We’ve all been there: We get home from an 8-hour day of work, feeling exhausted after dealing with traffic and being stuck in meetings. After a long day, the last thing you want to do is spend hours in the kitchen. Here are 47 tasty solutions for those nights when you just don’t feel like cooking. Each of the meals could be made for less than $5 using ingredients from a local grocery store.

Staying home for dinner instead of going out doesn’t mean the food has to be boring. This list of 47 tasty frugal dinner ideas will show you that you can enjoy tasty dinners without breaking the bank.  Most of these recipes are specifically designed for two people, but if you are cooking for a lot more people, you can simply double the ingredients. To make things simpler for you, we also included how much each recipe costs to prepare. So, start cooking and enjoy! You’re probably going to see a bunch of random suggestions from me as you read. They may be things like “This intro isn’t very clear, which audience are you trying to reach? Who cares if the bloggers name is Joshua, what does

Eating out is a treat, but dining in doesn’t have to be boring. By trying out some of these tasty frugal dinner ideas you can satisfy your hunger and save money.  I’ve put together a list of 47 tasty frugal dinner ideas that are easy to make, delicious, and under $5.  These simple meals are perfect for the budget conscious family.

Finding the best ideas for a frugal dinner can be tedious. However, in this article, you will find many ideas for a frugal meal that will make your taste buds salivate and make you forget about the tight budget. You can say goodbye to bland cabbage soup for dinner and fill yourself and your family with hearty meals. Whether you’re afraid to look at your bank balance after paying the rent or want to save money for a planned trip with your loved ones, saving money doesn’t have to mean foregoing a delicious meal. Grab some simple but inexpensive ingredients to make these frugal dinner ideas!

47 delicious ideas for eating frugally

  1. White chicken with chilli
  2. Chicken Noodle Soup
  3. Chicken Tikka Masala
  4. Bulgogi Beef
  5. Beef and barley soup with vegetables
  6. Stuffed cabbage
  7. Pork with sauerkraut
  8. Chops with sour cream
  9. Madras Indian beef curry
  10. Mussels with curry
  11. Salmon croquettes
  12. 10min Salmon
  13. Vegetarian lasagne
  14. Sweet Potato and Peanut Herb Mashed
  15. Potatoes with garlic and herbs
  16. Red lentil soup
  17. Vegan gumbo
  18. Vegan Burrito
  19. Chicken Curry Salad
  20. Braised chicken
  21. Cauliflower curry with chickpeas
  22. Brown rice and vegetable soup
  23. Sweet and sour chicken
  24. Chicken Fajitas
  25. Spicy Tofu and Green Beans
  26. Tuna Pasta Salad
  27. Thai ground beef for stir fry dishes
  28. Chicken and broccoli
  29. Vegetable schnitzel
  30. Garlic shrimps
  31. Tomato Bruschetta
  32. retractable Christmas tree
  33. Turkey breast in slow cooker
  34. Dr Pepper Ham with pineapple glaze
  35. Roast turkey
  36. Fried noodle stew
  37. Carrots with honey and balsamic glaze
  38. Turkey Mini-Cake with Cranberry
  39. Conventional filling
  40. Chocolate Ginger Cupcakes
  41. 6 Pavlov’s eggs
  42. Christmas balls for cupcakes
  43. Pulp
  44. soup
  45. Sandwich
  46. Cupcake
  47. Turn

DISCLOSURE Some of the links listed here are affiliate links that can make me money if you click on them, at no extra cost to you. I hope you find the information here useful! Thank you.   word-image-6409 word-image-6410 Related posts on tips for frugal living:

47 cheap and easy ideas for a frugal dinner

Simple food economy council

If there’s one thing worth investing in for frugal dinners or frugal eating in general, it’s the Instant Pot . Imagine coming home after a long day of work because Karen from accounting kept changing all your reports and you realize you have nothing to eat. #nightmare.com I don’t know about you, but I’m hungry! While instant pot may seem like a prohibitive expense at first, the long-term financial benefits are fantastic. Look, you’re reading this article because you’re trying to eat frugally and the goal is to save money, right? The kettle not only minimizes the preparation and cooking time, but also saves energy, which translates into lower electricity bills! Welcome to quick and easy meals so you can focus on the important things in life. So when it comes to easy, frugal dinner recipes, here are a few delicious dishes you can make in one pan:


