Cheap Dinner Ideas Under $15

Hearty, great-tasting meals do not have to break the bank. It is entirely possible to be frugal and enjoy delicious food. Here are a few cheap dinner ideas that cost less than fifteen dollars:

Chicken-based Meals

Even in the most expensive market, a boneless chicken breast costs less than five dollars with bone-in breasts being much cheaper. By using chicken as a base, you can make several quality dinners that will not strain your budget. Here are a few examples:

Chicken Tacos

The cost of ingredients for this recipe at their lowest price brings in about $14.28 in most markets. This makes twelve delicious tacos for under fifteen bucks.

Chicken Tenders

With a food processor and some bread, you can make your own chicken tenders. One example through MyRecipes rings up at a little over one dollar per serving. You can also adjust sides and seasonings without changing the cost too much to pinpoint your ideal flavor.

Chicken Salad

Salad dressing would be the most expensive part of this meal. Most vegetables you would use in a salad (tomatoes, avocado, onion, lettuce) are at their cheapest bought fresh while in-season. You may have to put in a little work cutting things up or cooking them, but even a large chicken salad can become an affordable dinner. A good tip for chicken salad: some grocery stores put their rotisserie chickens on sale towards the end of the day if they cook them fresh in-store. Stopping by after work could get you a quality rotisserie at a fraction of the usual price.

There are also recipes under fifteen dollars for chicken piccata, chicken stew, and rosemary chicken. Chicken is one of the most affordable and adaptable foods available. Anyone looking to save money on dinner should make chicken a staple in their meal plans.

Crock Pot Dinner Recipes

Crock pots are convenient and can be cost-effective with the right approach. With a crock pot, you can make any number of stews, roasts, and soups without having to slave over ovens or stovetops. However, performing a bit of meal prep by handling fresh ingredients yourself could save you money.  Here are a few examples of cost-conscious recipes by Living On a Dime.

Baked Potatoes

Baked potatoes can be served plain, or used for a variety of creative recipes for cheap. A five-pound bag of Russet potatoes is about $2.55, with sweet potatoes being a little over double that amount. With that small investment, you could make cheese and bacon-topped potatoes, twice-baked potatoes, or other wild recipes limited only by imagination and price. While potatoes wouldn’t usually stand on their own as a meal, the right recipe can result in a great dinner at a bargain.

Dinner can be exciting even if you are trying to save money. Don’t be afraid to spice it up in the kitchen with these delicious low-cost recipes. Feel free to check out this list by Delish for more examples of affordable dinner plans.

Looking for healthy dinner recipes? Consider this article on nutritious meals that fill you up, and are great for your health.

Tired of filling up your sink with cookware? Here’s a great list of “one-pot” recipes that won’t clutter your kitchen with dirty pans after you finish.


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