I hope you are hungry. Very hungry. Because I have a huge, cheap meal for you. I, myself, am stuffed, and I have plenty leftover! You'll be stuffed, too.
1 cup dry red beans - 50 cents
Soak them in water overnight
In a skillet cook up (with or without a little oil):
2 onions, chopped up - 40 cents
lots of tomatoes from garden, chopped up - 0 cents
1 red bell pepper, chopped up - 50 cents
1 thing of garlic, chopped up - 20 cents
Dump the above, plus 1 cup dry lentils, plus 4 cups water, plus
spices - 20 cents
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp ginger powder
1/2 tsp salt
into a big pot and simmer for an hour.
For $1.80 (or less - I overestimated the costs) you'll have soooo much Bean-Lentil soup! Like, ten giant bowls of the stuff! That's 18 cents per meal! That's ten meals for one person. That's five meals for two people! Or if you're like me, that's two meals for one person, who then is sick of beans and lentils, and then there's a meal for two, and then one meal in a tupperware as a "lovely gift" to a friend, and then three meals into the freezer for next week after a little break from Bean-Lentil soup.