14 Cheap and Easy Family Dinners

Feeding an entire family doesn’t have to drain your wallet or your energy reserves! Whether you’re juggling work, school runs, or simply the chaos of daily life, we’ve all been there: standing in the kitchen, wondering how to whip up something delicious that won’t break the bank or require magical culinary skills. 

Well, fear not! This collection of 14 cheap and easy dinner ideas is here to save your evenings. From cozy comfort food to light, refreshing meals, we’ve got you covered with budget-friendly recipes and a hit with the whole family. 

What Makes a Great Cheap Family Dinner?

A great cheap family dinner combines affordability, simplicity, and nutrition to provide a satisfying, complete meal for everyone around the table. It’s not just about cutting costs but also about making smart choices with ingredients that offer the best value for money without compromising on taste or health benefits. 

Ideally, it incorporates readily available staple ingredients, requires minimal meal prep time, and can be easily adapted to cater to different tastes and dietary needs. Creativity in reimagining leftovers or using pantry staples in innovative ways also plays a crucial role. 

Ultimately, a great cheap family dinner leaves everyone feeling full, happy, and perhaps even excited for the next great meal.

Cheap and Easy Family Dinners

  1. Easy sheet pan garlic chicken and broccoli. This recipe uses basic budget-friendly ingredients and is packed with flavor. It requires very little hands-on time and only one dirty pan!
  2. BBQ Chicken Sheet pan dinner is the perfect budget-friendly meal for picky eaters. Plus, it saves you time cooking and cleaning up! It’s an entire BBQ meal in one satisfying dish.
  3. Slow Cooker sloppy Joes. Kids love sloppy joes! With just a handful of ingredients, it’s cheaper than eating out and tastes better, too!
  4. Creamy Baked Ziti recipe, a perfect blend of tender noodles, rich, creamy sauce, and gooey cheese. It’s an easy, five-ingredient, family-friendly meal that brings classic Italian flavors to your table in a casserole-style dish everyone will love!
  5. Easy pasta bake. This minimal effort Pasta Bake dinner can be made in less than 5 minutes with only three simple ingredients. It will cost you pennies to make and is perfect for feeding a family.
  6. Sloppy Joe Tater Tot casserole. This easy and hearty casserole will surely be a hit for all ages. Here is how to make it!
  7. Baked gnocchi. This easy-baked gnocchi recipe is a simple one-pan perfection that’s packed with flavor! This quick and easy dinner recipe uses just 8 ingredients and takes about 30 minutes to make.
  8. Easy hamburger soup. Easy hamburger soup recipe is ready in less than 30 minutes! Hearty, healthy, and loaded with vegetables and protein.
  9. Crockpot Mexican Casserole with Ground Beef. This Mexican casserole recipe is bursting with flavor, all with the ease of a crockpot. Lean ground beef is combined with fresh ingredients and a few pantry staples for a low-maintenance dinner.
  10. Pepperoni pizza casserole. The perfect dinner for busy weeknights, this pepperoni pizza casserole only takes 20 minutes to whip up a delicious easy weeknight dinners!
  11. Easy taco soup recipe. This perfect recipe is an easy dump-and-go one-pot meal the whole family will adore. Costing less than $1 per serving, this delicious meal receives our budget stamp of approval!
  12. Ground beef, potato, and green bean casserole. This ground beef, potato, and green bean casserole is full of the savory, comforting flavors we all love but without any of those grocery store-bought, canned cream soups. Serve it up as an all-in-one-pan, easy, family-friendly dinner or for a satisfyingly simple Sunday lunch!
  13. Quick flat bread pizza. This delicious Margherita flatbread pizza recipe is going to be your new favorite flatbread pizza. It’s delicious and easy to assemble, making this naan pizza a perfect light summer lunch or dinner meal for when you don’t feel like cooking.
  14. Pasta e Ceci. Cheaper than buying the canned variety, this spaghetti-o-style easy meal is actually a budget-friendly, authentic Italian dish! A delicious and nutritious dinner requires just pasta, chickpeas, and sauce!

Enjoying a Cheap and Easy Dinner

Whipping up a budget-friendly family favorite dinner doesn’t mean skimping on taste, nutrition, or variety! These easy recipes show you how, with some creative ways and good use of basic pantry staples, you can dish out affordable meals that are tasty and satisfying. The best part is that they won’t break the bank! Your family will actually look forward to coming to the dinner table! 

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Kristen is the founder and content creator at Mom Managing Chaos where she teaches busy moms how to simplify and organize their life and finances. She writes about frugal living, budgeting, productivity and organization.