I would love to save money on groceries, but I just don’t have the time like you do and I feel like. I have been keeping a deep dark secret from everybody, because the truth is I’m just like you. I have busy kids busy life. I’Ve got three kids, we have swim lessons, we have appointments, we have nights and we have to be rushing out the door I enjoy cooking.
So when I do have the time I love cooking from scratch. But the truth is we don’t always have that kind of time and I have an arsenal of really inexpensive, really really Fasteners up my sleeve at all times, and I figured hey. Why am I keeping this a secret? Why am I keeping these things from you when I could be sharing them and kind of getting you started? So if you feel like your life, is too busy to stick to a budget stay tuned and are going to share some really amazing meals that are super fast super delicious, your kids will eat them and they’re, just not gon na be too expensive.
So the first recipe I have for you is frozen burritos. Imagine that, but these are super simple, a staple that I grew up on. We always had frozen burritos in my house. Let’S check out how I make them for my family: okay, we’re gon na get started on a classic five dollar ten minute dinner, just frozen burritos. I grew up with these, so maybe it’s like near and dear to my heart.
These packages. I looked at a couple stores. This was 4.99 for an eight pack, so you’re like right at that five dollar Mark you don’t need to eat. You know all eight of them depending on how big your family is and then I think you can get like five for three dollars uh for like a different brand, and then I remember I looked at Walmart and it’s even cheaper, so it depends on where your Shop but great deals on the burritos.
You can serve them with whatever you have in your fridge, so we’ve got some sour cream. Some cheese, cilantro salsa all the goodies, get whatever flavor you want, I’m just gon na microwave them and I’m gon na serve mine up with some green beans because uh, that’s what I have in my pantry and I want to get some vegetables in you could do Some like quick Minute Rice. That would be a good idea too, and we’ve got this whole dinner here, ready to go. I’M gon na dress up the kids in just a minute, but less than five bucks. You know just like, whatever fixes you have on hand.
So I don’t even count that get Ben’s ready to go too for number two. I have a ramen noodles and I have multiple ramen noodle articles, so I really haven’t kept this a secret. However, there are ways that take longer to make them and ways that are quicker. I mean they’re just three minutes in uh water to boil so, yes, you can just make the original packet and do it like that. But you can judge it up with a few extra items and I’m going to show you how I’m just going to upgrade a traditional Ramen.
So I’m slicing up what I have on hand, and that is the way to do it. I have some red onions, so I’m going to add that to my ramen noodles I have some green onions, so I figure you know, there’s just no there’s never too much onion and a Ramen, especially some green onion, like that scallion sliced up is the perfect thing To add to any ramen noodle and I had a carrot, so I was just grating up a carrot. You can use any size carrot for this.
I like the really thin grates for this, because it almost Cooks it once you put it into the ramen noodle. You just want to cook your noodles according to the package, that’s two cups of water boiling and then add in your noodles for three minutes, and now you have hot boiling water.
I just added the chicken packet that came with the ramen in this case and then I added an egg. Now you can just like let that sit in that boiling water for about six minutes and it will, or it should cook the egg. Almost all the way through. I decided to actually just mix mine all the way in and that is going to make a thick like a thicker, broth and I’ll. Tell you the flavor of the broth.
Once you add the chicken packet and one egg like that, because it’s like the egg yolk gets cooked in there, it just makes the most flavorful decadent broth. I drank the entire thing from the bottom of the soup and then you can add in your onions and your carrots, some additional things. You can add. You can cook up some fresh garlic. You could do some fresh ginger.
You can do some sliced mushrooms again, you can cook those up ahead of time, if you like, add kale or spinach, you can make it your own number. Three is hot dogs and I grew up on microwaved hot dogs. My mom worked nights. So a few nights a week, my dad would cook us dinner and he had a few things up his sleeve, but hot dogs were definitely a regular one and with macaroni and cheese. So yes, it’s simple.
