Top meals under $10

Chloe Williams, Web and Social Editor

With the prices of food rising and the overall cost of living increasing, meals that used to be considered “cheap eats” do not hold true anymore. Just getting a Box Combo at Cane’s runs $10.59 without taxes. So for days when I am off campus but do not feel like cooking, these are my favorite cheap eats for less than $10, not including taxes. 

Tortas Ahogadas El Chivito

El Chivito is my go-to place when I am looking for a delicious, inexpensive meal. My staple order is two quesabirrias for $2.99 each — while their birria does not come with consomé, a large cup costs $2.99 and I always share it with whoever I am eating with. The total for two quesabirrias and a consomé is $8.97, and if I am sharing the consomé, I will add on a sandia aguas frescas for $3.50. Tortas Ahogadas El Chivito has two locations in San Antonio, and the closest to UTSA is just past 410 at 204 Crossroads Blvd. 

Dog Haus

Hot dogs are a well-known cheap eat, and while everything on Dog Haus’ menu is not under $10, the hot dogs all come in at $7.99. Other cheaper menu options include their corn dogs for around $6.99, sliders for $2.99 each and side add-ons including fries and tater tots. Dog Haus is a great dine-in option, and if you are over 21, they offer over 25 beer options. Dog Haus has two locations in San Antonio, one in Stone Oak and the other right next to H-E-B Plus on Bandera at 11710 Quincy Lee Dr. 

Olive Garden

This Olive Garden hack went around on TikTok last year, but it is still such a great deal. Whenever I am craving pasta, I will order Olive Garden’s to-go kid’s meal. This kid’s meal is $6.99 and comes with so much. I always get the “Kids Five Cheese Marinara” with spaghetti, a side of spaghetti with tomato sauce and a kid’s drink. Proteins are available to add for an additional $1.79 to $2.29, but my favorite thing to do is order without protein to keep costs down, then bake a ton of frozen meatballs at home and eat with the pasta dishes. I always get enough food for two meals in this kid’s meal order. Breadsticks also come included with the meal. Another option I love to add is Olive Garden’s $6 take-home entree. The take-home entrees offered include five cheese ziti, fettuccine alfredo and spaghetti with meat sauce. The closest Olive Garden to campus is at 15814 I-10. 

Project Pollo

Project Pollo is a plant-based restaurant with some relatively inexpensive options. Eating plant-based definitely has the stigma of being expensive, but their original project Chikn sandwich is $8.49, which is comparable to a many other chicken sandwiches. Other under $10 options include their Nashville hot Chikn, Chikn caesar wrap, loaded fries and all their shake options. I enjoy Project Pollo’s food, and as someone who does eat meat, their sandwiches do not leave me missing chicken. There are several nearby locations, so head to to find the one closest to you. 

Taco Cabana

While Taco Cabana can seem like an obvious choice for inexpensive food, I am a huge fan of Taco Cabana and enjoy it each time — especially for the price. Taco Cabana has so many cheap menu options that pretty much everything on the menu is under $10. My favorite order is two bean and cheese tacos with lots of salsa on the side. This order is only $3.18 and fills me up. Taco Cabana also offers a large margarita selection for those of age. The margaritas only cost $3 and offer yummy flavors like mangonada, dragon fruit, blue Curaçao and more. There are several nearby locations. Visit to find the one closest to you.


Almost everything at CAVA is over $10, and all their build-your-own bowls start at $10.35, but they offer a kid’s pita for $6.20. The Kid’s Pita comes with a choice of one grain, one dip, one main, two toppings and two dressings. Served with the meal is your choice of kid’s pita chips or carrot sticks and a kid’s drink. This has become my staple order at CAVA due to the cheap price and amount of food that comes with it. I always order my pita with brown rice, crazy feta dip, roasted sweet potatoes, tomato and cucumber, pickled onions and garlic dressing. The side of pita chips is amazing and tastes great eaten with the food that spills out of the pita. There are locations near campus in The Rim and The Strand. 

Eating out does not have to break the bank — there are smart decisions that we can make to save our wallets but still enjoy a delicious meal out. Share in the comments any other cheap eating options you enjoy in San Antonio. 

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