I like a home-cooked meal as much as anybody else. However, I’m a writer. And as a writer, I spend about ... oh, 80 percent of my time flat broke.

However, through serious trial and error, I’ve managed to find the best deals out there for a great meal, in a nice, sit-down restaurant for $10/head. That’s right, folks – 10 bucks.

These aren’t your average pizza joints or family-oriented theme restaurants, either; we’re talking nice places with wonderful ambiance and excellent food that will give you the appearance of living large even though the only thing in your pockets is lint and a bus pass.

Authentic Spanish cuisine is all the rage with foodies everywhere. Now, it can be enjoyed by just about anyone. The Spanish Kitchen (826 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood) is a beautiful restaurant sitting pretty in one of the coolest neighborhoods in town.

Aside from its gorgeous architecture and Mediterranean details throughout, the food here is undeniably amazing. To get the most bang for your buck, check out the Spanish Kitchen on Tuesdays when tacos (filled with your choice of lobster, grilled blackened salmon, Mexican barbecue pulled pork or char-grilled vegetables to name a few) are only $2 each. Or if tacos aren’t your thing, enjoy other mouth-watering meals like Enchilada Suiza or Beef Empanadas (both $10 or less).

For East Coast transplants not quite acclimated to the barrage of Thai food stops on every block, get your fix of traditional Chinese fare at Joy Feast Restaurant (2009 W. Alameda Ave., Burbank). This restaurant is an excellent place to dine like royalty on a pauper’s dime.

The menu has over 80 dinner and lunch items priced under 10 bucks, like Singapore noodles, Orange Chicken and BBQ Pork with Snow Peas and Water Chestnuts. And the décor is so classy, it’ll leave you wondering what you ever saw in Panda Express.

From Chinese food, we trek on over to India for a taste more exotic. At Flavor of India (161 E. Orange Grove Ave., Burbank) you can finally set your taste buds free for a nominal fee.

Every last one of the appetizers at this eatery is under $10. Most of its vegetarian meals are similarly priced.

So if Chicken Pakora, Chana Masala and Aloo Gobi are your thing, you’re all set. Flavor of India’s Tandoori Chicken is also to die for at its current price of 10 smackaroos.

For those with special dietary needs, or for people just looking to eat a bit lighter in the hot California sun, then look no further because Vegan House (1717 N. Wilcox Ave., Hollywood) has you covered. Its menu is a culinary delight of Asian-inspired tastes that totally take the guesswork out of vegan dining.

Try the fresh spring rolls made with veggie chicken or veggie fish. Or be bold and embrace the soy pepper steak sushi with a side of coconut palm juice. The one real joy you’ll have at Vegan House is being able to order a multitude of items at once; not only is everything on the menu under $10, a lot of it is under $5, making this one of the best food bargains in town.

Finally, Leaf Cuisine (leafcuisine.com) with three locations in Culver City, Sherman Oaks and Redondo Beach is the Promised Land for proponents of the trendy raw food diet. Stars like Demi Moore have gone raw and praise the lifestyle. Try the Fortuna Fantasy wrap (half, $5.99 or full, $8.99) or the Flying Falafel Salad (in three sizes, all under $10).