25+ Budget Friendly {but Still Healthy} Dinner Ideas

Every month, we look at our budget and every month I am amazed (or really appalled) at what we spend on food. We have three growing boys, plus two other adults in this house, but still. I’ve even looked over the USDA guidelines for what our family should spend on groceries. For the record, my crew is below the “thrifty” plan. But still…

We follow all the rules for saving money on our grocery budget: 

  • Eat at home. 
  • Follow a menu plan. 
  • Eat leftovers. 
  • Shop at Aldi, sales at Kroger, or Zaycon Fresh. 
  • Go to the grocery store with a list, once a week. 

But still…

I have a list of Budget Friendly {but still healthy} Dinner Ideas in my back pocket. I add these in once or twice a week and it really seems to help. So, if you are wanting to save at the grocery store, grab a few of these ideas.

This is a thrifty meal, especially if you have leftover ham. With Cheesy Jalapeno Cornbread and these Ham and Beans, I call that supper. 

If you have leftover beans you can use those or you can just start fresh. Either way, these Make Ahead Lunch Wraps are budget friendly. 

With only four ingredients, this is a budget friendly, packed with flavor supper that everyone will enjoy. 

Did you know you can make baked potatoes in the slow cooker?? You sure can! Top them with sour cream, butter, cheese, bacon, leftover chili, chicken, salsa…just whatever floats your boat. 

Simple and comforting…what more could you want? Oh, easy on the budget? Yep, this soup meets those qualifications. 

Pancakes can go a long way. You can add fruit to them and with a side of scrambled eggs or a smoothie you can have breakfast for supper that everyone will love!

This recipe actually makes four quiches. You can eat one and freeze the other three, which allows you to use all your ingredients and not waste anything. Plus, you will have three dinners waiting for you in the freezer. It’s a win, win! Pair with with some fresh fruit and some yogurt and you’ll be set. 

This Simple Bolognese Sauce is packed with veggies. It can easily be doubled or tripled to feed a crowd. Paired with a simple salad and some French bread and you’ll have a feast without breaking the bank. 

A lot of people are fearful of whole chickens. Let me assure you, there is nothing to fear. Whole chickens are frequently on sale at the grocery adn they are so good. 

If love Macaroni and Cheese…possibly even more than my children do. Possibly. This macaroni, while budget friendly, packs a punch in the veggie department. 

Alfredo sauce really doesn’t have to be complicated. Really. By adding broccoli or grilled chicken and this Simple Alfredo Sauce will be your favorite budget friendly meal. 

You can make these as the recipe states, which I would highly recommend, but if you are really trying to pinch pennies try these with seasoned ground beef, refried beans, or no meat at all…just veggies. Slice some avocados to put on top and place these on a bed of lettuce and you have a complete meal. 

So delicious. So simple. So cheap. This will quickly become a staple in your menu plan. 

This Taco Soup is made in the Slow Cooker and it has only a few ingredients. This recipe is a cheap way to feed a crowd or if your family is like mine, it’s a cheap way to feed a lot of hungry boys. 


Brownie Baked Oatmeal is one of our favorites. Slice some banana, scramble some eggs, and enjoy a filling brinner. 

These Chicken and Dumplins are a frequently requested dinner around our house, which is fine with me. They are such a comfort food, super filling and oh so economical. 

All the sloppy joe and none of the processed stuff? Sign me up! If you are trying to cut a few carbs, try this on top of a portabella mushroom or green pepper. If not, eat it on a bun, close your eyes, and pretend you’re back in elementary school…You know the good ole days when your parents paid the bills. Ha!


Eggs are a cheap source of protein and you can really stretch them. Packed with veggies and all other types of goodness, no one will know you are trying to eat on the cheap when you serve these. 

I watch for English Muffins to go on sale at my grocery store and when they do…I pounce. These are great to make ahead and freeze. With a smoothie, some yogurt, or a piece of fruit, you’re good to go. 


This is easy and budget friendly. Those are two qualifications that are required to make it on my menu plan each week. 

My grocery is constantly putting frozen vegetables on sale. When they do, it’s a great time to have this vegetable soup. 

Have you ever bought pesto at Aldi? If not, you should! This pizza is divine. 

All the comfort, none of the budget breaking ingredients. Yum and yum. 

There is a common misconception that eating healthy has to be expensive, but this salad proves that theory wrong. With six simple ingredients you can make as much or as little of this salad as you’d like. 


I am ALWAYS looking for new ideas to save on our grocery budget. If you have any ideas not on this list, please let me know!

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I’m a writer, new mom and foodie. I love sharing what I know while making others feel beautiful. On this blog, I share my healthy lifestyle, simple meals, fitness tips and experiences.

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