You can do them multiple different ways. You can do them on the grill, you can do them, uh boiled, you can do them in the microwave. You can do them in the air fryer to serve them with a little chips on the side, or you can make up a box of macaroni and cheese that might take a little more than 10 minutes, but it will still keep you under the five dollar mark Because hot dogs are super inexpensive, uh like less than two dollars for like a pack of eight of them and then the same thing with rolls, especially in the spring and summer, when it’s barbecue season, I always see them, go on sale for like a dollar or You can even get them at the Dollar Tree for a dollar 25 Number four is a tuna melt and you can do this any way you want. So very simply, you just mix tuna mayonnaise salt, pepper, put on a piece of bread with some cheese. I used to do it like on an English muffin pop it in the toaster oven and it’s done so delicious.
I do have like a more robust tuna salad recipe that is so delicious, especially on a piece of homemade sourdough. I’Ve gotten a few requests. Quite a few requests to make my sourdough bread um on camera, and I haven’t really done that for you yet so I’m I’m gon na plan on doing it um in an upcoming article, so stay tuned for that, just just for you guys, it’s so inexpensive to Make your own bread at home, and it’s so delicious and actually good for your gut too, but yeah you can do a tuna melt. This is so delicious. I’M actually going to share with you the ultimate tuna melt, which may uh be a little more than five dollars.
If you add up all the individual, tiny little ingredients um, but you can swap in in out what you have on hand – and it’s like I said, still going to be delicious with just tuna Mayo, salt, pepper, cheese and bread. A tuna melt is such a budget friendly meal – I’m just gon na make a couple of them, so I’m using one can of tuna, but if you want to make four or six just double that or triple that recipe at its core, a tuna melt is so In inexpensive a can of tuna at Walmart is 78 cents a loaf of sandwich. Bread is 93 cents, you can get sliced cheese for 2.22 and it Mayo for 2.28.
But when you break that down per serving on what you’re actually using to make this basic tuna melt, your total is 97 cents per sandwich which is so so inexpensive. I am sprucing mine up today, based on what I have around the house and I’m making. What is called the ultimate tuna melt? You can use a little bit of celery if you have that, if you don’t have that, that’s absolutely fine and then I’m cutting up some fresh parsley, but dried parsley will do as well. You can use minced red, onion, yellow onion, Vidalia, onion or onion powder and add that right into your salad, I really like to mince my onion, pretty small, on a salad like this.
But if you’re an onion lover and you like bigger chunks, go ahead and cut that always make sure that you do things the way that you like it in the end you’re the person eating it, not the person who wrote the recipe, then you want to add In some mayonnaise, I’m adding a couple tablespoons to start and a little squeeze of Dijon mustard with a little bit of salt. Everything except the mayonnaise is totally optional. Hopefully you do have a little salt on hand. You can sprinkle that on your salad, if you’re only doing a plain, mayonnaise tuna, salad, I’m gon na mix everything around and see how you’re feeling about your mayonnaise content. I did end up adding a little bit more because I like a little bit more mayonnaise in my salad.
Thank you as we head into the summer season, tomatoes are going to become more plentiful and less expensive and just more delicious overall. So if you have a tomato on hand, go ahead and add that to your tuna melt, it really does add a lot. It is not necessary to make a basic tuna melt, but if you have a tomato or you know, somebody who has a garden or you can grow your own tomato plant, even if it’s just on a patio, you are going to be so thankful. Now, as I said, a tuna melt is delicious enough on a plain wheat or white bread. I happen to make my own sourdough bread and it was fresh out of the oven.
That day, I will put a nice sourdough, article and recipe down below for you guys if you’ve been wanting to make your own sourdough, it is so satisfying so delicious and really a huge budget item, because you’re making that out of nothing you’re making your whole starter Out of just flour and baking, the bread also is just flour and water and a little bit of salt.
So it’s wild. How amazing making your own bread is just want to top the bread with half of the tuna mixture and then we’ll cover that with tomato and some cheese, I’m just using a cheddar cheese, but you can use whatever you have on hand. There’S also the option to put cheese below the tuna and on top of the tuna, which is I’m sure, delicious, but that’s a lot of cheese for me. So I opted to just do it on one side.
Now I’m putting a little bit of butter on the top of my bread, because I am going to cook these in a pan today. But you also have the option to cook this in the oven and if you don’t have butter or oil or anything like that. On hand, you can just put it on a pan and put it in the oven and it will still get a nice delicious, melted, cheese on it and it will still taste really good, over medium heat. You want to cook these for about two to three minutes until the cheese starts to melt and everything is getting golden brown and then flip them over to the other side and cook until the cheese is really fully melted and that side is also golden brown.
