Quinoa Black Bean Chili

Photo: Alison Gootee/Studio D

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Idea #1: Plan a Meal You Can Easily Stretch
Personal chicken pot pies seem elegant, as do fish fillets cooked in their own individual packets. But these main courses are actually pretty pricey, since you use more of each ingredient (e.g., pie crust, olive oil) when you make many small dishes instead of one big dish. You'll feed many more people with a one-dish workhorse such as a chili, soup, stew or pasta, says Jessica Fisher, author of the new book Good Cheap Eats: Everyday Dinners and Fantastic Feasts for $10 or Less. And if the main includes vegetables, you can forego a salad and just serve bread on the side (whereas flounder in parchment would probably entail making a veggie and a starch). This quinoa, black bean, broccoli and pepper chili costs less than $3 per serving and the recipe can be easily doubled.

Get the recipe: Quinoa Black Bean Chili
Cost per serving: $2.67