15 Cheap, Easy and Delicious Dinner Recipes to Stretch Your Food Dollar
For most of us, 2020 has been hard on our wallets. One of the places we can cut our budget is on the family meals. But that doesn’t mean we have to skimp on flavor or nutrition.
Incorporating rice, pasta and potatoes into your meals make them feed more people for less money. Chicken is more economical than beef. Ground beef is cheaper than other cuts and can often be substituted in recipes. Often ground turkey is more economical still. It’s also lower in fat that beef so it’s good for your heart.
Also, take some time to review your kitchen appliances. Having the right cookers, choppers, pots, pans, and knifes can make you a lot more willing to cook at home.
Here are some of our favorite recipes for when we need to save money.
No Bake Macaroni and Cheese: This is the easiest of all the recipes to cook. This is a recipe my grandmother passed down and it uses a blend of parmesan and cheddar cheese. It’s a one pot recipe which makes your clean up easy (just the way we like it).
One Pot Chicken Rice Casserole with Broccoli: This is our own variation of the traditional chicken rice casserole. We add broccoli to it for a flavor and nutrition boost. Then near the end we add some cheese and french onions to the top and put it back in the oven until the cheese melts for a nice crunchy taste. Otherwise, you just put this one in the oven and forget it until it’s done.
Busy Day Tuna Casserole: This recipe is as easy to make as it gets. We used diced green onion tops in it which give it an interesting flavor, but feel free to substitute some frozen peas or mixed vegetables.
Economical One Pot Chicken Spinach Rice Casserole: This one is a winner all around. As a casserole, it’s a complete meal. It’s economical. The spinach punches up the nutritional value and it has a creamy taste much like risotto.
Turkey Sweet Potato Hash Recipe: This is a bit like having Thanksgiving leftovers, but it’s an anytime meal that’s delicious anytime you make it. You can prepare this recipe in about 15 minutes.
Lemon Arugula Pasta: Though it has pasta, this is a light, almost summery pasta salad. If the budget is tight, there are a number of ingredients in this you can omit and still have a simply delicious meal!
Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls: As the name implies, this is a cabbage roll recipe but it’s a lot easier to make! Instead of wrapping the ingredients in cabbage leaves, you simply chop them all up and cook them together in one pan. Just as delicious.
Unstuffed Bell Peppers: Once I had made the unstuffed cabbage rolls, I realized I could apply the same to bell peppers. I have to say, I like my stuffed bell peppers a lot more when they are unstuffed. When they are stuffed, I always felt the pepper was a container. I ate everything out of the inside and then was left with this somewhat soggy bell pepper.
Chicken Green Bean Casserole with Mushroom Parmesan Sauce: You’ll be surprised at how delicious this recipe comes out. The mushrooms and parmesan blend together to form a delicious, rich, creamy sauce!
Hot Spinach Mushroom Quinoa Salad: If you had to survive eating only one food, quinoa would be about the only one that would work. It’s a complete protein and it’s loaded with nutrients. Quinoa is such a perfect food that it was recognized by the United Nations as a key factor in eradicating hunger and malnutrition.
Parmesan Garlic Butter Farfalle Recipe: This is insanely delicious and easy!
One Skillet Chicken and Chickpeas: I love chicken and chickpeas both, so that makes this one of my favorite recipes. Easy to cook and cleanup is also easy.
Easy Corned Beef Hash: Another one pot recipe for easy clean up. We’re big on that. We all have better things to do that scrub pans and clean kitchens! Don’t we?
Chicken and Biscuits Casserole: This is a chicken and potato casserole topped with golden flaky biscuits. All made in one pan. A perfect comfort food for cool fall or cold winter days. You can use a casserole dish, or a large cast iron skillet. Your family will be asking you to cook this again and again.
Cajun Chicken with Brown Rice: A delicious economical one pot recipe. This also includes a recipe for making your own Cajun dry rub for the chicken.
I hope this gives you some good dinner ideas to stretch your food budget. As a final passing mention, even though you are trying to save on food costs, don’t skimp on nutrition. It’s a false economy. When you consume low nutrient foods, they tend to make you hungrier and you eat more.
This site does contain some affiliate ad links from various companies including Amazon and I do earn a small commission from qualifying purchases. I try to only recommend products and services I believe are of good value.