Budget Recipes, Meal Plans, and Cooking Lessons - $5 Dinners (2024)

What’s Trending on Instagram

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom 1 Comment

Are you following me over on Instagram? I have a fun community over there where I share a lot of Reels demonstrating cooking hacks and cooking tips. Which insta are you following? I thought it would be fun to share what photos, reels, and videos are trending on our Instagram profiles once a month! These are your current favorites. Are you following all of our accounts? … [Read more...]

Erin’s “What I Like Right Now” List

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom Leave a Comment

Things I'm Crushing On (And Using All the Time) This MonthHoliday 2023 FAVES … [Read more...]

VIRAL: Beef Ravioli Bake

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom Leave a Comment

I think Ravioli Bakes might be my new favorite dinner. I don't know why...they just seem so easy. Well, they are easy. The ravioli doesn't take any pre-cooking. You just add it into the dish, pour the sauce (in this case a beefy-spaghetti sauce) over the top, then pile on as much cheese as your waistline can handle. ;) Then, bake. And you end up with this. Now, there … [Read more...]

CHALLENGE: 5-Ingredient Freezer Meal Plan

by Lauren Drawdy Leave a Comment

How to prepare SIX meals in LESS THAN 30 MINUTES with this 5-Ingredient Meal Plan! I don't know about you, but it makes my heart happy when a recipe only needs a handful of ingredients. And when they are "normal" ingredients, too! You know what I'm talking about. Ingredients you often have in your kitchen, and are commonly found at a typical grocery store. So I made a … [Read more...]

Guacamole with Street Corn

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom 1 Comment

If I started keeping track, I imagine I eat an avocado or guacamole at least 5 times a week. Sometimes I get guacamole at my fave tex-mex restaurant, sometimes I make my own, sometimes I get it on top of a Chipotle salad, sometimes I just scoop it right out of the skin with a little lemon juice and salt. I'm always looking to mix things up and keep the guacamole "fresh" and … [Read more...]

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom Leave a Comment

Holiday To-Do List Already Starting to Stress You Out?!What if you could prep SIX 5-Ingredient freezer meals in 30 minutes...before the holiday chaos begins?!?I'm Erin Chase and I'm here to show you how... Join me the week of NOVEMBER 1stfor a few days oftips and tricks that will help you breeze through this meal prep!Each day throughout the Deck … [Read more...]

Erin’s Recipes from Big Bad Budget Battle

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom Leave a Comment

Get the Recipes Erin Cooked on Food Network's Big Bad Budget Battle WELCOME to my Big Bad Budget Battle Besties! I'm so glad you're here and I can't wait to connect with you and further help you on your journey to spending less money on groceries and cooking well on a budget. I am beyond tickled by the concept of the show, the opportunity to compete on the show, and … [Read more...]

RE-DESIGNED for YOU: The “20 Meals for $150” Plans

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom Leave a Comment

Save TIME, MONEY, and MORE with these amazing 20 Meals for $150 Plans! ELATED. ECSTATIC. STOKED. That describes how I'm feeling this week, as I re-share this amazing grocery saving and sanity saving resource with you! Many moons ago, I decided to make some updates to the "20 meals for $150" plans. I started creating them in 2013, and it was just time for a … [Read more...]

The Best Ever Make-Ahead Freezer Meals Cookbooks!

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom Leave a Comment

If you love getting ahead with dinner prep, and you love cookbooks, these Make-Ahead Freezer Meal Cookbooks are the books for YOU! The Freezer Meal StereotypeOften times when people think of freezer meals, they think of mushy casseroles. Or slow-cooker-only recipes. Or bland, tasteless, freezer burned meals. It is also the assumption that these bland, mushy … [Read more...]

Best Grocery Savings Mobile Apps

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom 3 Comments

Check out the Best Grocery Savings Mobile Apps! These are also Erin's favorites. (She might be a bit biased about the first one!)MyFreezEasyWith MyFreezEasy, it really is as easy as 1-2-3. Get organized, choose your recipes, use the shopping list provided, and then follow the instructions to get your make ahead freezer meals into your freezer! You'll save on groceries … [Read more...]

Pumpkin Pie French Toast

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom 84 Comments

Oh my heavens - divine, divine, divine. This Pumpkin Pie French Toast recipe is a MUST TRY in the fall and winter months! I so wish I'd doubled this recipe for Pumpkin Pie French Toast while I was first making it. Tripled, or quadrupled even! These are so scrumptious...perfect for the fall season. It's really simple...you just add some pumpkin puree and spices to … [Read more...]

Mocha Brownies

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom 5 Comments

Before you say it, yes...brownies were dessert of the month in April...just a few short weeks ago. But Caramel Cashew Brownies and these Mocha Brownies are different. Very, very different. I know. I know. This is really an indication that I have a brownie problem. Please. Send help. Brownies anonymous, anyone?! So I served these to a group of ladies last week...and … [Read more...]

