Frugal Menus with Chili
Chili and cornbread are great choices for those in search of frugal menus. Meat can be expensive, however, so look into recipes for vegetarian chili if you're seriously strapped for cash. If you end up with a lot of leftovers, try making chili dogs or chili cheese fries.
Cheap Soup and Sandwiches
Grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup are a classic choice for when you need a quick, easy, and inexpensive meal. However, almost any soup and sandwich combination will qualify as a low-budget option.
Make Your Own Chinese Takeout
A homemade stir fry made with rice, frozen vegetables, and chicken purchased on sale is a cheap and easy alternative to expensive Chinese takeout. If you don't like rice, substitute a pack of Ramen noodles.
Italian Frugal Menus
Spaghetti, with or without meatballs, is a great choice for frugal menus. Serve with a salad and homemade garlic bread for a treat that seems like it came from your favorite Italian restaurant.
Homemade Pot Pie
Homemade chicken or beef pot pie is sure to please, even if you have picky eaters to feed. You can easily serve 6-8 people for just over $5 with this simple meal idea.
Easy Tuna Casserole
For many people, tuna casserole is classic comfort food. It's not the healthiest option to eat on a regular basis, but it is a nice treat for when you need a small pick-me-up after a stressful day. This casserole also freezes quite nicely.
Breakfast for Dinner
If you love a big breakfast, but seldom have time to cook in the morning, surprise your family by making pancakes, scrambled eggs, and bacon for dinner. Young children in particular love the unexpectedness of having "morning" food during the evening hours.