17 Easy Cheap Meals On A Budget For Family

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17 Easy Cheap Meals On A Budget For Family


Pinching pennies but craving delicious meals for your family? Look no further! This list offers 17 easy and budget-friendly recipes that are perfect for busy weeknights. Stretch your grocery budget without sacrificing flavor or nutrition. From one-pan wonders to hearty soups and protein-packed pastas, we’ve got something to satisfy every taste bud and keep your family happy. Ditch the expensive takeout and create delicious and affordable meals that everyone will love!

1. Cheesy One-Pot Pasta with Sausage and Peas

Simple and satisfying! Brown sausage in a pot. Add pasta, broth, and vegetables like peas. Simmer until the pasta is cooked through and the sauce thickens. Top with shredded cheese for a creamy and kid-approved one-pan wonder.


2. Taco Tuesday on a Budget

A family favorite, budget-friendly style! Use ground turkey or lentils instead of beef for a cost-effective taco filling. Serve with budget-friendly toppings like shredded cheese, salsa, lettuce, and tomatoes on flour tortillas.


3. Hearty Lentil Soup with Ham

Warm up with a protein-packed and budget-friendly soup! Simmer lentils with ham bone or diced ham, vegetables like carrots and celery, and broth for a flavorful and satisfying meal that’s perfect for chilly nights.


4. Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas

Easy prep, big flavor! Marinate chicken strips in fajita seasoning. Toss colorful vegetables like bell peppers and onions with olive oil. Spread everything on a baking sheet and roast until cooked through. Serve with whole-wheat tortillas, salsa, and a dollop of Greek yogurt for a healthy and budget-friendly fajita experience.


5. Tuna Noodle Casserole with a Twist

A classic with a budget twist! Replace expensive canned tuna with canned salmon for a protein-packed and budget-conscious option. Combine cooked pasta, canned salmon, peas, and a creamy sauce made with affordable ingredients like milk and cheese. Top with breadcrumbs and bake for a comforting and familiar family favorite.


6. Budget-Friendly Breakfast for Dinner

Switch it up with a fun twist! Pancakes or waffles can be a delicious and affordable dinner option. Serve them with scrambled eggs, fruit slices, and a drizzle of maple syrup for a satisfying and budget-friendly meal that kids will love.


7. Bean and Rice Burritos

Vegetarian win! Combine cooked black beans, kidney beans, and brown rice for a protein-packed and budget-friendly filling. Add your favorite toppings like salsa, cheese, lettuce, and avocado. Wrap it all up in a whole-wheat tortilla for a delicious and satisfying vegetarian meal.


8. One-Pan Baked Chicken with Vegetables

Minimal prep, maximum flavor! Season chicken breasts with simple spices. Chop up affordable vegetables like potatoes, carrots, and onions. Toss everything on a baking sheet and roast until cooked through. Enjoy a complete and flavorful meal with minimal cleanup.


9. Pasta Primavera

A celebration of spring on a budget! Combine cooked pasta with fresh or frozen vegetables like peas, broccoli, and asparagus. Toss it all in a light and flavorful sauce made with olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice. Top with grated Parmesan cheese for a refreshing and budget-friendly pasta dish perfect for warmer weather.


10. Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

A hearty and vegetarian twist on a classic! Replace ground lamb with lentils for a protein-packed and budget-friendly base. Simmer lentils with vegetables like corn and peas. Top with mashed potatoes made with affordable ingredients like potatoes and milk. Bake until golden brown for a comforting and familiar family favorite in a vegetarian version.


11. Leftover Makeover Magic

Stretch your grocery budget further! Get creative with leftover ingredients! Turn leftover roasted chicken into a delicious chicken salad sandwich for lunch. Repurpose leftover cooked vegetables into an omelet or frittata for a quick and easy breakfast.

12. Pan-Fried Fish with Lemon Butter Sauce

Budget-friendly seafood option! Use affordable fish like tilapia or cod for this recipe. Pan-fry the fish to golden perfection. Whip up a simple lemon butter sauce with melted butter, lemon juice, and fresh herbs for a light and flavorful dish. Serve with rice or mashed potatoes for a complete and satisfying meal.

13. Minestrone Soup

A hearty and budget-friendly Italian classic! Simmer various types of beans, pasta, and chopped vegetables like tomatoes, carrots, and celery in a flavorful broth. Add a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese for an extra touch of flavor. This hearty soup is perfect for a chilly night and is packed with budget-friendly ingredients.

14. Breakfast for Dinner: Round Two!

Keep it fun and budget-friendly! French toast sticks with fruit compote or whole-wheat pancakes with a dollop of yogurt and berries are delicious and affordable dinner options. Get creative and have fun with breakfast classics for a change of pace.

15. Chicken and Veggie Stir-Fry

Quick, easy, and bursting with flavor! Marinate chicken pieces in a simple soy sauce or teriyaki sauce marinade. Stir-fry them with colorful vegetables like broccoli, carrots, and bell peppers. Serve over rice or noodles for a satisfying and budget-friendly Asian-inspired meal.

16. Creamy Tomato Pasta with Budget-Friendly Twists

A classic with a twist! Use canned diced tomatoes and tomato paste as the base for a creamy sauce. Add affordable protein sources like chickpeas or white beans for a vegetarian twist. Top with grated Parmesan cheese for a delicious and budget-friendly pasta dish that’s perfect for busy weeknights.

17. Breakfast Burrito Bowls

Deconstruct the classic for a fun and budget-friendly option! Scramble eggs and combine them with black beans, salsa, chopped avocado, and a sprinkle of cheese. Serve it all in a bowl with a side of whole-wheat tortillas for wrapping or enjoy it bowl-style for a delicious and budget-friendly breakfast or dinner option.

With these 17 easy and budget-friendly recipes, you’re equipped to navigate mealtimes without breaking the bank. From one-pot wonders to comforting classics with budget-friendly twists, this list offers a variety of options to keep your family satisfied and your grocery bill under control. So, get creative in the kitchen, embrace affordable ingredients, and enjoy delicious meals that everyone will love!


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