10 Family Dinner Ideas Under $10

published Jun 30, 2022
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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

This year, my family of four started using a cash food budget and it has completely changed the way I think about grocery shopping, meal planning, and meal prep. Dinners that come in under $10 are a must! Luckily we don’t have to subsist on ramen noodles and canned beans, because these 10 family-friendly dinners are all under $10 a meal.

A note on pricing: Our costs were calculated based on grocery prices sourced from Instacart, so your local prices may vary. (We also assumed you had a few staple ingredients — like olive oil, salt, and spices — on hand already.)

Here’s what we love about sloppy Joes as a budget meal: They use budget beef in savory, satisfying sandwiches that the whole family loves! This meal gets really close to our 10-dollar limit, but if you can find buns or beef on sale you can save a few dollars off this total. (Estimated cost: $9.98)

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

This pasta is hearty, full of colorful vegetables, and so creamy. The beef and cheese are the most expensive ingredients here, so you can save even more by omitting either and still have a delicious dinner. (Estimated cost: $9.41)

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

This is my family’s favorite soup recipe and it is so easy! Get this: The potatoes in this soup are just frozen hash browns, so you don’t even have to do all that peeling and chopping. (Estimated cost: $6.37)

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Frittatas are the budget cook’s best friend because they use up leftovers with ease and rely on budget staples like eggs. This one feels fancy, thanks to the caramelized onions and Gruyère — but it’s especially thrifty if you have a loaf of bread that needs using up. (Estimated cost: $7.32)

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

I honestly never would have thought that tikka masala could be budget-friendly if I hadn’t done the math. The bulk aisle is your best bet for stocking up on the spices without going over budget. Kind of makes me wonder if I’ll ever order pricey takeout of this again! (Estimated cost $8.77)

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Ground chicken can actually be more cost-effective than ground beef and makes for some incredibly juicy meatballs from the slow cooker. We eat these often with garlic bread as a simple satisfying dinner. (Estimated cost: $7.83)

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

This recipe takes all the elements we love most about a classic burrito bowl — seasoned rice, creamy beans, corn, and meat (in this case, barbecue chicken) — and brings them together in a fast and flavorful way. (Estimated cost: $9.25)

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

This creamy soup is easy, economical, and everyone in my family loves it. Frozen ravioli is cheaper than the fresh packed kind if you want to save even more with this dinner. (Estimated cost $8.48)

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

I know I kind of snubbed canned beans before for being overused in the budget dinner category, but these quesadillas will really change how you feel about chickpeas as a quesadilla filling. (Estimated cost $7.52)

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

A classic budget dinner, I’d wager most of us grew up with some version of this casserole. I usually use about half as much chicken called for here and double up on the vegetables instead. (Estimated cost $6.74)

This post was originally published on Kitchn. Read it there: 10 Family Dinners Under $10