2 Easy Extreme-Budget Meals For Only $2 Per Serving

Leanne's Life
by Leanne's Life

I have two different extreme budget meals that prove cheap family meals do not have to be boring. One is a mouth-watering chicken dish, and the second uses tuna in a flavorful recipe. Both meals are delicious and family-friendly.

Chicken and risotto

My first budget meal is chicken with risotto. I am going to cook chicken legs that are relatively very cheap. It was only $2.42 for all five chicken legs. Chicken thighs are the cheapest cut of chicken that you can get, so look for that. They have better flavor, are moister, and are more delicious than chicken breasts.

To make the risotto, I am going to cook it in the oven. I'm going to add some asparagus.

Ingredients for the chicken and risotto

You will need arborio rice, chicken broth, butter, asparagus, onion, and garlic, paprika, salt, and pepper.

I'm going to season the chicken with paprika, salt, and pepper, and I'll also season the rice with salt and pepper. 

Prepare the chicken legs

First, I'll season the chicken legs and put them in the air fryer on the chicken setting because I want the skin to be nice and crispy. 

Seasoning the chicken

One thing I love to season my chicken with is smoked paprika.

Prepare the risotto

First, chop the garlic. I use a garlic chopper for less mess. Next, I am going to heat two cups of chicken broth. Break the asparagus into pieces.

Add 3/4 of a cup of rice to a baking dish. Then I'm going to add in the hot chicken broth and one tablespoon of butter, and then I will add in the asparagus, salt, pepper, onion, and garlic. 

Preparing the risotto

Stir to combine, then place the baking dish into the oven at 350F for about 35 minutes.  

Chicken with risotto

I added a slice of lemon and some parsley on top of the final dish to dress it up a bit.

Tuna cakes with garlic aioli 

This next meal is going to be around $2 a serving. Very budget-friendly. 

Ingredients for the tuna cakes

All you're going to need is tuna, bread crumbs, mayo, salt, pepper, lemon, and garlic powder. Then I add some finely diced onion and celery to the tuna cake. 

You could use onion powder in place of the onion if you prefer not to have the crunch of the onion. You'll also need a small amount of lemon juice for the tuna cake and the aioli.

I'm using half of a lemon for the tuna cake and half a lemon for the aioli. For the aioli, you'll also need some garlic. You can use garlic powder, but I like grated fresh garlic in the aioli and some mayo and olive oil. 

Make the tuna cakes

To make the tuna cakes, I am going to drain my tuna. It is just tuna in water, and I will make sure I get out as much water as possible because you do not want your tuna cakes to be soggy.

Making the tuna cakes

The first thing I am going to do is get everything chopped up and mixed together for the tuna cakes, and I am going to air fry the tuna cakes in my air fryer at 375 F for twelve minutes.

Mix the aioli 

In a small bowl, add one tablespoon of lemon juice. Next, add the garlic salt, mayo, and olive oil. Mix well.

Tuna cakes with garlic aioli

This is the final dish plated. 

I just added a few tater tots to the side. I put the aioli on top and parsley for color. Then I added some Old Bay seasoning on the top for a little bit more flavor.

Extreme-budget meals

These were wonderful extreme-budget meals for under $2. They're easy, family-friendly, and delicious. What are your favorite extreme-budget meals? Share in the comments below.

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2 of 7 comments
  • Tanja Tanja on Jan 10, 2023

    I grew up with that!!! Sooo good!! Ham,Green Onions,Sausage is awesome too!!! 10 outta10!!!

  • Karen Karen on Jan 11, 2023

    What vegetable can be substituted for asparagus?