  1. White chicken with chilli
  2. Chicken Noodle Soup
  3. Chicken Tikka Masala


  1. Bulgogi Beef
  2. Beef and barley soup with vegetables
  3. Stuffed cabbage

Pork meat

  1. Pork with sauerkraut
  2. Pork chops with sour cream
  3. Madras Indian beef curry


  1. Mussels with curry
  2. Salmon croquettes
  3. 10min Salmon


  1. Vegetarian lasagne
  2. Sweet Potato and Peanut Herb Mashed
  3. Potatoes with garlic and herbs


  1. Red lentil soup
  2. Vegan gumbo
  3. Vegan Burrito

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Cost-effective meal plan

Cost-effective dinner ideas are not complete without thinking about meal planning. The importance of meal planning can vary from person to person, depending on what is most important to them. You may be trying to lose some pounds or save money. Whatever your reason, proper meal planning can save you money, time and energy in the long run. Spending a few hours on the weekend organizing and planning meals will pay off big time when you realize that the food is already waiting for you as soon as you get hungry! Cooking can seem tedious, time-consuming or excessive. However, my personal experience is that this is not the case at all! Knowing what to cook will save you time and money, and less food will be wasted. I know what you’re thinking: Meal planning is expensive, and spending all that money on weekend groceries seems to go against the idea of frugality. Listen to me, if you buy food in bulk, you save money. How to save money by buying food to cook during the week

  • Buy seasonal products
  • Don’t go shopping on an empty stomach – before you know it, all the snacks will be in your cart in the aisle.
  • Google all recipes in advance and write down all the ingredients you need.
  • Stick to your list.

Make these easy, frugal dinner ideas for a hassle-free meal:

19. chicken curry salad

Prepare the ingredients one at a time, store them in containers in the refrigerator, and prepare them when you’re ready to eat! If you’re in a hurry, put all the ingredients in a jar and shake before using. If you’re not sure how to make a salad in a jar, here are instructions on how to put it together, along with a recipe for a honey mustard dressing!

20.chicken dish

One-pot meals are interesting because they can be divided into equal portions and eaten as lunch or dinner during the week. It’s one of those cheap, frugal meals that still leaves you full. For those who haven’t tried this versatile dish yet: It is a fried dish that consists of three elements: a protein source, vegetables and a broth or starch to bind it all together.

21.cauliflower curry with chickpeas

My mouth starts watering just thinking about how delicious it would be on a bed of warm, soft jasmine rice. Just take the cooked rice, put it in the microwave and it’s done!   word-image-6413 word-image-6414

22.vegetable soup with brown rice

We all know soups are better the next day, that’s all I have to say. They are perfect for the kitchen: Freeze portions of soup and reheat at lunch.

23. Sweet and sour chicken

A little Asian touch to get you through the week, why not?

24.chicken fajitas

This dish could be tomorrow’s lunch!

25.spicy tofu and green beans

Another delicious recipe to try and save the leftovers for weekday lunches.

26.tuna noodle salad

Something light and healthy for a change.

27. Thai Beef Bread

This is Thai food, need I say more?

28.chicken and broccoli

Yes, a classic meal planning combination, you can never go wrong with it.

29.Vegetable cutlets

Filled with healthy vegetables, this recipe will help you cope with time constraints.   word-image-6415 word-image-6416

Affordable Christmas Dinner Ideas

Ah yes, the most wonderful time of the year. But is it? The anticipation of gifts, food and the stress of shopping can make Christmas a stressful time for many people, especially those on a tight budget. If you are currently racking your brain trying to choose gifts for your loved ones, here are two helpful articles that can give you some ideas on what to give them without breaking the bank: List ways to save money at this time of year. Don’t let money come between you and your loved ones. Community events can be expensive, but you should be able to spend time with them without running numbers in your head. If you can’t afford a lavish meal at a restaurant or cocktails at the latest trendy bar, throw a barbecue in the backyard or a house party where everyone brings their own food. With these recipes, you can prepare everything from appetizers to desserts without punching a hole in your bank account.   word-image-6417 word-image-6418

