19 Money-Saving Dinner Ideas 

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Satisfy your culinary cravings!

 

The cost of eating out every night can get pretty expensive. Not to mention, it’s kind of ridiculous how much money we spend on restaurants and another dining out options. 

The good news is, that there are plenty of ways to save money at home without compromising on quality or service. The prospect of spending less money on food and more on experiences arises, it’s an exciting opportunity that we don’t want to miss! 

Even if you’re not a regular diner by any means, these money-saving dinners can be a great way to make healthy changes for the week or month ahead. From leftovers to pre-planned meals and quick weeknight dinners that won’t break the bank, here are some simple home cooking ideas that will cost you less but leave you feeling more satisfied than before.

 

1. Curried Sweet Potato And Brown Rice Casserole

Saving money on groceries doesn’t have to mean sacrificing taste. This casserole is made with Indian spices and a savoury brown rice recipe. The sweet potatoes make this casserole super nutritious and filling. If you are looking for an easy way to make sure you are getting your daily allotment of vitamins and minerals, this is the casserole for you!

2. Taco Salad

If you love tacos and are looking for an easy way to make sure you are getting your daily allotment of veggies and proteins, this taco salad is the perfect family-friendly recipe. Tacos are easy to make and always a crowd-pleaser. You can add whatever you like to make this taco salad even more delicious.

3. Baked Sweet Potatoes

If you are like most people and have a thing for sweet potatoes, this is the dish for you. It is made with Indian spices and baked sweet potatoes are packed with vitamins and minerals, as well as healthy fats. You can use any kind of seasonings you like for this recipe.

4. Cheesy Garlic Macaroni

If you are looking for a quick, cheap, and easy meal that can be made the night before, then cheese garlic macaroni is for you. All you need to cook the macaroni. The sauce is made of cheese with a bit of olive oil, a pinch of salt, and lots of garlic. When the ingredients are well combined, place them in a tray then bake.

5. Skillet Lasagna

If you are looking for a meal that is very flexible but still packs a hefty nutritional punch, then skillet lasagna is the way to go. You will need to make your pasta, but that’s not a huge deal. You can either use a store-bought package or make your own. If you are opting for a dairy-free lasagna, you can substitute the cheese for a non-dairy option like oat or almond milk.

6. Creamy Mushroom Soup

If you are looking for an easy, budget-friendly meal that can be made the night before, then the creamy mushroom soup is for you. All you need to do is blend up some vegetables, like carrots, and have them ready to go. Once they are soft, add in a couple of tablespoons of ghee, and plenty of seasoning. Cover the pot and let it sit for 30 minutes before serving. This can be made a few days ahead of time and stored in an airtight container.

7. Baked Herb Chicken

This is one of those recipes that is so easy to make but looks so fancy when finished. All you need to do is put together some pieces of boneless, skinless chicken breast, fresh herbs and a few spices. You can use whatever kind of fresh herbs you like. 

For a healthier option, you can substitute the chicken with broccoli or cauliflower. Make sure to use a good quality olive oil in this dish because the richness of the chicken is achieved through the fat in the chicken. You can either take this in the slow cooker or the oven. Either way, it only takes about an hour to make and can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

8. Easy, Smothered Pork Chops

If you love pork chops, then you are going to love this easy, quick and scrumptious recipe. Just season some pork chops with soy sauce, ginger and black pepper and then just drizzle some olive oil on top and heat it in the oven until the pork is browned on the outside. Once it is done, just cut it into chunks and store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days before reheating. You can either take this in the slow cooker or the oven. Either way, it only takes about an hour to make and can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

9. Shredded Cabbage Salad with Citrus Dressing

If you are looking for a quick, easy and cheap meal, then you should try this. All you have to do is put shredded cabbage in a bowl and top it with a citrus-based dressing. The result is a super cheap and tasty meal that only takes about 15 minutes to make. Serve it with some hot sauce for the real “authenticity”.

10. Steak and Kidney Pudding Bowls

Steak and kidney pudding bowls are a real treat. They’re light on the stomach and heavy on the taste buds. You could serve this as a light dinner or even a snack. Because of their low sodium content, you can easily make this at home and have it for a weeknight meal. 

You could even take this route and make a batch of regular kidney puddings and store them in an airtight container. On the weekend, simply take a few out of the container and warm them up on the stovetop. They’ll be just as delicious!

11. Cheeseburgers with Homemade Ketchup

Do you love the taste of American cheese but hate having to put up with the charge that comes with it? If you’re like most people, the thought of shelling out money for American cheese doesn’t sit well with you. However, you can still make great cheeseburgers without having to part with your cash. Instead of buying a whole block of American cheese, simply slice a piece in half and top your patties with half of the cheese. You’ll still get a great taste, and your wallet won’t be empty. Make these at home and save a lot of money. 

