Make a $5 dinner can be a thrilling challenge- and worthwhile for the budget. Here are 25 dinners that are $5 or less! When I first started recording the costs of each meal at a glance, I was surprised that most of my dinners were averaging out to be about $5 or less. Nights where we choose to eat out, pick up crap food (fast food), or frozen dinners obviously get in the way of that habit, but you can’t eliminate everything absolutely in order to make progress towards something…. that’s how you end up bingeing… 😉

25 $5 dinners

Below is a list of dinners that cost $5 or less to feed 2 people for at least 1 night! Click on each dish to be redirected to the recipe! BONUS: Cheat Sheet Freebie at the bottom. Includes this list of $5 dinners, meal planning calendars, and a list of Affordable Side Dishes.


$5 Dinner- Soups

Soups are great ways to make a dinner that is $5 or less because you can control your budget by purchasing a bunch of produce. If it is just you and a spouse, you can save even more by just buying a few items of each ingredient.

  • Crockpot Chicken Soup– This amazing crockpot chicken soup cost less than $10 to make and comes out to be $2 per serving.
  • Best Homemade Beef Stew– Best Beef Stew Ever! Healthy, delicious and makes for $2 per serving. This is a stew you are sure to want to eat again and again!
  • Cream of Potato Soup– Chilly evenings call for cream based soups.
  • Cream of Broccoli Soup
  • Chicken & Dumplings– another favorite of my husbands. What started out as a quick recipe with few ingredients, this dumplings recipe has surely evolved into something great with fresh ingredients like homemade Crockpot chicken broth. This link will lead you to the simplified version of the recipe.

$5 Dinner- Pasta Dishes

  • Pasta dishes are $5 or less because pasta is cheap! That is the major reason why I have so many pasta recipes. 1 box of pasta is less than $1 and you don’t even use a full box to make a dish.
  • Baked Ziti– a classic that my husband loves in our meal rotation.
  • Chicken Alfredo– This chicken Alfredo recipe is easy and versatile. 


Chicken Fajita Pasta
  • Fried Chicken drumsticks
  • BBQ Chicken drumsticks
  • Chicken Breasts- baked ands served with my basic “fixings” of green beans, carrots, potatoes or pasta.
  • Homemade Chicken Nuggets

Pork Dishes that are $5 or Less

How do I keep a pork dish $5 or less? EASY: pork is one of the cheapest meats around! But the miracle about it is that it has so much protein and fat, which is good for you if you’re opting for a low carb diet like me!

bread crumb crusted pork chops

Beef Recipes that are $5 or Less

  • Meatloaf & Fixings– great homemade recipe that I learned from my mom.
  • Spaghtetti
  • Burgers- simple and something my husband enjoys making on the BBQ


  • Turkey Tacos
  • Beef Tacos
  • Chicken Fajitas


Baked Ziti
  • Spaghetti
  • Chicken Alfredo with bacon and peas (optional)
  • Lasagna- frozen lasagna technically comes out to about $3 per servings…
  • Tortellini (with sausage or ground beef)


Do you have a $5 Dinner to share? Post in the Comments below!