A Week's Worth of Budget-Friendly Family Meal Ideas

Cassandra Smet
by Cassandra Smet

Welcome to this week's What’s for Dinner filled with budget-friendly family meals and easy from-scratch homemade dinners. They’re perfect for a family but also perfect for your budget.

Let's go ahead and I’ll show you what my family of five (soon to be six) ate this week.

Homemade tacos for a family dinner

Tacos on Monday

Last night we had tacos. In my taco filling, I added some leftover corn that we had in the fridge, some leftover rice we had in the fridge, and then some ground beef. W

e usually use chicken with tacos but I wanted to mix it up so this was our taco filling. Of course, we had all the taco fixings which included sour cream, homemade salsa, lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese.

I made enough so I could freeze some. That way, once the baby comes, we have a really good taco filling already in the freezer, and all I have to do is thaw it out and reheat it.

Easy fried rice recipe for family

Fried rice on Tuesday 

What we had for dinner Tuesday was fried rice. I don't have any meat in it. I do have three eggs that I scrambled in here, however.

This is just some of that same leftover rice that we used in our tacos and I used a seasoning mix. I like to keep seasoning mixes on hand and buy them whenever I remember.

I made this meal in less than five minutes because I already had the rice pre-cooked. I threw in some peas, carrots, a couple of scrambled eggs, and a little bit of soy sauce and that's dinner tonight.

Lasagna with homemade noodles

Lasagna for Wednesday and Thursday

Two dinners this week were lasagna. This was our lasagna with homemade noodles and homemade sauce. For the noodles, I started with my pasta maker, but when it broke I ended up taking the dough out and rolling it out with a rolling pin and cutting my strips of pasta. 

It went way faster using the pasta maker but this went well. My 7-year-old helped me with it and between the two of us, it was super easy. We also had breadsticks. I ended up melting some butter in the microwave and topping the breadsticks with Parmesan cheese and garlic salt.

With the lasagna dinner, we didn't eat any vegetables with it because when I made the spaghetti sauce with garden vegetables I made it with squash and zucchini so there are vegetables in the sauce.

Leftover lasagna

The next night, to kind of fill out the plates, I made a steamable California medley bag so we had the California medley, the rest of the leftover lasagna, and breadsticks. It was simple and easy tonight because we have a Girl Scout meeting to get everyone to.

Swedish meatballs

Swedish meatballs on Friday

On the final night, I made Swedish meatballs. This is one of my family's favorites.

I'm pretty sure it's just the cream gravy that makes it so good but I sneak vegetables in the meatballs. I add carrots and other veggies in the meatballs so even if the kids don't eat the vegetables I make for the sides, as long as they eat the meatballs they'll still be getting some vegetables.

I heated the rest of the corn that we had left over and I made buttered cabbage to go with it all. I also made basmati rice since we like our Swedish meatballs with rice.

Budget-friendly family meals

I hope my family-friendly meal ideas help you when you're trying to plan dinner this week. They’re all easy and great for when you’re on a budget. What are you making for dinner tonight? Let us know in the comments!

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