Budget Dinner Ideas and Recipes for Families

Dinner doesn't need to include pricey ingredients to entice your family to the table. And making the meal can be fast and easy while still being delicious, too. If you're looking for new, budget-friendly ideas for dinner tonight, we've got nearly a week's worth of meals for you. Start out the week with easy skillet chicken cordon bleu and cook up some quick meatloaf the next night. By the middle of the week, get your wok or a large skillet out to make chicken and vegetable stir-fry followed by Thai chicken drumsticks, then baked rigatoni. For the best of comfort food, finish the week off with slow cooker macaroni and cheese. With the money you've saved, take your family out for a fun night!

Easy Skillet Chicken Cordon Bleu

This French classic usually takes hours to put together. This easy skillet chicken cordon bleu recipe from Southern Living is quick to make. Coat chicken tenders with breadcrumbs and then cook them through in heated butter and oil in a skillet. Top with pieces of ham and Swiss cheese.

Quick Meatloaf

This quick meatloaf from Cooking Light costs only $2.36 per serving. Mix together ground sirloin with green onions, an egg, breadcrumbs, and seasonings to form the loaf. Bake and serve with a side salad or egg noodles.

Chicken & Vegetable Stir-Fry

Forget take-out! Make your own inexpensive Chinese food at home with this chicken & vegetable stir-fry recipe from Campbell's Kitchen. Saute the chicken in a wok and then add plenty of fresh vegetables. The sauce is a mix of chicken broth and soy sauce spiced with ginger and garlic powder. Pour over rice.

Thai Chicken Drumsticks

Chicken drumsticks are inexpensive and cook up quickly. Try Rachael Ray's recipe for Thai chicken drumsticks, by marinating chicken legs in fresh cilantro, garlic, oyster sauce, and lime juice. The Thai seasoning is just enough to give the drumsticks flavor but not too spicy for picky eaters.

Baked Rigatoni

Start this recipe off by browning ground beef and then adding in garlic and canned, chopped tomatoes. Toss with cooked pasta before topping with cheese and baking in a casserole dish. This baked rigatoni from Health is enough for dinner and probably lunch the next day.

Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese

Make a creamy, cheesy sauce to bathe pasta noodles before placing them in a Crock-Pot. For this slow cooker macaroni and cheese recipe from Cabot Cheese consider adding mix-ins like cubed ham or leftover vegetable. Your kids will probably ask to have this dish every week!

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