The Best Low-Cost Meals, Courtesy Of The Reddit Hive Mind

Rice, beans, eggs! Frozen vegetables! A whole chicken! Possibilities galore from r/foodhacks.

A few weeks ago, Redditor jennyBobenny230 posed a question in the r/foodhacks subreddit: What groceries can I buy to make $50 last a week? The post mentioned that the user wasn't a great cook, and was specifically looking for easy recipes. The result was a grand thread of the hive mind brainstorming the best cheap foods to get on a budget—the internet at its best.

Here are some takeaways from the thread:

  • It's hard to compete with rice and eggs. Multiple Redditors suggested a fried rice situation: rice, eggs, frozen veggies, and some sort of meat, with various types of sauces (likely already in the pantry) to keep things versatile.
  • But seriously, eggs. Eggs are cheap and can be part of any meal throughout the day.
  • Potatoes! Potatoes are great shredded into hash browns, sliced and fried into medallions, or exploded in the microwave.
  • There's comfort in the classic PB&J. One user suggested adding a fruit or vegetable on the side.
  • Ramen was meant to be dressed up. Throw some fresh, canned or frozen vegetables on there! Throw an egg on it? Live your life!
  • Rice and beans, my personal king. I love rice and beans. It's a filling combo that you can drench with hot sauce and eat any time of the day. Breakfast beans and rice will set you up for a good day, I swear.
  • A huge batch of chili can last a week. According to Redditor dancing_light, mixing up canned beans and frozen vegetables into a mega-vat of chili lasts them for a week, accounting for one meal a day. Plus, you can customize and include more or fewer ingredients based on your budget.
  • The ever-versatile rotisserie chicken. Multiple users mentioned that they like to buy a rotisserie chicken and shred it, making it easy to assemble meals with tortillas and salads.
  • Lentils with pasta. When just pasta isn't filling enough, adding lentils can throw down some heft.
  • Here are some other things to consider:

    • Some people in the thread mentioned baking their own bread, and more power to them, but it is totally okay not to listen to them.
    • If you're experiencing any kind of food insecurity, you should go to a food bank. A few Redditors mentioned their experiences going to food banks, stressing that they're for anyone who needs food–which encompasses a pretty broad swath of people.
    • There's also another subreddit, r/32dollars, where people post what they've gotten for $32 or less at the grocery store (though some rule breakers also hang out there too).
    • Sure, it would be ideal if greedy companies could guarantee every employee a living wage, and for our government to make it easier to live, and for landlords to stop whining about how much the pandemic affected their ability to leech off of their tenants. But in the meantime, hell yeah, Redditors.