Five meals for under 15 dollars 27



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Are you looking for some easy to make, penny pinching meals? Take a look at the following simple to create feeds that are sure fire way to keep hunger at bay while going easy on the purse strings.


1. Fruity Baked Curry


Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Serves 2


  • 400g steak, diced
  • 1 tablespoon low-fat spread
  • 1 tablespoon plain flour
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 apple, chopped
  • pinch ground pepper
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ tablespoon sultanas
  • ½ tablespoon curry powder
  • ½ tablespoon chutney
  • ½ cup water
  • juice of one lemon


  1. Fry onion and apple in low-fat spread until transparent
  2. Add beef and curry powder and fry until meat is brown.
  3. Add flour and brown further.
  4. Pour in water and add chutney, sultanas, salt, pepper and lemon juice.
  5. Bring to the boil and simmer for two minutes.
  6. Serve on white/brown steamed rice.


2. Veggie Moussaka


Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Serves: 2


  • 1 cucumber, sliced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 eggplant, chopped
  • 1/2 cucumber, chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup cheese, grated
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of white flour


  1. Layer cucumber, red onion, eggplant and cucumber in baking dish
  2. In separate pan, whisk the eggs. Combine eggs with flour and melted butter in order to create the white sauce
  3. Add white sauce to baking dish, covering all of the vegetable
  4. Cover dish with the grated cheese
  5. Bake in oven on  medium heat until golden brown on top


3. Lucas Low Fat Pea Soup



Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 90 minutes

Serves 4


  • 8 cups water
  • 450g peas with shells
  • ½ cup finely chopped dill
  • Salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste
  • ½ cup low-fat plain yogurt


  1. In a large pot, bring water to the boil and add peas. Return to boil then reduce to simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Remove one third of the pea pods and place in a food processor with half a cup of cooking liquid and process until smooth. Pour into a large bowl. Repeat with the remaining pea pods in two batches, with 1/2 cup cooking liquid each time.
  3. Pour the pureed peas and the remaining cooking liquid through a fine-meshed sieve, pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible.
  4. Return the soup to the pot and bring to the boil. Simmer until reduced by about a third, approximately 30 to 35 minutes. Stir in chopped dill and add salt and pepper.
  5. Serve in bowls with a swirl of yogurt and a sprig of dill as garnish.


4. Cold Lamb Salad


Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 8 minutes

Serves 2 – 4


  • 1/2 cup three cheese Italian salad dressing
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1  package penne pasta
  • 1 or 2 cooked lamb steaks
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup diced cheese (users choice)
  • 1 cup frozen baby peas


  1. In large bowl, combine salad dressing, yogurt, mayonnaise, milk, and Parmesan cheese and mix well.
  2. Slice lamb and add to dressing mixture along with tomatoes, bell peppers, and cheese and stir gently. Top with peas; do not stir.
  3. Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain and add to salad in bowl; stir gently to combine. Cover and chill for 2-3 hours to blend flavours before serving.


5. Chicken and Bacon in Puff Pastry

Chicken Puff Pastries

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

Serves: 6 


  • 6 slices bacon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 – 250gm package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves OR 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 egg, beaten


  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. In medium pan, cook bacon until crisp; remove, drain on paper towels, crumble, and set aside. Drain pan; do not wipe out.
  2. Add olive oil to pan and add chicken and onion. Cook together until onion is tender and chicken is no longer pink, about 7-8 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon to medium bowl.
  3. Add cream cheese and bacon to chicken mixture along with the thyme and mix well; if you’re adding fresh herbs, add them at this point.
  4. Gently roll out each puff pastry sheet across the fold lines to make it a bit wider. Cut each sheet into thirds following the fold lines of the pastry. Then cut in half across the strips to make six rectangles from each sheet. Put 1/3 to 1/2 cup of the chicken mixture in the centre of six rectangles. Top with the other six rectangles and gently stretch the top rectangles to fit. Seal edges and press with fork. Place on cookie sheet and brush with beaten egg.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes until deep golden brown. Remove to wire rack and let cool 5 minutes before serving; the filling is very hot!

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. If I spent $15 on a meal I would soon be out of funds very extravagant. I am also vegetarian so automatically cheaper than meat eaters

  2. Strange recipes, says dice eggplant (pic is obviously sliced, also says dice cucumber, I usually use sliced zucchini…to each their own. None appealed to me.

    1 REPLY
  3. I serve varied and nutritious meals for my husband and me for a lot less than $15: and I don’t skimp

  4. I like the sounds of the pea soup – using the shells as well – I wouldn’t strain it though – keep the fibre in!

  5. Some good recipes there. I often find that spaghetti carbonara is another filling and cheap meal. Good for using up Xmas ham.

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