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Thinking of what to make for dinner during the week can be exhausting, especially when you’re worried about maintaining a food budget and juggling ever-day life. This is why we’ve used our access to the budget friendly shopping items and put together a list of 5-ingredient budget-friendly dinner ideas to give you inspiration for a simple and easy meal plan that works for the entire week. And guess what! The whole budget meal plan is coming in under $50:
Keep in Mind: Overall meal prices are calculated per portion (but may feed more than 1 based on your usual portion size)
Pasta makes for a very filling and satisfying dinner. A whole box of pasta will cost about $5 for name brand, or less for store brand. You can find pasta sauce on sale for less than $2. Depending on the amount of mouths you’re feeding, you may not even have to use a full can of sauce or a whole box of pasta, which means you can use it for a second meal at another time, saving you money. Purchase fresh ground beef on sale for under $3, roll them up and bake them with some salt and pepper to add into your spaghetti for some protein.
It’s taco Tuesday! Pre-packaged bags of salad consist of lettuce, carrots, cabbage and sometimes more, which you can get for under $4. Next, grab a box of corn tortillas for under $3 and use them as an added crunch. Get some more ground beef for less than $3 a pound and cook it in chili or taco seasoning for under $2. Squeeze a hint of lime at a cost of 99 cents and you’ve got yourself a dinner packed with flavor.
Make dinner a DIY with a potato bar. You can purchase a bag of potatoes, or boxed potatoes for just 99 cents. Next, get toppings like bacon (uncooked packs can be found for less than $4), cheese (under $3) and tomatoes (under $1). Cook the bacon, melt the cheese, and cut up the tomatoes, then place all of them in separate containers. Let your family build their own mashed potato dinner. It’s creative and puts a new twist on dinner, for cheap!
Get your veggies in with this healthy meal. You can get discounted zucchini squash for about $2. Get about 2 of them, cut them up, and throw it into a pan with oil. Then, add some long grain rice, which for a bag you can get for $4.00. Add in some salt and pepper for taste. It’s healthy and simple.
Not only is it simple, it’s delicious. Store-brand English muffins can get as inexpensive as $3 and come in packs, so you can easily make 2 small pizzas per person. You can use that leftover pasta sauce, or find pizza sauce for under $3. Top off your pizza with a piece of shredded cheese and let it melt on top (since you can get packs of cheese slices for $3 or under).