Making ends meet is never easy, and we are horrendously under-prepared by our schools for how to do so. Lots of people manage to have a few decent meals for just one week out of the month before their paycheck runs out and they face another three weeks of noodles, toast, and macaroni cheese.

Yet it doesn’t cost much more than these budget classics to cook up something delicious, healthy, and which actually gives you a bit of variety in your diet. In fact, some cheap meals can be so fancy that you’ll have no trouble convincing your roommates to contribute a few bucks so you can cook for two or more.

If you have involuntarily had to cut meat out of your diet to keep the grocery bills down, it’s time to think again. Tahini and honey chicken with paprika potatoes can be cooked up for as little as $2.57 per person. Preheat your oven, make a tahini and honey sauce, and marinade eight chicken drumsticks in it before roasting. Slice up some potatoes, drizzle them with oil, add salt, pepper, and paprika, and roast them with the chicken legs. It’s a little bit Parisian, with a little Middle East influence, and it tastes delicious.

If you’re cooking for vegetarians, you can serve something up that’s even cheaper. Mushroom and sage gnocchi is a comforting Italian treat made with extra shallots, a bit of butter and a splash of white wine. It’s mostly about the seasoning, and you can grow sage yourself with a bit of forethought – otherwise check your local independent grocer. You can save even more time and money by making a big pile of this to keep in the fridge for days.

The full recipes for these and more bargain dinners that taste great can be found in this great new infographic from CashNetUSA. Get cooking, and maybe you can spend that excess change on a beer or two to wash it down!

Millennial Magazine - 8-meals-you-can-make-for-less-than