14 “Poor People Food” Dishes Loved by All, Regardless of How Rich You Are

Some foods have the power to transport you back to your childhood. If you grew up without a lot of money, these “poor people foods” will hit hard no matter how much money you have as an adult.

Tuna Macaroni Salad

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If you love seafood, tuna macaroni is a no-brainer. Besides being relatively cheap, you can quickly make this protein-packed dish!

Canned Pork

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For less than $4 as of late 2023, you can find canned pork in your local grocery store. You shouldn’t make this your daily meal, but this is nice to have when strapped for money.

Sardines on Crackers

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Like tuna, sardines won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Add these on top of your favorite crackers, and you have yourself a tasty snack packed with protein.

Tomato Soup

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Besides tomato soup being relatively cheap, depending on where you buy it from, it’s packed with many nutrients and health benefits. Some like to pair it with a cheese sandwich.

Bread and Butter

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There’s a reason why most restaurants serve you bread and butter while you wait for your food. Since bread is packed with carbohydrates, you’ll get full quickly. You don’t only have to eat your bread with butter. Dice garlic or add olive oil for extra flavor.

Cinnamon Toast

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What better way to start your morning than with toast? According to a user, this is a challenging dish, but if you nail the recipe, you’ll thank yourself later.

Rice and Beans

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This is easily the top food choice for many. You’ll get a decent amount of protein and a wide range of bean options. Eat pinto for one week and try kidney beans the following week. 


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Ramen is versatile. You can eat plain ramen or add chicken, eggs, rice, and more if you choose.

Peanut Butter and Jelly

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The best part of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is that it’s easy to make. For more options, you can opt for almond butter or your favorite fruit jelly. One thing’s for certain: You’ll satisfy any sugar cravings with this dish.


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Potatoes are served in high-class restaurants for a good reason. They can be mashed, cut into fries, or baked. Potatoes taste good to many and leave you feeling full.

Instant Noodles

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This is a classic food many college students know well. Boil water and add it to your noodles. If you want to get fancy, add cilantro, diced tomatoes, and onions for more flavor.

Mac and Cheese

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If you love cheese, mac and cheese is a no-brainer. You can make it from scratch or buy it from your favorite company.

Sloppy Joes

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This is another classic. Most of us recall having sloppy joes at school as a kid. Since it’s packed with ground beef, you’ll get a good amount of protein. Add onions and tomato sauce, and serve it on your favorite hamburger bun.

More Sandwiches

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Sandwiches are versatile and easy to make. You won’t go hungry making one of these, from grilled cheese to ham and egg.


Author: Christopher Alarcon

Title: Journalist

Expertise: personal finance, side hustles, time management


Christopher Alarcon is a journalist with a deep passion for personal finance. He has contributed to major online publications, including MSN, Wealth of Geeks, and Business Insider.