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5 Weeknight Dinner Recipe Ideas on a Budget

Weeknight dinners are no longer a struggle with these easy recipe ideas to make for dinner on a budget. Quick, easy, cheap dinner meals your family will love for you to make tonight.

cheap dinner ideas for family of 4

Quick Dinner Ideas For A Family of 4

#1 Chili

With the cool season of Fall fast approaching this easy to make dinner recipe is perfect for making weeknight dinners on a budget. Busy moms can easily whip up a hot batch of homemade chili with 7 simple ingredients. Not only is this meal budget friendly, but it also serves as a one pot dinner making clean up a breeze with this healthy dinner recipe idea.

Homemade Chili Recipe Ingredients

1 lb. Ground Beef

1/2 Yellow Onion

1/2 Bell Peppers

2 Cans of Tomato Sauce

1 Small Can of Tomato Paste

2 Cans of Kidney Beans

1 Tablespoon Chili Powder

Cooking Directions

  1. Place ground beef, onions, and bell peppers in a pot on medium low heat to sauté

  2. Drain grease once beef has browned

  3. Add tomato sauce and tomato paste to the pot

  4. Add kidney beans and chili powder

  5. Continue to cook over medium low heat until beans have softened about 20 minutes

Serve with cornbread, crackers, or a fresh crisp salad for an easy weeknight dinner on a budget.

This is a great recipe to repurpose for next day lunches by creating chili fries served with bacon and a ranch drizzle, chili served with crisp potato skins topped with fresh green onion, gourmet chili hot dogs, chili burgers, or simply just reheat a warm bowl of chili leftovers to serve alone for a simple next day healthy lunch idea.

easy dinner idea for family chicken noodle soup

Cheap Dinner Ideas For Family of 4 Kid-Friendly

#2 Homemade Chicken Soup

There is nothing like homemade soup to stretch your dollar when cooking dinners on a budget. It is easy to make this healthy dinner recipe stretch by simply adding more broth to make a hardy weeknight dinner for feeding a family with kids on a budget.

Discover The Best Chicken Soup Recipe for the Fall Season here. This soup recipe is simple, yet provides a nutritional boost to keep your immune system up and going during the colder seasons.

Perfectly paired with a crisp loaf of French bread or simply crackers and a crisp salad for an easy weeknight dinner recipe.

cheap dinner idea for large family spaghetti

#3 Spaghetti

Spaghetti has to be one of the most convenient easy to make dinner recipes for on a budget when feeding a family with kids. This dinner idea on a budget only requires 4 simple ingredients and can often be made for an easy weeknight dinner, but extended into a left over lunch for feeding kids the next day.

Spaghetti Ingredients

1 lb. Ground Beef

1 Jar of Pasta Sauce

8 oz. of Spaghetti Pasta

2 Tablespoons Ketchup

Cooking Directions

  1. Brown ground beef over medium low heat until cooked then drain the grease

  2. Boil spaghetti pasta in a separate pot for 10 minutes or until noodles have softened

  3. Add a jar of pasta sauce to the ground beef mixture once drained

  4. Combine drained pasta with ground beef mixture

  5. Add 2 tablespoons of ketchup and mix

  6. Add a splash of water for extra spaghetti sauce

  7. Add optional additional seasonings like a sprinkle of garlic power and Italian seasoning

Serve hot with garlic toast and a fresh crisp salad for an easy weeknight dinner on a budget. For next day lunches, simply reheat spaghetti or get creative and make spaghetti sandwiches with melted American cheese or simply reheat a warm bowl of spaghetti and add a fried egg on top to make it gourmet with sliced avocado on the side for an easy quick healthy lunch.

quick easy dinner idea pulled pork sandwich

#4 Pull Pork

Pulled pork is an easy weeknight dinner idea for feeding a family with kids and it is super simple to make. This easy dinner idea can be used to create homemade BBQ sandwiches, pulled pork tacos, or simply served on its own with a side of slaw and beans to create a southern classic recipe that filling and easy to make on a budget.

Pulled Pork Ingredients

Boston Pork Roast Butt





Cooking Directions:

  1. Season pork butt with a combination of salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic

  2. Fill baking pan with 2-3 cups of water

  3. Place seasoned pork butt in a baking pan covered with aluminum foil at 350 degrees F

  4. Cook for 1 1/2 hours until internal temperature reaches 145 F

  5. Allow to cool then shred meat and top with sauce

Home Cook Tip:

For Southern classic pulled pork add this vinegar based dressing or your favorite premade BBQ sauce.

Homemade Sweet BBQ Vinegar Dressing Recipe

  1. Add 1 cup of ketchup

  2. 1/2 cup of water

  3. 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar

  4. 1/2 cup of brown sugar

  5. 1 tsp. garlic powder

  6. 1 tbs. soy sauce

It does not get much simpler than that.

Make homemade southern BBQ pulled pork sandwiches with a side of premade coleslaw and some baked beans to create an easy weeknight dinner on a budget for feeding a family with kids.

fast easy dinner idea for 4

For Spanish carnitas pulled pork skip the vinegar dressing. Instead, add 1/2 a white onion sliced and 1 small tomato chopped to the baking pan before placing in the oven.

This preparation is perfect for making pulled pork tacos that are easily served with rice, beans, crisp lettuce, and fresh avocado.

Or create simply delicious pulled pork tacos with a simple sprinkle of white onion topped with cilantro and served with salsa to go gourmet on a budget.

what to make for dinner when your tired of everything

#5 Japanese Stir Fry

Japanese stir fry is a go to dinner recipe on a budget because it is so versatile and this is a great meal for using any produce that is about to expire. Customize this easy weeknight dinner idea to please the taste buds of your family with this healthy dinner recipe idea.

Japanese Stir Fry Ingredients

2 Chicken Breast

1 Cup of chopped mushrooms

1 Cup of chopped broccoli

1 Cup of Uncooked Rice

Soy Sauce

Cooking Directions

  1. Add 1 cup of uncooked rice to 2 cups of boiling water with a tablespoon of butter and 1 tsp. of salt

  2. Allow rice to cook on a low boil until water begins to evaporate then turn to medium low, cover with a lid, and continue cooking for 40 minutes

  3. In a separate pan sauté mushrooms and broccoli in butter with a splash of water until mushrooms have browned and broccoli has softened then remove and set aside

  4. Add chicken to pan and sauté on medium low for 3 minutes on each side

  5. Combine all ingredients into the pan and add 1/4 of a cup of soy sauce

Serve this easy weeknight dinner recipes with a drizzle of white sauce for a filling meal that is easy to make on a budget for feeding a family.

white sauce for dinner fried rice recipe

White Sauce Recipe

Combine 1/2 cup of mayo

1/4 cup of water

2 Tablespoons of ketchup

1 Tablespoon of white sugar

1 Tsp. of garlic powder

Mix it Up: this recipe is versatile making it easy to substitute the veggie and protein options. You can easily make this recipe with any combination of the following: steak tips, grilled chicken breast, sautéed shrimp, mushrooms, broccoli, zucchini, green peas, and carrots.

easy comfort foods dinner ideas

Easy Comfort Food Dinner Ideas Cheap and Budget Friendly

Make weeknight dinners easy by creating healthy dinner recipes on a budget that easily feed a family with kids to provide a well rounded nutritious dinner for busy weeknights.


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