20 Cheap Dinners for Supersized Families

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There are many times we just don’t have the extra cash to pick up those things we’d rather eat.

This is my LEGIT cheap dinners list.

All the photo on this post ARE STOCK photos. Sorry, eventually I’ll take my own photos, but I thought these looked similar enough.

20 Cheap Dinners for Large Families

1. Daddy Tacos

What You Need

  1. Corn tortillas
  2. Cheese (any kind)
  3. Butter/Oil

How to Make

  1. Coat pan with oil or butter one side of corn tortilla
  2. Put tortilla in pan, butter side dow
  3. Add cheese to tortilla
  4. Fry until desired doneness
  5. Fold & Serve

Extra Ideas:

  • Add a can of beans for sidedish
  • Add a can of corn for sidedish
  • Scoop of rice for sidedish

2. Leftover Spaghetti Bake

What you Need

  1. Leftover spaghetti with sauce

How to Make

  1. Place spaghetti in casserole dish
  2. Add extra spaghetti sauce on top
  3. Cover with cheese
  4. Put in oven at 350 for 30 minutes
  5. Cut into squares

Extra Ideas:

  • Use the end pieces of your loaf of bread to make garlic bread

3. Beans & Rice

What you Need

  1. Can of Beans
  2. Rice
  3. Chicken/Beef/Veggie Bouillon
  4. Cumin
  5. Oil

How to Make

  1. Put 3 cups rice in rice cooker with 4.5 cups water  (see my favorite rice cooker)
  2. Add 1 tsp Cumin to rice
  3. Add 1 tbsp bouillon to rice
  4. Add 2 tbsp oil to rice
  5. Rinse beans and put them into rice
  6. Press rice cooker button

Extra Ideas:

  • Add leftover/broken tortilla chips to give rice and beans a little crunch!

4. Butter Noodles with Veggies

What you Need

  1. Noodles (any kind)
  2. Butter
  3. Frozen or Canned Veggies
  4. Can of Beans (any kind)

How to Make

  1. Cook Noodles According to Directions
  2. Add Butter
  3. Rinse Beans and Add to Dish
  4. Cook Veggies and Add to Dish
  5. Add salt to taste

Extra Ideas:

  • My kids love to put parmesan cheese on this dish!

5. Fake Enchilada Soup

What you Need

  1. Can of Beans
  2. Can of Corn
  3. Can of Enchilada Sauce (Mild)
  4. Can of Rotel (Mild) or Tomatoes
  5. Cheese
  6. Leftover tortilla chips

How to Make

  1. Dump all cans into large soup pot
  2. Heat
  3. Top with chips & cheese
  4. Serve

Extra Ideas:

  • If you have a can of chicken, add that!

6. Cheap & Easy Kid-Friendly Chili

What you Need

  1. Can of Chili (No Beans)
  2. Can of Kidney Beans
  3. Can of Rotel (Mild) or Tomatoes
  4. 1 Cup of Water
  5. 1 tsp Cumin
  6. Goldfish for topping

How to Make

  1. Dump all cans into large soup pot
  2. Add Water & Cumin
  3. Top with cheese & goldfish
  4. Serve

Extra Ideas:

  • Leftover/Broken pieces of any crackers can replace goldfish
  • Add corn (frozen, fresh or canned) for more veggies

7. Three-Ingredient Peanut Butter Noodles

What you Need

  1. Package of Spaghetti Noodles (any kind will work if you don’t have spaghetti noodles)
  2. 3 tbsp peanut butter
  3. 1 tbsp of soy sauce (you can always add more later)

How to Make

  1. Cook noodles according to directions
  2. Drain
  3. Stir in PB & Soy sauce
  4. Serve

Extra Ideas:

  • Add frozen veggies (peas, carrots, broccoli) if you have it!
  • Add crushed peanuts (or use crunchy PB) for extra crunch!

8. Creamy Rice & Chicken

What you Need

Base:

  1. Rice (leftover rice works fine)
  2. 1-2 cans of chicken (if you have/like chicken any other way is fine too)

Roux:

  1. 1-cup Sour Cream (or plain yogurt)
  2. 1/2 c Butter
  3. 1/2 c Flour
  4. 2 c Chicken broth (or whatever kind you like)
  5. 1 tsp Onion powder
  6. 1 tsp Cumin
  7. 1 tsp Garlic
  8. 1/4 tsp Chili powder
  9. Oil

How to Make

  1. Drain & Rinse Canned Chicken
  2. Make rice according to package
  3. To Make Roux:
    – Dissolve Flour into Broth
    -Heat in medium skillet
    -Add all seasonings
  4. Add chicken into Roux
  5. Serve over rice

Extra Ideas:

  • We love the gigantic bags of frozen ears of corn with this dish.

9. Smorgasbord

What you Need

  1. Crackers
  2. Cheese
  3. Deli Meat or Summer Sausage
  4. Fruit
  5. Veggies
  6. Nuts
  7. Spreads like: PB, Cream Cheese, Jelly, Mustard

How to Make

  1. Slice cheese meat into cracker-friendly sized pieces
  2. Place all items on separate plates
  3. Mix & Match items

Extra Ideas:

  • This is a good way to get rid of all that food no one seems to be eating!