Melty Mashup Recipes

by Lauren Drawdy Leave a Comment

Must-Try Melty Mashup Recipes for the Ultimate Food Experience!Melty Mashups allow you to indulge in the mouthwatering delight of combining two beloved treats into one irresistible fusion. From "burger quesadillas" to "pizza pot pies," this trend ensures a double dose of ooey-gooey goodness that simply melts in your mouth. It's like extreme comfort food! :-) … [Read more...]

ROUNDUP: Dump and Bake Recipes

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You will love the ease and convenience of these "Dump and Bake" recipes for scrumptious and hearty casseroles! … [Read more...]

NEW COOKBOOK: Learn to Cook on a Budget

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom Leave a Comment

Learning to Cook is Easier than You Think! Your Wallet and Bank Account Will Thank You! Over the years, I've spoken with many people who get frustrated by their overspending on groceries because they don't know how to cook. So they overbuy, or sometimes underbuy, or they resort to dining out and dinner delivery 4-5 times a week. If you are tired of the dining … [Read more...]

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom Leave a Comment

This Dump and Bake Meatball Casserole will soon be in your regular dinner rotation because it's so easy to prep to bake, and so scrumptious!I've got another "dump and bake recipe" for you! This Dump & Bake Meatball Casserole is a perfect hearty dish for a cozy family dinner on a super busy weeknight. This no-fuss recipe requires minimal preparation, making it an … [Read more...]

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom Leave a Comment

When Chicken and Rice Night collides with TACO TUESDAY you get to enjoy this scrumptious Dump & Bake Taco Chicken!Love the easy and convenience of dump and bake chicken and rice casserole. This variation calls for a can of cream of poblano soup, and if you can't find that at your store, you can swap it for cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup … [Read more...]

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom Leave a Comment

You Will Love this Cheesy Delight: The Ultimate Dump-and-Bake Macaroni and Cheese!It's the ultimate comfort AND EFFICIENT food! This Dump & Bake Macaroni and Cheese recipe is a cheesy masterpiece that's as easy to make as it is delicious. This no-boil, no-fuss recipe requires you to simply bake uncooked macaroni with a milk mixture. Once the pasta has cookd, … [Read more...]

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom Leave a Comment

The Most Effortless Weeknight Dinner: The Dump & Bake Chicken and Rice CasseroleThis Dump & Bake Chicken and Rice dish is the no-fuss, delicious meal that's perfect for your busy weeknights. All you have to is combine uncooked rice, chicken stock, chicken breasts/tenderloins, and your favorite seasonings in a casserole dish, then bake to fluffy perfection. It's … [Read more...]

Marry Me Ravioli

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom Leave a Comment

Say 'I Do' to Flavor: This Marry Me Ravioli That Will Do the Proposal Part For You!With this scrumptious recipe, I've taken the traditional "marry me" sauce with sun dried tomatoes, cream and Parmesan...and cooked ravioli in it. The result: a truly magical meal. Inspired by that once in a lifetime, magical moment. This Marry Me Ravioli is the ideal cozy … [Read more...]

Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookie Bars with Strawberry Frosting

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom Leave a Comment

These Valentine's Day Sugar Cookie Bars with Strawberry Frosting can be made with gluten free flour blend or all-purpose flour, and they are the perfect light and fluffy treat for your special day!These sugar cookie bars are inspired by the Drop Sugar Cookies with Strawberry Frosting that my boys LOVE. I saw some V-Day sprinkle at the store and immediately decided that … [Read more...]

Burger Quesadillas

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom Leave a Comment

A New Melty Mashup: Savor the Flavor Fusion of Your Favorite Cheeseburger with a Quesadilla!Enjoy! Burger Quesadillas A melty mashup of two cheese favorites - cheeseburgers and quesadillas! 1 lb. ground beef1 Tbsp minced onion1 tsp garlic powder1 tsp paprika3 Tbsp ketchup1 Tbsp yellow mustard1 cup chopped pickles4 large flour tortillas2 cups … [Read more...]

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Budget Recipes, Meal Plans, and Cooking Lessons - $5 Dinners (2024)


How do I make a budget friendly meal plan? ›

10 tips to get you started on meal planning on a budget:
  1. Make a menu. ...
  2. Plan your meals around foods that are on sale. ...
  3. Plan some plant-based meals every week. ...
  4. Check your pantry, refrigerator and freezer. ...
  5. Enjoy grains more often. ...
  6. Avoid recipes that need a special ingredient. ...
  7. Look for seasonal recipes.
Feb 22, 2023

How to make the cheapest meal? ›

65 Easy And Cheap Dinner Ideas That You'll Want To Make On Repeat
  1. Sweet Potato And Black Bean Burritos. tasty.co. ...
  2. Chili Lime Baked Tilapia With Avocado Crema. ...
  3. Barbecue Beer Can Chicken. ...
  4. Energy-Boosting Buddha Bowl. ...
  5. Zucchini Noodles with Kale Pesto. ...
  6. Chicken & Biscuit Bake. ...
  7. One-Pot Lemon Garlic Shrimp Pasta. ...
  8. Pesto Chicken Bake.
Dec 21, 2023

What are the three P's for eating on a budget? ›

Page 1
  • PLAN. ✓ Plan meals and snacks for the week according to an established budget. ✓ Find quick and easy recipes online. ...
  • PURCHASE. ✓ Buy groceries when you are not hungry and when you are not too rushed. ...
  • PREPARE. ✓ Some meal items can be prepared in advance; pre-cook on days when you have.

