Cheap, nutritious meals the whole family will love.

These 15 cheap meals are easy, nutritious, and filling.

Even when you’re cooking on a budget, be sure to not skimp on nutrition. You’ll feel good about feeding your family these nutritious, delicious, cheap meals that won’t break the bank.

By creating a repertoire of recipes featuring inexpensive ingredients, you’ll soon be able to whip out cheap meals without even thinking. 

Add these cheap meals into your meal rotation, just two or three nights every week, and you’ll see your grocery bill shrink right before your eyes! And your family won’t feel at all deprived.

You’ll find lots of variety here, each at $1 or less per serving. Great food doesn’t have to be pricey, and these recipes are proof.

>>>Click here to learn my secrets for cutting your grocery bill in HALF!<<<

Without further ado, here are all my very favorite easy, cheap meals!


Cheap Meals

cheap meals



Fried chicken with ALL the fixins: Under $1 per serving.

Yep, you heard right. An entire plateful of crispy fried chicken, creamy mashed potatoes, tangy coleslaw and flaky biscuits, ALL for under $1. Holy cheap meals!

No need to spend your retirement funds at that other chicken place!





cheap meals


Minestrone Soup: 68 cents per serving

Minestrone soup is one of the most nourishing, comforting and filling meals out there. It is also super easy and cheap. Every family should have a minestrone tradition.








cheap meals

Easy Sausage and Cabbage dinner: less than 50 cents per serving

This is a super quick, easy, nutritious and delicious meal. AND it’s low carb! My kids like it so much that my oldest makes it frequently away at college, and her roommates have also begun to make it, too. This recipe is just two ingredients, and only takes ten minutes to make.






cheap meals

Creamy Zucchini Casserole: less than 45 cents per serving

Zucchini is one of the absolute easiest crops to grow, and you will be blessed with prolific yields! This creamy,  flavorful and easy recipe will get lots of use as you use up all that bountiful zucchini. This is one of those cheap meals that will really bless your budget!







cheap meals

Sausage Roll Ups: less than 80 cents per serving

Yum! Sausage and cheese rolled up into a delicious dinner pastry. Not only are they delicious, but they are easily portable, for meals on the go, and they cost so little to make.









cheap meals

Waffles with Fruit Compote: about 50 cents per serving

Waffles topped with fruit is one of our all-time favorite meals, and we eat it for dinner as often as we eat it for breakfast. Choose your favorite fruit for variety, and dress it up for special occasions with fresh whipped cream or ice cream atop the fruit.







cheap meals


Chili Con Carne: less than 60 cents per serving

Chili is one of those great, basic dishes you can serve a hundred different ways, all of them delicious, cheap meals. Serve it over a baked potato, rice, or cornbread, as part of a taco salad, or topped myriad ways — chili is a true American classic. 









cheap meals

German Pancakes: Only 31 cents per serving

I’ve also seen these called Puff pancakes, Oven pancakes and Dutch Babies. Bake these in muffin pans and they will be popovers. Whatever you call them, they are super yummy, nutritious and cheap! Your kids will eat these up like candy, and you can feel good about serving them. I usually serve these for breakfast, but who doesn’t like to eat breakfast for dinner every once in awhile?






cheap meals

Burritos: less than 45 cents per serving

Burritos are both cheap and healthy, and they freeze well, so you can make a bunch all at once and use them throughout the week. A serving size is two burritos. Serve them with rice and black beans to make them a complete meal for well under $1. Make them dozens of different ways for variety, and make these cheap meals often to stretch your grocery budget further than you ever thought possible!







cheap meals

Roast Chicken: Under $1 per serving

Whole chickens are very cheap, almost all of the meat is edible, and the leftover chicken can be used in all kinds of additional ways. I love to dice it up into chicken enchiladas, or fried rice. Always use your leftovers to get the most out of these cheap meals!








cheap meals

Italian Zucchini Casserole: less than 60 cents per serving

Zucchini is so easy to grow and so prolific that I always have it coming out of my ears. After feeding my family all of the zucchini bread, zucchhini brownies, grilling, sauteeing, slicing and using zucchini every creative way I could, I used to feed it to our livestock and chickens. Unfortunately, the animals also grew sick of it and ignored it, until I thought up this meal! Now, finally, I can keep up with the zucchini! 




cheap meals

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese: less than 60 cents per serving

We love mac ‘n cheese at our house, but my kids won’t touch the boxed stuff. Even my five year old yells, “No! Not the orange stuff!” It doesn’t take even one minute longer to whip up this delicious meal, either. Honest! My kids whip this up all the time, by themselves, for lunch. This is one of our favorite cheap meals.







cheap meals

Chicken Noodle Soup: less than 54 cents per serving

Canned chicken stock and other canned soups are chock full of chemicals and toxic ingredients. It is really simple to make your own, much cheaper, and homemade stock is so full of nutrients that I’ve heard it called the ‘natural botox’ because it truly has healing properties. You just need to plan ahead a little, because it does take longer than opening a can. It’s worth every minute, though!




