The trick to eating well without breaking the bank is to explore a variety of cuisines and to take advantages of sales when you see them! This mix of recipes, straight out of the Betty Crocker test kitchens, makes it easy to do both. And we’ve even included expert tips for upgrading your meal for when you feel like a simple splurge.
Dinners Under $10
Singapore Noodles with Chicken
Colorful, flavorful and ready in just 30 minutes, this family-sized serving of Singapore’s signature dish is even more delicious than the sum of its parts: rice noodles, a splash of soy sauce, a dash of curry powder, all the vegetables you can handle and everyone’s favorite protein, chicken.
Top with chopped fresh cilantro or stir in cooked shrimp for a few dollars more.
- 1 bunch cilantro, about $1.50
- ½ lb cooked shrimp, about $6.50
Easy General Tso’s Chicken
You’ll never guess the inexpensive secrets to making this the best General Tso’s chicken you’ve ever had. Spoiler alert: egg whites and cornstarch! Together they give chicken that restaurant-quality taste and texture everyone loves, all while saving you money on Chinese takeout.
Sprinkle with a handful of something crunchy for a little extra flair and flavor.
- 1 ounce sesame seeds, about 75¢
- ¼ cup chopped cashews, about $1.50
Impossibly Easy Maple Sausage Pie
Officially our best bargain of the new year, this crowd-pleaser serves six people for mere pennies. It’s the sort of dish you can pull together at the last minute with what you have on hand, and when it’s served you’ll be treated to a meal that tastes like a million bucks!
Round out the meal by topping each slice with a fried egg or serve with fresh fruit.
- 6 fried eggs, about $1.35
- 1 pound pre-cut deli fruit salad, about $6
Dinners Under $15
Oven Foil-Pack Honey Dijon Chicken and Sweet Potatoes
This all-in-one meal is what money-saving dreams are made of: low-cost ingredients that deliver big flavor, lightening-fast prep time and practically no clean up at all. And did we mention you can grill or oven-bake these packs? That makes this recipe a year-round dinner winner.
Brighten up your foil packs with fresh herbs or serve with a side salad.
- 1/10 bunch of fresh thyme, about 25¢
- 2.5 ounces salad greens, about $2
Steakhouse Burger Sloppy Joes
Never underestimate what a sprinkle of Montreal steak seasoning, thinly sliced mushrooms and cheddar cheese can do for a weeknight dinner. Here they add tons of flavor to ordinary sloppy joes for cents on the dollar. Even better, this recipe serves 8 people!
Up the flavor factor with fried onions or sub blue cheese for cheddar.
- 2 ounces blue cheese crumbles, about $4 more than cheddar cheese
- 2 ounces French-fried onions, about $1.15
Cheesy Chicken and Bacon No-Boil Pasta Bake
We’re not ones to pick favorites, but it’s hard to argue with the simple brilliance (and deliciousness!) of a cheap cheesy chicken casserole. And that it has a no-boil trick in the mix makes it all the more impressive.
Make it fancy with fresh herbs or swapping gruyere for the parmesan.
- ½ bunch fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley, about $1
- 2 ounces gruyere, about 25¢ more than parmesan cheese
Easy Chicken and Vegetable Tempura
Don’t fear deep-frying at home. It’s way easier than you think (promise!), with the help of a large Dutch oven. Plus, we’ll let you in on a little secret: this light and crunchy tempura turns every inexpensive ingredient into something really special.
Add spicy mayo for a creamy dipping option, and serve with rice for good measure.
- 2 cups rice, about $1
- 2 ounces spicy mayo, about $1.35