12 Cheap Lunch Ideas to Keep Your Belly Full and Wallet Fat

sloppy joes

Who says good food has to be expensive? With these 12 cheap lunch ideas, you can fill your belly without emptying your wallet. These delicious, budget-friendly recipes prove that you don't have to sacrifice flavor for affordability. So, grab your apron and get ready to save some cash while enjoying a tasty meal!

Chicken Fajitas

A classic Tex-Mex dish, Chicken Fajitas are a flavorful and inexpensive lunch option. Sauté chicken with bell peppers and onions, then serve in a warm tortilla with your favorite toppings. Quick, easy, and customizable - it's a surefire hit!

Potato Rosti

Potato Rosti is a scrumptious Swiss dish made from grated potatoes. Simply combine shredded potatoes with a few basic ingredients, then fry until crispy and golden brown. Serve with a side salad or your favorite protein for a satisfying, low-cost meal.

Sloppy Joes

Indulge in the messy goodness of Sloppy Joes, a budget-friendly American classic. Simmer ground beef or turkey in a tangy tomato sauce and serve on a soft bun for a filling and wallet-friendly lunch.

Bagel Bites

Embrace your inner kid with Bagel Bites, a nostalgic and budget-friendly lunch option. Top mini bagels with marinara sauce, cheese, and your favorite toppings before baking to melty perfection. Enjoy a quick, cheap, and customizable lunchtime treat.

Egg Roll in a Bowl

Craving Chinese takeout? Try Egg Roll in a Bowl, a deconstructed version of the classic appetizer that's easy on your wallet. Cook ground meat, cabbage, and carrots with Asian-inspired seasonings and serve over rice for a delicious, low-cost meal.

Chicken Salad

Whip up a batch of Chicken Salad for a versatile and economical lunch option. Combine cooked chicken, mayo, and your choice of mix-ins like grapes, nuts, or celery. Serve as a sandwich or atop a bed of greens for a tasty, low-cost meal.

Turkey Meatloaf

Swap out expensive beef for budget-friendly ground turkey in this hearty Turkey Meatloaf. Flavorful and moist, it's a delicious and cost-conscious alternative to traditional meatloaf. Pair with a side of veggies or potatoes for a complete meal.

Fish Tacos

Enjoy a taste of the coast with inexpensive Fish Tacos. Batter and fry white fish or use budget-friendly canned fish, then top with slaw, avocado, and a squeeze of lime. It's a flavorful and wallet-friendly lunchtime fiesta!

Philly Cheesesteak

Bring the taste of Philadelphia to your kitchen with budget-friendly Philly Cheesesteaks. Sauté thinly sliced beef with onions and peppers, then top with melted cheese and serve on a soft roll. It's a flavorful, wallet-happy lunch.

Chicken Alfredo

Satisfy your pasta cravings with budget-conscious Chicken Alfredo. Cook pasta, toss with a creamy homemade Alfredo sauce, and add cooked chicken for a deliciously filling, low-cost meal that'll hit the spot.

Chicken Nuggets

Whip up homemade Chicken Nuggets for a fun, inexpensive lunch option. Coat bite-sized pieces of chicken in breadcrumbs and bake or fry to crispy perfection. Serve with your favorite dipping sauces for a kid-approved, budget-friendly meal.


Frittatas are a versatile, budget-conscious lunch option that can be customized with whatever ingredients you have on hand. Mix eggs, cheese, and your choice of veggies, then bake until set. It's an easy, cheap, and delicious way to use up leftovers!

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