If you’re like most people, you’re a little extra-concerned about how expensive mere food is these days. You don’t even have to go out to eat to feel that way. If you would only take the trouble to save all your grocery receipts, you’d begin to get an idea why it’s very hard to make a budget and keep to it. It isn’t unusual to find that you’re going hundreds of dollars on groceries over what you would like. Which doesn’t mean that you have to go on and all-Knorr soup diet. Yes, you certainly have to become a serious couponer when you go shop. Other than that, you basically need cheap meal ideas. For families that need to cut back on their expenses without cutting back on nutrition, these cheap meal ideas for families should help.
Let’s start with a great family favorite – chicken vegetable soup. No, you aren’t to go buy something that comes ready in a can. That stuff is old, non-nutritious and full of artificial stuff and salt. For a mere five dollars, this great hearty dinner idea can feed a full family of four.
All you need are a bunch of vegetables, five cans of chicken broth, a rotisserie chicken and seasoning. So here’s how it goes – pick up a tablespoon of butter and throw it in a large saucepan that’s on a medium flame. Chop up a median-sized onion and stir-fry for about 5 min. Throw in the diced carrots, a cup of frozen lima beans, 2 cups of diced celery, a quarter teaspoon of garlic powder and black pepper in same measure. Throw in all the chicken broth as well. Let it all come to a boil and then simmer for about 5 min. Skin and shred the chicken and throw it in the soup with 3 cups of cooked pasta. All you need to do now is to add parsley and dig in.
Cheap meal ideas for families don’t have to be about liquid meals though. How about a nice healthy turkey and pasta casserole? Again, a full meal for four shouldn’t cost you more than five dollars.
Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees. Pick up a pound of ground turkey and cook it in a heavy skillet for about 10 min. When the turkey is all nice and brown, drain it. Throw in (the contents of) a 15 ounce jar of tomato sauce, a cup of cooked elbow macaroni, 3 cups of frozen mixed vegetables, a quarter teaspoon each of pepper, salt and garlic powder, and then bake for a half hour. Right at the end, sprinkle Parmesan cheese on the whole thing. And you should be set.