[mv_video key=”faaasfvlipzkbqi48xjk” thumbnail=”https://mediavine-res.cloudinary.com/video/upload/faaasfvlipzkbqi48xjk.jpg” title=”Cheapest Meal Ideas” volume=”70″]As a family of four we are always looking for the CHEAPEST meal ideas out there.

But if you are like us, most of the time cheap meals tend to… well…. Suck….

Add to this that food is one the biggest budget around leads to two things…

1) You eat food that tastes blah


2) You crush you monthly budget eating like a king

I have two growing boys and serving “blah” tasting food is really not an option and we are extremely frugal sooooo there is no eating like kings…

A while back Michelle and I spent a weekend searching for the cheapest meal ideas that actually taste good ( or at least sounded good) so you don’t have too!

The Cheapest Meal Ideas

Cheap Meal Idea 1: Honey Mustard Garlic Shrimp

Talk about YUM!

This cheap meal is absolutely delicious and took us less then 15 minutes to cook! 

cheapest meal 1

Picture from Julia’s Album

Honey Mustard Garlic Shrimp Recipe

Easy Cheap Dinner Idea 2: Lemony Tuna and Olive Oil

Michelle and I really enjoyed this meal. Although we would recommend using a high quality tuna. Some of the reviews indicate that. Even though we want the cheapest meal ideas, spend a little bit on a better tuna.

Picture from Real Simple

Lemony Tuna and Olive Oil Recipe

Cheap Meal Idea 3: Breadless Tuna Melt in a Tomato 

A tuna melt that is delicious, healthy and low cost…. Tell me more! This is an absolutely delicious dish that is one the cheapest meal ideas we found.

Photo from Pescatarian and the Pig

Breadless Tuna Melt in a Tomato Recipe

Easy Cheap Dinner Idea 4: Tuna Cakes

Sara at SaraLipoff.com shares a great meal that her and her daughter makes. Not only is this cheap meal idea yummy, but you can involve the little ones in making it. 

Picture from Sarah Lipoff

Tuna Cakes Recipe

Cheap Meal Idea 5: 3 Ingredient Chili

If you are looking for the cheapest meal idea for your next playoff football game or if you are planning for the Super Bowl, this chili hits the mark. 

Photo by yellow bliss road

Easy 3 Ingredient Chili Recipe

Easy Cheap Dinner Idea 6: Lasagna Soup

For busy parents on a budget this recipe is not only quick and low cost but it tastes amazing and gives you leftovers for lunch.

Picture from Julie’s eats and treats

Easy Lasagna Soup Recipe

Cheap Meal Idea 7: Ravioli Soup

Ravioli soup is one of those EASY cheap meal ideas. This recipe only takes 5 ingredients and 30 minutes to make. The best part is LEFTOVERS!

picture from Big Bears Wife

Ravioli Soup Recipe

Easy Cheap Dinner Idea 8: French Bread Pizza

This is a DIRT cheap meal idea and one our family absolutely loves to eat. We have added this recipe to our weekly meal plan.

Picture from The Chic Site

French Bread Pizza Recipe

Easy Cheap Dinner Idea 9: Crock Pot Vegetables

Maybe you are looking for a cheap and healthy meal for your family… if so slow roasted vegetables in the crock pot will hit the mark.

Picture from Chocolate Covered Katie

Crock Pot Vegetables Recipe

Cheap Meal Idea 10: Cheesy Beans and Rice

This may be classified as the ultimate BUDGET meal and our family loves it. This cheap meal not only tastes great but is ready to eat in minutes. It’s a great way to use your family leftovers to make a cheap meal. 

Picture by Damn Delicious

Cheesy Beans and Rice Recipe 

Easy Cheap Dinner Idea 11: Black Bean Quesadillas

We have a joke in our family that quesadillas are just another form of grilled cheese… but the great thing about grilled cheese is that its a quick and cheap dinner idea. This black bean quesadilla recipe brings the quesadillas up a couple notches and are delicious.

Picture from Budget Bytes

Black Bean Quesadilla Recipe

Cheap Meal Idea 12: Ham and Cheese Hash Brown Casserole 

Are you looking for a meal that you can serve to a large group of people on a budget? Casseroles are great for making meals for large groups. This Ham and Cheese casserole is delish and budget friendly. My 4 year old loves it and always wants seconds.

Picture by Plain Chicken

Ham and Cheese Hash Brown Casserole Recipe

Easy Cheap Dinner Idea 13: Ham, Green Beans and Potatoes

Slow cooker meals are also wonderful for families. Most recipes are budget friendly and they are great because you can start them before you head to work and they will be ready when you come home.

Picture by Good in the Simple

Ham, Green Beans and Potatoes Recipe

Cheap Meal Idea 14: Oven Tacos

Tacos are one of those foods that are not only loved by almost all families but are also CHEAP meals for your entire family. The reason that we like this recipe is that we can make the tacos in bulk and eat them later in the week.

Picture by Simplistic Living

Oven Tacos Recipe

Easy Cheap Dinner Idea 15: Beef Burgundy 

Do you want a fancy family meal for cheap? Then try out this crockpot meal. Instead of spending hours making dinner, let the crockpot do it for you.

Picture by Family Fresh Meals

Beef Burgundy Recipe 

Cheap Meal Idea 16: Beef and Mushroom Stroganoff 

Our goal was to create a list of budget friendly meals that actually tasted good… There is nothing that says comfort food like a creamy pasta dish. This one does not fail to deliver.

Picture by Budget Bytes

Beef and Mushroom Stroganoff Recipe 

Easy Cheap Dinner Idea 17: Baked Spaghetti Pie

Whoa… We had never heard of this before but honestly it was delicious! It is such a simple dinner idea and was extremely cheap to make. 

Picture by Mom 4 Real

Baked Spaghetti Pie Recipe 

Cheap Meal Idea 18: Creamy Tomato Pasta

This super easy ONE pot meal is great for families looking for a tasty meal without the mess. We love this budget friendly one pot pasta dish.

Picture by Diethood

Creamy Tomato One Pot Pasta Recipe

Easy Cheap Dinner Idea 19: One Pot Pepperoni Pizza Pasta

Maybe you didn’t love cheap meal idea 18 but here is another one pot meal and we thought this meal was amazing! We definitely added this meal to our keeper list. Not only was it a cheap family meal but our 4 year old loved it!!! Parent win!

Picture by Cincy Shopper

One Pot Pepperoni Pizza Pasta Recipe

Cheap Meal Idea 20: Homemade Chef Boyardee Beefaroni

Why buy a ton of processed food when you can simply make this delicious family meal??? The cost of this meal is low and the taste is delicious and cant be beat. 

Picture by Eat Thrive Glow

Homemade Chef Boyardee Beefaroni Recipe

Easy Cheap Dinner Idea 21: 5 Cheese Stuff Shells

This meatless meal is a classical Italian dish that my 4 year old and I love!!! This meal takes a little longer to make but it’s worth the wait. This by far one of our families favorite cheapest meal ideas to date.

Picture by The Gracious Wife

5 Cheese Stuffed Shells Recipe

Hopefully this helps you realize that cheap meal ideas don’t have to be tasteless. What we liked the most about many of these budget friendly meals is that it helped us meal plan for the week. Many of the meals made a ton of leftovers which were great for lunch.

Want more cheap meal ideas for when you are broke?

Which of the cheapest meal ideas are you going to make tonight?