Sure, we'd all love to be able to take our families out to a gourmet dinner night after night. The truth is, in these tough financial times, cutting corners is paramount. But fear not. Just because you're streamlining costs doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice taste—or your waist.

The following four recipes can all be prepared for less than $5 a serving. When calculating the costs of these five dinners, only the prices of the main ingredients were included. The costs of seasonings, like salt, pepper, and oregano, were not.

Pork Medallions With Rosemary and Mushrooms

Why settle for boring ol' pork chops when you can enjoy this flavorsome fare for well under five bucks?

Main Ingredients

Boneless pork loin chops $0.99/serving Garlic $0.20/serving
Fresh rosemary $1.11/serving
Mushrooms $0.62/serving
Onion $0.60/serving
Dry sherry $0.24/serving
Total: $3.76/serving Get the recipe.

Vegetarian Lasagna

Who said you can't eat hearty and healthy? This low-fat take on a family favorite won't take its toll on your heart, hips, or your pocket.

Main Ingredients

Seasoned bread crumbs $0.11/serving
Tofu $0.21/serving
Fresh parsley $0.11/serving
Fresh basil $0.27/serving
Lasagna noodles $0.29/serving
Tomatoes $0.75/serving
Tomato paste $0.08/serving
Green bell pepper $0.07/serving
Celery $0.24/serving
Mushrooms $0.31/serving
Carrot $0.12/serving
Grated reduced-fat parmesan cheese $0.62/serving
Onion $0.30/serving
Total: $3.48/serving Get the recipe.

Chicken Dinner in a Pot

One-pot dishes are convenient and easy. This one is also cheap and low in calories.

Main Ingredients

Potatoes $0.80/serving
Carrots $0.06/serving
Onion $0.30/serving
Garlic $0.40/serving
Sun dried tomatoes $0.71/serving
Celery rib $0.24/serving
Roasting chicken $1.40/serving
Total: $3.91/serving Get the recipe.

Beefy Broccoli

At just under $5, this dinner is a great way to beef up your meal while keeping you skinny.

Main Ingredients

Sirloin steak $2.62/serving
Broccoli florets $0.49/serving
Soy Sauce $0.30/serving
Garlic $0.40/serving
Beef gravy $1.09/serving
Total: $4.90/serving Get the recipe.




Bureau of Labor Statistics. Mid-Atlantic Information Office. Average retail food and energy prices, U.S. city average and Midwest region.

USDA. National Fruit and Vegetable Retail Report. Advertised Prices for Fruits & Vegetables at Major Retail Supermarket Outlets 05/19 to 05/31.