How to Make 15 Family-Friendly & Cheap Meals For Under $10

All Things Mandy
by All Things Mandy

I've been thinking about being frugal and how to feed my family something delicious but affordable on a budget. I came up with these three cheap meals for under $10 that are filling and delicious. Follow me as I go from the grocery store to the kitchen, creating cheap family meals under $10.

Grocery items for $10

Grocery items for $10

From this $10, my total after shopping was $9.76. I'm going to feed

my family three with $9.76.

  • 2-pound bag of long grain white rice
  • 1 pound of red kidney beans
  • 1 John Morrell's smoked sausages
  • A bag of pepper and onion blend from the freezer section
  • 2 cans of petite diced tomatoes. I got the kind with onion, celery, and green bell pepper to add more flavor 
  • 1 box of Jiffy corn muffin mix
  • 1 container of Chobani plain Greek yogurt. 

I'm going to be turning all of this into three meals.

Beans and rice

Soaking the beans

1. Cook the beans

First, I will divide the beans in half to use in two different recipes.  

Then I'm going to let these soak for a few hours. After my beans had soaked, I drained them, rinsed them, added fresh water, and added about three pinches of kosher salt. I also added pepper because I'm not using any other seasonings.

I'm going to put that on the bean setting on my Instant Pot, and let that cook. 

2. Cook the rice

Next, I'm going to be preparing my rice. Following the package directions, I will make what the package says is eight servings. I'm going to measure out two cups of rice, and add that to my Instant Pot. I still have a ton of rice left.

I will then add four cups of water to the rice. I'm going to let that come to a boil, and then I'm going to cut the heat to low and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes. 

Cooking the beans and rice

3. Add tomatoes and veggies 

Once the rice had cooked down, I fluffed it. The beans have finished cooking, so it's time to flavor the red beans and rice. I'm going 

to take one can of diced tomatoes and pour that into my beans.

I will also be adding half of the bag of pepper and onion blend; I'm going to save the other half for another recipe. Next, I'm going to turn on my Instant Pot to the saute function.

I want this to heat up enough to help cook those frozen veggies with the canned tomatoes. It should take a few minutes.

Cheap family meals under $10

I reserved about half of my beans into a casserole dish for another meal, but I still have a ton here, and I will serve this over the rice. My bowl is filled with red beans with all the loveliness of the peppers, onions, and tomatoes on top of my rice. 

Cornbread, beans, and rice casserole

How to make cornbread, beans, and rice casserole

1. Use up leftovers

I have taken the ingredients left from last night's dinner for my second recipe. There were five servings each. I took what was left of the rice and beans and the beans I saved. I put all of it in a casserole dish. 

2. Add the cornbread and Greek yogurt

I added one more cup of cooked rice to fill up the casserole dish, and I'm going to top it with cornbread to make a crust. To make this into a casserole, I used plain nonfat Greek yogurt instead of the milk and eggs for the jiffy cornbread mix. 

I also added three tablespoons of water and stirred. I spread this out as best I could on top of the red beans and rice. 


3. Bake

I will be baking this in the oven according to the cornbread package directions, which was 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. The cornbread, bean, and rice casserole make six large servings. 

Cornbread, beans, and rice casserole

The cornbread on top added a sweetness and a crunchiness that made it taste like a completely different meal than yesterday. I'm pleased that I made a ton of food, like six to eight servings. That's a win. 

Rice and sausage skillet

Family meals under $10

1. Fry the sausage, pepper, and onion

I have cooked the rest of my rice. I have half a bag of the pepper and onion blend, one can of diced tomatoes, and the Jim Morrell sausage. So I'm going to take all of this, and I'm going to make a sausage and rice skillet. 

First, I'm going to cut my sausage. I'm going to add it to the pan, and we will finish it with a sausage and rice skillet. I added a bit of vegetable oil to my pan, and then I sauteed those smoked sausages I cut up. I added the rest of my pepper and onion blend and stirred to let those frozen veggies heat through. 

Rice and sausage skillet

2. Add the rice, seasoning, and diced tomatoes

Then we will be adding our cooked rice. I will also add salt and pepper. Once I have added my salt and pepper and sauteed the veggies with the smoked sausage for a few minutes, I will add the cooked rice.

Then I will add my can of diced tomatoes. Let that sit and simmer for just a couple of minutes. This sausage and rice skillet made four big servings. 

15 cheap meals under $10

To recap, on the first night's meal, there were five servings of rice and beans and five bowls. Then I repurposed it into the red beans and rice casserole with the cornbread on top. That made six servings, so that's eleven servings. Then when we add these four big servings of the sausage and rice skillet, that's 15 meals out of $9.76. 

After all three meals were done, we accomplished the goal of making cheap family meals under $10. The bottom line is that we have been full.

What are your favorite cheap family meals? Share your recipes in the comments!

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