This year, my family of four started using a cash food budget and it has completely changed the way I think about grocery shopping, meal planning, and meal prep.
Dinners that come in under $10 are a must! Luckily we don’t have to subsist on ramen noodles and canned beans, because these 6 family-friendly dinners are all under $10 a meal.
1. Quick and Easy Sloppy Joes
Here’s what we love about Sloppy Joes as a budget meal: They use budget beef in savory, satisfying sandwiches that the whole family loves! This meal gets really close to our 10-dollar limit, but if you can find buns or beef on sale you can save a few dollars off this total. (Estimated cost: $9.98)
2. Philly Cheesesteak Pasta Skillet
This pasta is hearty, full of colorful vegetables, and so creamy. The beef and cheese are the most expensive ingredients here, so you can save even more by omitting either and still have a delicious dinner. (Estimated cost: $9.41)
3. 5-Ingredient Family-Friendly Baked Potato Soup
This is my family’s favorite soup recipe and it is so easy! Get this: The potatoes in this soup are just frozen hash browns, so you don’t even have to do all that peeling and chopping. (Estimated cost: $6.37)
4. French Onion Frittata
Frittatas are the budget cook’s best friend because they use up leftovers with ease and rely on budget staples like eggs. This one feels fancy, thanks to the caramelized onions and Gruyère — but it’s especially thrifty if you have a loaf of bread that needs using up. (Estimated cost: $7.32)
5. Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala
I honestly never would have thought that tikka masala could be budget-friendly if I hadn’t done the math. The bulk aisle is your best bet for stocking up on the spices without going over budget. Kind of makes me wonder if I’ll ever order pricey takeout of this again! (Estimated cost $8.77)
6. Slow Cooker Chicken Parm Meatballs
Ground chicken can actually be more cost-effective than ground beef and makes for some incredibly juicy meatballs from the slow cooker. We eat these often with garlic bread as a simple satisfying dinner. (Estimated cost: $7.83)