3 Cheap Whole-Food Meals That Cost Under $2 a Serving

Leanne's Life
by Leanne's Life

Do you think extreme budget meals have to be boring? They don’t! I’m going to show you cheap whole-food meals including breakfast, lunch, and dinner that cost under $2 a serving. I went to Whole Foods Market and spent $35 to make meals for one person for five-plus days which made $2 meals.

Ingredients for breakfast pizza

Breakfast pizza

I made a breakfast pizza, which made eight servings. 


  • 4 to 5 eggs
  • Hash browns (bag about 20 ounces)
  • Salsa for topping
  • Cheese
  • Onions
  • Peppers (I had some jalapeno peppers I wanted to use up)
  • Olive oil 
Preparing the pizza crust

1. Prepare the crust

Spray down the pizza pan. Add hash browns to the pizza pan to make a “crust.” Spread the hash browns around the pan and make a somewhat thick and even layer. Drizzle olive oil on top of the hash browns. Generously season the crust with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Chopping onions and peppers

2. Chop veggies

Meanwhile, chop up onions and peppers.

Scrambling eggs

3. Prep eggs 

Season and scramble the eggs in a frying pan. But undercook the eggs since you will need to pop it back into the oven.

Topping the breakfast pizza with eggs

4. Top with egg 

When the pizza/potato crust has baked for 20 to 25 minutes, it will not be done, but you will add eggs to the top. Spread the egg as evenly as you can as a topping.

Adding topping to the breakfast pizza

5. Add more toppings

Add toppings, such as a layer of salsa on top of the egg. (The salsa doesn’t have to be an exact layer, just drizzle it around.) Add cheese, onions, and peppers as the rest of the topping.

Cheap breakfast pizza

Place the entire pizza back in the oven for another 20 minutes to finish baking. When it’s done, cut into eight slices.

Bean taquitos


  • Cannellini or chickpeas beans (2 cans)
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Hot sauce
  • Onion
  • Tomato
  • Green pepper
  • Sliced cheese (any type–I used plant-based cheese since I eat dairy-free)
  • Corn tortillas (package of 12)
Prepping the beans

1. Prep beans

Drain and rinse the two cans of beans, then partially mash them using a fork or potato masher, and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. (You don’t need to mash up the beans, you can keep them whole if preferred.)

Prepping the veggies

2. Prep veggies 

Chop and cook onions and peppers (you can cook them ahead of time) or keep them raw for the crunch. Add them to the bowl of beans. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Mix it all together. When mixed, drizzle in some hot sauce if you’d like.

Prepping the tortillas

3. Prep tortillas

Warm up the tortillas so they are more pliable. Take out one tortilla and put a piece of cheese (about a quarter of a slice) in the middle of the tortilla. Spoon filling on top of the cheese strip. If you want more cheese, add another cheese strip on top of the filling.

Rolling the tortillas

4. Roll tortillas

Roll the tortilla closed and put it seam down on the baking pan. Do the same with the rest of the tortillas (you may have filling left over). Put toothpicks in the tortillas to keep them rolled if you prefer.

Cooking the tortillas in the oven

5. Add oil

Drizzle a little olive oil to the tops of the tortillas. Massage the oil into the tortillas. Cook in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes at 410 degrees Fahrenheit until they become crispy. 

Bean taquitos

6. Dish them

When they are crisp, take them out. You can sprinkle parsley on top to make it look nice and use a ranch side dressing if you want.

Rice bowl

For this bowl, I’m going to make a spicy cayenne lime vinaigrette over the top. 

Ingredients for the rice bowl


  • Quinoa, jasmine rice, and chickpeas frozen mix
  • Shelled edamame (12-ounce bag)
  • Coleslaw mix (12-ounce bag)
  • Limes
  • Tomato
  • Green pepper
  • Onion
  • Sweet potato
  • Whole kernel sweet corn

For dressing:

  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Cayenne powder
  • 21 Seasoning Salute from Trader Joe’s
  • Red wine vinegar
Prepping the quinoa

1. Prep quinoa

Fill a casserole dish with 6 ¾ cups of water to bake the whole bag of quinoa mix in the oven. Cover and cook for 30 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Making coleslaw

2. Make coleslaw and dressing

Make this easy coleslaw and dressing by first putting the whole bag of coleslaw in a large bowl. Add a half cup of red wine vinegar over the coleslaw.

Season to your liking with salt, pepper, 21 Seasoning Salute, garlic powder, a pinch only of cayenne for some heat, and then drizzle in some olive oil.

Squeeze in lime juice. Toss ingredients together. Cover the bowl with aluminum foil to let the vinegar and salt tenderize the coleslaw.

Prepping the potatoes

3. Make potatoes

Make the sweet potatoes by cutting them up and preparing them for the air fryer. Season the potatoes with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and drizzle with olive oil. Put them in and set the air fryer to the potato setting. 

Cheap whole-food meals

Look at the delicious ingredients for your bowl! The baked quinoa mix is perfect. Top your bowl with vegetables, such as tomato, pepper, and onion.

You can cook the vegetables or keep them raw for the crunch. There’s a lot of food here so it will definitely feed you for the next five days.

Cheap whole-food meals

I hope you were inspired to see how healthy extreme budget meal ideas can be! Whole Foods Market can be a great place to find ingredients for budget meals.

Please share with us any other whole-food meals on a budget you’ve created!

Join the conversation
 1 comment