How can I spend less than 100 a month on food? ›

Decide what you'll eat for a week, or even a month, and plan meals based around low-cost staple foods like oats and eggs for breakfast; tuna, peanut butter, cheese and nonfat plain yogurt for lunch; and inexpensive cuts of meat like chicken thighs or flank steak and dried beans and grains like brown rice that you can ...

What is the cheapest meal you can live by? ›

Cheapest Foods to Live On:
  • Oatmeal.
  • Eggs.
  • Bread.
  • Rice.
  • Bananas.
  • Beans.
  • Apples.
  • Pasta.

What is the cheapest food to eat everyday? ›

12 healthy and affordable foods for your grocery list
  • Brown rice.
  • Cans or packets of chicken or tuna.
  • Dried beans and lentils.
  • Eggs.
  • Frozen chicken breasts.
  • Frozen or canned fruit (in its own juice or light syrup).
  • Frozen vegetables.
  • Low-fat dairy like cottage cheese.
Oct 13, 2022

How do you feed a family of 5 for $10? ›

Cheap Family Meals Under $10
  1. Spanish Rice Soup. ...
  2. Ramen Noodle Stir Fry with Vegetables. ...
  3. Crescent Roll Sausage Egg Casserole. ...
  4. Chicken and Rice Casserole with Broccoli. ...
  5. Creamy Tomato Bacon Pasta. ...
  6. Easy Cheese Manicotti. ...
  7. White Bean and Spinach Soup. ...
  8. Black Bean Enchilada Casserole.
Apr 2, 2023

What are the 5 rules in planning meals? ›

They are:
  • Adequacy.
  • Balance.
  • Variety.
  • Moderation.
  • Nourishment.
Jan 28, 2020

What are the 5 basic steps of meal planning? ›

  • M E A L P L A N N I N G. Organize your meal plan and shopping list in a way that inspires you to stick with it. ...
  • START WITH WHAT YOU HAVE. Check your pantry, refrigerator,and freezer. ...
  • SHOP O N SALE. ...
  • COOK ONCE , EAT TWICE ( O R MORE ! ) ...

What are the 4 steps in the meal plan? ›

4 Ways to Make Meal Planning Easier
  1. Decide on meals. Make a simple weekly menu of meals your family enjoys. ...
  2. Check for ingredients at home. See what you already have in your pantry or fridge. ...
  3. Set aside time to shop and cook. ...
  4. Make a shopping list with your budget in mind.

What meat is best for meal prep? ›

Lean ham, turkey, or chicken can be low in fat, high in protein, and a flavorful way to enhance any meal or snack. Add to a salad kit, make a hearty sandwich or wrap, or simply pair with some cheese, crackers, and fruit for an easy meal kit. Most options last for about five days in the fridge.

What meals last long in the fridge? ›

Cold Food Storage Chart
FoodTypeRefrigerator [40°F (4°C) or below]
Soups and stewsVegetable or meat added3 to 4 days
LeftoversCooked meat or poultry3 to 4 days
Chicken nuggets or patties3 to 4 days
Pizza3 to 4 days
49 more rows
Sep 19, 2023

What is a healthy daily meal plan? ›

A healthy eating plan: Emphasizes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat dairy products. Includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts. Limits saturated and trans fats, sodium, and added sugars.

How do you meal prep for a week on a budget? ›

Tips For Meal Prepping On A Budget

Not only is in-season produce extra fresh and tasty, but it's usually cheaper and on sale! Hint – you'll usually find these items in abundance at the front of the produce section. Don't be afraid to buy organic items. Organic items tend to be a smidge pricier than non-organic items.

How do you simplify weekly meals? ›

10 ways to simplify meal prep
  1. Plan your meals for the week strategically. ...
  2. Write out your grocery list and stick to it. ...
  3. Keep it simple. ...
  4. Stock your pantry and freezer. ...
  5. Up your snack game. ...
  6. Have a chopping party. ...
  7. Make a few batches at once. ...
  8. Make your own freezer meals.

How much should I spend on food a month as a single person? ›

On average, groceries cost between $290 and $548 per month for one person. However, expenses can vary depending on location, dietary choices and personal spending habits. If you don't budget for groceries and instead just buy what you need — and want — at intervals throughout the month, you could be overspending.


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