A Month of Dinner Recipes for Families on a Budget

Jen SmithBudgeting, Frugality10 Comments

Eat Out Less

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Growing up I did not have a Suzy Homemaker mother who taught me my grandmother’s secret dinner recipes or how to separate the yolk from the egg white. The extent of my cooking experience came from the instructions on the back of the Chicken Voila bag in the freezer section.

In college, I became a vegetarian but I was more than satisfied eating dinners of Steam-in-Bag vegetables and fake meat corn dogs (honestly better than real corn dogs.) But when I got married and we decided to pay off our debt I knew I had to learn my way around the kitchen or die hungry.

It takes me about an hour of planning every week to find out what’s on sale, see what I have on hand to go with it and plan our menu/grocery list around it. I save a lot of money by not buying meat and I’m blessed to have a husband that will eat outside his comfort zone (as long as it’s not tofu or tempeh!)

But of course, it’s possible to eat meat and still stay on a tight budget.

As limited as my culinary skills are, after a year of cooking at home I’ve found a lot of great recipes that I think anyone with a pan and an oven can make easily. I’ve compiled a month’s worth of them to save you some time.


  1. Cauliflower Curry from Real Food Real Deals
  2. Crockpot Freezer Meal Chili from Real Food Real Deals
  3. Swiss Chard-Tomato Quiche from Real Food Real Deals
  1. 15 Bean Minestrone Soup from $5 Dinners

15 Bean Minestrone Soup

  1. Spicy Asian Chicken Noodles from $5 Dinners
  2. Greek Chicken Kabobs from $5 Dinners
  3. Orange Glazed Pork Chops from $5 Dinners
  4. Shepherd’s Pie from Frugal Farm Wife
  1. Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets from Frugal Farm Wife

Gluten-Free Chicken Nuggets

  1. Stuffed Acorn Squash from Frugal Farm Wife
  2. Honey Garlic Chicken from Damn Delicious
  3. Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad from Spend with Pennies
  4. Sesame Ginger Salmon from Spend with Pennies
  5. Easy Cabbage Rolls from Spend with Pennies
  1. Spanish Chickpeas and Rice from Budget Bytes

Spanish Chickpeas and Rice

  1. Zucchini Orzo Salad with Chimichurri from Budget Bytes
  2. Hearty Black Bean Quesadillas from Budget Bytes
  3. Chunky Lentil and Vegetable Soup from Budget Bytes
  4. Spicy Sweet Potato Latkes from Brokeass Gourmet
  5. Green Chili Burgers from Brokeass Gourmet
  6. Brown Butter Pumpkin Mac n Cheese from Brokeass Gourmet
  1. Enchilada Soup from Gimme Some Oven


  1. Pesto Penne and Cheese from Good Cheap Eats
  2. Chili Cheese Bake from Good Cheap Eats
  3. Spaghetti Squash Jambalaya from Good Cheap Eats
  4. Black Bean Sloppy Joes from Cheap Recipe Blog
  5. Hawaiian Haystacks from Cheap Recipe Blog
  6. Chicken Bahn Mi Meatballs from Cheap Recipe Blog
  7. Cajun Chicken in a Paper Bag from The Stonesoup
  8. Coconut Chicken with Greens from The Stonesoup
  9. Shakshuka from The Stonesoup

I’m trying a few of these this week. I’d love to hear about any other budget-conscious food bloggers or if you’ve got any tried and true beans and rice recipes. 😉 The more time I save on planning my meals the more time I have to write (or watch more Netflix.)


10 Comments on “A Month of Dinner Recipes for Families on a Budget”

  1. This was such a packed post! Great job. Taking notes on the cauliflower curry. Perfect for a meatless Monday!

  2. Great list of meals! I’ve pinned some of them to try later 🙂 I usually will look at the circulars and create our menu around the sales as well. Having 3 meat eaters, 1 vegetarian and 1 vegan in the house makes it tricky but they all enjoy my vegan meals so those nights are easier 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

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