Eating on $25 a week?

So I've got to do this project for a class, figured I'd see what poverty dinner is like. My work basically provides lunch for free, what would you guys suggest I do for breakfast/dinner at $25USD a week? Anything but plain ramen, and I'm a half decent cook. I've been adding stuff like cabbage and hot sauce to ramen for a while now, but that's getting old.

TL;DR: What can I eat for $25 a week that's not just ramen?

1 Like


1 Like

For breakfast, Oatmeal is a pretty cheap go-to option. You can typically get a month's supply of the cheap stuff for less than $5

As for more substantial meals, you really want to avoid heavily processed foods like condensed soups/ramen. Rice with steamed vegetables is cheap and it's easy enough to save the leftovers and mix them in with your next meal.

The hardest part is going to be getting good amounts of protein. Once again, leftovers will be your friend so making a single pound of meat last at least two meals is ideal.

a dozen of eggs has protein though, he would probably have to eat an egg a day.

  • Baked beans + poached eggs on toast. (buy the baked bean tins in bulk) ~ heaps of protein.
  • + 1 for bulk rice as well - even chuck some in for soups as well, helps fill em out.
  • local markets - a little money can go a long way for end of day specials.


  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Vegetables
  • Fruit
  • Beans/Legumes
  • Grains

Cheapest things you'll typically find. Find a local farmers' market and often get them for even cheaper.

Decent website for recipes:

Flour is fairly cheap, and very versatile.

Bread. (especially flatbread.)

A nice break from Rice and Beans.

Basic recipes will last you a while. For example, for breakfast, alternate between oatmeal, eggs, and breakfast biscuits (biscuit, egg, ham, whatever else). Then for dinner, just do whatever. I am pretty sure that just eating whatever I want now costs me about $25 a week, so it isn't hard. Just try to cook everything on your own, grab deals when you can, and don't throw any food out. Also don't over eat.

Here is what I made yesterday.
Price breakdown.
2lbs beef ~$6 (probably a good bit less, but rough estimates here)
Taco and ranch seasoning $2
Chilli beans $2
Corn $1
Pinto beans $2
Tomatoes $1
Tomatoes with green chillies $1
Chopped green chillies $1

Then I added Velveeta because I like cheese (sue me) so add ~$5
That adds up to ~$23. That is easily 8 large meals for me (the cheese really adds weight to it, so 8 large meals no problem). Then on top of that, I eat oatmeal (as mentioned before) which is really cheap. Toss some local honey in that bitch and it is delicious.

Eating for $25 a week is pretty easy if you cook all the stuff yourself.

Fry minced meat, add water + bolgonese spice mix "Dolmio jar is better", let it boil tiny bit. Eat with spaghetti or macaroni.
You can finish bolognese with cream, but don't boil that or it gets ecky. Personally I don't like how those cooking creams taste so I'm just buying the regular one.

Also works alrite with taco spice mix instead that bolognese, but then you have to put really little water. Mix it up with macaroni, and hoard it with ketchup.

No idea about the costs although all of the ingredients are from the cheapest end, and I'm eating these regularly because I really like them. :D

Oatmeal with Cinnamon, brown sugar, a little maple syrup, and a glob of butter is my breakfast of choice.

But in general, I loved corned beef hash. It is cheap and fills you up quickly. Not exactly healthy...... but you know.

1 Like

good call

1 Like

For breakfeast make oatmeal with a litttle honey and switch it up with a little eggs with toast. Then for dinner make a big pot of pasta sause and freeze most of it and that will last a couple months if you eat it twice a week (yes I know it is a large up front cost, but it is cheap in the long run) and add a little chicken/sausage for protein. For the other nights rice with steamed vegetables and maybe a burger once a week.

Have fun eating just potatoes, its not like your body needs other nutrients that aren't in potatoes.

What your mad friend anything other than potatoes is poison and causes autism!!!!

know wonder why i have bad grades. lol

Lots and Lots of Ramen, potentially supplemented with a multivitamin

This is a big Technicality, I say that because in order for it to work, you have to assume that "week" means "work week" and you have to negate shipping. with these military MREs (meals ready to eat) you could eat for about 5.58 per day, a full meal. Bringing your week total to $27.90 and you would have supplies for two work weeks plus two days.
Not really feasible, but a bit of fun math.

Just jumping into this topic, it's unrelated to the OP Post but I'm a student living off £25 (26.50 exact) per week and am very interested in seeing what you guys are all suggesting.

I know the OP is using this for a project but as I'm a bad cook I'll be lurking this post just to see if there are any interesting meal ideas.

As for my spending, obviously costs will convert differently but I have been living off Bread, Milk and alternating between 15p Noodles and Cans of Beans (usually totals to around £4-5 a week)

(Final Note: The £25 doesn't include costs for course materials that I might need so the cheaper the better!)