15 Budget Friendly Meals your Family will Absolutely Love

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Are you armed with an arsenal of recipes for budget friendly meals? What you need in lean economic times is a batch of recipes that use pantry staples but taste delicious so so that you can keep your family fed.

I did the heavy lifting for you and sourced 15 delicious recipes that will soon become firm family favorites.

I selected the recipes based on the following criteria. They had to be:

  • affordable
  • use pantry staples
  • quick and easy to make
  • ready in 30 minutes or less

Checkout 10 Stupidly Simple Ways to Save Money on Food for practical tips on how to shop smart for groceries.

The recipes have been grouped as Vegan and Non Vegan for easy access.

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15 Delicious Budget Friendly Meals



Vegan Recipes

Here are  awesome budget friendly recipes that will have vegans thoroughly content. 

1. Sweet Potato & Black Bean Stew


pot of stew
  Photo credit:https://healthylivingjames.co.uk/

This affordable and healthy stew is perfect for winter. Simply chop up everything and pop them into one pot to cook. Totally wallet friendly at  $4- 5 for the dish and about $1 per portion. You can change the recipe up by adding butternut instead of sweet potatoes.

Get the recipe at  Healthy Living James.

 This  is the perfect pot to make stews.

2. Instant Pot Steamed Dumplings


steamed dumplings and sauce
     Photo credit://www.corriecooks.com

This recipe is for you if you love Chinese food. Use your instant pot and store bought wrappers to speed up the process. 
This dish can be served as a starter or snack but works just as well as a meal when served with rice. Must be served with soy sauce.

You can find the recipe at Corrie Cooks.  

 A great addition to your kitchen is this Bamboo Steamer. 

3. Pasta Puttanesca


   Photo credit://www.thebakingfairy.net

This budget friendly recipe is one you can turn to when you’ve low on cash and your store cupboard is almost empty.  All you need are pantry staples like canned tomato sauce and spaghetti. For extra flavor add capers and olives. The trick is the dash of sugar you add to the sauce.

Find the recipe  at  The Baking Fairy

4. Baked Ziti (Soy-Free)


Vegan Baked Ziti on a white plate

Photo credit://strengthandsunshine.com

This recipe is  perfect for those who are allergic to gluten and soy.. It’s quick and easy to make and swaps out all the ‘problem’  ingredients making it a dish that anyone can safely tuck into.

Get the recipe  at Strength & Sunshine.

 These dishes are  great for pasta bakes that you can take straight from  the oven to the dinner table.

5. Broccoli & Corn Vegan Soup


Broccoli & Corn Vegan Soup with chunks of french loaf
Photo credit://vegcookbook.netGet the recipe here.

This versatile recipe is great for a weekday supper when you need to get a meal on the table fast. It’s quick and can easily be made in 20 minutes. This hearty soup is packed with flavor and loaded with nutrients. 

Get the recipe  at Veg Cookbook.

This instant pot is a must have for busy moms who put to get dinner on the table quickly.

6. Chickpea and Potato Curry


        Photo credit://littlesunnykitchen.com

The big bonus with this curry is that it is loaded with spicy flavors and uses chickpeas which are super healthy. This is a winner for busy and stressed out moms  as you can make and serve this dish in 30 minutes. This curry  is ideal for busy week evenings.

Get the recipe at Little Sunny Kitchen.

7.  Broccoli and Avocado Cream Soup (Vegan)


Broccoli and Avocado Cream Soup
  Photo credit://www.refreshmyhealth.com

This recipe is vegan, low-carb and keto friendly and can be made in 20 minutes flat. A perfect blend of multiple veggies, it has a smooth and creamy texture which makes it perfect for winter days. It counts as one of those must-know budget friendly meals.

Get the recipe at Refresh my Health.


Non-Vegan Dishes

The recipes in this section are mostly chicken and fish dishes  and many of them are super healthy too.

