3 Healthy Budget Recipes

I'm showing you how to make breakfast, lunch, and dinner on a food stamp budget. Is it possible to make healthy meals for only $1.40 per meal!?

This recipe is with main ingredient ,
taco salad

I wanted to see if I could make 3 healthy meals on a very limited budget. The average food stamp benefit per person is $126 per month, which comes out to $1.40 per meal. So that begs the question,is it possible to not only eat healthy, but buy good quality ingredients like grass-fed beef and organic cheese using a very limited budget!?

I decided to head to ALDI and buy the ingredients needed to make a healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I knew I had to cut some corners hear and there, but I did not want to sacrifice to the quality of ingredients that I normally buy. That meant if I bought beef, I wanted it to buy the organic 100%grass-fed beef from ALDI, which is the best price ever at $5.29 per pound. They also have organic sliced cheese, which I feel is so superior to conventional dairy, that it was worth the added expense.

I am pretty happy to sat that I came in under budget for breakfast and dinner, but a bit over budget for lunch. Below is a breakdown of each recipe, how to make it,and my thought process about buying budget ingredients.

frittata recipe
Cheeseburger frittata recipe

How To Make Breakfast On A Budget

For a budget breakfast I made a cheeseburger frittata with organic grass-fed beef, organic cheddar cheese, and conventional eggs. I am very big on buying grass-fed beef, the nutritional profile is far superior to conventional beef, and I really try to avoid eating protein that has been fed GMO grains.

Organic dairy is far superior to conventional, and the organic cheddar is not that much more at ALDI, so I scooped it. When it came to eggs, I opted for conventional eggs over organic. I only like to splurge on pasture raised eggs, and since ALDI did not carry that, I felt it was not worth the money to buy organic, so I saved big money on the conventional eggs.

The cheeseburger frittata is really easy to make, just preheat your oven to 400F along with a non-stick 8 inch pan. First brown off 5 ounces of the grass-fed beef until it’s nice and crusty, and then whisk in 8 eggs. Once the egg are half set, lay down 3 slices of cheese and pop it in the oven for 8 minutes. Remove and serve.

Now on to the cost! This cheeseburger frittata makes 3 servings and comes in at only $1.08 per serving. The food stamp budget allows for $1.40 per meal, so major score with this breakfast recipe.

Healthy Lunch Recipes On A Budget

For lunch I made a taco salad with seasoned tortilla chips. This was the most expensive meal I made, but so tasty. I opted for bagged spinach fort e greens, as they are very nutrient dense and only costs $1.39. I used the rest of the grass-fed beef along with some organic tortilla chips and an easy dressing made from mayonnaise.

To make the taco salad, cook 1 cup of onions in a non-stick pan for 8 minutes until slightly caramelized. Add the remaining 11 ounces of grass-fed beef and cook for a couple minute then add some taco seasoning mix. Normally I make my own spice mix, but  ad to buy one for $0.49 from ALDI.

Add 1/2 cup of water to make the beef mixture saucy and cook for a few more minutes. Chop the spinach and add it to a large bowl and then make the salad dressing by scooping in 3 tablespoons of mayo, 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, a shot of olive oil, salt, and pepper.

This is my go-to easy dressing and is so tasty. to add extra flavor to the chips, heat them in a 425F oven for 2 minute then toss them with a pinch of the leftover taco season mix. Free flavor!

This taco lunch salad comes in at $2.95 per serving. Way over the allowed budget of $1.40, but we tried to offset that with breakfast and dinner.

chicken fried rice
Chicken fried rice wit broccoli and scrambled eggs.

How To Make Dinner On A Budget

For dinner I made a budget friendly chicken fried rice. Juicy and crusty chicken thighs, soft scrambled eggs, and fluffy white rice. I did not have the budget to buy organic chicken, something I always do. This means I had to buy conventional chicken thighs, but at least thighs are cheaper than breasts and have way more flavor! Even though conventional chicken is feed GMO grains and have a terrible life stuffed into a hen house, I had to cut some corners here and there.

Season the boneless and skinless chicken thighs with slat and peeper, and cook in a hot non-stick pan for 4-5 minutes on each side. the key s to let the chicken come to room temperature first, and place it in a really hot pan, this will result in a beautiful crust. Remove the chicken and use the same pan to cook the broccoli for 8 minutes then add the cooked rice. The biggest tip for making epic fried rice is to use leftover rice that has been made the day before, or at least 4 hours ahead of time.

Cook the rice for a couple minutes, add 3 scrambled eggs to the middle and whisk well. Combine the rice and eggs well then add 3 tablespoons of low sodium soy sauce. Cook another few minutes ad serve the rice with sliced chicken.

This recipe makes 4 servings and the cost is only $0.79/ serving. Giddy up!

Ultimately I failed at making 3 meals for the day at $1.40 per meal. The had a total of $4.20 to sped of all 3 meals, and I ended up spending $4.82. I went $0.62 over budget, and it’s because my lunch recipe was a bit pricey. That being said, if you used conventional beef and cheese, then…..??? I still think I did a great job making 3 meals for the day that are healthy, extremely tasty, and very budget friendly. I realize that it is hard to cook healthy meal on a very limited budget, and I only did this for one day, but I really feel that if you know how to shop correctly, you can make your money stretch and still eat healthy meals.

