We’re a big fan of delicious-tasting easy and cheap meals here at The Frugal Farmer. Keeping the grocery budget around $400 a month for our family of six takes some work, so we always take note when we find great meals that cost under $5. Here are some of our favorites:
Beans and Rice This seemingly “boring” meal is easily spiced up with shredded cheddar cheese, salsa and a little sour cream, black olives or jalapenos. You really can do a lot with these two simple staples if you’re willing to get creative, and by buying bulk beans and rice at a warehouse club, you can serve your family this meal for pennies on the dollar.
Mac and Cheese
Our kids rarely eat boxed mac and cheese now that they’ve experienced the creamy goodness of homemade mac and cheese. The great thing about mac and cheese is that you can really change it up by experiencing with different cheese types, like parmesan and mozzarella, and if we’re feeling extra fancy, we’ll throw in some ham or hotdogs for the kids on occasion. Add a bit of sour cream into the mix for extra creaminess. You can find our recipe for frugal mac and cheese here.
Navy Bean Soup
There’s nothing to help make the long, cold winter bearable like a bowl of hot soup. Navy bean soup, with some carrots, celery and onion, and a few bits of chopped ham, is a thick, rich soup that is cheap, low-calorie, and fills the tummy well.
Chicken Noodle Soup
One of the ways we save money on groceries is to do double duty with our soups. We boil a chicken to make the broth, then take half the broth, put it into a separate pot, fill both of the pots by adding water to the broth, and then make one into Chicken Noodle Soup, and one into Wild Rice Soup. By utilizing the extra water, we are able to get four batches of soup out of this deal. Much better deal than store-bought soups, and delicious, too!
Chipotle Rice with Guacamole
We make our own version of Chipotle restaurant’s rice, and serve it with homemade Guacamole for dinner on occasion. This meal is super fast to make, and if you can find a good deal on fresh avocados, you can easily whip this one up for under 5 bucks. Add that to the fact that it’s vegan and super healthy, and you’ve got yourself a real winner here. There are all sorts of ways to utilize easy and cheap meals to help stretch your grocery budget. By using inexpensive ingredients, cutting down on the meat, and simply getting creative, a little can go a long way. What are your favorite easy and cheap meals?