35 Budget Meals That Taste Like a Million Bucks

Delicious tortellini with meat in tomato sauce, sprinkled with parmesan cheese and basil. Top view.

Did you try to plan budget meals but find yourself cringing during your last visit to the grocery store? Could you have sworn it was easier to not blow through your grocery cash a year ago? No, it’s not the extra bag of pretzels you threw into your cart at checkout. Groceries are more expensive right now, thanks to a little thing called inflation. According to the Consumer Price Index’s most recent data, grocery prices were up 7.9% year over year as of February 2022. This increase shows no sign of stopping, with the USDA predicting an additional 3% to 4% increase by the end of the year.

What can you do? Go ahead and keep those pretzels—and try incorporating more budget-friendly recipes into your dinner (and lunch, and breakfast) rotation. To make it a bit easier, we calculated the price per serving of some of the most popular recipes on Epicurious to find a slew of great budget meals you can make for under $5 a serving. These tried-and-true recipes let you save at the register without skimping on flavor.