30 Frugal Meal Ideas (for When You're Broke)

Check out this list of 30 extremely frugal meal ideas for when you’re broke and need to feed your people on a small budget. Here you’ll find lots of cheap breakfast, lunch and dinner ideas, so read on to save money my friend.

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30 Frugal Meal Ideas (for when you’re broke)

Most people overspend on food simply because there are too many options at the grocery store. Think about what our ancestors ate: meats, vegetables, breads, soups, etc. They kept it simple because they didn’t have a lot to choose from.

If we take a page from history and limit our dining options as our grandparents probably did, then we’ll end up healthier and be able to save a lot of money in the process.

WARNING: If you’re afraid of carbs then this list is not for you. When you have no money, carbs are your friend because they’re cheap and filling.

Also, if you’re interested in getting cash back on grocery purchases that you’re already buying such as milk or produce then you’ve got to check out IBOTTA.

I use this app regularly to save money on my grocery bill. No coupons needed. They have offers for almost every store and you can even use it when you do a grocery pick up at Wal-Mart. Now on to the frugal meal ideas!

Want more Cheap and Frugal Meal Ideas and Recipes? Here are a few of my favorites:

40 Groceries to Stop Buying and Start Making to Save Money

50 Cheap and Easy Recipes for When You’re on a Budget

35 Frugal Recipes to Make When You’re Broke

35 Frugal Foods to Buy When You’re Broke

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Egg Muffins with Toast

Baked Oatmeal or Regular Oatmeal with Brown Sugar and Cinnamon

Brown Rice with Butter and Sugar

Cinnamon Sugar Toast with Yogurt

Banana and Yogurt

Scrambled Eggs with Sautéed Veggies

Pancakes with Fruit

Fried Potatoes and Eggs

Homemade Biscuits and Gravy

Homemade Waffles



Cheese and Crackers with Fruit

Pasta Salad with Fresh Veggies

Turkey or Ham Sandwich and Fruit

Beans on Toast

Baked Potato and Side Salad

Grilled Chicken Salad with Veggies

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

Peanut Butter and Jelly with Fruit

Homemade Tuna Salad Sandwich with Fruit


Spaghetti with Homemade Tomato Sauce and Homemade Bread

Beans and Cornbread

Homemade Bean and Cheese Burritos

Vegetarian Chili

Chicken Noodle Soup and Homemade Bread

Super Simple Beans and Rice

Homemade Vegetable Soup and Homemade Bread

Breakfast Bowls

Spanish Rice with Beef

Chicken Legs with Veggies and Homemade Biscuits

I hope you’re inspired by this list to keep your meals simple and save some money in the process. What meal ideas would you add? Be sure to check the comment section below for tons more ideas!

Missy | Graceful Little Honey Bee
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2 of 5 comments
  • Scotia Doc Scotia Doc on Sep 18, 2022

    I'm not afraid of carbs but I also know with my diabetes and wheat issues that I can't do carbs, especially of the grains variety. That being said, your list is good and those who can't do the type of carbs can learn how to substitute and still make the recipes all while being frugal. It just means that people need to learn how to process and cook their foods instead of relying on the processed foods to feed their bodies.

  • Sandra Sandra on Sep 18, 2022

    It’s pretty much my list too. I can stretch a chicken into many dinners. Don’t forget breakfast for dinner! Lots of egg dishes:)