Budget Beef Vegetable Lo Mein

Budget beef vegetable lo mein is the cornerstone of a satisfying family meal for under six dollars for Hunger Awareness Month.
Budget Beef  Vegetable Lo Mein

Budget Beef  Vegetable Lo Mein

By Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime

My recipe of the day is for Budget Beef Vegetable Lo Mein, a recipe that  will allot a family of four with a complete dinner meal for $5.13.

It is all inclusive of  ingredients, and needs just a working kitchen with pans, plates, a stove and  water. Drag the bag of groceries into a working (albeit refrigerator is empty) kitchenette and  have at it. I didn’t get you everything I desired for this meal, but it does have fresh vegetables, and protein and will fill you up.

Budget Beef  Vegetable Lo Mein

My husband and I ate this for our dinner and would do this in a pinch, so for those of my friends in   need of  a real budget meal, this is  it.

September is Hunger Action Month

September is Hunger Action Month – a time to bring attention to food insecurity. According to the US Department of Agriculture, 1 in 8 Americans were food insecure in 2017. That’s 40 million people – more than 12 million of which are children – with a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life.

The meal below were made with a budget of $5.50 – the average amount a family of four would have for a meal on a SNAP budget.I shared this recipe today to show you how far these dollars go – or don’t go.

Budget Beef  Vegetable Lo Mein

What  is SNAP?

SNAP is also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (or what most people refer to as food stamps).

In 2018 alone,  SNAP helped more than 40 million Americans afford a nutritionally adequate diet. For low-wage working families, low-income seniors and people with disabilities living on fixed incomes, finding ways to pay for the rising costs of food is a problem. And for families with children, which comprise 2/3 of those receiving assistance, it is vitally important to our future. The other third is made up of seniors on an inadequate fixed income,  or those with disabilities which make it difficult if not impossible,  to earn basic living expenses.



The Pickings

It’s exactly  why  I picked it- those salty seasoning packets with  bouillon  inside and salt and more salt- yeah. That’s the seasoning we would not  otherwise have.

And I chose ground meat- not because it was low fat. But because it  had the fat in it to keep the meat from  sticking to the skillet.

Of course, you can drain off the extra fat and  not use all the seasoning packets and I did just that.

But in itself it is  not a cinch to do  these things to keep the price down. I had to ask the butcher to give me only half a package of beef. How humiliating.

Shopping basket contents

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Budget Beef Vegetable Lo Mein

Sue Lau
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Asian
Servings 4


  • 1/2 pound lean ground beef
  • 4 packages Oriental flavor ramen noodle soup
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1 bunch scallions
  • 2 fresh white mushrooms


  • Cook the ramen in hot water until tender and drain.
  • Brown ground beef in a skillet and drain excess fat.
  • Add vegetables to pan and cook until crisp tender, seasoning with three of the four seasoning packets from the ramen.
  • Toss cooked noodles with the stir-fry mixture and serve.


From the kitchen of palatablepastime.com
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14 responses

  1. This is going to be a wonderful recipe to include in our pantry boxes. Ramen is always on the shelves and this time of year we get lots of zucchini donations.

    • Could easily add in garden tomatoes and peppers too. I have been overrun- been roasting and drying a ton. I see dried tomato recipes in my future! 😀

    • Well my lo mein is usually quite a more involved affair. And I use a different kind of noodles in those to be more authentic.

  2. I enjoy Ramen noodles from time to time and we like to add the dried noodles to salad sometimes. I never would have thought to make a whole dinner with them. Good idea for a low budget meal.

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