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Are you in between pay checks? Nothing for dinner?
Did you spend all your money on bills and debt? Now you’re staring at the fridge wondering what to make for dinner? Or do you have a few bucks left to buy a few groceries and wondering what to buy? Below you will find 10 amazing cheap and frugal dinner ideas.
What to eat when your broke?
When money is tight stick to simple, easy to make meals. Soups are great frugal meals you can add more liquid to spread out the meal.
Breakfasts for dinner are always a hit in our house. Eggs and breakfast foods are cheaper to buy than heavy dinner meals. Pastas are always a hit and cheap to make. Beans and rice are healthy, cheap and easy to store dry goods.
If you are wanting meat based meals stick to ground meats and cheaper meat cuts. Using a slow cooker and marinades will turn cheap meats into great meals. Or opt for vegetarian recipes and choose bean and vegetable based protein dishes.
what to make for dinner
It’s the most popular topic around 3 pm in the afternoon. Do you have anything prepared or cooking? Planning your meals for the day or the week will save you both time and money.
Meal planning has to be our number one money saver. We used to eat out two to three times a week and it was wrecking our budget.
Now I spend a few hours a week preparing meals and produce and it save a huge amount of time during the busy week.
I also use our slow cooker and Instant Pot to get great money saving meals on the table. Last week I took advantage of the extra time an produce I had a made over 20 quarts of fresh homemade soups and chili in our slow cooker. All of this was placed in the freezer for make ahead freezer meals.
how to meal plan
Meal planning is super easy. If you don’t have the time checkout some of these great meal plans that do most of the work for you.
I find the easiest way to meal plan is to take count of what you have in the fridge and freezer. I am all about being frugal and using what you’ve got. Even if it’s five ingredient simple meals or soup and sandwiches.
Grab your calendar and write out your meal ideas on every weekday. Once you have a week or two of meals written out make note of any ingredients you need to get. These ingredients will make up your meal plan grocery list.
Now everyday make sure you have the right foods defrosted and ready to cook and you are good to go.
Meal planning doesn’t have to be hard, simple meals are the best.
Five ingredients or less. Simple, easy weeknight meals. Dinner in under thirty minutes. Some great examples would be spaghetti with meat sauce and a side salad, or burgers and fries, chicken vegetables and rice or soup and sandwiches.
meals on a budget
Below you will find 10 great meal ideas if you are running on a super tight budget. Pasta, beans and rice, soups, casseroles or cheap ethnic vegetarian meals are all great when you are on a budget.
good dinner ideas
In a house full of boys anything that includes grilled chicken, pulled pork, burgers, tacos or breakfast for dinner counts as a good dinner idea. As a Mom anything that includes vegetables and proteins is a good dinner idea.
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10 Cheap & Frugal Dinner Ideas:
(Frugal note: substitute any ground meat for lamb in recipe)
Simple easy meals
To get you through till the next paycheck. Other frugal meal ideas include pasta dishes, breakfast dishes, soups, sandwiches, rice and bean based meals.
easy dinner ideas
Everyone has there own idea of what an easy dinner is. In our home an easy dinner is one that takes less than 30 minutes to cook and my boys can help with the meal prep.
Easy dinners are also family favorites and comfort meals. Chili and corn bread, spaghetti and meat sauce or tacos are all easy dinners.
cheap healthy meals
Great cheap healthy dinner or lunch meals can include soups, salads, grilled chicken with vegetables. Everyone has their definition of healthy, but in keeping with a frugal meal choice. Loading your plate with produce, cheap protein and healthy grains and you have a budget friendly meal.
If you are looking for some great time and money saving recipes on a tight budget checkout:
what’s for dinner tonight
Will it be breakfast for dinner? Or classic burgers or tacos? Will you try an Instant Pot meal or one of the recipes above?
Updated June 9, 2020