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How to Make Cheap and Easy Stir Fry at Home (It’s Less than $5)


Have you ever arrived home at dinner time and asked yourself what you can make for dinner quickly because everyone is hungry? You want something cheap and easy without a lot of work so you can avoid going the fast food route.

Cheap and easy stir fry is your answer

The first thing you do is get the rice going. Brown basmati rice has a nice flavor with lots of good nutrients, but you can use whatever rice you would like. Or if you are short on time, use rice noodles. Eitherway use some homemade broth as part of the cooking liquid and you will boost the nutritional value of your meal.

You can also use rice which is already cooked and just warm it up to serve.

Quick and easy stir fry is a great meal to use up some leftover shredded chicken and vegetables lingering in your fridge just waiting to be eaten. The best part is you can use whatever veggies you have on hand. how to make cheap and easy stir fry close up

While the rice is cooking, it is time to prep thestir fry veggies. If you use a good knife, chopping all the vegetables will not take you much time at all. You can even get a little fancy with your slices, carrots into ovals, orange, red or yellow bell peppers into strips, cabbage into ribbons, broccoli into florets, you get the idea.

Once you have everything chopped and ready to go, heat up the olive oil in the frying pan and add all your veggies. Cook until the color of the veggies turn a vibrant hue, but not too much longer after that, you still want your vegetables to be slightly crisp. Add the chicken to the veggies until warm.

Add tamari sauce and spices to your taste. Serve over rice or rice noodles.

The cost break down comes to $4.13 for four servings of cheap and easy stir fry. Fast food doesn't seem as fast, easy and definitely not as friendly to your budget anymore, right?

So next time you are wondering what you can cook in a flash, try cooking cheap and easy stir fry at home. You will be glad you did and you only dirtied up 4 or 5 dishes in the cooking. Now, there's time after dinner to sit down and relax. You can browse my favorite kitchen tools here.

how to make cheap and easy stir fry two bowls

Chicken Stir FryCuisine: Asian Author: Charissa Quade Prep time: 

Cook time:

Total time:

Serves: 4

This quick and easy stir fry uses shredded chicken and lots of veggies. 

stir fry


  • 2 Tbs of olive oil
  • 1/4 of a small head of cabbage, sliced into ribbons
  • 1 small stalk of broccoli, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 1/2 onion sliced into half circles
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into small strips
  • 1 stalk of celery, sliced
  • 1.5 cups cooked, shredded chicken
  • Chinese 5 Spice to taste
  • Tamari sauce to taste
  • 2 cups brown basmati rice
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tbs of butter
  • 1 tsp salt


  1. Cook rice as normal.
  2. Add rice, water, chicken broth, butter and salt to a saucepan
  3. Bring to a boil, then turn down heat tomedium low and simmer until done.
  4. Chop veggies
  5. Heat oil over medium heat in a frying pan.
  6. Add veggies and spices.
  7. Saute a couple of minutes.
  8. Add chicken and heat thoroughly.
  9. Serve with veggies over rice.

Notes: You can add any type of veggies you want and adjust the seasonings as necessary. The cooking time accounts for how long the rice cooks. Cook the stir fry until vegetables are bright in color and still slightly crunchy, about 5-7 minutes.

Short on time? Substitute rice noodles instead of rice. Cook the noodles in broth for extra flavor.

Up next, Psole is a favorite and inexpensive meal for a large crowd! Check out the Recipe by clicking the Read More Button....


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About the Author

Hi! I'm Charissa. I was able to pay off all my debt, pay cash for my husband's education, and build up my savings-all because of using a budget. I love to share all the budgeting tips I've learned with you so you can have a successful budget too! Read more...

Thomas Ives
2015-06-29 12:06:26
Love the recipe and sounds delicious. Printed it out and looking forward to cooking this sometime soon. Thanks for sharing this. #debbieinshape
2015-06-30 10:11:12
Love this type of recipe. So easy to customize, and just use whatever veg I have on hand. Healthy and easy! Thank you.
Debbie Rodrigues
2015-06-30 12:14:56
Delicious!!! I'm really happy you shared it on #TipTuesday, Charissa. Thank you very much.
2015-06-29 12:27:17
This does look delicious, and something my family would enjoy even my fussy husband. I am going to try this out one day this week.
Debbie Rodrigues
2015-06-29 23:38:17
I'm totally pinning this one for later. I love it! Thank you so much for sharing it with #debbieinshape friends!
2015-06-29 18:16:26
Stir fries are always the best when it comes to saving money because you don't use all of the ingredients in one go, and they can be saved up for the next meal. Plus, if you have left-over stir-fry then make it into fried rice with left-over rice!!
2015-06-29 21:48:42
Yum, fried rice with the leftovers! I didn't even think of that, thank you for sharing the idea, Agatha. I agree, stir fries are a nice way to save money on food. I usually make one to use up leftover meat and incorporate lots of veggies.
2015-06-29 21:50:03
Thank you Thomas, I hope you like the recipe. Stir Fry is a great recipe to make if you need to pull a quick dinner together (especially if your rice is already cooked).
2015-06-29 21:52:49
Yay for recipes the whole family enjoys, even the fussy eaters! Emily, let me know how the stir fry goes over with your family. If it's a success, feel free to take all the credit! You can easily change whatever meat you have on hand and whatever veggies you like as well.
Lorelai @ Life With Lorelai
2015-07-01 07:17:43
This stir fry looks wonderful. Thanks for sharing at the #HomeMattersParty - we're looking forward to what you have to share next week. :) ~Lorelai Life With Lorelai
2015-07-01 10:28:12
Thank you Lorelai!
2015-07-01 10:28:28
Thanks Debbie!
2015-07-01 10:29:14
Me too, Hillari, and the stir fry is different every time I make it, based on what meat and veggies I have on hand.
2015-07-01 10:33:50
Awesome, thank you Debbie! I hope you enjoy it.
2015-07-03 09:52:53
I don't know why I never think to make a quick stir fry. I love all the fresh veggies and it is so healthy! I just found you through the Friday Blog Booster party.
2015-07-03 09:54:56
Trying this next week! Yum! Pinned!
2015-07-03 15:08:43
Thanks for stopping by Michelle! I often make stir fry towards the end of the week, since it is quick and easy to throw together. I love it because stir fry is so versatile to throw together with whatever you have on hand.
2015-07-03 15:09:03
Awesome! I hope you like it Dee.
2015-07-04 04:30:07
That is a top recipe, so quick and healthy and as you say it does not cost very much for all this goodness. I love healthy recipes on our Friday Blog Booster Party Kathleen
2015-07-06 06:13:31
Thank you Kathleen! I am glad you like the recipe, especially posted on Friday Blog Booster.
2016-06-22 15:28:32
i often make fake stirfry too, with hamburger lol the grease flavors everything nice too. ginger is our spice for stirfry. tamari to top it tho, for sure.
2016-06-23 21:17:07
I love ginger in stir fry!! Delicious! Thanks for stopping by.