Rice is one of the most recognizable foods alongside bread, and there’s a reason for that. It’s cheap, it’s plentiful, it’s filling. While not particularly healthy on its own, it can be a great accompaniment to a variety of dishes. Plus, it’s still better than eating junk food and fast food. If you’re in a pinch and need a way to stretch your dollar, here are some simple and cheap rice recipe ideas to get you through the week.

Vegetable Fried Rice

Yum! Vegetable fried rice doesn’t require very much at all. Simply invest in some mixed stir-fry veggies or the classic corn, pea, and carrot medley in your local grocer’s frozen food aisle. Then add some fresh mushroom, onion, and minced garlic. Oh! And don’t forget the soy sauce! It’s quick, easy, and cheap, plus it’s packed full of nutrition. If you want a slightly more filling recipe, add a fried egg to it. You might just get addicted. Try this recipe for a quick and fantastic lunch or dinner.


Here’s another delicious cheapie. The great thing about these is that they’re totally customizable. There MAY be a slight learning curve to forming the shape, but it doesn’t honestly have to be perfect. You can fill these Japanese sandwich alternatives with whatever you like. Some popular fillings are tuna and mayo, tempura shrimp and eel sauce, veggies and siracha, chicken, black beans…the list is endless. Here is a recipe for these great little rice balls.

Mango-Coconut Rice Pudding

Looking for a light dinner or mid-day lunch that leaves you refreshed? Look no further than this tropical and Southeast Asian inspired dish. Easy to make and tasty, you can’t go wrong with the taste of fresh mango and creamy sweet rice. There are many variations of this dish. Some involve using rice milk as the base, while others require full-fat coconut milk in a can. Either way, it’s a budget dish that packs a punch and leaves an impression. Plus, it can look lovely enough to serve to guests! This recipe impressed me the most.

Mexican-Style Skillet

Talk about delicious! This meal does require ground beef, but just stick to what’s on sale, and you can make it without much expense. You can pile on the toppings, or go with just a spoonful of sour cream. Personally, I’ve tried this recipe from Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts and my whole family adores it. We liked to add chopped tomato, avocado, and a little mild sauce to pull it together.

Broccoli-Rice Soup

It’s another vegetarian dish that will make you salivate! This one is not only easy, but quick and mess-less since it only requires one pot. I would stick a piece of crusty bread in here, but if you’re watching your calories, it’s just as good on its own. Here is a great recipe I found on Poor Girl Eats Well.

Don’t just stare at the rice in your cabinet or let it go to waste. You can make delicious meals with just a few ingredients, a little time, and a lot of delish.

If you liked this article, stay tuned for more in the series “Cheap Eats” for other inspirational meal ideas on a budget. And of course…Subscribe if you love me <3…I mean, love the blog ^_^



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