I had a friend over this particular day and we had debated going out for lunch and just grabbing McDonald’s or something quick and easy with the kids. And then I said you know what let’s just stay home and I’ll make something. And this was one million times better than what we would have had had we gone out, so we saved money and we got to have an amazing meal. My next quick and easy cheap dinner is English muffin or pizza Bagels. You can use the mini bagels or you can use a regular sized Bagel or you can use English muffins, just slice them in half.
Add some pizza sauce, super inexpensive, some mozzarella cheese and then whatever you like. On top, you don’t have to do anything on the toppings or you can just do some like leftovers or something like that, some pepperoni, it is all good. These are so simple, so cheap. I get English muffins for like a buck, keep them in the fridge, and then this is also like a great late night snack. It’S one of my husband’s favorites they’ll be like you know what we got any English muffin pizzas hanging around and I can quickly quickly toast them up delicious, really good, fast, cheap and easy meal.
Number six is a canned chicken quesadilla, so you can get like a small can of chicken at Dollar Tree for 1. 25 or I think the bigger cans are close to two or three dollars grab some tortillas also Dollar Tree a dollar 25, so you’re up to 250 maximum right here, um and then you mix that with a little salsa, which you could also get at Dollar Tree. Uh and some cheese so you’re up to four three [ Laughter ], you can do it under five dollars. I swear so chicken quesadilla super delicious with canned chicken. I’M gon na show you the recipe right now.
Next recipe is for what is called camping, dinner chicken quesadilla because hey it’s easy to take canned chicken breast camping with you. So if you are going camping, this is a great idea, but it’s also a great idea. If you’re just hanging around your house – and you don’t know what to make – and you have a can of chicken so to make this – you just want one larger can of chicken and about a half an onion diced up and about two cups of shredded either cheddar Or I think I actually use colby jack cheese. I love colby jack cheese in a quesadilla, that’s just a personal opinion and then I apologize. This is just a weird jar of salsa, so it’s got a strange top going on here, but you want to add one jar of your favorite salsa.
We love the Chichi’s mild just because the kids really like it and it’s a simple flavor. That’S not super spicy and that blanket down there. That’S my son’s Comfort item. It is a king, size, uh like fluffy blanket and he calls it cozy and it’s it’s like everywhere in our house and it drags stuff around with it. I don’t know if anyone’s had that experience, but I’m like, can you get it out of the gadget but hey look?
It has a guest appearance on YouTube now, so I’m sure Tommy will be super proud and uh yeah just mix all that together. I’Ve never really done a quesadilla like this, where you mix everything together, but I love this idea because then you get everything in every bite and you don’t have like layers of stuff. It’S super super simple, so I’m just putting a little bit of butter in the bottom of my pan. That’S how I like to make a quesadilla. You can use your favorite tortilla, whatever you whatever size, you want to use whatever type you want to use and then go ahead and add, just you know a quarter to a third of the mixture, depending on how much you want to put in there and how Many quesadillas you want to make – and this is super delicious.
You want to cook this on a medium low heat I like to cook it low and slow kind of things. I don’t like to burn it, and you want to give it plenty of time so that your cheese can melt and and then flip it once it gets crispy on one side and do the same thing with the other side. These were so delicious and such a great recipe to make in a bind. You can really Elevate what may have been on a different day, just a plain cheese quesadilla and turn it into a full-on chicken quesadilla restaurant quality, delicious meal number. Seven is your age, old, classic, PB and J come on, don’t forget about it.
Don’T forget about your best friend from the third grade. Pb and J peanut butter and jelly is uh so inexpensive. A whole container of peanut butter is like 1.98 at Walmart uh. So you don’t even need that much peanut butter, bread, you can get for around a couple bucks and that jelly also a couple blocks and you can make peanut butter and jelly for the week for five dollars.
So um. You know what sometimes you just grab that on the run, it’s okay on the go when you need to to keep things cost low and it actually stores really well so, like you, don’t have to keep it in like a cold container. So if you really are picking up kids, bringing them from one event to another, peanut butter and jelly is gon na, be your best friend number eight is fish. Stick tacos, you’re gon na be shocked by this recipe. I’Ve shared it before, but I’m sharing it again.
