Chinese on the Cheap

Like everyone anymore, you’re probably super busy and have seemingly ZERO time to get anything done; dinner being no exception. Unfortunately, this lack of time usually means that we end up sacrificing the quality of the food that we eat and if you resort to takeout-you’re paying an absurd amount of money to eat junk.

Thankfully, this doesn’t have to be the case. You can make good, quality food in minutes and you can do it for a low cost.

I am such a sucker for Chinese food. The problem though is that I spend $35 to feed everyone and when dinner is over, we all feel stuffed yet unsatisfied because it’s mostly carbs and those weirdly cut vegetable that you really don’t want to eat.

What I found making “Chinese” at home, is that you can control what you put in it so you won’t have to pick anything out. ANDDD because you can add lots of good stuff, you end up feeling replenished. I mean, isn’t that what food is supposed to do to us?

My absolute go to meal is white rice with veggies. I use jasmine rice and make it in a rice cooker because it comes out fluffy and delicious so you can’t tell the difference! If you don’t have a rice cooker, that’s totally fine- but they’re SO worth the investment for at home Chinese.

While you’ve got your rice going, you can make your simple-as-can-be veggie mix. To this, you can add anything you want. I like TONS of vegetables so I always use whatever I’ve got on hand. I would definitely suggest peppers and onions, but feel free to add mushrooms, squash, carrots, or peas. The best part is that it’s so universal.

One special ingredient that really gives it that true Chinese take out feel is the little baby corn. They come in a can, so you can keep them around for whenever you’re in the mood.

Literally… just toss whatever veggies you choose into and oiled pan and cook until tender, THEN add the baby corn if you so desire. 10 minutes, tops! And you don’t have to babysit the pan.


I also had some leftover cooked chicken that was starting to become questionable, so I threw that in. If you have any kind of leftover beef or even turkey, it will totally work. Otherwise, this is a GREAT “Meatless Monday” dish and still amazing.

Once that is all done, you can toss in some garlic and the soy sauce.  I also like to add a tablespoon of honey just to give it a little something special

When it’s all done, top your white rice with the mix and serve.


This isn’t really a “recipe” because there’s no say on what you add and you can keep it as simple or elaborate as you want. The idea though is that you really can make GOOD meals for so cheap, and so quick and they can still feel special. I rely on meals like this to get me through most days, and it’s a life saver!

Start to finish, this took me about 15 minutes and the total cost was well under $10!!


Can be adjusted to your liking-but this is my fav combo. The rice and soy sauce are the only necessary consistencies.

2 cups jasmine rice

1 cup green peppers

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 chopped mushrooms

1 can baby corn

1 tbsp honey

1/4 cup soy sauce (adjust to taste)

1 clove garlic

Cook rice as directed (rice cooker recommended)

Toss fresh veggies into an oiled pan, cook until tender. Add baby corn, garlic, honey, and soy sauce. Let cook on medium-low for about 5 minutes.

Top finished rice with mixture. For the full effect, feel free to serve in dollar store take out boxes. Yes, they exist.


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