If you’ve been following my blog at all, you’ll know that we are doing a $50 grocery challenge this month. $50 for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for two adults is quite a stretch.

Fortunately, we have pantry staples that we can rely on to help us create simple and delicious meals. All of the meals listed below have made it onto our meal plan or serve as back ups if we get tired of one particular thing. These recipes are very cost effective and make at least 4 servings each. So if your family is bigger, you can still make these work!

Ten Vegan Meals to Make When You're Broke

I regularly shop at Aldi since they consistently have the lowest prices on pantry goods. They have sales on produce too which makes our regular purchases even cheaper. Here are the average prices on items included on the ingredient lists below:
Rice – $1.99/3lb
Pasta – $0.79/1lb box
Pasta Sauce – $0.99/16oz Jar
Black Beans – $1.79/2lb Bag
Canned Tomatoes – $0.59/Can
Tomato Paste – $0.25/Can
Tomato Sauce – $0.33/Can
Onions – $1.99/3lb
Russet Potatoes – $1.99/5lb
Button Mushrooms – $0.99/8oz
Frozen Veggies – $1.09/12oz Bag
Canned Beans – $0.69/Can

Of course, all of these recipes can be doubled or halved – it’s all up to you! Some +

recipes like the Minestrone Soup we double and freeze the other half to heat up at a later date.

Minestrone Soup – 6 Servings
Ingredients – 1 bag frozen mixed veggies, 4 cups homemade vegetable broth, 1 box pasta (we use rigatoni), 1 yellow onion diced, 1 can diced tomatoes, 1tbsp tomato paste, 1.5 C (or 1 can) red beans, 1 cup spinach (frozen and thawed), 2 tbsp Italian seasoning, salt and pepper to taste.
Method – Bring vegetable broth to a boil. Add in all ingredients except spinach. Continue to boil until pasta is cooked (8-10 minutes). Stir in spinach and serve. Alternatively, you can cook this in your slow cooker for 4 hours on high and stir in the spinach 30 minutes prior to serving.

Curry – 6-8 Servings
Ingredients – 5 small russet potatoes diced, 1 can diced tomatoes, 3 large carrots diced, 1 large onion diced, 2 cloves garlic minced, 1 can coconut milk or 1.5 C dairy free milk, 1/2 C homemade vegetable broth, 1 can (1.5 C) cooked chick peas, 1 tbsp sriracha (optional), 3 tbsp red curry paste, 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp curry powder, salt and pepper to taste.
Method – Over medium heat, saute onion until translucent. Add garlic and curry paste and cook for 2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through. Alternatively, this can be made in the crock pot on low for 8 hours, adding in the chick peas during the last hour.

Simple Stir Fry – 4-6 Servings
Ingredients – 2 C uncooked white rice, 1/2 bag frozen mixed vegetables, 4 C homemade vegetable broth or water, 1 tbsp Chinese five spice, 3 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp sriracha (optional), salt and pepper to taste.
Method – In a large pot, place all of the ingredients in and turn the heat to high. Once the liquid begins to boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the rice is cooked. Remove from heat and serve.

Taco Rice – 4-6 Servings
Ingredients – 2 C uncooked white rice, 1/2 bag frozen mixed vegetables, 4 C homemade vegetable broth or water, 3 tbsp (1 packet) taco seasoning, 1 tbsp cumin, hot sauce to taste, salt and pepper to taste
Method – In a large pot, place all of the ingredients in and turn the heat to high. Once the liquid begins to boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the rice is cooked. Remove from heat and serve.

Tamale Pie –  6-8 Servings
Ingredients – 1/2 large onion finely diced, 2 cloves garlic minced, 3 tbsp taco seasoning, 2 tbsp tomato paste, 2 8oz cans tomato sauce, 1.5 C (1 can) black beans cooked, 1.5 C (1 can) red beans cooked, 1 box corn bread mix (plus ingredients to make the corn bread)
Method – In a large skillet, saute onion over medium heat until translucent. Add garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients (except corn bread mix) and simmer for 10 minutes. Mix the corn bread according to the package. Add spoon fulls of the corn bread mixture to the top of the beans in the skillet. Cook over medium heat and cover for another 8-10 minutes until the corn bread is cooked. Serve warm.

Chicky Dumplings – 4-6 Servings
Find my recipe here!

Spaghetti with Bolognese Sauce – 6-8 Servings
Ingredients – 1 C green lentils uncooked, 2 C vegetable broth, 1 yellow onion roughly diced, 4 cloves garlic, 8oz button mushrooms roughly diced, 3 large carrots roughly diced, 2 cans diced or crushed tomatoes, 2 tbsp tomato paste, 4oz can tomato sauce, 3 tbsp basil, 1 tbsp oregano, 1 tbsp rosemary, salt and pepper to taste, 1 box spaghetti.
Method – Bring water to a boil and cook spaghetti according to the package directions. In a separate pot, cook the lentils and broth over medium heat until the lentils are soft and the majority of the water is absorbed – about 20 minutes (drain excess broth if needed). While the lentils and pasta are cooking, placed the onion, garlic, mushrooms, carrots, and herbs into a food processor. Pulse until finely diced. Add the diced tomatoes and tomato paste and pulse a few more times. Once the lentils are done cooking and drained, return them to the pot and add the food processor contents and the tomato sauce. Heat until warm and serve over the pasta.

Spaghetti with White Bean Sauce – 4 Servings
Ingredients – 1/2 package of spaghetti, 1/4 C melted vegan butter, 2 C cooked butter beans (or other soft white beans), 1 C almond milk unsweetened, salt and pepper to taste, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tbsp rosemary, 1 tbsp basil
Method – Cook pasta according to the package directions. Melt butter in a sauce pan. Once melted, combine butter, beans, garlic powder, onion powder and herbs in a food processor. Pulse until the beans are broken down. Add the cup of almond milk. Process until smooth. If the sauce is too thick, add a few more tablespoons of milk or pasta water. Transfer the sauce to the pot again and heat through. Add the drained pasta to the sauce and toss to coat. Serve warm.

Mushroom Rice – 3-4 Servings
Find my recipe here!

Sweet Potato Buddha Bowl – 4-6 Servings
Find my recipe here!

Happy cooking!

What are some of your favorite inexpensive recipes?

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