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The Best Homemade Chili Recipe – Easy, Healthy & Cheap – Under $15 For the Whole Family

A lot of people underestimate the number of guys who can cook and do it well.  Popular reality TV shows like Top Chef and Iron Chef have helped change that image a bit for the better, but I think the general consensus is still that guys can’t cook. I admit that I’m not the best myself, but I do have a small portfolio of fantastic dishes that I’ve managed to create on my own. My wife and I usually split the cooking duties throughout the week.  If one person cooks, the other cleans up.  We sometimes fight to cook, because both of us would rather cook than clean! I’ve got in quite a bit of practice as a result.

In the winter months, there’s nothing better than cooking up a big pot of hot chili for the family.  It’s easy to make, cheap, and fills everyone up.  Not to mention, it tastes the best when the weather is cold!

I’m feeling generous today, so I’m going to reveal to you my “secret” chili recipe that a lot of people have given me compliments on in the past.  And the best part about this recipe is that it costs less than $15 to buy all of the ingredients.

My Easy Homemade Chili Recipe


  • 1 to 1.5 pound of lean ground beef – $4-5
  • 2 cans of Bush’s Mild/Medium Chili Starter – $3
  • 2 cans of Del Monte/Hunt’s Diced Tomatoes w/ Sweet Onions – $2
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons of garlic salt
  • a pinch of oregano
  • a pinch of basil
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons of black pepper
  • 1 carton of sour cream – $1
  • 1 package of mild cheddar shredded cheese. – $2
  • 1 box of oyster crackers – $2

Total Cost: $14 to $15


Preparation Time: 15 minutes

  1. If the beef is frozen, thaw it out for 24 hours prior so that it’s ready to use the following day.
  2. Take out the biggest pot you have and cook the ground beef on medium heat until it’s brown.
  3. Drain the excess fat/grease.
  4. Add the chili starter, diced tomatoes, and onions to the pot.
  5. Let simmer on medium heat and stir for 5 to 10 minutes.
  6. Stir in oregano, basil, garlic salt and black pepper.
  7. Once the chili is piping hot, serve the chili in shallow bowls.
  8. Take out the sour cream, cheese and oyster crackers, and allow your family to add the extras as much or as little as they want.  If you’ve never had sour cream with your chili, you’re really missing out!  It’s delicious.

Enjoy! If you end up trying this recipe out, be sure to let me know how it goes in the comments below!

Erik Folgate
Erik and his wife, Lindzee, live in Orlando, Florida with a baby boy on the way. Erik works as an account manager for a marketing company, and considers counseling friends, family and the readers of Money Crashers his personal ministry to others. Erik became passionate about personal finance and helping others make wise financial decisions after racking up over $20k in credit card and student loan debt within the first two years of college.

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