5 Easy Budget Friendly Dinners When You Have No Budget

I don't know about you, but at my house these days, any extra money is being saved for Christmas. And that means that my already tight food budget is being stretched even more than usual. I swear, we spend more money eating every month than on anything else! But this month, I have to curb that spending, or my Christmas shopping budget will go out the window!




My goal is to make as many cheap easy meals from now until I finish my holiday shopping (except for Thanksgiving, of course!) as I possibly can by using ingredients that are already in my pantry.

Because anytime I can skip the grocery store, I know I am saving money. And I look like this:


Even though I do have some pretty frugal dinner recipes already, I definitely need more. So this last week I have been on a budget-friendly-dinner-ideas-fact-finding mission. (Try saying that 3 times. I dare you!!)

I wanted to share my top 4 favorite dinners I have now added to my collection.

Homemade Pizza (Using Incredibly Inexpensive Homemade Dough)


I realized as I made my merry way through the web, that I can be making homemade pizza way cheaper than buying frozen pizza or ordering pizza. I mean, I really kind of knew this, of course, but just always pushed this little fact way back in my mind because it is just so much easier to pick up the phone. Yep, I am the worst when it comes to getting on a budget and sticking to it, don't ya know.

But after spending time visiting An Oregon Cottage, I came across Jami's under $1 homemade pizza dough recipe, and I knew I had to change my pizza ordering ways. This recipe is fantastic, and I heartily suggest you check it out if you don't have an amazing homemade pizza dough recipe yourself already.

Making the dough is easy and best of all, quick and cheap. If all you have in your pantry is a can of tomato sauce and some spices, whipping up a simple pizza recipe will be a breeze. Of course you can always make it fancier with more ingredients, but heck, even a basic homemade pizza is a cheap quick meal kids love.

Black Bean Burgers Ala Oatmeal

Picture from HappyHerbivore.com

Oh my gosh, this is one of the simplest, cheapest meals ever. Make delicious healthy Black Bean Burgers for dinner using black beans and that oatmeal sitting in your pantry. I am willing to bet the kids as well as grown-ups in your house are gonna love these and ask for more.

Seriously, you need to try this recipe from the Happy Herbivore. It is cheap. It is healthy. And it is so easy!

The Pioneer Woman's Black Bean Burger recipe is another one you might want to try. The picture alone will make you drool:

Picture From ThePioneerWoman.com

Looks ah.maz.ing., doesn't it?? I would suggest checking out her recipe too. You will need a few more ingredients, but chances are you already have some of them in your pantry and fridge already.

P.S. If you are not a fan of oatmeal, you will be happy to know this recipe does not use any!

Easy Healthy Taco Casserole


If you love easy family dinners that are budget-friendly, then you must try this Taco Casserole recipe from Amy at Chew Out Loud. It is perfect for when you need to make dinner for a large family on a tight budget.

Savory Minced Meat and Noodles Dinner

Picture from Kidspot.com


My boys gave this recipe two thumbs up (which believe me, is not something that happens a lot in this house.) And the best part - this dinner will cost you about $10 to make!

Besides the ground beef, you need noodles (try using Top Ramen noodles in this recipe!) canned peas, carrots and onion. Even when you add salad or rolls, this is a healthy cheap family dinner.

And since you gotta have dessert, right?? Here's a couple of easy 2-ingredient desserts for after dinner!

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