You can get a huge container of fish sticks at Walmart for like 4.88, and so you only need like half of them to make a full dinner, teeny, tiny street tacos and whatever toppings you want to put on those. You can make a saw. If you want to, if you don’t want to go this law route, because that can put you over your budget, you can just put sour cream and salsa and they’re going to be delicious now. These are super easy to make you just start off with that huge package of fish sticks.
I also grabbed an eight ounce container of sour cream and on hand. I had some lime juice and a little bit of garlic powder and some cumin and we’re gon na. Actually, just make up a sauce for our fish stick tacos, while those fish sticks cook you just want to cook the fish sticks according to the package directions and cook, as many fish sticks as you want to make tacos, I feel like it is unlikely that you’re Going to want 44 tacos, but hey if you’re, really hungry or you’re a big family, you can make 44 of them and you still only spend 3.44. So it’s a great deal, then I grabbed some street tacos.
These are smaller corn tortillas and they were under two dollars for the street tacos and I think you could even get them for cheaper. I swear I’ve seen them sometimes for like 98 cents, so I can. It depends on the brand or what they have in stock. But very very inexpensive and I think 24 come in that package. So, yes, you can make up to 24 tacos by only using half of your fish sticks and your entire package of street tacos and you’re going to be in great shape and spend next to nothing.
For something that is going to look so fancy you’re going to feel like you’re eating at a restaurant, if not better and as you just saw there, I just heated my tacos on a dry Skillet over high heat and just flip them quickly. So they got a little bit charred on each side and they got warm and then to your tacos. You just want to add in one crispy cooked up fish stick. I ended up serving at these at something I call Wine lunch, which is where my mother and my grandmother and my aunt and my best friend all get together to have a great time drink a little wine in the afternoon, and we all bring something. So my contribution on this particular day was these delicious fish tacos.
Now I have one of those packages of 1.98 coleslaw and I’ve added a little bit of chopped scallion to that this is not 100 necessary, but hey. If you have it or you can, especially if you can find it on sale for like 98 cents, which I have seen on clearance before it is so delicious so to those tacos you’ve got your fish dig, topped with a little bit of your coleslaw mix and Then that sour cream mix – that I add that I created earlier and another thing you can add to that sour cream mix – is a little bit of chili powder to give it a little bit of kick. In my case, I did not add that, but you totally could and then I topped it with a little cilantro a couple wedges of lime, but the great thing about toxins tacos is you can make them out of whatever you have number nine is breakfast for dinner. A package of pancake mix at Walmart is like two bucks, so you can serve pancakes or eggs.
Thank goodness. Alleluia eggs have gone down in price these days, they’re down to 92 cents. When I went yesterday to Walmart so uh for a dozen eggs and that would feed my family for dinner, add in like a package of clearance, bread with that, so you’ve got eggs and toast and you’re still only at like two bucks. So you could even potentially find some chorizo or sausage and add that in and you have a really robust, uh breakfast for dinner and it’s really really quick to cook up and definitely less than 10 minutes. You scramble up those eggs.
You toast that toast in Bing Bang Boom you are done. Number 10 is a fried egg and rice. This is like a household favorite for me and my husband, especially at nights when we’re trying to get something quick and cheap. So all you have to do is cook up some rice. Now I realize that’s like 15 minutes.
So if you have pre-made rice, you’re good, if you use instant rice, even if you’re like even though rinse instant rice is a little bit more expensive, um worth it because it can get cooked for you fast and that way you’re not eating out, I always say Even if you’re spending a little bit more at home, that’s okay, because it’s going to be 10 times cheaper than ordering takeout or grabbing something through the drive through anyway.
So you cook up some rice and then you just fry an egg and some oil, and you put that over the rice and with a little drizzle of soy sauce, it’s absolutely delectable and delicious, and you can even add in like some frozen broccoli. If you want to just microwave some of that such a treat so amazing and it’s funny that it just gets requested time after time, even though it’s like you know that brag worthy like again and again, budget meal less than five dollars less than 10 minutes. Super quick super easy number 11 is a poor man’s burrito bowl so again cook up rice or have some rice you cooked at the end of the week. I really recommend batch cooking rice at the beginning of the week, because then you can do like fried rice.
