At fast-food restaurants, dollar menus are plentiful. Choose wisely, and you can probably eat lunch for less than $3. But what happens when you want something healthier than a burger and fries? Can you eat well and eat cheaply? As it turns out, you can. The following five recipes can be prepared for less than $3 a serving, with one penny-saving dish even ringing up at less than a buck.

When calculating the costs of these five lunches, only the prices of the main ingredients were included. The costs of seasonings, like salt, pepper, and oregano, were not.

Turkey Chili

Though chili probably isn't the first thing that comes to mind when you think healthy, ground turkey is cheaper and leaner than the beef variety.

Main Ingredients:
Ground turkey $0.25/serving
Canned diced tomatoes $0.29/serving
Canned black beans $0.36/serving
Canned red beans 0.36/serving
Green bell pepper $0.25/serving
Brown rice $0.23/serving
Onion $0.30/serving
Total: $2.04/serving

In a large pot, sauté 1 yellow onion, 2 tablespoons of minced garlic, and 1 bell pepper. Once onions are soft, add 1 pound of ground turkey and with 1 teaspoon each of dried parsley, dried basil, and dried oregano. After the turkey is browned, combine 1 can diced tomatoes, 1 can black beans, and 1 can red beans with 2 tablespoons of paprika, 2 teaspoons ground cumin, and 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper. Simmer for 30 minutes to and hour. Add brown rice. Makes five servings.

Bean Salad Pockets

With the most expensive element being the pita (cost: a whopping $0.49), this midday meal is both high in protein and low in fat and cost.

Main Ingredients:
Black beans $0.36/ serving
Pimento $0.16/serving
Olive oil $0.19/serving
Wheat Pita $0.49/serving
Total: $0.84


Curried Chicken Salad Sandwich

A zesty variation on a lunch classic that's just as light on your pocket as it is on your diet.

Main Ingredients:
Whole wheat bread $0.86/per two slices
Red or green grapes $0.39/serving
Canned chicken breast $1.64/serving
Total: $2.89/serving

Recipe: Combine one 9-ounce can of chicken breast, ½ cup grapes (halved), 2 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon curry, ¼ teaspoon paprika in a bowl. Mix well. Makes two servings.

Cajun Fish Sandwiches

Why settle for a plain ol' tuna salad sandwich when you can kick it up a notch for cheap?

Main Ingredients:
Frozen flounder fillet $0.59/fillet
Cucumber $0.10/serving
English muffin $0.66/muffin
Light sour cream $0.56/serving
Total: $1.91/serving


African Creamy Cold Tomato Soup

A new take on an old classic. Feel free to pair it with a tuna sandwich for only $1.50 more.

Main Ingredients:
Fresh tomatoes $0.32/serving
Avocado $0.16/serving
Buttermilk $0.54/serving
Tomato paste $0.13/serving
Total: $1.15/serving


Chicken and Prune Pinwheels

Here's a cheap, easy, and delicious way to keep your lunch interesting.

Main Ingredients:
Chicken breast $1.58/serving
Prunes $0.64/serving
Total: $2.22