We’ve all been there; sometimes there’s more month at the end of your money, am I right? Or maybe you’re aggressively saving up for a family vacation or a big move and want to slash the grocery bill. No matter the reason, it’s always good to have an arsenal of budget-friendly meals. Sure, you can grab boxed dinners or frozen meals, and I’ve certainly gone through periods of eating mac & cheese several times a week, but these dinners pack a little more flavor and nutrition in them. Go ahead and take a look!
Sausage & Rice Skillet
I love dinners like this that can pretty much use up any veggies you have around the kitchen. Green peppers, onions, corn, broccoli, etc. So, this meal is ideal if you have a few things that will go bad soon. Simply chop up your veggies and get them going in the skillet, along with chopped up sausage. You can use a different kind of meat if you prefer but sausage is a super inexpensive choice and often comes with its own seasoning. Toss in a few of your favorite spices and let everything cook while you make the rice. Once everything is done, stir in the rice and serve it up hot!
This one might be my favorite on the list. Not only am I sucker of a hearty Italian dish, but throwing everything in a casserole dish and tossing it in the oven is my kind of weeknight dinner. You’ll need your favorite marinara sauce, mozzerella cheese, and a bag of frozen ravioli. Simply layer sauce, ravioli, and cheese a few times, sprinkle with some dried basil and oregano, and pop it in the oven. That’s it!
Rice & Beans
Here’s another staple, especially for those of us who grew up living paycheck to paycheck. This version adds a little more flavor by using dried beans and cooking them in the crockpot with water and canned tomatoes. Let it cook on low during the day, and then cook up your rice when you’re ready for dinner! If you have bacon on hand, go ahead and toss that in with the beans as well. Top with cheese and your favorite spices, and you’re good to go. For an added bonus, whip up a box of Jiffy cornbread!
Tacos are always a hit, and these tacos take things a step further. I love the idea of adding things into the ground turkey (or beef if that’s what you prefer) to round out the meal. Green peppers, onions, corn, and beans are all great add-ins. This will stretch out the taco filling, so you can save the leftovers for taco bowls later! Once your filling is cooked and seasoned, grab your taco shells and favorite toppings. Ta-da!
Potatoes & Sausage
This is a versatile meal that you can customize to your family’s prefereances. Start with the potatoes – you can bake them, fry them up, or mash them. Then, cut up your sausage, brown it in a skillet, and add some bbq sauce. Finish off the meal with a frozen or canned veggie of your choice.