2 min read
For most people, the three biggest expenses are housing, transportation, and food. I like to think of these as the “big three”. If you can minimize the big three expenses without depriving yourself, you’ll be in great shape to save some serious money.
Between groceries and dining out, food is always one of my highest expenses each month. Here’s a look at my typical monthly expenses:
Groceries alone account for about 15% of my monthly spending. Besides dining out less, the best way to minimize my food expenses is to find cheap and easy meals to cook at home.
Today I want to share a $2 meal I cook almost every day that helps keep my food expenses low.
The Chicken & Rice Medley
There’s two main ingredients in this meal.
One can of chicken breast and one serving of long grain rice:
I typically buy these ingredients at Kroger. I pay $1.80 for the can of chicken and about 20 cents for one serving of rice (5 lbs / 25 servings = 20 cents) for a grand total of $2.
This meal takes about 5 minutes to make and is incredibly difficult to screw up.
I should note that I cook the rice for this recipe in a huge batch over the weekend using my Aroma rice cooker:
This rice cooker is hands down the greatest consumer item I have ever purchased. That’s not an exaggeration. All I do is put in a few cups of rice and water, hit the “white rice” button, and perfectly delicious rice is created essentially from magic in 40 minutes.
I cook rice in huge batches over the weekend and store it in a Tupperware container in my fridge. When I need it for this recipe, I take out the rice, put some on a plate, and heat it up in the microwave.
Back to the recipe
To start, heat up some cooking oil in a skillet and throw the entire can of chicken in:
While the chicken is cooking, heat up some rice in the microwave for 1 – 2 minutes:
Next, sprinkle in some spices with the chicken. I personally use garlic powder, chicken seasoning, ground cumin, thyme, and a custom chicken seasoning from a local meat shop:
I don’t measure out specific amounts. I just sprinkle a bit of each into the skillet. I live life on the edge.
Let the spices marinate for a couple minutes and take the rice out of the microwave. When the chicken looks finished, drizzle it on top of the rice. Throw some hot sauce on it too if you’d like.
Here’s the final culinary masterpiece:
Simple & Cheap
I love this recipe because it’s simple and cheap. It’s also filling and nutritious. Even when I come home late in the evenings after a long day at work and the gym, I always have the energy to make this simple meal.
Do you have any cheap meals you regularly make at home? What tactics do you use to minimize food expenses?
Zach is the author behind Four Pillar Freedom, a blog that teaches you how to build wealth and gain freedom in life.
Zach's favorite free financial tool he's been using since 2015 to manage his net worth is Personal Capital. Each month he uses their free Investment Checkup tool and Retirement Planner to track his investments and ensure that he's on the fast track to financial freedom.
His favorite investment platform is M1 Finance, a site that allows him to build a custom portfolio of stocks for free, has no trading or maintenance fees, and even allows him to set up automated target-allocated investments.
His favorite way to save money each month on his recurring bills is by using Trim, a free financial app that negotiates lower cable, internet, and phone bills with any provider on your behalf.
His favorite micro-investing app is Acorns, a free financial app that takes just 5 minutes to set up and allows you to invest your spare change in a diversified portfolio.
His favorite place to find new personal finance articles to read is Collecting Wisdom, a site that collects the best personal finance articles floating around the web on a daily basis.
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