25 Cheap and Easy Meals Ideas For a Frugal Budget

Looking for some cheap and easy meal ideas? Here is a complete list of 25 delicious budget-friendly recipes. Perfect to feed your whole family on a budget! Cheap dinner ideas and recipes you can try this month!

25 Cheap and easy meal ideas for large families on a budget - Looking for some cheap dinner ideas? Here is a complete list of 25 delicious, cheap and easy dinner recipes! Quick and easy meal ideas perfect to feed your whole family on a budget!

Cheap and Easy Meal Ideas

Is it possible to make cheap meals for large families? This is the question I asked myself after realizing how much money we used to spend on food.

Trying to come out with cheap dinner recipes or affordable meals for a family was something that I needed to plan every week.

I usually do a meal plan for the whole week in order to save money and time. However, to do this I realized that I needed to find and keep a list of cheap and easy meals to feed my family on a budget.

If you come from a large family, as I do, you know that food takes a great part of any budget. In fact, According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average family spends over $7,900 per year on food. That’s a lot of money!

There’s no doubt that food is expensive these days and its cost can really add up fast. In this case, you would either avoid overspending on food or just come out with some budget recipes and easy cheap meals you can make.

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Learning how to meal plan on a budget and cooking budget-friendly recipes will drastically reduce your grocery budget and save you tons of money.

So, to give you some ideas I gathered 25 easy cheap meal recipes that will help you save money.

Must-Have Tools to Help You Prepare Affordable Meals

Below are some must-have tools to help you make cheap family meals while keeping your grocery bill low:

$5 Meal Plan

If you are looking for weekly meal plans with cheap and easy recipes, I recommend the $5 Meal Plan.

$5 Meal Plan is a meal planning service that sends you every week budget-friendly and easy meal plans including the shopping list for only $5 a month.

It is an option that it will definitely save you a lot of money and worth looking into. Click here to learn more about the $5 Meal Plan.


This is my favorite money-saving app and I use it whenever I go grocery shopping.

Ibotta allows you to get cash back for your regular purchases from grocery stores. They give you cash back for buying things such as potatoes, bananas, or bread. Things that most families usually buy when grocery shopping.

Last month, I was able to earn $180 by using Ibotta and recommending the app to some friends. I can’t recommend Ibotta enough, it saved me so much money and I use it on every shopping trip!

Bonus: Get a FREE $10 Welcome Bonus from Ibotta when you sign up through this link.

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25 Cheap and Easy Meals to Feed Large Families on a Budget :

Below is a list of delicious budget recipes you can try this month. These quick, easy, and cheap meal ideas are perfect to feed your large family on a budget!

1. Healthy White Chicken Enchiladas

“These Healthy White Chicken Enchiladas are one of our family’s favorite main dishes. Easy to make and a total crowd-pleaser, they use yogurt instead of sour cream to make a creamy white sauce (with tangy green chilis). Everyone loves them!”

2. Chicken Breast in Sour Cream Sauce

“Chicken breast in sour cream sauce has an amazing rich flavor with a smooth and creamy texture. You’ll feel like you’re eating a dinner made in a fine restaurant right in your own home.”

3. Healthy Buffalo Chicken Chili

“This Healthy Buffalo Chicken Chili (with creamy white beans!) is easy and healthy – and a fun twist on traditional chili.  It’s comfort food that’s quick enough for a weeknight dinner, and it’s freezer-friendly too!”

4. Meatball Casserole Parmesan

“If you are looking for a new family dinner this easy Meatball Casserole should be it. Juicy, flavorful meatballs baked until golden and then covered with tomato sauce and cheese.”

5. Mexican Tater Tot Casserole

Mexican Tarter Tot Casserole
Source: Dear Crissy

“This delicious taco-inspired tater tot casserole recipe is chock-full of black beans, corn, ground beef and a whole lot of flavor.”

6. Fajita Bowl

“Combining black beans, rice, and perfectly seasoned chicken together you will find this dish to be a quick and easy dinner idea that works every time. “

7. Ham and Scalloped Potato Casserole

“Ham and Scalloped Potato Casserole – the addition of ham cubes in this delicious potato casserole makes it worthy to serve as a meal with a side vegetable.”

