25 Healthy Frugal Meals for a Family | Frugal Recipes on a Budget

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You may be here because you are looking for frugal meal ideas or recipes. There’s nothing wrong with sticking to a budget. And, just so you know, being frugal does not always imply being cheap.

Being thrifty means prioritizing your spending so that you can have more of the things that matter to you.

Frugality can be applied to all aspects of your life, including your nutrition, grocery shopping, and meals! And no, just because you are living frugally does not mean you have to keep yourself away from healthy eating. In fact, this is a great start for you to experiment with recipes using fruit and veggies while you save money!

With that said, here are 15 delicious and healthy frugal meal ideas and recipes you will love that take little to no cooking time at all!  See more budget-friendly meal prep recipes.

25. Instant Pot Spaghetti With Meat Sauce

A classic Italian pasta meal but done very quickly! This Spaghetti with meat sauce recipe will only take you about 20 minutes to cook and can be enjoyed by the whole family (and more)! This recipe will also give you tips and ideas on how to cook your own homemade meat sauce.

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24. Macaroni Chicken Salad

Looking for simple frugal dinner ideas to cook on a budget? This recipe will save you time as it only take you a few minutes to make with a few ingredients including homemade chicken. You can choose to serve this as a main dish or side dish, and can also be served to parties and special occasions! 

Check it here.  

23. Sausage And Potatoes Skillet 

This healthy and easy recipe is a great way to cook and add some protein to your diet and meals even if you are on a tight budget! This is an amazing dinner, lunch idea, or frugal meals for the family that picky eaters will definitely love! 

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22. Make-Ahead Pizza Rolls 

Get a taste of your favorite food at very little cost. These make-ahead pizza rolls can be added to your weekly meal plan and can feed a whole family, and is very easy to make. You can also easily freeze these in your freezer to cook and eat the next day or the whole week (your choice, we don’t judge!). Definitely an upgrade from your usual bread snacks! 

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21. Crispy Black Beans Tacos 

Are you craving for some nice and crispy tacos but you are on a healthy and frugal diet? Then these crispy black beans tacos are perfect for you! If you are on a budget meal plan, then beans should definitely be on your grocery store list. They will basically cost you nothing, and is delicious and nutritious. And yes, you can even cook and add them to your tacos! 

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20. Avocado Toast With Eggs

This avocado toast with eggs recipe is perfect if you are a frugal person who is always in a rush in the morning as it takes very little cooking time and won’t make you go broke. You will only need avocados, bread, lemon juice, salt and pepper, and eggs to make this yummy recipe. One of the most budget friendly breakfast meals out there! 

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19. Grilled Cheese Roll Ups 

Grilled cheese is definitely up there when you are thinking of the cheapest and most frugal meals to make. But if you are looking for a unique and more creative way to prepare this meal, then you should definitely check out these roll ups! You will only need cheddar cheese, white bread, butter, and some rolling skills! Perfect as a breakfast, snack, dinners, or any meals! 

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18. Quinoa Fried Rice 

Are you looking for a frugal and an even healthier version of vegetable fried rice? This recipe is the perfect breakfast or frugal dinner idea that lets you save money as you can use your leftovers as ingredients! This amazing budget recipe takes 15 minutes and is great for meal prep and meal planning.

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17. Oven Roasted Parmesan Zucchini

Bread is not the only thing you can bake! This recipe is perfect if you want something baked and healthy for your snacks while being inexpensive. This is also great for the cheese lovers out there! You will only need zucchini, garlic powder, and parmesan cheese. You can also serve this to your kids who are picky eaters. Trust me, this won’t taste like their usual veggies! 

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16. Tuna Egg Salad

This tuna egg salad is going to be one of your go-to breakfast (or brunch) meals as it is easy to make and very budget-friendly! This easy recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, whole30, and low-carb. Literally all you need are hard-boiled eggs, Mayonnaise, tuna, and red onion. 

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15. Cajun Chicken Alfredo | Creamy & Spicy Pasta Noodles

Having a hard time looking for frugal meals with noodles in it? Cajun chicken alfredo pasta from scratch is creamy & spicy! Made with homemade cajun seasoning & linguini noodles, it’s perfect for frugal dinners at home! Can be served for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Check it here.

14. Poor Man’s Stew (Hamburger Stew) – Slow Cooker 

Poor Man’s Stew is a budget friendly soup meal made with ground beef that costs less than $2 per serving! It’s absolutely delicious, plus it’s very simple to make. This is one of the soup recipes out there that is Whole30 and Paleo compatible, and you can make it in the Slow Cooker OR Dutch Oven!

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13. Fasolada (Greek White Bean Soup)

Fasolada… The “mother of all” Greek comfort foods in a bowl.. and frugal! This is one homemade bowl that the generations of Greeks grew up with on cool winter nights… A perfect winter warmer! This rustic, robust, healthy & homely white beans soup is simmered with everyday aromatics like onions, garlic, tomatoes (or tomato sauce) and celery. The perfect soup partner for bread on a cold night! 