Make sure to check out more budget friendly recipes:

taco salad

3 Healthy Budget Friendly Recipes

Course: Breakfast, dinner, lunch
Cuisine: American, asian, Mexican
Keyword: budget, eggs, food stamps, fried rice, frittata, low carb, taco salad
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Author: Bobby Parrish

These healthy recipes come in at roughly $1.40 per meal, which is all you have on a food stamp budget. I wanted to challenge myself to see if i could make a breakfast, lunch, and dinner on using finds from food stamps.



Cheeseburger Frittata

  • 5 ounces grass-fed ground beef
  • 8 conventional eggs
  • 3 slices of cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt & fresh pepper

Taco Salad

  • 1 cup onions finely diced
  • 11 ounces grass-fed ground beef
  • 1.5 tablespoons taco/chili seasoning mix
  • ½ cup water
  • 5.6 ounces spinach
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1.25 ounces organic tortilla chips
  • 1 slice of organic cheddar cheese
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt & fresh pepper

Chicken Fried Rice

  • 4 boneless & skinless chicken thighs
  • 1.5 cups white rice
  • Low sodium soy sauce
  • 3 eggs
  • 6 ounces broccoli chopped
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt & fresh pepper


  1. For the fritatta, pre-heat oven to 400F and pre-heat an 8 inch pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan, allow oil to get heat, and add the ground beef, breaking it up into pieces. Immediately add ¼ teaspoon of salt and a couple cracks of pepper. Cook until the ground beef is just cooked through.
  2. Meanwhile, thoroughly whisk the eggs in a large bowl for 60 seconds. The more air you beat in, the fluffier the eggs will be. Add ½ teaspoon salt and a few cracks of pepper, whisk well. Take the pan off the heat for 30 seconds and turn the flame down to medium-low. Add the eggs and put the pan back over the flame. Continuously mix with a spatula, and keep doing so until the eggs are somewhat set, but still wet. It’s important to mix well, so you break up the eggs and keep the curds small. Take the pan off the heat, add the slices of cheese, and bake in the oven for 8 minutes.
  3. Remove from oven and use a spatula to transfer frittata to a plate. Serve and enjoy!
  4. For the taco salad, make the taco meat by pre-heating a non-stick pan just above medium heat with 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the onions, ¼ teaspoon salt couple cracks of pepper, and cook for 8 minutes. Raise the heat to medium-high and add the beef to the pan along with ½ teaspoon of salt, few cracks of pepper, and break the beef up into small pieces. Cook until almost all the way cooked through, about 4-5 minutes, then add the taco/chili seasoning mix and cook until the beef is no longer pink, about 2 minutes. Add the water, turn the heat down to medium-low, and cook until the sauce has thickened up, about 5-7 minutes. Turn off heat and set aside.
  5. Meanwhile, heat the chips in a 425F oven for 2 minutes and then remove and sprinkle over some of the taco/chili season mix, mix well.
  6. Make the salad by roughly chopping the spinach and adding it to a large bowl. Add the mayonnaise, vinegar, 1 teaspoon olive oil, ¼ teaspoon of salt, couple cracks of pepper, and mix well. Plate the greens in a bowl, add some chips around the edge, and pour some beef over the top of the green. Finely slice ½ the cheese and garish on the salad. Enjoy!
  7. For the fried rice, cook the rice in 2 ¼ cups of water for 20 minutes. Fluff rice, spread on a sheet tray, and once cooled, move to the fridge for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight. Dry rice makes the best fried rice.
  8. Pre-heat a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat for 3 minutes. Season the chicken thighs with a generous pinch of salt and a few cracks of pepper on each side. Add 1 tablespoon of oil, wait for it to get hot, then add the chicken. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until deep golden brown, flip, and cook another 4 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
  9. Add another shot of oil to the pan, reduce heat to medium, and add the broccoli. Pinch over ¼ teaspoon salt, a couple cracks of pepper, and cook for 8 minutes. Add the rice to the pan and cook for 3 minutes. Whisk the eggs in a small bowl and add to the center of the pan. Mix well until the eggs have formed a soft scramble, then mix the eggs and rice well. Add 3 tablespoons of soy sauce, mix well, and allow to cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. This will allow the rice to get a bit crunchy. Check for seasoning, you may need more soy sauce. Remove from heat.
  10. Serve some rice on a plate and place sliced chicken over the top. Enjoy!

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

Macros per serving of frittata, makes 3 servings:

406 calories

1.4 grams of total & net carbs

31.5 grams of fat

29.4 grams of protein

0 fiber


Macros per serving of taco salad, recipe makes 2 servings:

772 calories

19.2 grams of total carbs(11.2 if you omit the chips)

15.5 grams of net carbs(8.5 if you omit the chips)

60 grams of fat

35 grams of protein

3.9 gram of fiber


Macros per serving of fried rice, recipe makes 4 servings:

546 calories

63.6 grams of total carbs

61.2 grams of net carbs

16.5 grams of fat

30.7 grams of protein

1.5 grams of fiber

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