5 Cheap and Easy Recipe Sites to Cook Healthy Meals at Home on a Budget
Looking to cook a healthy meal while on a limited budget or low on supplies? These websites teach you the best cheap recipes to make at home, whether you’re a beginner or seasoned cook.
With the coronavirus outbreak, most people are stuck in their houses all day. The no-risk option is to cook your own meals. The pandemic has also wreaked havoc on the global economy, so it’s wise to cook healthy and cheap food yourself.
Whether you have only the pantry essentials or fresh produce, you can make delicious meals at home with the right recipes. You don’t even need to be a great cook as these websites work for beginners in the kitchen too.
1. The Stonesoup (Web): Low-Carb Recipes With Only Six Ingredients
The Stonesoup’s claim to fame is making recipes that use only six ingredients. This makes it much easier for beginner cooks, and cheaper.
At the same time, author Jules Clancy focuses on making them low-carb and healthy. And you can trust Clancy on her claims since she’s a former food scientist.
The recipe format is usually pretty standard, but the best part is what comes after the recipe. Clancy usually shows how to make it fancier and adds substitutes for a variety of dietary choices such as vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free, pantry-friendly, etc.
You can check out all her recommended common food substitutes in a separate section. The site also sorts recipes by the amount of time it takes to cook, dietary choices, and dish type.
Clancy also includes “waste avoidance strategies” so that you’re making full use of all your ingredients and not wasting food. These easy and healthy recipes also have a section on whether they can be prepped as part of future meal planning.
For offline references, you can download a free ebook with 29 low-carb, 6-ingredient recipes.
2. Mob Kitchen (Web): Serve Four People in 10 Bucks
Mob Kitchen targets students who are fending for themselves for the first time in their lives. So all the meals here are easy to make for beginner cooks while trying to stay healthy. And all of these are recipes on a budget.
The website’s big idea is to make recipes that serve four people and cost less than 10 British pounds.
In America, you should still be able to get all these ingredients in 10 dollars. And really, they include everything except pantry essentials like salt, pepper, milk, and oil.
Mob Kitchen presents recipes in a slightly different format than more recipe sites, but it’s actually quite thoughtful. You’ll find the steps more wordy than normal, but that’s because they are careful to include all the “dummy’s guide” steps.
For example, they won’t say “cut the cucumber in two” but instead write “peel the skin off the cucumber, then chop it in half.” These specifics might seem overkill for an experienced cook, but they are important notes for beginners.
The website doesn’t have a huge collection of recipes, but the available options are varied and sound delicious. Make sure you also check out the Mob Kitchen student hacks ebook for tips and tricks for any beginner.
3. Brokeass Gourmet (Web): Recipes Under $20 and Cooking Tips
As the name suggests, Brokeass Gourmet is all about staying on a budget while you eat delicious and healthy food. Author Gabi Moskowitz’s idea is to make recipes that cost less than $20 but still look and taste awesome.
The blog has been around for over 10 years, so the collection of recipes is extensive. The recipe archives are a nice mix of full meals, diet-restricted dishes, varied cuisines, and some items that you wouldn’t have thought of.
Also, look for the signature “$5 Dessert” column to find cheap but rich desserts to satisfy your sweet tooth.
The nice part is that you don’t have to read through long paragraphs to set the mood, as the blog dives right into the recipe with only a short intro.
Moskowitz also often writes guides about the things related to cooking on a budget, like how to make produce stay fresh for a longer time.
4. One Pot Recipes (Web): 30 Minute Meals Using a Single Pot
The worst part about cooking is the cleaning that goes with it. You put in all that effort over the stove and instead of enjoying the meal, you’re thinking about that mess in your sink that needs tending to.
One Pot Recipes shows you how to reduce that mess and make cooking simpler by using one large vessel for the whole meal.
Blogger Abeer says most of these recipes need only 30 minutes of work from you. One Pot Recipes often relies on store-bought pantry items with long shelf life, thus making it easier for amateur cooks.
You’ll need a good slow pot or instant pot a.k.a. pressure cooker to make many of the dishes, which have their own sections too. But you’ll also find recipes without those, for everything from salads to dessert.
One Pot Recipes has a nice format that tells you variations for the dish, like adding or deleting ingredients, or changing the base itself.
You’ll also find storage instructions for the item, and tips and techniques to ensure you are getting the best result as per the recipe.
5. One Dish Kitchen (Web): Recipes to Cook Meals for One Person
Most food websites give you recipes that serve a family. But if you are staying by yourself, that’s a lot of food wastage or leftovers. Plus, it’s not as simple as simply dividing the recipe’s quantities to turn it into a single person’s food. One Dish Kitchen focuses on cooking for one person.
The website packs recipes for breakfast, main dish, side dish, appetizer, salad, soup, sauces, drinks, and desserts. It also includes meal planning ideas so that you can prep in advance to cook food later. The instructions are clear and the recipes have helpful tips and tricks to ensure a smooth cook.
One Dish Kitchen regularly adds new recipes and relevant guides, like the 14-day isolation meal plan to make single-serving items in advance. If you prefer watching to reading, check out their YouTube channel for many of the same recipes in video format.
Sharpen Your Basic Cooking Skills
Just because you’re cooking and eating at home doesn’t mean the food has to be boring. If you sharpen your basic cooking skills, you’ll be eating delicious home-cooked meals without taking a step out of the house.
One of our favorite resources to learn the essential skills of cooking is the 51-page free Cooking Crash Course by Chef Gui Alinat. You can find that and more tools for beginner cooks in our collection of five essential sites for newbies in the kitchen .