Growing up, we had a period of time my mom had to get creative with meals to feed our family of six on a very tight budget. Here are not only some of those meal ideas but some of my own as well!


Texas Hash (we lived in Illinois so I’m not sure where she got “Texas” from but it was a staple in our house!)

Fry up a pound of ground beef, drain the fat, add some water, flour, and a bouillon cube.  Pour over rice.  BAM!


Pantry Hash (These staples were often in my pantry which made it convenient on those days I had no food till payday!)

Can of black beans (rinsed), jar of salsa, brown rice. Combine and heat. (I add soy sauce)


Easiest Soup Ever It helps if you have homemade bone broth on hand, if not store-bought broth will do! I make soup with broth, leftover rotisserie chicken, and a bag of rice.


Freezer Finds On days I go grocery shopping with a little extra cash, I would buy things in the frozen section that I could save for days I was broke. This is also good for feeding kids on nights you’re making fish, or any dinner, they won’t eat.

Chicken nuggets, french fries, pot pie, pizza, any frozen meals (these may sound unhealthy but I suggest the ‘healthier’ options of these.)


Potatoes – potatoes are so inexpensive and go a long way!

  • Loaded baked potatoes – ’nuff said! Yum!
  • Grate for hash browns – add eggs, bacon, etc. My fav is BLT hashbrowns – add bacon, leek, tomato! Get creative!
  • Homemade french fries – make it a meal by adding ground beef, cheese, veggies, etc
  • Potato Salad
  • Potato Pancakes with applesauce and sour cream


Eggs – Lots to do with eggs for a cheap meal!

  • Omelet/scrambled eggs
  • Egg Salad
  • Egg Sandwich (add hash browns!)
  • Burrito (add scrambled eggs, potatoes, cheese, salsa, veggies on hand, etc.)


Spaghetti –  Stock up on spaghetti sauces when they are on sale so you have some handy on that day before payday!