap” (2015) by Leanne Brown

Photo by Gian Cescon on Unsplash