Budget friendly meal ideas?

I have a grocery budget of $125 for the week. Can anyone give me meal ideas for 3-4 people? This budget also includes snacks for my 4 year old. The only thing my fiancé is picky about is no meat from Aldi. I’m tired of hamburger helper, tacos & spaghetti. I work at a daycare where my daughter also attends, so breakfast and lunch are covered for 4 days!


I take pepper steak/stir fry steak brown it up with whatever seasonings you like on it, mix it with white rice and cream of chicken. My husband likes the mixture with brown gravy, as he doesn’t like cream of chicken. You can also add a can of mixed vegetables with it. It’s a 3 pot meal and can be very cheap to make

Breakfast for dinner!! Pancakes, French toast, sausage, omelets, etc.

Chili… potato soup… any soups can last for meals for 2 days.

You can also go to dollar tree to get some things, it might help you stretch your money

Crockpot meals. Easy and cheap. Chili, beef stew, pork roast, tons of different recipes online

If you’re a meat eater, go to meat place first thing in the morning they sell ground beef for cheap price and it will make tons of meal, spaghetti, make chilli, etc, follow clearance people. I can use that $125 for two weeks. Go to Aldi, get potatoes make chicken parmesan with potatoes plus salad

Casseroles really can stretch your dollar…

  1. Double the liquid in Bisquick & make thin pancakes (crepes) in a non-stick pan with a coating of oil. Freeze. Or get Swedish pancakes in the frozen foods at IKEA (these are fairly small though, best for desserts). Defrost in microwave—this makes them pliable. Fill with whatever you want, savory or sweet. My faves are
    A. chicken tarragon: white sauce with cooked onions, celery, chicken, salt, pepper, tarragon (plus mushrooms, spinach or other greens, sliced green or ripe olives —whatever you like). Roll up & crisp/heat in toaster oven.
    B. Spread with apricot jam, sprinkle with Grand Marnier (get the minis at the liquor store), fold over twice. You can put some Grand Marnier in a spoon, heat from beneath with a lighter & pour flaming over the crepes for an easy, dramatic dessert.
    C. Fill with breakfast foods: omelet or scrambled eggs, ham, bacon, sausage, refried beans, rice, potatoes, cheeses, salsa, greens—whatever you like.
    D. Canned pears, sliced, with chocolate sauce or chocolate, folded in half once or twice & microwaved until warm and chocolate is melted. Add ice cream or whipped cream on top if you want.
  2. Cook pork shoulder in the crockpot, cutting off as much fat slabs as you can. Pour off liquid fat when removing meat from pot.
    A. Cut slices to use later in hot ir cold sandwiches.
    B. Cut some chunks to serve with gravy, potatoes, cabbage and fruit for dinner.
    C. Shred for BBQ sandwiches with buns, BBQ sauce, D. Use some pork for a stir-fry with Asian vegetables and peanuts over rice.
    E. Boil bones in vegetable broth and use scraps of meat to make soup.
  3. Buy Tasty Bite or other Indian food in packets, heat in microwave and serve as is or over 90-second microwaveable pack rice.
  4. Make rice with lentils, shredded carrots, onions, celery and/or any other vegetables you like for Meatless Mondays.
  5. Make meatloaf and top with cranberry relish before cooking. Slice for dinner now & sandwiches later.
  6. Casseroles—check any cookbook in print or online for ideas.
  1. Make cornbread mix, add in a can of creamed corn. Spread 1/2 in a pan. Cook hot sausage, crumbled, and chopped onion. Add spaghetti sauce to meat & onions. You can hide shredded, chopped or puréed vegetables in the sauce to sneak nutrients into your family. Add cheese/s of your choice on top. Top with other half of cornbread, add another layer of meat, sauce & cheese and bake until cornbread is cooked.
  1. Goya black bean soup heated over 90-second basmati rice pack.
  2. Rotisserie chicken:
    A. eat slices with vegetables.
    B. Chop chunks of meat for chicken salad (mayo, celery, chopped pecans, raisins or halved grapes, curry powder).
    C. Use more chicken cut or shredded for chicken pot pie: frozen pie crust shell, undiluted can of cream of (chicken, celery or mushroom) soup, bag of frozen mixed vegetables and/or leftovers. Then put mashed potatoes on top & sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake @ 350 degrees 30-45 minutes.
    D. Then boil carcass about 2 hours with bouillon cubes for bone broth & remove remaining chicken bits for soup; add mixed vegetables from a bag of frozen veggies or add whatever vegetables you have on hand plus leftover rice, noodles, or potatoes cut in cubes.
    D. Make a wish on the wishbone.

Three cheese tortellini, served warm with tomatoes, swiss cheese, any fresh veggies and tossed with Italian dressing. Add croutons for crunch.

I like to make things that I can repurpose leftovers for a whole new meal… my favorite is taco night. I always have taco rice and refried beans. The next day I use the taco meat, rice and beans, to make stuffed peppers.

Buy a large chicken. Boil it. Shred all meat after it’s cool. Save your chicken stock( the water it boiled in) for soup or?? Turn some of the meat into barbeque sandwiches…some into chicken tacos( sorry)…some into chicken salad. 4 meals in one chicken😎

Quesadillas, meatloaf, roast chicken (could be used for 2 meals)

Chicken potpie, beef tips, fajitas, pulled pork

Fried potatoes, smoked sausage, and green beans.
Homemade Salisbury steaks w/gravy
Pork cube steak

Roast beef fish salad red beans an sausage hungry man casserole meatloaf

Chili. Hearty soups. Stews with chicken. Grilled cheese&tomato soup.