How to Make a "Broke Meal" For Your Family For Just $6

If you are trying to make dinner without spending a lot of money you are going to love this broke meal I put together. I decided to challenge myself to make a low-budget meal from IGA, also known as the International Grocery Association.

The reason I call it a broke meal is because I spent less than $6 to make it. That means you can probably make this meal just by gathering loose change hidden under sofa cushions or lying around the house.

My original plan was to make chicken pot pie, but the chicken was too expensive, so I decided to experiment and make it with beef instead. The only ingredients I used were a box of buttermilk biscuit mix, frozen mixed vegetables, a can of beef stew, and a can of cream of mushroom soup.

Let’s dive in and I’ll show you how to make this delicious beef pot pie.

*Prices as of April 2023


1. Mix the ingredients

To make things as easy as possible for myself I like to use a minimal amount of dishes so I don’t have to wash as much after. That means mixing all of the ingredients in the pan to make my life a little easier.

I started by pouring in the cream of mushroom soup and the vegetables. The cream of mushrooms is going to help bulk up the vegetables.

Beef stew and vegetable mix

Then I add the beef stew and a little bit of water. I mixed all the ingredients together and between the cream of mushroom soup and the added water, the beef and vegetables got nicely bulked up and really filled the pan.

For a broke meal, we need to stretch each ingredient as far as it will go. I’m not adding salt because the beef stew already has salt in it.

Adding the biscuit mix

2. Make the biscuit mix

I put the biscuit powder in a bowl and followed the recipe adding half a cup of water. I put some dollops of biscuit dough spread evenly over the top of the stew. Then I put it in the oven.

Baking the biscuits and stew

3. Cook at 375 degrees

I set the oven to 375 degrees and waited until the biscuits were done and the stew was nice and bubbly. As soon as the biscuits were getting that golden color and the ingredients were cooked I took it out of the oven. I have to admit I was surprised at how delicious it came out looking.

Broke meal

4. Taste test

It’s great that I was able to make a meal that looks nice, but the true test is the way it tastes. After the dish cooled down a tiny bit, I gave everyone in the house a chance to do a taste test. The first taste test was conducted by my husband.

Trying the broke meal

I made sure to remind him to be honest. He said he always is. His eyes opened wide with his first bite and he proclaimed that it was indeed ‘good’ as he walked off with the bowl to continue eating.

Testing the meal

Next came my teenager. He took a bite and with a look of surprise, he said, “That’s pretty good. It’s better than chicken pot pie!” Another rave review! He also walked off with his bowl to devour the meal.

Trying the meal

Meals for when you're broke

The last taste test was conducted by my pickiest eater, my buddy, my little boy. Of course, I had to remove the carrots for him first. He came to the taste test with the most enthusiasm.

He also had the most dramatic reaction. He took one big bite, opened his eyes wide in approval, and then dropped down pretending to faint. Shocking as that sounds, that’s about as positive a review as I could ever get from that kid. 

Well, the votes are in and it’s unanimous. We all loved the broke meal beef pot pie. It’s hard to believe you can feed your whole family a delicious and nutritious meal for under $6. That’s pretty great.

Meals for when you're broke

I hope this gave you all some inspiration to try a low-budget beef pot pie stew for your crew. There’s nothing quite like a great meal at a fantastic price that everyone will be satisfied with. Let me know how your meal turns out. Leave me a comment. We can exchange tips and ideas.

Join the conversation
  • Alicia Alicia on May 27, 2023

    I am responsible for feeding 8 ladies in a group home, 20-27 days out of a month on a limited budget. I love to surprise them with wonderful recipe - often out of my own pocket. This looks like a concoction that is already in our pantry ! Can’t wait to make this next week 😁Thank you in advance for the inspiration.

  • Carol de la Fuente Carol de la Fuente on May 27, 2023

    This really looks delicious!!! My mother would make something very similar to this when we were growing up at home. She made her own biscuit dough and sometimes she used the biscuit dough for dumplings also in other dishes. They were always great!!!