I'm saving money by eating little cups of brown rice and quinoa for $2 each from DHC (healthy food and body care products). They can also be found in the grocery store, two for $4. I also just had some of those microwave cups of Chef Boyarde Beef ravioli and the Lasagna. They are high in sodium but I think okay in moderation. They were on sale 10 for $10. Sardines and a simple salad also make an economical lunch.
Stir fried rice with mixed vegetables or sausages. Blue Ribbon Rice 3 lbs $2.00 at Walmart. Mixed vegi $1.00 frozen or 8 sausages, $1.25 Farmer John pack. Imperial Margarine $1.00. Kikomon Soy sauce bottle $1.00. Total $5.00 dollars out the door.
You could survive perfectly. You might not LIKE it, but meat is a learned taste. Human biology is not actually designed to handle meat. 60% of our food should be carbs for energy. Many veg sources of protein, too.
We all know carb foods are cheap. Bread goes along way and is cheap and peanut butter is a good source of protein and fat, which makes it stick with you. Keeping the tummy from growling is is more important than healthy eating in low money times.