8. Crispy Chicken Thighs – One Pot Meal

“A super easy one-pan meal. A simple spice blend gives tons of flavor to the crispy skin and moist, juicy thigh meat. This is in the oven in just minutes for a delicious and budget-friendly main dish.”

9. One Pot Pepperoni Pizza Pasta

“This One Pot Pepperoni Pizza Pasta Meal comes together in no time at all and was a perfect meal for my larger family. “

10. 5-Ingredient Easy Apricot Chicken

“This easy oven baked apricot chicken recipe is a dream come true on those days when you have little to no meal inspiration and/or don’t want to hit the grocery store. It’s a one-pot meal that requires very little effort and uses staples from your pantry. “

11. BBQ Turkey Biscuit Casserole

bbq turkey biscuit casserole
Source: DIY Candy

“Try this easy and delicious ground turkey casserole recipe, with a buttery biscuit crust and savory BBQ flavor. The family will ask for this biscuit casserole again and again!”

12. Ham and Gruyere Melt Sandwich

“A gourmet ham and cheese sandwich featuring the very best cheese for ham — Gruyere! Chopped ham, gruyere, and green onions all come together to make the best grilled ham and cheese ever! A quick and easy dinner time fix”

13. Classic Stuffed Shells

“This Classic Stuffed Shells Recipe couldn’t be easier to put together! Made with Ricotta, spinach, and Italian herbs and seasonings, they are luscious and comforting.”

14.  Sloppy Joes Burgers

“These quick and easy paleo sloppy joes can be made, from scratch, in just 20 minutes. This clean eating, kid-friendly recipe is the perfect weeknight meal and is guaranteed to please the whole family.”

15. Lentil and Kale Soup

“This spicy lentil kale soup is a hearty, delicious and pretty budget friendly. Made on one pot for easy clean up, it’s like a little bowl of goodness for your tummy.”

16. Creamy Mushroom and Spinach Spaghetti

“This Mushroom and Spinach Spaghetti recipe has the most amazing and easy creamy sauce – Conveniently vegetarian and packed with nutrients, it comes together in just 15 min!”

17. Turkey Taco Casserole

“This turkey taco casserole recipe is quick and delicious, perfect for our weeknight dinners! “

18. Cheeseburger Soup

“This Cheeseburger Soup is perfect for a cold day! Add a little bacon, top it with cheese, green onions or anything else that you’d like and you can change it up each and every time you cook it!”

19. Healthy Creamy Pasta Salad with Ham and Peas

“This healthy creamy pasta salad is a great choice as a meal in itself, or as a side dish for some grilled chicken, pork chops or steaks.”

20. Chili Mac and Cheese Recipe

“This simple, hearty, homemade chili mac and cheese is a regular on our family’s dinner menu. We love this recipe and think it’s the best! You’ll enjoy the flavor of the spices, cheese and pasta blending together perfectly.”

21. Pizza Chicken

“This homemade pizza chicken breast recipe is quick enough for a weeknight family dinner and kid approved! It’s also gluten-free, but full of flavor with tomato sauce, spices, cheese, and mini pepperoni! 

22. Southwest Skillet Chicken and Rice

“This Southwest Skillet Chicken And Rice  is cheesy, kind of sweet, savory and full of flavor. It tastes just like the filling of a fajita. In fact, you can even serve some warm tortillas alongside and roll them up.”

23. Grilled Chicken Fajita

“These Grilled Chicken Fajita Flatbread Wraps are cheesy, crunchy & so delicious!”

24. Kidney Beans Burger

kidney beans burger
Source: VegAnnie

“The BEST & simplest Kidney Bean Burgers! Made with only 6 simple, wholesome ingredients. Vegan, gluten-free, oil-free, and low-fat!”

25. Broccoli Cheese Soup

“This easy, creamy low carb broccoli cheese soup is probably the easiest recipe you’ll find. It’s also gluten-free, healthy, and can be vegetarian by substituting vegetable broth for the chicken broth.” Only 5 ingredients!

Need more ideas for cheap and easy dinners?

If you have a super busy schedule and struggle to get dinner ready try this freezer cooking service that could help you cut your grocery bill in half!

More Cheap Easy Meals on a Budget:

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25 Cheap and Easy Meal Ideas for Large Families on a Budget

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