Living Well Money

10 Cheap Meals for When Your Budget Is Tight

Especially towards the end of the month or right before payday, our budgets always seem to be a fraction of what it was a few weeks ago. If you’re looking to stretch a dollar, here are a few simple meals that are perfect for when your budget is tight:

Slow Cooker Italian Chicken & Vegetables

Place chicken breasts, sliced potatoes, and baby carrots in a crock pot. Cover with Italian dressing and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours. Add roughly ½-1 chicken breast per person, ½ lb baby carrots per person, 2-3 Yukon potatoes per person.

Breakfast for Dinner

Scramble eggs and serve with pancake mix pancakes. Don’t forget the syrup! Adding potatoes or sausage as a side will help you feel fuller longer.

Baked potato & Chili

Stock up on canned chili when it’s on sale and break it out to top a baked russet potato. If you have some, top with shredded cheese.

Ground Beef Quesadillas

Brown ground beef and add spices to taste. Heat a tortilla on the stovetop and sprinkle the meat and shredded cheese on top, but only add to one side. Once the cheese has melted a bit, fold over the tortilla and cook on the other side. Serve with salsa.

7 Can Vegetarian Taco Soup

You can cook this in a crockpot or on the stove. Combine 1 can of black beans, 2 cans of kidney beans, 1 can of corn, 3 cans of diced tomatoes (with jalapeños optional) and a carton of chicken broth with 1 packet of taco seasoning. Heat thoroughly and serve warm. Add cheese or tortilla chips, if desired, right before serving.

Spaghetti or Mac and Cheese

Never underestimate the comfort food staples like spaghetti or mac and cheese. To make them healthier, cook a bag of frozen broccoli (usually $1 in the freezer section) and chop up to mix with your pasta.

Peanut Butter, Honey, Banana Rollups

On top of a tortilla, spread a thin layer of peanut butter and lightly drizzle honey. Top with thinly sliced bananas and roll up the tortilla.

Overnight Oats

Perfect for a cheap breakfast on the go: add a ½ cup quick rolled oats, 1 cup of milk, ¼ cup frozen berries, and a little bit of honey. Leave in an airtight container overnight in the fridge. Eat cold or heat in the microwave for 45 seconds.

Chicken Parmasean Casserole

Layer chunks of chicken, sauce, mozerella cheese and breadcrumbs. Sprinkle parmasean cheese on top and cook for 45 min at 350 or until chicken is fully cooked.

French Bread Pizza

Cut a loaf of French bread in half length-wise and then cut those in half or quarters. Sprinkle mozerella cheese on top and cover with tomato slices. Top with basil (dried or fresh) and toast until Cheese is melted.
Do you have another go-to meal for when your budget is tight? Share in the comments!

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