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Tasty Meals That Stretch When Your On a Budget

Check out these tasty meals to stretch when your cooking dinner on a budget for a family with kids.


rice dinner on white plate with lemons

Having meals that stretch not only saves you money when your on a budget, but also saves you time and energy in the kitchen plus these meals can reduce food waste.



By having a rotation of easy meals that you can extend into large portions with just a few ingredients you can get dinner on the table with ease.


Cheap Dinner Meal Ideas With Few Ingredients


Save yourself money by creating a meal rotation of easy meals to make when your on a budget.


These meals begin with simple foundational ingredients that can be prepared with a variety of ingredients.


The versatility of these simple ingredients is what allows you to create a rotation of healthy meals for your family while staying on a budget.




char grilled chicken drumsticks

Easy Family Meals that Stretch To Feed Large Family:


#1 Arroz Con Pollo


Arroz Con Pollo is a Spanish cuisine that combines rice, chicken, and frozen vegetables to prepare a hardy meal that can be stretched.


This meal is perfect to serve with a variety of ingredients like a fried egg, slice avocado, plantains, and even regular plain potato chips.


1. To make Arroz con Pollo simply boil 2-3 chicken thighs until cooked and add in 3 hot dogs to your chicken stock water allowing it to heat through then remove your chicken and hotdogs to set to the side.


2. Use 2 cups of the chicken stock water to prepare a cup of rice and add in one cup of frozen mixed vegetables with corn, green beans, and peas to your rice pot.


3. Add a tablespoon of butter, a teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of cumin, paprika, and garlic then a dash of pepper.


4. Once your rice is cooked through, add in shredded chicken thighs and sliced hotdogs mixing the rice lightly until all ingredients are incorporated.


Add additional seasonings like salt, pepper, cumin, garlic, and paprika to taste once all ingredients are combined.


This meal is comforting and flavorful plus uses simple ingredients to prepare an easy family dinner that can be stretched easily.


To eat this the authentic way give a light squirt of ketchup over the top then serve with plain potato chips trust me its delicious.



two bowls of chili

#2 Homemade Quick Chili Recipe


Not only is chili easy to stretch, but is can also be transformed into a number of next day lunches.


Chili is a low ingredient meal that uses simple inexpensive foods to create a tasty quick bowl of goodness to feed your soul.


To make a chili super simple just sear ground beef until cooked then add in frozen minced peppers and onions, canned kidney beans, corn, and tomato sauce until well incorporated and season with chili powder.

Serve your chili with crackers, sliced avocado, or a simple pan of cornbread for an easy weeknight dinner.


Chili is a dump and go meal that is easy to stretch by either adding in chopped mushrooms and beans which will give you that meaty texture and will stretch your ground beef even further.


With these simple ingredients you can create healthy family meals that can be stretched into quick next day lunches like chili fries, chili hotdogs, chili over baked potatoes, chili burgers, or even nachos.


Chili is one meal to include in your weekly rotation because it is quick to make from easy budget friendly ingredients you probably already have in your pantry.



bowl of spaghetti


#3 A Big Pot of Spaghetti


Spaghetti is always a family favorite meal that is perfect for staying on a budget.


With just 3 simple ingredients you can have a big pot of spaghetti to feed your family.


To stretch your spaghetti sauce add a touch of water, a good squirt of ketchup, and a pinch of sugar.


You could even add in sautéed mushrooms or eggplant to give you a meaty texture without having to use more ground beef.


Spaghetti is a family favorite meal that pairs perfectly with a variety of ingredients and transforms into tasty next day leftovers easily.


11 More Meal Ideas To Stretch To Get Dinner on The Table Tonight:


  • Beef Stroganoff with Green Peas

  • Pork Carnitas

  • Lentil Soup

  • Shepard's Pie

  • Taco Casserole

  • Beef Stew

  • Pot Roast

  • Classic Homemade Chicken Soup

  • Stir Fried Rice with Yum Yum Sauce

  • Chicken and Dumplings

  • Chicken Pot Pie


beef stew in a white bowl being held by a woman

What To Feed Your Family On a Budget for Dinner?


When you on a budget it can be daunting to create wholesome meals the whole family can enjoy with just a few ingredients, but it is totally possible and you can create homemade classic meals that are great for feeding a large family or saving for easy next day leftover lunches.


By creating a simple rotation of easy dinners that you can stretch you can stay on a budget plus save yourself time and energy in the kitchen by creating meals that you can extend.


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