16 Budget Friendly Meals To Feed The Family for Under $15

Feeding the whole family can cost a fortune if you aren’t careful. Especially if you have a family of 6 like me.

The great thing about food is that almost anything is possible when it comes to putting something together.

You can go Mexican, Italian, Brinner (Breakfast for dinner), or pretty much whatever you want.

Related: 9 Delicious Keto Meals That Will Save You Time & Money

That’s the great thing about this list. You can find awesome budget meals, that can make feeding your family affordable.

Plus, it takes the guessing out of what you are going to cook for dinner on any given day.

If there is one phrase that I can’t stand it’s “What’s for dinner?” Sometimes I want to to be smart and say “Whatever I cook.”

But this way you can say here are your options now pick which day you want it and Wah Lah you have a menu for the week. GENIUS!

Wouldn’t that be great, dinner already planned, especially after long days at work, or after-school activities? The last thing you want to be doing is deciding what’s for dinner.

Now, let’s see what we have and save your dinner plans for the week (and a ton of money!)

Here are 20 awesome budget meals to feed the family for under $15.

Crock-pot Chicken & Gravy

You can never go wrong with a meal like this. I mean who doesn’t love gravy over rice or mash potatoes. I know my family sure does. Not only is it good but it’s filling and on top of that it’s cooked in the crock-pot this is just a win all the way around especially for those busy long days.

Check out the recipe to learn how to put it together.

Get the recipe here. 

Chili Cheese Dog Bake

How can you go wrong with chili, cheese, and hot dogs? You can’t! I don’t know too many people who don’t love chili cheese dogs. Especially kids. And the great thing about this meal is that you can tailor it to your liking. Have someone in your family who doesn’t care for chili no problem just make a cheese dog, Or maybe you have an extra pepper in your fridge that you need to use so you add a little. Nothing like a versatile dinner that’s affordable.

Check out the recipe to learn how to put it together.

Get the recipe here. 

Dump and Bake Chicken Pot Pie


Chicken pot pie what a classic. I have always loved chicken pot pie. I think it’s the creaminess of it that had me sold. On another note, it’s a great way to get your kids to eat their veggies.

Check out the recipe to learn how to put it together.

Get the recipe here. 

Poor Man’s Lasagna


If your family loves lasagna, but can’t seem to fit it in the budget, this recipe is most definitely for you. What’s even better is that it only calls for four ingredients hence the name poor man.

Check out the recipe to learn how to put it together.

Get the recipe here. 

Blueberry Pancakes


One word “Brinner!” Breakfast for dinner is a weekly must in our household. It just seems so right. Not only is this a cheap dinner alternative, but it’s super fun because pancakes are for breakfast right? NOT!

Check out the recipe to learn how to put it together.

Get the recipe here. 

Zucchini Kale Pasta


Here’s a great healthy vegetarian option that will most definitely help your body get some added nutrition. Kale is rich in fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and B6. An added bonus is that it only takes 20 mins.

Check out the recipe to learn how to put it together.

Get the recipe here.

One Pan Cheesy Chicken, Broccoli, and Rice


I absolutely love almost any meal that contains rice. Rice is a great filler and it’s so versatile that you can add almost anything to it. This is most definitely a winner and how can you go wrong with a one pan meal, that makes clean up easy peasy.

Check out the recipe to learn how to put it together.

Get the recipe here. 

Sloppy Joe Meatball Subs


What kid doesn’t love a good sloppy Joe, actually I don’t know too many adults. My husband and I go to straight “SMASH” mode. Then to add melted cheese OMG! This recipe uses meatballs instead of ground beef so you can give it a little variety but if you just love it the traditional way with the ground beef this recipe could still work.

Check out the recipe to learn how to put it together.

Get the recipe here. 

Bacon Cheeseburger Tater Tot Casserole

“Taterrrr Tots!!!!” that’s the excitement from the children when tater tots are made. Why not take it up a notch and add cheese ground beef and bacon. I wouldn’t even be mad if my children did decide to eat these with their fingers because I might just be joining them.

Check out the recipe to learn how to put it together.

Get the recipe here. 

Poor Man’s Soup


There is nothing like a nice warm bowl of soup, especially when it’s cold outside or the littles may not be feeling well. A bonus is that most of the ingredients may already be in your pantry and fridge so that makes it even better.

Check out the recipe to learn how to put it together.

Get the recipe here.

Pork Chop and Hashbrown Casserole Dinner


If you can’t get enough of one dish recipes, then this one may be for you. It’s as simple as throwing the ingredients together and tossing it in the oven. Plus it has cheese 🙂

Check out the recipe to learn how to put it together.

Get the recipe here. 

Tuna Noodle Casserole


Now, I must admit that tuna is not many people’s favorite, especially the kids. But if you are lucky enough to have kids that aren’t extremely picky (unlike mine) and will try anything that has pasta with it then you may have a winner. Literally this recipe is 4 and done.

Check out the recipe to learn how to put it together.

Get the recipe here. 

Spaghetti and Meatballs

This is most definitely a staple meal for every family that I know. It usually makes it in the rotation at least once a week and it makes for the best leftovers. Add veggies, no veggies, with cheese, no cheese, just don’t forget the meatballs. O and the side of butter bread 🙂 YUM!

Check out the recipe to learn how to put it together.

Get the recipe here. 

Sheet Pan Chicken Drumsticks with Broccoli & Potatoes

The easiest dish to make by far on this list and by the time you’re done you will have a meat, a vegetable side, and a starch side and they won’t be all mixed up together. It will look as if you took the time to make each dish separately but the truth is, it was all cooked on a sheet pan. Shhhh it’s our secret.

Check out the recipe to learn how to put it together.

Get the recipe here. 

Crockpot Ham and Beans


I am a lover of all things beans. I could eat beans for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and maybe even snack. But p-p-p-p-please don’t forget the cornbread and lots of it. The great thing about this recipe is that it’s cooked in a crockpot so you can put it on before you leave for work and by time you get home dinner is done.

Check out the recipe to learn how to put it together.

Get the recipe here. 

Easy Parmesan Buttered Noodles


This may be the cheapest meal on the list. It’s literally basically one ingredient. But I don’t know about you but there is nothing like some good buttered noodles. I usually eat mine with some steamed broccoli and even if you wanted to add that you wouldn’t be at $10 bucks.

Check out the recipe to learn how to put it together.

Get the recipe here. 

Great Meals On A Budget Are Possible

And there’s plenty more out there that won’t cost you a small fortune. When it comes to food and preparing meals for your family, we want what’s quick and easy no matter the cost. So we will run to fast food spots or order in not realizing that it’s adding up.

All you need is a plan and some inspiration on what to put together.

Hopefully, this list has given you some great meal ideas and you no longer have to spend time thinking “what are we going to eat?”

Do you have any budget-friendly go-to meals that your family loves, make sure to mention them below.

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