With all our busy schedules and the demands of daily life weighing us down, it can be difficult to take the time and plan out dinners to eat each week! It may be tempting to order out food during the week or find another fast and cheap alternative to cooking. As we settle into our new normal and find ourselves home more often, let us take the time to cook and enjoy meals together as a family! Check out these 5 budget friendly meals that are also kid friendly and easy to prepare.
Cauliflower Mac 'n' Cheese
Need an easy way to sneak in more vegetables for your kids? Try out this creamy & delicious pasta dish that sneaks in added vitamins and minerals while providing a rich, cheesy flavor! Find the recipe and instructions here. This recipe yields 10-12 servings. Total recipe cost for bulk purchase of ingredients is $19.42. Evaluating prices for the actual amount of ingredients used in the recipe is $9.04. Price per serving: $0.82 for 11 servings.
Easy Meatball Subs
Are you in a rush and only have 30 minutes to make dinner? Try out this easy meatball sub recipe that the kids will love! All you have to do is heat up the sauce and let the meatballs simmer in the sauce. Try toasting the bun for added flavor. Find the full list of ingredients and instructions here. Recipe analysis online with Jewel Osco and this recipe yields 6 servings. Total recipe cost for bulk purchase of ingredients is $18.95. Evaluating prices for the actual amount of ingredients used in the recipe is $14.24. Price per serving: $2.37 for 6 servings.
Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Take an old classic like a stuffed baked potato and put a new and simple twist on it! This stuffed sweet potato is loaded with nutrients and just a few simple ingredients to give it a spicy and tangy flavor! This recipe makes 4 servings and will definitely fill up your hungry kids! Find the recipe and directions here. Total recipe cost from price comparison online at Jewel Osco using regular price and sale products is $14.07. Evaluating prices for the actual amount of ingredients used in the recipe is $8.79. Total price per serving is $2.19 for 4 servings.
Stuffed Pizza Peppers
Try out this healthy version of a pizza without the bread! These stuffed peppers are amazing, and your kids will forget they are even eating a vegetable with all the cheesy goodness on top! This is another sneaky way to add more vegetables at mealtimes. Find this recipe and instructions here. This recipe yields 4 servings. Total recipe cost for bulk ingredients is $15.17. Evaluating prices for the actual amount of ingredients used in the recipe is $9.92. Total price per serving is $2.48 for 4 servings.
Butternut Squash Black Bean and Spinach Quesadillas
Another great recipe to add in lots of different vegetables and proteins! This recipe utilizes butternut squash in a new and fun way that your kids will love. Try adding ingredients like black beans for a source of protein. Also consider purchasing a whole grain tortilla for more fiber and added nutrients. Corn is another great addition to this recipe! Find this recipe with instructions here. This recipe yields 5 servings depending on the size of tortilla you buy/quantity in the pack. Total recipe cost for bulk ingredients is $15.38. Evaluating prices for the actual amount of ingredients used in the recipe is $13.04. Total price per serving is $2.61 for 5 servings.
BONUS! Weeknight Dessert - Strawberry Shortcakes
Try out this simple yet delicious dessert that can be ready in minutes! Purchase 6ct vanilla dessert shells from Jewel and top with cut strawberries and a dollop of whipped cream! This is a great way to incorporate fruit for dessert after meals. Total recipe cost is only $8.88. Evaluating prices for the actual amount of ingredients used in the recipe is $4.56 This recipe yields 6 servings which makes the total price per serving $0.76.
These are 5 easy and budget friendly recipes (plus bonus!) that can be added into any busy week. All of these recipes are kid-friendly and work to add in more vegetables and nutrients to evening meals! Eating out weekly is expensive and can quickly add up in cost. Consider trying these recipes and putting your own twist on them for more budget friendly meals for your family.
About the Author:
Brittany Norem is a dietetic intern at the University of Illinois at Chicago currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. Brittany is passionate about women’s health and teaching kids at an early age about healthy foods. Food is the center of almost everything we do and is a major part of our everyday lives. Brittany believes by paying more attention and making simple switches to our current diets it will result in a major impact on our health outcomes.