Spending money on food is not negotiable since food is essential. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t practice money saving techniques in this area. In fact, the more you are able to save on food, the easier it becomes to reach other financial goals your family may have.
Here are ten family meal ideas that are not only budget friendly, but also delicious. After all, you don’t have to sacrifice the quality of your meals to save money. You just need to know how to find quality foods in an affordable way. Keep in mind that the average family spends about 11% of their income on food every month. You can definitely meet this and possibly even spend less than the average household with some of these meal options.
1. Chicken and Pasta: Pasta is one of the most affordable food options. When you combine it with a protein, such as chicken, it makes a great sustainable meal for the family. The best part is that this meal is versatile. You can add vegetables to the dish and combine with your favorite sauce whether it’s Alfredo, pesto, or simple marinara sauce. Remember to keep an eye out for discount vegetables at the store. Another suggestion is to buy your frozen chicken in bulk. This way, you can only use as much as you need and still have more for future meals.
2. Stir Fry: Any kind of stir fry meal is quite easy to put together. Combine your favorite vegetables with any kind of protein whether it’s chicken, tofu, or something you can buy for a great price in bulk. You can add some rice on the side, which is another affordable food, add some soy sauce, and you have a delicious meal for the family.
3. Stuffed Potatoes: Potatoes are relatively cheap at any grocery store and make a great base for meals. Simply bake them, stuff with a variety of vegetables, and top with sour cream and cheese.
4. Quesadillas: Quesadillas can be packed with anything, including avocado, red peppers, tomatoes, bacon, and more. The best way to plan this meal for the family is to add vegetables and protein sources that are on sale for the week.
5. Baked Lemon Chicken: Lemon is an affordable fruit you can stock up on for the house and then use for this affordable dish. Baked lemon chicken is simple; just drizzle the chicken with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, top with lemon juice and bake with some lemon slices.
6. Black Bean Burgers: Black beans are inexpensive and you only need two cans for this recipe to feed a family of four. To give a breakdown of the recipe, you’ll want to mash the black beans and combine in a bowl with breadcrumbs, onion, 1 egg, butter, chili powder, salt and pepper. What’s great is that these are all staple items in most households.
7. Sandwiches: Sandwiches are one of the easiest to make for the family, they’re affordable to make, and you can add basically anything to it. You don’t necessarily need to buy lunch meat, but you can use leftover meats from previous meals. You can also make veggie sandwiches, which are much more affordable. .
8. Breakfast for Dinner: Breakfast for dinner is not only an easy way to get through dinner on a busy night, but it’s also extremely affordable and fun. Pancakes, waffles, or even sausage and eggs are quick and sustainable meals for those nights when you just don’t have the time to put much effort into cooking.
9. Simple Pasta: You don’t even need to include meatballs, unless you want to. A big pot of spaghetti topped with marinara sauce and cheese is another affordable meal. You can toss any vegetables you have in the fridge as a side dish.
10. Leftovers: This is a great way to save money and still have a decent meal for the family. You can get creative with leftovers for dinner on the following day. You can also have it for lunch the next day so you won’t have to make something different or buy lunch.
Meal time doesn’t have to be extravagant. Keeping it simple, affordable, and yet sustainable is going to help your family achieve more of your financial goals without taking away from your health.
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