Starter motor

  1. Garlic shrimps
  2. Tomato Bruschetta
  3. retractable Christmas tree


  1. Turkey breast in slow cooker
  2. Dr Pepper Ham with pineapple glaze
  3. Roast turkey
  4. Fried Noodles Kasserol


  1. Carrots with honey and balsamic glaze
  2. Turkey Mini-Cake with Cranberry
  3. Conventional filling

word-image-6419 word-image-6420


  1. Chocolate Ginger Cupcakes
  2. 6 Pavlov’s eggs
  3. Christmas balls for cupcakes

word-image-6421 word-image-6422

Extreme Economics

Eating frugally doesn’t mean eating bread and eggs or bland soups all day. You can make very inexpensive meals from a few ingredients, or just experiment with what you have in your pantry and make something.


The possibilities are endless. Do you get it? Do you get it? Okay, but all kidding aside, pasta is the most versatile ingredient that can be used in a multitude of dishes. You don’t have to follow the recipes below exactly. If you don’t have rigatoni in your pantry, don’t worry, you can still make this dish. Add the usual fettuccine and that’s it.


Soups are the perfect way to stay hydrated and full because they are all liquid. Soups are one of those dishes that are perfect when you’re trying to eat frugally for two or even the whole family. Soups are cheap and easy to prepare. Soups and stews don’t take much time in the kitchen either. To further reduce costs, you can increase the amount of vegetables and liquid in the soup and add less expensive ingredients like chicken, beef or seafood. Soups freeze well, so you can make them on the weekend and eat them during the week. These recipes only require a few ingredients and you will always be satisfied:   word-image-6423 word-image-6424

Bread rolls

You can buy a loaf or make your own. Take two slices of bread and fill them with whatever you like. Try eating them with protein for a more nutritious meal. Even if you’re trying to make frugal meals for one person, you don’t want to starve yourself. Here are some sandwiches you can try:


These muffin recipes are easy to make and a quick fix the next time you’re in the mood for a snack.


Salads are a great high calorie food that will keep you full for a while. You can find a huge number of salad recipes online, but most of them require special ingredients that some of us just don’t have the budget for. Forget salads from restaurants and make simple salads with the following recipes:   word-image-6425 word-image-6426


What is the cheapest way to prepare food?

While there are many delicious and frugal dinner ideas listed above, here are a few of the cheapest dinners you can make:

What can you cook without money?

Short answer: Here’s a list of places you can eat for free if you run out of money. Long answer: No one wants to be in a situation where they don’t have enough money to feed themselves. Unfortunately, I know what it’s like too – I had to pay for college and graduation, and I remember a few months where money was REALLY tight O_O No matter how expensive food is, we cannot deny our bodies the nutrition they need. Remember, money constraints may not allow you to eat a full meal every day, but you can make up for it by eating at least one nutritious meal. There is no denying that we probably spend too much on food. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Expenditure Survey, the average American household spends $6,600 on food. Keep these tips in mind when trying to figure out what to cook without money:

  • Consider the cost of ingredients per serving.
  • Shop at the grocery store during closing time and use the products they want to throw away.
  • Keep your food simple.
  • Be on the lookout for discount codes and coupons.


That’s it! Everything you need to know about frugal dinner ideas. You don’t have to try every recipe in this article, but if you feel like it, go for it. You never have to worry about whether you’ll have money left over for dinner, as there are plenty of delicious and hearty options. Put your loved ones in the kitchen and start cooking one of these frugal dinner ideas, and make the stress of not having enough money for food disappear!

47 cheap and easy ideas for a frugal dinner

Not sure what to make for dinner? The first thing you should try is your own fridge and pantry. Look for ingredients that can be added together to make a complete meal. This is an easy way to save money on dinner without resorting to the frozen dinner aisle.. Read more about walmart meals under $5 and let us know what you think.

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