You don’t have to sacrifice health or flavor when saving money on food. This series of recipes highlights cheap, tasty ingredients that can be prepared in many different ways. Home-cooked meals can be friendly on your budget and your tastebuds. Today’s recipe is a simple, pan-seared chicken breast with a side of oven-roasted sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts. High in lean protein, fibers and nutrients, this meal is sure to get your mouth watering.

Toni Shindler-Ruberg / Daily Nexus

Yields 2-3 servings.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes


Main Ingredients

  • 1-lb package of chicken breast, cut into strips or pre-cut tenders ($7.00)
  • 2 sweet potatoes ($2.00)
  • 1 package of brussels sprouts ($3.00)

Pantry Staples

  • 1 egg ($2.00 for 1 carton)
  • Salt ($1.59)
  • Pepper ($1.99)
  • Olive oil or other neutral oil ($6.00)
  • ⅓ cup flour ($2.99 / 5-lb. bag)
  • Chili powder and garlic powder ($2.00 each)

Cost of Main Ingredients: $12.00

Cost of Pantry Staples: $13.00

Cost of Total Recipe: $25.00

Tools Needed:

  • Multi-use chef knife
  • Cutting board
  • 1-2 baking trays
  • Small bowl
  • Plate
  • Medium frying pan

Notes: These prices are based on Trader Joe’s products and may not reflect the prices in other stores. When calculating the cost of the main ingredients, I excluded pantry staples including seasonings, olive oil and flour. However, these ingredients are still cheap to purchase, last a long time and are good staples to keep in stock in your pantry. I suggest using two baking trays so you can cook the potatoes and the brussel sprouts simultaneously. If you only have one baking tray, don’t worry! You will simply need to preheat the oven a little sooner and pop the potatoes or sprouts in before baking the other. 

Toni Shindler-Ruberg / Daily Nexus


  1. Gather ingredients and preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. Wash the potatoes and the brussels sprouts. Cut the sweet potatoes into disks, approximately 1/2 inch thick. Trim the stalk of the brussels sprouts and cut in half. 
  3. Lay out the potato disks and brussels sprout wedges on the baking sheets, drizzling with olive oil and seasoning with pepper, salt and chili powder. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until tender, mixing and rotating them halfway through.
  4. Make your flour dredge by mixing your flour, salt, chili powder, garlic powder and pepper on a plate. Crack and beat the egg on another plate.
  5. Dry your chicken using paper towels. 
  6. Run the chicken through the egg then the flour mix. Repeat. Complete this process for all of the chicken.
  7. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil. Once the pan is hot, place the dredged chicken into the pan. Sear for 4-5 minutes on each side until the chicken is golden brown, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  8. Remove the chicken from the pan and serve with the oven-roasted vegetables!

These techniques can also be used with many different ingredients, serving up a multitude of different options. I hope you enjoyed this wallet-friendly dinner — pan-seared chicken and saving money have never tasted better! 


Toni Shindler-Ruberg
Toni Shindler-Ruberg is the Opinion Editor for the 2022-23 school year. Previously, she was the Assistant Opinion Editor for the 2021-22 school year. She is an English and Psychological & Brain Sciences double major with a passion for antique knife restoration videos and looking at pictures of ducks wearing mini cowboy hats.