Family Meals on a Budget: Dinner – Part II


Last month I shared several ideas for family meals on a budget. They were a huge hit! (View that post here.) I had so much fun finding delicious and affordable recipes that I decided to share some of my own recipes for under $20. For today’s recipes, I shopped at Smiths instead of Walmart. I am buying from different stores so that everyone has an idea of pricing at a variety of locations. This is mainly in case you do not have one of the stores that I happen to have in my town. Part 2 includes easy and quick recipes that can feed a family of 4 easily. 

Chili Dogs in a Blanket

1-2 cans of crescent rolls ($1.99, Kroger brand)

2 cans of chili ($1.49 each, Nally Cheesy variety)

1-2 packages of hotdogs ($4.19 per 6-pack, Johnsonville)

Shredded cheese ($2.29 Kroger brand)

One small-medium yellow onion ($.40)

Pickled jalapenos ($1.89, La Costena)

Preheat your oven to 350°F. While the oven is preheating, open the crescent rolls (try not to jump when it goes BOOOOOM!) and hotdogs. Wrap one crescent roll around each hot dog. Once these are all put together, place them in a greased baking dish several inches apart so the crescent dough can rise as it cooks. Cook according to the instructions on the crescent roll package. Pull the dish out of the oven, add the cans of chili, and top with cheese. Return the dish back to the oven and bake long enough for the cheese to melt and chili to heat through. Serve with diced onions, pickled jalapeños, and any other toppings you desire. This is a super easy dish and kid-approved. It costs roughly $16 to make and could be even more budget-friendly with Frank’s Hotdogs ($1.19). I only used one package of hotdogs for our dinner. 

Sloppy Joes and Fries

1-2lbs hamburger ($3.88+)

Manwich ($1.00)

French Fries ($1.79) 

Hamburger Buns ($1.00)

This recipe is super simple and fast! First, brown the hamburger, adding whatever spices you would like. Meanwhile, cook the French fries per the instructions on the bag; we personally love using our air fryer for this but you can also use the oven or a deep fryer. Crinkle-cut fries happen to be our favorite. Once your hamburger is completely cooked, add your can of Manwich. Simmer these two together until the sauce is heated through. Grab your buns, check on your fries and serve when everything is cooked. We usually make fry sauce to go with our fries, but feel free to use whatever you’d like for yours. This meal costs roughly $10-$15 to make and will feed 4-5 people. 

Hamburger Stroganoff 

1lb hamburger ($3.88+)

1 can of cream of mushroom  soup ($.89)

½ cup sour cream ($1.89)

½ cup milk of choice ($.99 for one pint)

Seasonings of choice 

Noodles of choice (I used elbow) ($1.00-$3.00)

First, brown the hamburger, adding your choice of seasonings. While the hamburger is browning, boil the noodles. Combine the can of cream of mushroom soup, sour cream, milk, and seasonings of choice into a bowl. Once noodles are done, strain and set aside. Once the hamburger is done browning, add the sauce mixture and sauté until everything is heated through. To serve, put a serving of noodles in a bowl and add cover with sauce. I suggest doing it this way because some people like their pasta with more sauce than others. This meal costs roughly $9-$12 and feeds a family of 3-4. 

Chicken pot pie

Pie crusts ($2.69 Kroger brand, 2 pack) 

2 big cans of chicken ($7.49)

1 bag of frozen vegetable mix ($1.00 Kroger brand) 

1 can of cream of mushroom/chicken soup ($.89 each)

Seasonings of choice 

Preheat your oven to 375°. In a pie dish (or similar baking dish), place one of the pie crusts in the bottom of the pan. Mix the remaining ingredients in a bowl. Once combined, add the mixture to the pie crust, then cover with the remaining crust. Place in the oven for roughly 45 minutes or until done and crust is flaky. This meal is really quick to make and costs roughly $12. It will serve a family of 4. 

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Long grain rice ($1.49) 

1 can of Rotel Tomatoes ($1.00)

1lb of hamburger ($3.88+)

6 bell peppers ($.69 each)

1 can of corn ($.79)

1 can of black beans ($.89)

Shredded cheese ($2.99)

Preheat your oven to 350°. Meanwhile, brown the hamburger and open and drain the canned items. Also, cook your rice. I personally use my rice cooker; however, you can do it on the stove too. Once the hamburger is browned, add the corn, beans, and Rotel. Then add your rice to the mixture, and stir until well combined. Prep the peppers by taking off the tops and removing the seeds. Fill the peppers with the meat mixture and top with cheese. Bake for 30-45 minutes and serve. This meal is a healthier option and costs roughly $16 to make. It will feed a family of 4-5 depending on how many peppers you eat. 

Hope everyone enjoyed these recipes, and I hope you try them yourselves. Have a wonderful day!