When it comes to eating at home, there are 4 things I often consider. As much as I can, I try to enjoy meals that are:
- Easy to make
Because I’m not that great a cook, the fourth aspect can be hit or miss even when I follow a great tasting recipe. If you’re a pro, you probably don’t need the dish to be easy to make.
Nowadays because I work at home, I’ve added another item to the list.
Ideally, it shouldn’t take too long to prepare. If it does, I’d prefer that the oven or crockpot is doing the work, not me. That way I can spend my time doing something else while the food cooks.
If any of the things I’ve mentioned above are things you look for when you’re preparing food at home, here are some great time-saving budget meals for two that you can easily make.
Easy Tomato Basil Soup
Don’t like tomatoes unless they’re in soup, sauce, pasta or pizza? Here’s a nice hearty dish that will let you enjoy the health benefits of these bright red vegetables.
Perfect for anyone on a tight budget, you’ll be able to get full and keep yourself warm even during the colder months. Additionally, you can add your own touch the soup by adding croutons or other condiments if you want.
Crispy Cheddar Chicken
If your kids are picky eaters, this is something they’ll take to. It’s easy to make and you probably have all the ingredients at home.
I really like the original recipe uses Ritz crackers for the coating which adds an extra flavor dimension to it. You can likewise experiment with other crackers if you’re adventurous.
If you don’t have Ritz crackers, worry not, you can use plain old bread crumbs or even Japanese panko which is one of my favorites because it gives you that lovely crunchy texture.
Avocado Egg Toast
This is an awesome recipe you can make in 15 minutes. It’s got everything you need for a healthy breakfast or lunch meal. And, best of all, it’s budget-friendly.
All you need are 3 main ingredients:
You get a ton of nutrients and high-quality protein. Plus, delicious flavor with all sorts of texture to satisfy your palate.
What I love about this is that you can personalize the dish so easily. It’s so easy to add other ingredients depending on your mood. The base components give you a great canvas to be as creative as you want.
Fish in Lemon & Butter Sauce
This is another simple, yet flavorful meals you can enjoy without spending a lot. This time for lunch or dinner.
This recipe works well even if you have problems with keeping the fish from sticking to your pan. That’s because you’ll be using the oven.
While it takes a bit longer than cooking it on the stove top, baking is much healthier, requires less oil and lets you focus on more important things like spending quality time with the family before dinner.
Depending on whether you’re trying to lose weight or not, you may want to skip the tartar sauce and go with more lemon.
Whichever way you go, you’ll be able to enjoy a low cost, nutritious meal without having to do a lot of prep and cooking yourself.
Roasted Veggie & Black Bean Tacos
This one is for vegan and vegetarians. Although it works just fine for meat eaters as well because of its delicious taste.
The tacos use beans as its main source of protein, making this a much cheaper option to using pork or beef.
And, don’t get intimidated by the long list of ingredients. You’ll barely need to cook anything. That’s what makes it enticing. Everyone can put this wonderful looking taco together even if you don’t cook much.
Healthy Chili Mac (Gluten-free)
If you can’t go without meat, then ground beef is one of the cheapest protein options around. I also like it because you can cook it with so many dishes.
In this case, the ground beef will supply the foundation flavor of the healthy chili mac. It gets a little help from beef broth which also keeps the price of the overall meal down.
One of the best things about the recipe is that not only is it healthy, it is also filling. This gets rids of the need for preparing side dishes or other foods to get you full.
Use-What-You-Have Leftover Fried Rice Recipe
Leftover fried rice is one of my favorite go-to meals in the morning or late at night. Of course, you can use it for lunch or dinner as well.
Leftover rice works better that just-cooked rice for stir-frying because it’s dried up. Re-cooking and reheating it with all the leftover ingredients allow it to rehydrate and absorb all their flavor.
This is something you want to keep in your recipe arsenal if you’re on a tight budget. Why?
Because each service costs just $0.65.
Yup. You’re spending less than a dollar per serving and enjoying food that otherwise may have ended in the trash. Nothing beats that when it comes to making every penny go a long way.
Sweet Potato, Kale and Shrimp Skillet
This recipe for two is both lovely to look at and just as delicious. You can even eat it off the pan so you and your loved one can share the meal.
Not only does this save you the time and effort of cleaning more dishes, but it also ensures you get all the food groups in.
Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite bread, rice or pasta alternative because it’s loaded with nutrients and contains healthier carbs.
Bet you’ve never tried ramen in a burrito.
While packed ramen isn’t the healthiest thing in the world, you’ll be skipping the part that’s making it unhealthy. That’s the flavor packet.
For this recipe, you’ll only be using the noodle to fill your burrito.
The combination of the noodles and tortilla makes the meal more filling without pulling the overall cost of the recipe up.
The original recipe calls for shrimp. But, if you’re allergic to shellfish or want to cut the cost down a bit more you can opt for chicken instead.
Black Bean Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
You’ve probably had lots of baked potatoes over your lifetime. So, here’s a nice twist to that dish.
Instead of using white potatoes try sweet ones. They’re cheap and very filling. Plus, they’re a healthier option to russets.
In addition to the sweet potato, the only other major ingredients are the black beans and avocado. The rest are for extra flavors like the sauce, red onions, and flavorings.
This makes it very low cost which is perfect for any couple who’s trying to save money for lunch or dinner.
Slow Cooker Enchilada Soup
I love my slow cooker. It’s one of the best kitchen appliances ever invented. At least I think so.
This recipe takes full advantage of the set it and forget it design of your Crockpot allowing you to leave it to cook while you do something more important.
While the flavors mesh very well together, I like the addition of the corn best. It gives you that crunchiness. And, it’s sweetness cuts through the taste of the soup adding an extra dimension to the recipe.
Ground Turkey Teriyaki Rice Bowl
Here’s a nice twist on your standard Japanese rice bowl. Instead of using beef, chicken or sushi, why not use ground turkey.
It’s much cheaper. And, along with the rice, you’ll be able to save a lot of money while making the meal filling.
The recipe also shows you how to make your own teriyaki sauce as well. This lets you use the sauce for other dishes that are Japanese inspired too.
Whole Wheat Penne With Sausage & Peppers
This is a tasty pasta dish that you can reheat again if you want to make your money go a long way. The dish soaks in more flavor from the red sauce the longer it sits.
So, you can make a bigger batch and split it for two and save the rest for your next meal. That’s a great way of saving money.
Chicken Noodle Stew
Pasta and noodles are always good options when you’re trying to save money. They’re inexpensive. And, they’re filling as well.
This lets you make a little go a long way.
This stew recipe also makes use of shredded chicken which helps cut down the amount you need to use.
Dump-And-Bake Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole
This recipe is perfect if you don’t want to spend a lot of time cooking. All it takes is 5 ingredients and 5 minutes of your time. From there, the oven does the rest of the work.
The recipe does take a bit longer than some of the other meals on our list. But, it lets you use that time to pamper yourself or just relax after a long day.
What I really like about this recipe it has all the components of a full meal. You have rice for carbs, broccoli for your veggies and the chicken for protein.