And while you’re at it, try making some veggie burgers too! These make great weeknight meals, and they can be eaten as a snack or lunch. If you’re looking for a cheap and easy weeknight dinner idea, this is one of the best around.

12. Avocado Toast

For a budget-friendly change, try making avocado toast. The texture is similar to a croissant or wonton bread, so it’s a good option if you’re on a diet that restricts carbs. To make it, just slice an avocado, add a spoonful of fresh salsa, and a drizzle of olive oil. You could even top it with crumbled Cotija or macadamia nuts for a bit of protein and crunch. Put it all on a toasted piece of bread and enjoy!

13. Beef Stew

If you love hearty, savoury meals, this is one course that you’ll want to add to your weekly dinner rotation. And, after you’ve made it once, you’ll never see it again. The secret to making beef stew at home is to use inexpensive cuts of meat. And luckily, you can find plenty of cheap cuts of meat at the grocery store. 

This is one of those meals that you can just drop into the slow cooker and forget about it. Best of all, it’s cost-effective because you can make this at home and save a lot of money compared to going out to eat.

14. Tuna Hand Rolls

A simple, inexpensive, and healthy snack that you can make ahead of time and store in an airtight container, this is a great way to quench your appetite during a busy weeknight. You can add whatever you like to give it more flavour. If you want a stronger tasting roll, try sauteing some vegetables with the tuna. If you’re looking for a quick and easy weeknight meal, this is one of the best choices you can make. 

These are packed with protein and healthy fats. They are also one of the few Dinners that you can make ahead of time and transport to work with you in an airport bag. They are also budget-friendly because you don’t have to buy expensive ingredients.

15. Potato Salad with Cocktail Glaze

If you’re looking for a quick, easy, and cheap way to make a side dish that you can enjoy with your meal, this is one of the best options around. All you have to do is cook potato salad in the microwave, and you’re ready to go. This is also one of those simple dinners that you can make for your family and friends and share with them. You can serve this with any meal, but it’s especially good with lunch or dinner. 

What you’ll need for potato salad: Potatoes (halved or whole), sour cream, mayonnaise, olive oil, salt, pepper, and cocktail sauce. This is one of those simple dinners that everyone will love. The combination of potato, sour cream, and mayo is downright addictive. And it’s even better the second day because the flavours have time to mix. 

It’s perfect for when you need a quick and easy fix. 

16. Baked Mac and Cheese

For comfort food, classic mac and cheese is hands-down the most comforting meal you can make. To make it at home, just heat 2 cups of whole milk in a pot on the stovetop. Once it starts to simmer, add a small box of macaroni and reduce the heat to medium-low. After about 10 minutes, add in 2 Tablespoons of butter and 1/4 cup of Believe it or Not!, along with a few chopped vegetables such as green beans, and sliced mushrooms. You could also try adding in some ground pork for additional flavour. After about 10 minutes, season with salt and pepper and serve the mac and cheese with a side of bread.

Best of all, this meal is budget-friendly because you don’t have to spend a lot of money on ingredients. 

17. Shrimp and Grits

If you love hearty, savoury dishes made with simple ingredients, you’re in luck. This is one of the most budget-friendly dinners that you can make. All you have to do is cook shrimp and grits the night before you want to eat them. Then, just pop it in the microwave for a quick, easy dinner. What you’ll need for shrimp and grits: Shrimp: You can use any type of shrimp that you like. Grits: You can use any type of grain that you like. Cauliflower: You can use this as a side dish or as a main course. What

18. Broccoli with Ricotta and Parmesan

For a budget-friendly change, try making broccoli cheese. You’ll need to boil a few cups of broccoli, then puree it, and then add in a small amount of Parmesan cheese. To keep this cheap and easy, you could even try adding in some leftover pork chops or lamb.

19. Key Lime Pie (and a cup of ice cream!)

What’s better than dessert after dinner? We are huge fans of pie, so it is no secret that we love Key Lime Pie. This classic recipe is flavoured with sweet lime, which is a great source of potassium and vitamin B2, as well as vitamin B1. The sweetness balances out the sourness of the lime and is just enough to make this a crowd-pleasing dessert.

Not only is it a great treat to end a meal, but it is also super cheap and easy to make. 

 

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About Editorial Team 139 Articles
Watch My Wallet has everything you need to know about money, written by real people who’ve been there. Inspired by the philosophy of Early Retirement Extreme (ERE), our goal is to make informed decisions about our finances in order to achieve financial independence.