Family Meals for $10 or Less
Chicken and Biscuit Pot Pie
Budget family meal price: $7.53, serves 4 to 6
“Pie for dinner, kids!” That’ll get everyone around the table. This budget-friendly family meal is a comfort food weeknight win (read: done in about 60 minutes). The drop biscuits call for five ingredients, and chicken thighs add flavor while lowering the cost.
Mini Meat Loaves, Green Beans, and Potatoes
Budget family meal price: $9.16, serves 4
Make it mini to cut down on cook time—and arguments over the biggest slice. This cheap family meal idea includes an entrée and sides. While the individually portioned meat loaves bake, roast tender green beans and buttery fingerling potatoes on the same sheet pan.
Related: Sheet Pan Dinners
Sloppy Chili Joes
Budget family meal price: $9.59, serves 6
This slow cooker family meal on a budget keeps most of the mess inside the set-and-forget crock. For this mash-up meal of chili and sloppy joes, opt for the meat that’s most affordable at your market this week; ground beef, pork, turkey, or chicken all taste terrific.
Southwestern Chicken and Macaroni Salad
Budget family meal price: $9.91, serves 10
If your crew includes a picky eater or two, this is the cheap family meal idea for you. Creamy mac and cheese, crunchy chicken strips, a hint of heat from salsa—what’s not to like? Plus, it feeds 10, so you’ll likely be blessed with leftovers. To speed prep time, take advantage of precooked packaged chicken tenders.
Chorizo and Black Bean Pizza Pie
Budget family meal price: $9.08, serves 6 to 8
Think beyond stews and roasts for in the slow cooker. Instead, try this slow cooker family meal on a budget that proves you can even make pizza in the handy countertop appliance. A simple homemade crust saves you some "dough," as does stretching the chorizo by mixing it with black beans for plenty of protein (18 grams per slice).
Bacon-Cheddar Chipotle Chicken Panini
Budget family meal price: $7.90, serves 4
Chicken, bacon, and ranch are a classic combo for good reason—almost everyone loves it. The savory, salty, tangy flavors go great together, especially when you sandwich them between bread alongside melted cheddar, juicy tomatoes, and crisp spinach. With the extra $2.10, pair these panini with a fruit salad for well-balanced, quick family meal on a budget.
Cheesy Baked Gnocchi with Kale
Budget family meal price: $9.64, serves 6
Coax your kiddos into devouring this budget family meal by telling them it’s like mac and cheese with a potato twist. A full cup of greens is disguised in each serving thanks to fluffy, enticing gnocchi and a rich and creamy cheese sauce. Using store-bought refrigerated gnocchi makes this Sunday dinner-worthy dish possible even on a weeknight.
Related: Try it With DIY Cauliflower Gnocchi!
Tuna Melts with Olive and Lemon
Budget family meal price: $9.96, serves 4
Crack open a can of tuna—or three—and transform it into a restaurant-quality entrée. This quick family meal on a budget showcases many Nicoise salad ingredients to please the adults (olives, tuna, cornichons) and familiar sandwich ingredients for the kids (toasted bread, mustard, cheese). Four minutes of oven time is all that’s required to make this meal.
Budget family meal price: $9.38, serves 4
Comfort food in 30 minutes flat. This cheap family meal on a budget comes together faster than nearly any other Stroganoff recipe. The secret: Slice the sirloin steak thin so it sautés to perfection in 5 minutes. To make the fast family meal taste like it took all day, crank up the flavor of the beef and mushroom sauce with instant beef bouillon granules.
Related: How to Choose the Best Steaks
Black Bean Cakes with Salsa
Budget family meal price: $5.32, serves 4
This flavorful Mexican-style cheap family meal takes only a handful of ingredients, including black beans, salsa, and corn muffin mix. The kids don’t need to know anything besides the fact that it’s delicious, but it’s also vegetarian and packed with fiber and protein.
Italian-Style French Dips
Budget family meal price: $7.88, serves 4
Similar to the popular Chicago-style hoagies, this quick family meal on a budget is fun for kids to eat when you serve each sandwich with broth for dunking. Note: While you could stretch your budget further by using leftover cooked beef or pork for these sandwiches, we calculated the total using purchased, refrigerated shredded beef.
Related: 30 Smart Ideas for Leftovers
Eggs and Bacon Bucatini
Budget family meal price: $5.32, serves 6
Here’s a cheap and easy family meal that works just as well for dinner tonight as it does for brunch tomorrow. Breakfast for dinner fans will love it. Boil the kid-friendly pasta to al dente, crisp the bacon, and combine both in a skillet with seasonings and affordable eggs to make it a nutritionally balanced and silly to slurp meal.