Recipes on a Budget?

I am looking for yummy recipes on a fairly tight budget. My brother recently gave up working to be a stay-at-home dad for his 13 year old daughter. Money is now tighter than before and I would like to pass on some cheap, nutritional, tasty dinner recipes for them both. Can anybody help please? Thank you.


Monique x UK


Recipes on a Budget?

Vegetable Soup Casserole

  • Browned Hamburger (we are on a tight budget so I use about 1/2 lb)
  • peeled and cubed potatoes boiled(about 3 large)
  • 2 cans of ABC Vegetable soup (store brand)

Mix all together in a 9x13 dish. Add a touch of milk if soup doesn't coat everything. Top with a sprinkle of cheddar. Bake covered 45 min at 350. This is a forgiving casserole. You can add extra potatoes to stretch it or another can of soup to make it creamier. (06/14/2005)

By Ann

Recipes on a Budget?

I buy chickens at about 50 cents a pound on sale, bake one and take off all the meat. For about 60 cents of meat, 10 cents of rice, and whatever vegetable or two is on sale, I can make a stir fry or using flour tortillas instead of rice, a sandwich wrap that is nutritious and inexpensive.


Another inexpensive meal is tuna casserole. I buy tuna at 50 cents a can, mushroom soup at 44 cents, 2 pounds of noodles at 89 cents, and a small head of broccoli. To make enough for two nights, I use 2 cans of tuna, 2 cans of soup mixed with the cooked noodles. Add chopped broccoli. Mix together and put in a large casserole dish that has a bit of oil on the bottom. You can grate a little cheese on top or just top with crushed potato chips (less than half a bag at $1.49 per bag). Drizzle a bit of melted margarine over chips and you have 2 meals for about $4.

I only buy meat on sale and then usually for the month, so if chickens are on sale, I buy 4 to make 2 - 3 meals per week out of. I think of the month as 28 meals so those chickens have just knocked off 8 - 12 meals for the month, along with a bit of rice and vegetables. The tuna casserole is 8 more. Now I only have to figure out 8-12 meals more.


If I buy ground beef instead of chickens, I get about 8 pounds for $16 or less. Then each week we'll have burgers and another meal like BBQ beef sandwiches, just sloppy joe-like on buns which are only about $1 per package. Baked potatoes round the meal off and are very inexpensive.

I only buy one type of meat per month. We don't eat much meat anyway. We never buy chips, except for the tuna casserole, and I never buy cookies. I bake 5 dozen cookies made out of cake mix which I buy at $1 or less per box on sale. And when brownie mix is on sale for about $1, I buy some of those and make 6 dozen mini-cupcake brownies per box.

Our budget for food is about $50-$75 per week depending on what I feel like splurging on. We are 2 adults and one teenager. I do not like to cook and freeze for the month. Too much money gets tied up all at once and then I can't take advantage of sales. I found that stocking up for more than the month I'm planning for (except the meat for the month) fills my pantry and doesn't actually get used. So I may buy one extra mayonnaise to have on hand when it's on sale, but I don't stock up on 4 just because it's on sale.

Good luck. (06/14/2005)

By rabbithorns

Recipes on a Budget?

I add onions, peppers, and celery to all my ground beef recipes. Shredded carrots add vitamins and can't really taste the difference. All of the above in spaghetti sauce, too. (06/15/2005)

By cau

Recipes on a Budget? Try this website print out the sample menu and see if it would be helpful to your brother. I find lots of good ideas, menus and recipes there. (06/18/2005)

By patsAZ

Recipes on a Budget?

Buy or get from the library a wonderful little book "The Pauper's Cookbook" by Jocasta Innes. I still have mine form the 1960's and it has been a marvel. I brought up a big family on very low pay and now feed myself and partner as thriftily as I can. My current favorite tightwad recipes are chicken liver pate and home made bread. (06/20/2005)

By Sara B.

Recipes on a Budget?