8. Homemade Crispy Chicken Strips  Recipe


Crispy Chicken Strips
  Photo credit://sustainmycookinghabit.com/

Crispy on the outside but tender on the inside, this  dish is bound to become a family favorite.. Serve with a mayo-based dipping sauce and a green salad. You can opt out of deep frying the chicken strips and  and bake them instead.

Get the recipe at Sustain my Cooking Habit.

9. Best Dang Shrimp Creole


Shrimp Creole in a bowl
    Photo credit://recipesfromapantry.com


This dish is an ode to Southern cooking. Packed with flavor, you can make the sauce ahead of time, and simply add the shrimps in just before eating. Another meal a busy mom, can have ready in 30 minutes. And what’s more, your family will be begging you for more.

Get the recipe at Recipes from a Pantry

10.  Tuna Macaroni Casserole


       Photo credit://foodmeanderings.com

There are times when you need to rustle up a meal using what’s left if your store cupboard. This budget friendly meal of tuna casserole is made with staples like tuna and macaroni. Topped with loads of cheese, it’s a hearty comfort food your family will be happy to tuck into.

Get the recipe at Food Meanderings.

11. Cauliflower Shrimp Fried Rice


cauliflower shrimp fried rice
  Photo credit://www.servedfromscratch.com


This is the dish for you if you’re watching your carb intake. Take the fuss out of making the cauliflower rice by using your food processor to shred it for you. Then cook the veggies, shrimp and toss them together with scrambled eggs and your personal choice of sauces and spices to get the yummiest healthiest shrimp fried rice. 

Get the recipe at Served from Scratch.

12. Honey Teriyaki Chicken Rice Bowls


Honey terriyaki chicken
        Photo credit://withsaltandwit.com

Master this recipe and you can skip your regular Chinese take out. Quick and easy to make, all you need to do is saute tender chicken breast pieces in a healthy home made sauce, serve with sides of veggies and rice. Sure to soon become a family favorite.

Get the recipe at With Salt and Wit.

13. One Pan Spanish Chicken and Rice


  Photo credit://www.thriftyfrugalmom.com


Here’s another time saver for busy moms. This one pan dish calls for you to braise diced chicken first. Then add rice, vegetables and stock. Mix in the chicken and you have a tasty dinner ready in 30 minutes.

Get the recipe at Thrifty Frugal Mom

14. Chicken Parmesan Casserole


Photo credit://dancingthroughtherain.com


This recipe is another great comfort food. Simply, get everything ready and layer in a casserole dish. Bake and eat. It has scrumptious written all over it.

Get the recipe at Dancing through the Rain. 

15. Family Favorite Roast Chicken


         Photo credit://raiasrecipes.com/


Who does not love a traditional roast chicken? Season the chicken, pop it in the oven and forget about it until it turns a yummy brown. Serve with sides of your choice.

Get the recipe at Raia’s Recipes.


Your Turn

There you have it – 15 yummy budget friendly meals that your family can tuck into in lean times.

Do you have any recipes for cheap and tasty dishes? Please share them in the comments below.

If you enjoyed this post, please help me share it on your favorite social media channels.

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9 thoughts on “15 Budget Friendly Meals your Family will Absolutely Love”

  1. Since we are cooking more, I’ve been looking for delicious, affordable and practical meal ideas. I love that all the recipes mentioned in your post fit the bill. My husband always talks about baked ziti, so I’m especially excited to make that for him and my son.

  2. That broccoli avocado soup looks so healthy and tasty! I bet my daughter would try it and she’s not a massive fan of broccoli but she adores avocado.

  3. This article came at the perfect time! I was just making my grocery list and wanted to check out some recipes. I can’t wait to try the ziti and honey teriyaki chicken. Oh, and the Spanish rice. Thanks for this great list of recipes.

  4. These all sound fantastic! Thanks for sharing all of these. We love to make a quick and budget friendly hamburger/potato hash in our house.

  5. Love how simple these are! This is my kind of cooking cause I have to be honest I don’t love spending hours in the kitchen so these are perfect!

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