Cheap Meal Ideas for a Tight Budget

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Here are a few of my go-to Cheap Meal Ideas when I'm running low on Food Budget for the month. I don't recommend eating these for months on end, BUT if you
Photo Credit: Lis/Lori5000/Loleia/Chris Dijkstra

Here are a few of my go-to Cheap Meal Ideas  when I’m running low on Food Budget for the month.

I don’t recommend eating these for months on end, BUT if you have two weeks left in the month or more; and are almost out of cash in your food budget, they will defiantly work.

First, check your freezer

See if you have any freezer meals or meat that you can use up.  If so, make a meal with that.

Cheap Meal Ideas:

  • bean burritos- this is our #1 cheap meal favorite!  A can of re-fried beans and tortillas.  I always try to have tortillas and some shredded cheese in my fridge for these.  If you aren’t allergic to black olives, they go well with it too.   If you have left over meat you can add that too.
  • baked potatoes-all you need is potatoes and some butter.  Cheese, sour cream or bacon bits can spruce it up.
  • baked beans and home-made corn bread- Baked beans are about $1.50 a can.  I have these in my food storage (they aren’t a favorite) and it allows for easy rotation.
  • peanut butter and jelly/honey sandwiches self explanatory…Honestly my son would eat these every day for lunch AND dinner if allowed.  Add variety… add sliced bananas, marshmallow cream, or M&M’s on top.
  • spaghetti- You can get a bottle of sauce for about $1.50.  Noodles are also cheep.  Add some spices in your cupboard to season it up.
  • Macaroni and Cheese- You can get 1 box for 39 cents at aldis… Make three boxes?  That under $1.50.  Children LOVE it!
  • Ramon noodles- I eat a whole bag by myself… And with being pregnant… once a day for lunch :/  But getting a box of 12 packages for $2.12 is still pretty cheap
  • pizza- ingredients are cheap, and you can get cheese in bulk on sale too

Cheap Breakfast Ideas

*these are all cheap if you make them your own.  Remember, part of frugal living, is homemade food!*

  • home-made pancakes or waffles- We have these once a week for dinner.  They are great for using powder milk in too (that’s who I rotate it in from food storage)
  • biscuits- top butter, jam, cheese gravy or chicken gravy
  • eggs- We raise chickens so eggs are cheap for us.  BUT I understand that eggs aren’t always cheap.  Spread your eggs further with putting them into a tortilla to make it more filling.  Cheese is yummy to add!  Also make some home-made hash browns by cutting potatoes up small and fry in pan with some oil.  Season it with onions, salt, pepper, and anything else!
  • muffins…any kind really.  Our family favorite is bran muffins (there is a large up front cost for theses, but they make so many, it’s cheaper overall)
  • oat meal
  • wheat cereal

These are ALL cheap alternatives to cold cereal or store-bought items.  Sometimes having breakfast for dinner is cheaper anyways!

Here are some ideas if you are always over on your budget. You may need to update your budget as well.

Can’t handle the processed foods?

Here is a list of some website that have homemade cheap meals:

Little House Living

Graceful Little HoneyBee

Buzz Feed

Freebie Finding Mom

What are your favorite go-to cheap meals?

Further Reading

22 Recipes for Powdered Milk

The BEST Cracked Wheat Cereal

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This post may contain affiliate links.  Read my affiliate link disclosure here

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