All sorts of things rice is like the ultimate budget, food right, so um rice, then canned black beans, canned corn, shredded cheese. If you have it a little bit of sour cream salsa, anything that you have in your cabinets, you can add to it and it really judge it up. But it’s that simple. So I like to cook some black beans, sometimes like on the stove and great way to just like heat them up and put a little bit of seasonings in them, give it extra flavor and that’s it very simple. Number 12 – is a rotisserie chicken, Caesar salad.
Now this one’s kind of on the edge between five and six dollars, um, but man power to the rotisserie chicken. You can feed a family of five for two full days, at least with a rotisserie chicken. I just recently made that Caesar salad and then I rolled it over and made chicken enchiladas the next day holy smokes. That was two meals and my my whole rotisserie is less than five dollars. So let me show you this delicious chicken Caesar salad so for dinner.
Tonight we’re making a chicken Caesar salad. This one is super easy we’re using rotisserie chicken, I’m gon na use about half of it for this and then I’ll use the other half for a different meal. So the rotisserie chicken that I buy is 429. I know that like um Costco has like the five dollar rotisserie chickens, it’s upside down. 429.
So that’s about 2, 18 Croutons could be anywhere reindeer from like a dollar to a dollar. Fifty so, let’s say on the low end, because we’re going to try and get this in for out of five bucks that we’re going to use the dollar croutons, so we’re looking at two 318 at my local store ahead of romaine lettuce is a dollar fifty plus 318 is looking at four dollars and 68 cents, and so we are a little potentially short on this right. We’Re gon na need our Caesar dressing and our parmesan cheese. I’M gon na kind of look at these as Pantry items hope that you have them on hand. I know at my local store The Market Basket.
Brand is 1.99 for Caesar dress, say I think at Dollar Tree you can probably get it for a dollar twenty five. You know it’s delicious to have parmesan cheese. If you have it and just sprinkle some over. I wouldn’t go out and buy it specifically for this.
You could always just use any other dressing. You have on hand because you don’t necessarily have to have it be a Caesar salad right. You can do just like a regular salad, maybe a cucumber 50 Cent. So my cucumbers are usually about 50 cents. You could add a cucumber in there, maybe a little tomato, that’s going to be again like another 50 cents and you can make like a garden salad with chicken.
So there’s the options feel a little endless with this. You know you can even drizzle little barbecue sauce on there a little buffalo sauce and make like a barbecue chicken, salad or a buffalo chicken salad, it’s just a pantry friendly option and it’s super fast. Another quick and easy dinner that we love coming in at number 13 is raviolis and sauce a little bit of garlic bread. Now you don’t have to have fancy extensive garlic, bread. I have made garlic bread before by literally toasting stale hamburger.
Buns are like a piece of bread: you put a little butter on there, a little garlic powder and salt and it is delicious, so super easy, inexpensive raviolis. I can get like a package of those for a dollar fifty and to feed my whole family plus lunch. The next day, uh two packages, it’s like three bucks and then can of sauce super cheap. You can either make your own or you can get the hunt sauce, which is usually like around a dollar. So four bucks for that, plus, whatever leftover bread you have in the house, you don’t have to pay for garlic, bread.
If you need to buy some buy. You know the cheapest loaf. You can find for like a dollar but make your own garlic, bread and it’s a really delicious meal that everybody loves. Okay, we’re making some ravioli I’ve got my water blooming, and the most amazing thing about ravioli is that it only takes a few minutes. Yeah two to three minutes so super super fast.
I am gon na salt, our boiling water. Add these guys in and even cook up some of this garlic bread for the kids we’re out of like most of it Dan – and I don’t want any tonight, but if you’re doing your 10 minute five dollar dinner. This is a dollar 25 at the Dollar Tree. This is three bucks and sauce is really cheap, so you’re right around five bucks here and it’s gon na be good.
Number 14 is canned soup, so this is kind of like what I call a poor man soup or you kind of add everything together. So I have a few different versions of this. I have a seven can soup – that’s probably not quite five dollars and come in a little bit above that, but I also have this delicious, like ham soup, that I’m going to show you right now all comes from the Dollar Tree super inexpensive and really feeds a Crowd now, this next meal is like an entire style.