I'm a student. One of my favourite recipes is an Egyptian-style tomato and chicken dish. These are rough measurements for making it for myself. You need a 1/4 tube tomato puree and a can of chopped tomatoes, oil, garlic, green peppers. Add puree to chicken wings or thighs (if I make 8 thighs I can have this tomorrow, too) in a deep saucepan with some oil and fry them for a moment. Then transfer to a pot and add about 1/2 a mug of water and the canned chopped tomatoes over it. Put some oil (vegetable/olive) in with it (be generous if it's olive oil) and add a coarsely chopped green pepper. Leave it for about a half an hour to simmer. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with rice or pasta. If I have some leeks or celeriac I'll put them in too at the simmering stage. You can also make it stretch a little bit further if you cook more rice or pasta. (07/01/2005)

By Peadraigin

Recipes on a Budget?

I like to use fried ramen style noodles with some vegetables that are on sale to make a very tasty, but cheap meal. I start by boiling 2 packages of ramen noodles per the directions on the bag, and then heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in an electric skillet or fry-pan and add chopped veggies (zucchini squash is especially good, as are carrots, and I always have some frozen peas on hand as well to throw in the mix).

Once the veggies have softened some and started to caramelize slightly I add the now cooked and drained noodles and stir fry the whole lot. After a minute of frying I add oyster sauce or other Asian style sauce for flavor and cook for another minute or so. Other nice additions are chicken or cashew nuts if you have some money to spare. Really tasty and low cost. (07/01/2005)

By Danny R.

Recipes on a Budget?

I make chicken pot pie with mixed veggies or whatever is on sale and I use the cheap canned biscuits for the crust. You can also make the crust from scratch, but I don't have time for that. I start by thickening the bouillon cubes I keep on hand with cornstarch. I brown the chicken with onion, bellpepper (if I have them) and I throw in thawed mixed veggies. You can either make the biscuits from scratch and drop them on top or you can use the canned biscuits and place them on top for the crust. (10/24/2005)

By Shi

Recipes on a Budget?

I make a chicken spaghetti, boil spaghetti, drain, mix with two cans cream of chicken, some diced up leftover chicken, and top with some shredded cheese. My boys actually prefer it without the leftover chicken. (06/11/2008)

By Rhonda

Recipes on a Budget?

Something we do is make wet burritos. Take 6 frozen burritos, (I get them at Aldi's for .35 cents each) and remove the wrappers and put them in a greased cake pan.

Then we make our own sauce.

  • 1 16oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 10oz can tomato soup
  • 1 envelope chili seasoning
  • 2 cups water

Combine everything in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Pour over the burritos in the cake pan.
Bake 350 degrees for 30 minutes, then remove from oven and top with 2-4 cups shredded cheese (depends on how cheesy you like it). Return to oven until cheese is melted 7-10 minutes. (08/25/2008)

By Terri

Recipes on a Budget?

I too am on a tight budget this is one even my kids love. Take biscuit dough spread into greased muffin cups. Brown 1 pound hamburger with 1 onion diced drain off grease add BBQ sauce. Fill the prepared muffin cups with meat mixture top with cheese of your choosing bake 15-20 minutes in oven. yummo (08/25/2008)

By Bonnie

Recipes on a Budget?

Wanted to share as it is only right.

Crock-pot recipe: 9 qt. 6 potatoes, 1 onion cut, bacon, 1 cream of mushroom soup, (add milk not water) salt and pepper to taste. Let cook 8 hours and eat. Awesome leftovers as well.

Meatballs in a crock-pot: pre-made or home-made meatballs, one jar of grape jelly, one thing of mild salsa, let cook 6 to 8 hours on low. Makes good meatball sandwiches the next day.

Velveeta Cheese in microwave: One thing of velveeta cheese, salsa, ground turkey, brown the turkey, throw all together in a safe bowl and melt. Good as a dip, and many uses. (09/03/2008)

By Kati


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