Family meal planning on a tight budget?
We got you. Just because you can’t afford to make the 20-ingredient list of pumpkin soup right now, doesn’t mean you can’t make and eat good food at home using only cheap items and stuff that are already in your pantry.
Frugal moms, here are 5 great tasting meals you can make on a budget:
1. Egg and black bean burritos
- 1 carton of eggs: $1.99
- 8 packs of tortillas: $1.88
- Can of black beans: 99 cents
To make this easy, cheap, and nutritious breakfast on the go, simply heat up some tortillas on a griddle, while scrambling a dozen eggs and slowly heating up a can of black beans on the stove.
Assemble your breakfast burrito and add your favorite toppings of salsa, sour cream, or shredded cheese.
Total: $4.86 plus toppings (makes 8 servings)
Price per serving: 61 cents
2. Grilled cheese and tomato soup
Ingredients (using boxed soup):
- A box of creamy tomato soup: $2.99
- Sliced cheese: 50 cents
- Loaf of bread: $1.99
This is arguably one of the most nutritious, easy, and cheap meals you can make.
To grill the cheese, butter up four bread slices, and lay them flat on a hot pan or griddle. Add a cheese slice to each and top with another slice of buttered bread (or load it up with the fatty goodness of bacon, or the freshness of tomato slices.) Heat up both sides of the sandwich until the cheese looks melted and the bread turns golden brown.
The soup is a no-brainer. Simply follow the instructions at the back of the box and you’re good to go!
Total: $5.48 (makes four servings)
Price per serving: $1.37
3. Homemade stovetop Mac n’ cheese
- 12-oz. box of shells, elbows, or other pasta: $1.19
- 3 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (about 6 oz.): $2.24
- 3 cups whole milk: $1.09
- 3 Tbsp flour, sugar and salt to taste: 25 cents
Kids (and adults alike) absolutely love mac n’ cheese. But eating the boxed version over and over again can easily make you lose your appetite for it. Learn how to make your own mac n’ cheese and you’ll never go back!
Boil a box of pasta, and whisk together the flour and milk in a separate pot, slowly adding in a teaspoon of salt, sugar, and pepper to taste.
Stir your pasta constantly until it boils, lower the heat, and continue stirring for a few more minutes until the sauce thickens. Then you can add the cheese and mix until it’s melted. Pour the cheese mixture over the pasta.
You can serve it just like this, or perhaps add a bit more pizzazz by topping it with bacon bits, cubed ham, tomatoes, tuna, or scallions.
Total: $4.77 (makes six servings)
Price per person: 80 cents
4. Spaghetti with homemade marinara
- 12-oz. package of spaghetti: $1.19
- 1 large can of tomatoes: $1.49
- Loaf of bread: $1.99
- Pinch of garlic: 25 cents
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped: 50 cents
Making your own marinara sauce is easier than you think. Simply saute a large can of tomatoes, a pinch of garlic, and a chopped half of an onion together for 10-20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour this yummy tomato sauce over a bowl of cooked spaghetti or another pasta of your choice, and voila!
Pair this up with some garlic-buttered toast and the kids will never know you spent just a little over $5 to make this delicious dish.
Total: $5.42 (makes four servings)
Price per serving: $1.36
5. Pot roast with vegetables
- 6 potatoes: $2
- Rump roast: $10
- Small bag of carrots: $2
This hearty meal is perfect for any season of the year for when you’re feeling some savory meat and potatoes. Simply place a small rump roast in a crock pot and cover with water. Cook on high heat for 3 hours and add some peeled carrots and chopped potatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let cook for another 3-4 hours before serving.
Total: $14 (makes 10 servings)
Price per serving: $1.40
Check out the full article by The Simple Dollar here for more amazingly cheap and easy meals on a budget for the frugal mom.