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12. Turkey Tenderloin

Turkey tenderloin is a nutritious and tasty meal that you can season with fresh herbs and have it ready to eat in less than an hour. Even better, you can enjoy this turkey dinner for less than $10.00, leaving plenty of leftover change for dessert! Definitely one of the most frugal friendly meals out there! 

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11. Spring Vegetarian Pasta With Butter Sauce

Need to practice more healthy eating while being frugal? This pasta with spring vegetables of pea and asparagus is light, bright and delicious. A vegetarian pasta dish that takes under 30-minutes. It’s perfect for a quick weeknight meatless dinners and breakfasts! See also  Recipes and Meals for Spring.

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10. Easy Filipino Chicken Adobo Recipe

Definitely one of my favorite frugal meals out there! Try our popular Filipino chicken adobo dish for a quick and easy low carb dish. The meat is cooked in a tangy mix of cider vinegar, soy sauce and garlic. It’s a family favorite!

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9. Eggplant Burger Recipe – Filipino Style

Sneak some little healthy veggies in to your meals with this tasty eggplant burger recipe. Your family may not even notice that there’s an added veggies inside.

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8. Lemon Chickpea and Rice Casserole

A super easy dump-and-bake meatless meal for the family! This Lemon Chickpea and Rice Casserole is a healthy, hearty, vegan, and allergy-free dinner idea! Dairy-free, creamy, and zesty, this casserole recipe can be made ahead of time, is freezer-friendly, and is a comforting weeknight meal everyone will love!

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7. Easy Cast Iron Whole Roasted Chicken

One of my favorite filling meals! A simple and easy cast iron whole roasted chicken that’s full of flavor, perfectly moist and tender, and just waiting to be served at the dinner table! This recipe is gluten-free, allergy-free, and paleo using a no-fail method for success!

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6. Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken (Gluten-Free, Paleo)

The most delicious, moist, and easy slow cooker chicken meals yet! Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken requires just a few ingredients: your favorite salsa, tomatoes, some spices, and the chicken! The perfect healthy, gluten-free, paleo weeknight dinners to please everyone!

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5. Tahini Pasta

This creamy vegan tahini pasta is pure comfort food. It’s rich, filling, and so easy to throw together quickly for a satisfying plant based dinner or lunch. This dish is delicious and served either hot, cold, or at room temperature so it’s a good option for school or work lunch.

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4. Instant Pot Chicken Congee Soup (Rice Porridge Soup)

This chicken congee is an excellent any day, any time comfort food, especially for one of those endless cold winter days or sick days. It is so easy on the tummy and gives such a wonderful soothing feeling, that you will always end up craving for more! One of my favorite soup meals that helps me save money! 

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3. Instant Pot Aloo Matar | Indian Potato and Peas Curry

Instant pot Aloo matar is a very simple and every day comfort food made with potatoes and green peas in onion and tomatoes masala. This is a Vegan home style recipe which is very easy and quick to make, yet delectable. Ready on table in 30 mins. Perfect for breakfasts and any type of meal. 

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2. Instant Pot Lemon Garlic Chicken | Quick & Zesty

Instant Pot lemon garlic chicken is a quick & flavorful dinner meal that won’t make you go broke! In less than 30 minutes, you’ll have zesty chicken thighs on the table!

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1. Dutch Oven Beef Stew | Healthy & Gluten-Free

Dutch oven beef stew is healthy, easy, gluten-free, & is made all in one pot! Made with your favorite meat, carrots, potatoes, and other healthy veggies! Perfect if you are looking for a frugal but healthy meal. Make sure to use a cast iron pot in the oven, & don’t forget the red wine!

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Frugal Meals Shopping Tips And Ideas | How To Eat Frugal Meals

How can you cook and eat filling and healthy meals that can feed the whole family while being on a budget? Sounds a lot, right? Well, I hate to break it to you but it isn’t. You can still find the cheapest ingredients and food out there – you just need a strategy.

Following a frugal meal plan doesn’t have to cost anything – not just in money, but also in the quality of your foods. And no, you do not always have to skip on certain ingredients just because you think they will exceed your grocery budget. Being frugal just means that you have to be smart with your recipes and strategic when meal planning and shopping for foods so you won’t have to gasp each time you look at your grocery bill. With that said, you can still cook your favorite breakfast, lunch, and dinner meals while being frugal!

And I am here to present you with some helpful tips and ideas on how to eat frugal meals and grocery shop on a budget so that you will confidently breeze in the store the next time you visit:

1. Plan your meals ahead of time AKA meal prep 

A guaranteed strategy to save money on groceries is to plan out your meals for the week. Gather your favorite recipes and check what items you already have in the fridge and cupboard before making a shopping list. This will also help you get an overview of the ingredients that you need to buy (and not buy). This strategy can also help you set up your menu and give you meal ideas for the week without needing to rush or do some brainstorming. 

