When you’re on a tight budget, it can be hard to figure out how to make dinner.
I’m all about looking for ways to save money, so I’ve done some research and found some great recipes that are easy on the wallet and taste delicious.
Recipes for budget-friendly meals
Budget-friendly meals are an important part of a healthy diet. If you’re on a budget and want to eat better, it’s important to be aware of what you can buy with your money and where you can cut back.
Here are my top 10 cheap meal ideas:
Here are some budget-friendly meal ideas from our readers:
Spaghetti and meatballs. “My husband makes his own spaghetti sauce from scratch,” one reader wrote. “We also make our own meatballs; this is something I have done for years.”
Soup and sandwich. “I like to make soup and sandwiches,” another person said. “I usually make the soup on the weekend, so it lasts until the end of the week.”
Chili con carne with cornbread or biscuits. “Many times when I want to cook something special but not spend too much money, I make chili con carne,” another reader wrote. “This is a very easy dish, but it tastes great! You can also add different types of beans if you like.”
Omelet with cheese and bacon or ham slices. “The omelet is an excellent choice because it’s cheap and filling,” another reader wrote.”You can add anything in there: vegetables (including spinach), cheese, bacon or ham slices.”
Budget-friendly meals don’t have to be boring. Here are some recipes that will help you save money while still enjoying satisfying and delicious meals.
- Roasted Chicken with Lemon and Garlic
- Greek Lemon Chicken Soup
- Slow Cooker Chicken Curry
- Creamy Mushroom & Spinach Pasta
- Greek Chicken Gyros (or Pork)
- Slow Cooker Beef Stew
You may not have the budget for gourmet recipes every night of the week, but that doesn’t mean you can’t eat well. These budget-friendly recipes are just as good as they are affordable.
- The Ultimate Meatball Sandwich: This recipe is so easy to make at home and way cheaper than ordering one from a restaurant.
- Chicken Tikka Masala: This classic Indian dish is made with chicken thighs and tomatoes, both of which are inexpensive ingredients that taste great together and make a filling meal.
- Chicken Enchiladas: This Tex-Mex favorite uses tortillas instead of pasta or rice — a smart move when trying to cut back on carbs while eating more filling protein foods like beans and meat.
- Creamy Mushroom Pasta: Mushrooms are one of the best sources of vegetarian protein, making this recipe an excellent choice for vegetarians looking for budget-friendly meals that include meatless options.
When it comes to money, there are two things that can happen: You can spend it or save it.
As a millennial, I have plenty of friends who are struggling to pay rent and other bills every month. It’s not surprising — after all, they’ve graduated from college into a job market that’s been tough for years.
But the good news is that there are plenty of ways to save money on groceries without sacrificing your quality of life. Here are some tips for eating well while still saving money:
1) Buy in bulk
2) Freeze leftovers
3) Use coupons strategically
Whether you’re in college or just trying to save money, eating out can get expensive. And it’s not always necessary — there are plenty of cheap meal options that are easy to make at home.
Here are some ideas for delicious, budget-friendly meals:
Breakfast: Oatmeal with fruit and nuts or egg white frittata
Lunch: Homemade soup or salad
Dinner: Grilled chicken breast with steamed vegetables and brown rice
- Make a list of what you have on hand and what you need to buy.
- Plan your meals around the items that are on sale.
- Avoid pre-made meals, which can be much more expensive than cooking at home.
- Use coupons for discounted items like meats and produce that you can’t use right away.
- Take advantage of warehouse clubs like Costco and Sam’s Club for bulk purchases of items like toilet paper, paper towels, cereal and other essentials that won’t go bad before you use them.
- Buy generic brands of food and household products whenever possible to save money without sacrificing quality or taste (but always read the ingredients label).
When the economy is down, you can’t afford to be picky about where your meals come from. If you’re looking for some healthy and delicious recipes that are also budget-friendly, then check out these 10 on-budget meals.
- Chicken Stir-Fry
- Pasta with Broccoli
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich
- Taco Night
- Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
- Pot Pie Soup
- Zucchini Lasagna Roll-Ups
- Baked Potato Bar Night (or Broccoli Casserole)
- Sloppy Joes and Tater Tots Night
How to Eat Well for Less
The key to eating well without going broke is to understand how to stretch your food dollar. Here are ten simple ways to save money on groceries:
- Buy in bulk. By buying items like meat, beans and grains in bulk quantities, you can save up to 30 percent per unit price. Plus, buying in bulk allows you to buy more of what’s on sale (such as when ground beef goes on sale) and stock up when the price drops further.
- Compare prices at different stores. Grocery shopping can be time-consuming, so make sure it’s worth it by checking out prices at more than one store before you buy anything. Use websites like RetailMeNot or CouponMom for coupons. And sign up for store rewards cards so you get discounts on gas or other perks just for shopping there!
- Make a menu plan and stick with it — no matter what! Planning meals ahead of time ensures that you’ll eat only what you need and not waste money on food that goes bad because you didn’t use it fast enough. And if you have leftovers from dinner the night before, turn them into lunch!
I’m not sure what it is about January and February, but I always feel like I need a little extra help with meal planning. Maybe it’s because I’m still working out of my office, or maybe it’s because it’s cold and I don’t want to go outside, but either way, I find myself getting stuck in a rut with my meals.
In an effort to help you avoid those same meal-planning woes, here are some recipes that are both budget-friendly and delicious!
This beef stew recipe is one of my favorites! It makes a lot of servings (8-10), so you can easily freeze half of it for later use. While the recipe calls for potatoes, feel free to swap them out for sweet potatoes if you prefer them over white potatoes. This recipe also has instructions on how to make your own homemade beef stock instead of using canned broth – which will save even more money!
If you love pizza as much as I do, then this pizza casserole will be right up your alley! You can make this casserole in advance and freeze it until ready to bake. Just pop it in the