I think most of us are in the same position - we want to make meals for our families that are nutritious, taste good and affordable.
One of the most affordable meals I have come across is pasta. If you buy the vegetable or whole wheat pasta, it is quite nutritious.
I thought I would do a little run down of a pasta meal, with the cost so you can see just how economic it can be.
1 950g bag of pasta - $1.19
1 tin of Bravo pasta sauce - $1.79 (you can buy your favorite brand, there are many that are even cheaper than this)
.5 lb of lean ground beef - $5.99 (to save even more, you could buy medium)
This will feed my husband, older son and myself for 3 meals each. When you divide that up to a per serving cost, your looking at $0.75 per meal. How awesome is that?
You could add in a loaf of garlic bread and a salad, and still be looking at under $1.00 per meal.
If you want a side to a meal, or a lunch (or dinner even) then you could make a pasta salad. Cook the pasta, add in whatever veggies you want, protein (I like tuna or chicken with mine) and some salad dressing (zesty italian or sundried tomato and oregano are my favorites)