You should also make sure to check your refrigerator and cabinets to see what you already have. You may have foods and ingredients in there that you have neglected. I also recommend to meal prep around foods that must be used before they expire.

2. Stick to your grocery list

The number one rule in following a frugal lifestyle is to practice discipline and self-control. You have to stick to the grocery budget you have assigned to yourself. And as much as possible, don’t exceed even a single penny because you will practice yourself into thinking “it’s just a little money, it’s okay” until it isn’t okay anymore. If there is a sale going on and you can fit a few more into your budget, then go for it! 

As a rule of thumb, shop the grocery store’s perimeter (the outer areas) first. This is where you’ll find whole foods and will make you more likely to load your cart with them first.

The more processed and canned items are frequently found near the center of the grocery store. If you find yourself in these aisles, instead of looking straight ahead, glance to the top or bottom of the shelves. Typically, the most expensive products are positioned at eye level.

3. Cook at home

I know that it can be tempting to go out to your favorite restaurant and order from your favorite menu. But if you are on a budget, then cooking your own meals is definitely the smartest option for you. Cooking is also a super easy and great way for you to discover great recipes that are not only delicious but also healthy. And if you are a mom, then cooking is a great activity to bond with your kids! 

4. Don’t throw your leftovers 

This is a pretty super easy and straightforward request that people still tend to do. If you have leftovers (especially a big batch of them), then do not throw them away if it hasn’t been touched. You can easily freeze a bunch of your leftover in your freezer and can be consumed even after a few days – depending on the type of food it is. These can still be easily cooked into a whole new recipe the next day or for the whole week! If you do not want to go broke and save money, then saving any extra food you have can greatly help. 

5. Buy whole foods

Advice to those who are starting out on their frugal lifestyle: some foods and ingredients are more cheap when they are less processed. A block of cheese, for example, is less expensive than shredded cheese, while canned beans are less expensive than refried beans. 

Whole grains, such as brown rice and oats, are also less expensive per serving than the majority of processed cereals so it’s best to search for these. Less processed foods are also sometimes marketed in greater amounts and provide more servings per package, saving you money in the long run. With this, you can easily buy in a larger quantity at a cheap price. 

6. Go with cash when grocery shopping 

If you’re having trouble keeping track of your shopping budget and you easily get tempted with other products in the store, it could be worth adopting a cash-only method. Bringing cash guarantees that you can only spend the money you have in your wallet, and it’s one of the simplest methods to keep your food money budget in check.

7. Show up and stock up on sales 

I love when stores go on sale. If you have a favorite store that you go to, then you may want to keep track of whenever they have their sale. If you have favorite items or essentials that you use regularly, buy up while they are on sale. As a frugal person, you have to think that if something is on sale and you can simply freeze it (and you know you’ll eat it), buy it for future meals. If you’re certain that you’ll utilize the item and incorporate it in one of your meals, you might as well get it now to save money later. 

8. Buy the cheapest cuts of meat

Fresh meat and seafood can be very costly. However, there are many cheap cuts of meat available that definitely work for frugal meals. Look for chuck steak, pork top sirloin steak, whole chicken, or ground beef or poultry. These are excellent in a variety of recipes including burritos, casseroles, soup, stews, and stir-fries. It may also be beneficial to purchase a big and affordable piece of meat to utilize in a variety of dishes during the week.

9. Replace meat with other proteins

If you want to save money by completely focusing on frugal meals, then you may want to skip on meat for a few days (or weeks). Eating less meat might help you save money. Try using additional protein sources such as beans, hemp seeds, eggs, or canned salmon a couple of times each week. All of these meals are affordable, delicious, healthy, and simple to make. Most of them have a lengthy shelf life and, as a result, are less prone to spoil in a short period of time.

10. Shop in season produce 

Seasonal produce life veggies is often less expensive than out-of-season selections which makes it perfect for a frugal lifestyle and a delicious frugal meal. It’s also generally more nutritious and more flavorful than those that have already been processed. Produce that isn’t in season is frequently carried from afar to your store, which isn’t healthy for the environment or your wallet. Also, if possible, buy food by the bag. This is generally far less expensive and more budget friendly than purchasing by the piece.

If you buy more than you need, you may freeze the excess or include it into your meals and meal plans for the next week.


healthy frugal meals

Best Ways to Eat on a Budget - 15 Healthy Frugal Meals

Best Ways to Eat on a Budget - 15 Healthy Frugal Meals

Just because you are living frugally does not mean you have to deprive yourself of delicious meals. With that said, here are 15 delicious and healthy frugal meal recipes you will love!


  • Cajun chicken alfredo
  • Poor Man’s Stew
  • Fasolada
  • Turkey tenderloin
  • Spring Vegetarian Pasta


    1. Choose any healthy frugal meals from the post that you like.
    2. Click on the link below the photo to get the full recipes and instructions.
    3. Try the best healthy frugal meals and share your photo under my pin on Pinterest!

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