I was trying to make a soup that is like a ham and bean soup and potato ham Bean potato soup, and it’s from like one of those Great Depression recipes and I found the potatoes. I found the seasoning blend I was like this is perfect, we’re going to use some bouillon and we’re gon na get maybe like a luncheon meat and then some beans.
Now the problem was the type of beans that I wanted. They didn’t have in the dried beans, and so I just got to buy cans, and I’m like I don’t want to buy dollar 25 cans of dry of beans – that’s way too expensive at the Dollar Tree. So what I found was these Campbell’s Classics and it had beans and ham already in it. So I’m like this is great. This is the whole idea, take your traditional soup and then add to it, and we actually used to do this in college.
My my best friend and I lived together in college and we had something called poor man soup and we would take a can of soup that we had in the fridge like the pantry. Like we’ve got nothing, nothing left a can of corn and then maybe a can of tomato sauce, and you mix all that together and put some sour cream with it. And that is heaven and we like we want to make that now. We’Re always like. Oh poor man, soup – that was so good, so this is definitely a different soup recipe.
We’Re gon na take two cans of that ham and bean we’re gon na. Take the hash brown rounds that I found in the freezer section. This is a huge thing of hash. Browns, like I ended up with extra. So not only do you get to make this, but you get extra and then that seasoning blend that I am obsessed with, that is perfect for starting off on a soup and then I’m using chicken bouillon that I already have.
But you can get chicken bouillon at the Dollar Tree. If you don’t already have some and you know worst comes the worst use of water and some salt, and that will give you all the flavor that you need. So I am super excited to make this for you and I think it’s going to turn out great. You could always go with the beans and the lunch of meat too, and that would also be a good option. So I am starting off with a little bit of oil in a pan over medium high heat.
I don’t think the oil is 100 necessary because these are frozen so they’re kind of in water already, but I added it. I had it and I’m adding the entire thing of the seasoning blend, because this is going to give it tons of flavor it’s going to be delicious, and also can I know: do you guys notice? I have a cold again. This is like my third cold in like two months and uh, not not a fan, but it is what it is. So I’m basically just defrosting these in the pan and then cooking them up a little bit.
You could totally just defrost them in the microwave ahead of time or leave them in the fridge for a little bit so that they already are defrosted and then cook them up your choice. However, you want to do it, I think that’ll be totally fine. Then I’m adding a little bit of garlic powder again because, like I said this mix doesn’t have any garlic in it and you’re definitely going to want some garlic in the soup. Okay, the water from the defrosting. It made it very steamy, but I’m adding about half to three quarters of the package of the diced potatoes right now and those are also not defrosted.
So again, you could totally do that in the microwave ahead of time and cook those up or leave them in the fridge, but we’re just putting them in Frozen, and it’s just going to take a little bit longer to cook it. This way, it’s kind of your choice: how you want to do it the recipe I’m basing this off of – has you add two cups of water and three cups of chicken broth? So I added three cups of chicken bouillon in one cup of water, because we’re also going to add in those cans of soup and those are going to have liquid as well.
So when I first made this, I just added in those frozen potatoes, like you saw earlier for the five dollar dinners that are in 10 minutes, I would recommend actually microwaving the potatoes ahead of time, then popping those in and then really only cooking. This up for about five minutes just to heat everything all the way through and now we took two small cans of soup and made them into something so much larger.
You know: had you bought four cans of soup for the same price? You would nowhere near have gotten the same amount of soup that we have today and number 15 is grilled cheese and tomato soup. So again, bread super inexpensive grab, a two dollar block of cheese use like half of it to make the grilled cheese and tomato soup condensed tomato soup. You can judge It Up by adding some different seasonings in it. If you’d like to.
If it’s tomato season, you can make your own tomatoes tomato soup, you can even do it with cans. I’Ll put a recipe down in the description box on how to make some easy tomato soup. But I love the condensed stuff I like to buy the store brand because it’s even cheaper and it works out just fine for me. So uh yeah, simple tomato soup, grilled cheese, delicious on a rainy day or a foggy day when it’s just like not too hot out crowd pleaser, especially when you’re in a rush. So there you have it 15, delicious five dollar.
Ten minute dinners that I have been holding back from you, I think you have the Arsenal now to get started on your budget Journey. You can save money on groceries, eat well and be full of joy for some more budget ideas check out this next article and make sure the next time you’re on my blog.