cheap meals

Huevos Rancheros: 38 cents per serving

I realize that Huevos Rancheros typically use fried eggs, but I’m cooking for kids, so I make it the way they like it best, which is with scrambled eggs. Ha, ha! When I have leftover ham or roast beef, I add that to the scrambled eggs. I also frequently sautee peppers and onions with our scrambled eggs for flavor. These are great for busy mornings as they are quick and very transportable. They also freeze and microwave well, if you like to prepare things ahead of time. 



cheap meals

Easy Sausage, Mushroom & Zucchini Frittata: less than 80 cents per serving

We have this meal for dinner as often as we have it for breakfast. You can make it with any combination of vegetables, or with any meat/vegetable combination. I frequently use leftover ham, cubed, with broccoli and swiss cheese. This quick, easy, delicious and filling meal will cost around $0.80 per serving. You can’t afford NOT to add it to your meal rotation!





How about a few more ideas for yummy, cheap meals?

>>> 65 Cheap, Easy Family Meals <<<

>>> 25 Light, Easy Summer Meals for Pennies <<<

Nourishing, comforting cheap meals begin with soup and you will LOVE these soup recipes!




Pin all these easy, cheap meals for later!






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  1. Just found you on Pinterest… I love your recipes & poststhanks for sharing🙂

    1. Amy Saunders says:

      Thanks so much for your sweet comment, Julie!

  2. Love these ideas for quick easy meals. My family can be so picky. Thanks for helping me find my way back to simple meals.

    1. Amy Saunders says:

      It’s my pleasure, Letti. I’m glad I could help!

  3. Thanks for sharing! I find keeping meat to a minimum helps the budget a lot!

    1. Amy Saunders says:

      You’re right, meat is often the most expensive part of the meal. I like to buy meat in bulk, when it’s on sale, and I often cook with cheaper cuts of meat, too.

  4. This looks so good! I love the variety of healthy meals!

    1. Amy Saunders says:

      Thanks, Suzanne! Don’t you love making meals that are healthy, easy AND cheap?

  5. Wow, that plate of waffles with fruit compote is calling my name right now! I never thought to calculate the cost per serving, that’s a great idea!

  6. We love cooking with cabbage, it’s healthy and filling and nutritious!!! I like to make these “veggie egg rolls” which is basically just cabbage (and any added frozen veggies) mixed with soy sauce and Sriracha.

    1. Amy Saunders says:

      That sounds delicious!

  7. Great list of ideas! Many of them I already make on a regular basis, but there were some on this list that I need to do more often.

  8. I love easy meals, but its even better when they’re cheap too!

  9. These are great ideas. This would be perfect to have as a resource in a couple months. I am pregnant with number two and know that time and effort for cooking will be out the window. Plus, If I can have some meals for cheap, even better! Thanks for putting this together.

    1. Amy Saunders says:

      Congratulations! Easy meals are all I can manage postpartum. I try to always stock my freezer with freezer meals before I have each baby. Good luck!

  10. This made me so hungry!!! I often forget to price out meals, but it food is often our biggest expense. You have inspired me to make Minestrone! My family loves soup!

    1. Amy Saunders says:

      Ah, minestrone! I make a huge pot almost every week during the winter because it’s just as yummy reheated!

    1. Amy Saunders says:

      Yeah, it seems like if you grow even one zucchini plant (and who grows just one when you have a whole packet of seeds?) you have it coming out your ears for awhile! Lol!

  11. Looks amazing! I love finding new recipes to try. Thanks!

  12. These all look delicious! We make most of these on the regular because they are so good. Thank you for sharing!

  13. These are such great ideas! Will try some of these out for sure

  14. Thank you so much for the budget meals I have marked down several that I’ll be trying in the upcoming weeks.

  15. There is a such a great selection of meals here. I love how you put these together and I will definitely be able to use a lot of these recipes.

  16. These all look delicious and are great ideas! Thanks so much for sharing. I love how you break down the cost per serving.

    1. Amy Saunders says:

      Thank you so much! I figured I’d better break it down by serving, since my family is unusually large, so a straight-across meal cost wouldn’t really compare, ha, ha!

  17. Great ideas! Always looking for cheap meal suggestions!

  18. Yum! These all look so easy to make – not to mention inexpensive! That’s a double whammy! I can’t wait to try the chicken noodle soup! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Amy Saunders says:

      Chicken Noodle Soup does sound especially yummy on a snowy day like today!

  19. These all look good! I love zucchini casserole and homemade mac and cheese. 🙂 Thank you for sharing this!

    1. Amy Saunders says:

      I agree, homemade mac and cheese is the best! I make my own with quinoa, since I can’t eat wheat.

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