Low Budget Meal Ideas

The grocery store bills can be one of the family’s most costly expenses each month. With the price of everything going up each day, there is no doubt a need to conserve in the kitchen. Leave Debt Behind has researched some great, low cost meal recipes that will not only not break your bank, it can help you use the staples in your pantry to their maximum potential.

Here are some great ideas for food you should stock in your pantry that you can easily afford and stretch your grocery dollar much further than before. The ingredients in many great dishes are very versatile and inexpensive, giving you more bang for your hard-earned buck:

There are some many kinds of casseroles you can make with some of the most simple ingredients. Typical ingredients include, cream soups, noodles, fresh/frozen vegetables, tuna, beef, chicken, and cheeses. Casseroles are great in that you can substitute ingredients you can’t afford for ones you can. You can also create your own family recipes based on what your family enjoys eating. Casseroles are also long-lasting, easy to reheat for leftovers and are great for freezing.

Chicken is usually a hit with the kids so you can get a lot out of one chicken. You can fry it, bake it, broil it, and barbecue it. Left over chicken can be used to make chicken noodle soup. Chicken can also be sliced for sandwiches or diced for chicken tacos or a fresh salad. Anything left over after that can be tossed into the aforementioned casserole.

The possibilities with pasta are endless. You can add meat, vegetables, cheese, spices, and sauces to create an entire meal in minutes. For a more healthy dinner, you can use whole grain pasta into the mix.  Top with olive oil, cheese sauce, tomato sauce, creamed soup, or even butter for a rib-sticking meal.


Much like casseroles, homemade soups are easy to make and dress up. You can add fresh veggies, pasta, meats, and other ingredients, depending on your tastes and budget. Soups can typically be prepared in larger batches, which you can then freeze for additional meals in the months ahead.


Fresh vegetables may be a bit pricey in the store but now that summer is right around the corner, you can head out to the local farmer’s market and stock up on a week’s worth of salad fixings for a considerably less amount. Salad ingredients can be anything you want them to be but the key here is to eat the fresh lettuce and vegetables in a timely manner or risk losing it to spoilage. Invest in some good airtight containers to keep things fresher longer.

Creating meals that are inexpensive for your entire family is possible. It is people’s busy lives that seemingly lead to stops at fast food restaurants. With proper planning, you too can eat really well on a tight budget. Set out a time from your week to cook and prepare meals that can be stored for easy reheating during the week or month ahead.

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