This meal is a good vegetarian option which can be converted to a meat meal. It is also great for the kids as they always love to make things up themselves and eat with their hands.
There are heaps of recipes going around for felafel but the basic gist is pureed chick peas with some onion, herbs and spices. A can of chick peas will cost you around $2 and should make enough felafel patties for a family of 4. I use this basic recipe for felafel. I just add the herbs basically by taste, adjusting the flavour as I go. And I only add the flour if it's needed to stiffen the mixture.
I then make a quick salad of diced tomato and cucumber, you could also add mint or parsley. Some lettuce or baby spinach for a bit more green. A sauce is also nice so I either make hummus (more chickpeas!) or I make a simple cucumber and yoghurt dip by grating a cucumber and a tiny bit of lemon zest into natural yoghurt. A small tub of natural yoghurt will cost you a couple of dollars.
The last step which is really yummy is to make your own flat bread. I've done this a couple of times and we all love it. You can find the recipe I use here, as well as some other very tasty recipes.
All up this is quite an easy meal, healthy, kids love it and it's cheap!