5 Simple & Cheap Meal Ideas That Even Beginners Can Prepare

Do you see that headline?

I feel like this topic is perfect for me.

No, not because I’m an expert but because I probably need this a lot.

Spending money on food is fine; we need to eat to survive.

Sometimes, though, having a meal cooked from your own two hands can potentially help you save costs.

Also, you get the joy of having accomplished something too!

But if you’re like me and are probably afraid of burning water in the kitchen, cooking can seem like a daunting task.

Luckily, I found some recipes that might help newbies like us out!


Or rice porridge, same thing!

Basically a free meal for yourself when you have a rice cooker. A basic congee can be prepared and even freely customised however you want!

Image: Roti N Rice

Assuming you’re preparing it just for yourself, some basic ingredients you need are:

  • 1 cup of uncooked rice
  • 8 cups of water or stock of your choice (choose your own flavour!)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon of ginger and garlic
  • Ingredient of your choice, chicken cubes, shrimp etc
  • Salt and pepper for a little extra taste

First, rinse the rice in the rice cooker pot and change the water around four to five times.

Add stock, ginger, garlic, oyster sauce and any additional sauce before turning on the rice cooker. Leave the cooker uncovered and stir occasionally for 45 minutes or until congee is smooth and no longer grainy.

Change your rice cooker to keep warm once it’s done. After that just throw it whatever ingredients or garnishes you want and you got a decent congee!

Herb Chicken

I give special thanks to my editor for recommending me this dish.

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This is one of those dishes that you can serve alongside anything, basically. Just accompany it with some rice and you’ve got yourself a nice meal.

Image: Loop St Lucia

You only need a few things:

  • Two halves of a chicken breast
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Garnish of your choice

Cut the lemon in half, and squeeze juice from 1/2 lemon on chicken. Season with however much salt you want.

I like it really salty.

Let it sit while you heat oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat, then put the chicken in once it’s hot.

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As you saute chicken, add juice from other 1/2 lemon and pepper. Saute for 5 to 10 minutes each side, or until juices run clear. Serve with a garnish of your choice.


Trust me, this isn’t as daunting as it seems.


Most of the ramen you know will take decades to prepare the broth, and that’s true.

However, this one I’m about to show you takes like twenty minutes max of preparation and cooking.

Image: Fifteen Spatulas

Some basic ingredients are:

  • 1 packet of ramen noodles 
  • 1 tablespoon of neutral oil
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon of minced garlic and ginger

Put the oil, garlic and ginger in a pot and cook it for about two to three minutes.

Start adding the water or stock into the mix and bring to a boil over high heat.


Depending on your ramen package, follow the instructions on how long you should cook them inside your broth and you settle for your nice, noodly dish afterwards!

This is a super basic ramen recipe and you can throw in more ingredients if you want.


Now we move onto breakfast foods.

A simple dish that can be prepared in around 10 minutes and doesn’t even use much besides eggs.

And personally, goes well with a nice tea.

Image: bbcgoodfood

For the most basic omelette all you need are these:

  • 3 beaten eggs
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • Salt and pepper (estimate how much you want)

Season the beaten eggs well with salt and pepper.

Heat the oil and butter in a non-stick frying pan over medium-low heat until the butter has melted and is foaming.

Now you can pour the eggs into the pan and swirl it around to let it cover the surface. Let it cook for around 20 to 30 seconds.

Tilt the pan again to allow it to fill back up with the runny egg. Repeat once or twice more until the egg has just set and you’re good to go.


I recommend eating this with mushrooms or onions.

French Toast

Because basic bread is overrated.

French toast is where it’s at.

French toast is easily one of my favourite ways to eat bread and enjoy that fried, slightly sweet goodness with each bite.

Image: Macheesmo

What you need:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) milk
  • 4 slices bread

Beat the egg, vanilla and cinnamon in a shallow dish and once that’s done, stir it in the milk.

Dip the bread in the mixture and try your best to coat each side evenly.

Trial and error friends.

Cook bread slices on a lightly greased nonstick skillet on medium heat until browned on both sides.

So here we go, five easy recipes that any of us can just try.


Time to go home and make me some of the toast now.

This Singapore love story set in the 90s shows you why you should never wait for tomorrow. Watch it without crying:

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