10. Super Easy Cream Chicken Enchiladas

What you Need

Base:

  1. 1-2 cans of chicken (if you have/like chicken any other way is fine too)
  2. 20 Corn Tortillas
  3. 3 cups of cheese

Roux:

  1. 1-cup Sour Cream (or plain yogurt)
  2. 1/2 c Butter
  3. 1/2 c Flour
  4. 2 c Chicken broth (or whatever kind you like)
  5. 1 tsp Onion powder
  6. 1 tsp Cumin
  7. 1 tsp Garlic
  8. 1/4 tsp Chili powder
  9. Oil

How to Make

  1. Drain & Rinse Canned Chicken
  2. To Make Roux:
    – Dissolve Flour into Broth
    -Heat in medium skillet
    -Add all seasonings
  3. Add chicken into Roux
  4. In a casserole dish, layer tortillas, chicken mixture and cheese.
  5. Bake for 30 at 350 until cheese is golden

Extra Ideas:

  • Serve with salsa and avocado
  • Serve with rice
  • Serve with beans

11. Jenny’s Mexi-Chicken Crock Pot Dish

What you Need

  1. Chicken
  2. Frozen Corn
  3. Canned Black Beans
  4. Jar of Salsa (Mild)
  5. Block of Cream Cheese
  6. Rice/Corn Chips or Tortilla Chips

How to Make

  1. In crockpot, place frozen chicken on bottom.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients.
  3. After 5 hours on low add cream cheese.
  4. Serve over rice/corn chips or tortilla chips

Extra Ideas:

  • Add a can of fresh or canned fruit as sidedish!

12. Easy Chicken Lo-Mein

What you Need

  1. Package of spaghetti noodles, linguine noodles or rice noodles
  2. 1.5 c of cooked chicken
  3. 1 c water
  4. 2 tbsp of cornstarch (or 1/4 c flour)
  5. 1 tbsp oil (I like sesame oil)
  6. 1 tsp pepper
  7. 2.5 tbsp sugar
  8. 1.5 rice vinegar (you can use apple cider vinegar)
  9. 1/4 c soy sauce
  10. 1 tbsp garlic
  11. 1 tsp ground ginger

How to Make

  1. Cube chicken
  2. Make noodles according to directions.
  3. Dissolve Cornstarch (or flour) in water.
  4. In a large skillet, heat cornstarch mixture and remaining ingredients until thick (add more water if needed)
  5. Add chicken and cooked noodles.

Extra Ideas:

  • Crush peanuts for extra crunch!

13. Cheeseburger Meatloaf

What you Need

  1. 2 lbs ground beef/turkey
  2. 3/4 c fresh bread crumbs
  3. 1/4 c dried onion (or 1 tbsp onion powder)
  4. 2 eggs
  5. 1.5 tsp salt
  6. 1 tsp pepper
  7. 3 shredded cheese
  8. Ketchup

How to Make

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Combine ingredients (except cheese)
  3. Flatten into rectangle
  4. Cover rectangle with cheese.
  5. From one end roll up into pinwheel, with cheese on inside.
  6. Place in baking dish
  7. Drizzle with Ketchup
  8. Bake 1 hour

Extra Ideas:

14. Chicken & Waffles

What you Need

  1. Chicken Nuggets
  2. Frozen Waffles
  3. Syrup & Butter

How to Make

  1. Heat Nuggets
  2. Toast Waffles
  3. Layer & Serve with Butter and Syrup

Extra Ideas:

  • Out of Syrup? Make icing with 1 cup of powdered sugar and 2 tbsp of milk!

15. Easy Vegan Fried Rice

What you Need

  1. 4 cups rice (Leftover is best)
  2. 1/4 c Soy sauce
  3. 1/4 Oil
  4. 3-4 eggs
  5. Frozen Bag of Peas & Carrots or Brocolli (or use any frozen veggies you want)

How to Make

  1. Heat oil in wok (or large skillet)
  2. Whisk eggs in a small bowl.
  3. Add to oil and scramble quickly.
  4. Add leftover rice and frozen veggies
  5. Stir until hot
  6. Mix in soy sauce

Extra Ideas:

  • Add leftover chicken cubes for added protein if you don’t want a vegan meal!

16. Leftover Dump Truck Soup

What you Need

  1. Any leftovers like chicken, rice, beans, noodles and veggies.
  2. Water
  3. Broth to cover
  4. 1 cup Cream cheese, sour cream or plain yogurt
  5. 1 tbsp Cumin
  6. 1 tbsp Taco Seasoning

How to Make

  1. Dump everything into crockpot (or large soup pot)
  2. Add appropriate amount of water to cover items
  3. Heat
  4. Add cream cheese, sour cream or plain yogurt, cumin and taco seasoning

Extra Ideas:

  • Serve with leftover fruit or bread!

17. Grilled Cheese & Tuna Melt

What you Need

  1. Loaf of Bread
  2. Cheese Slices
  3. Tuna Salad (prepared with mayo, relish, salt, pepper)
  4. Butter

How to Make

  1. Prepare Sandwiches with tuna and cheese
  2. Butter each piece of bread and grill.

Extra Ideas:

  • Serve with your choice of chips!
  • Serve with cucumbers in vinegar!
  • If you or your kids don’t like tuna, you can replace it with deli meat

18. Chicken Nugget Salad

What you Need

  1. Chicken Nuggets
  2. Lettuce
  3. 2 Lemons Juiced or 1/4 c Lemon Juice
  4. 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  5. Can of Corn (Rinsed & Drained)
  6. Can of Black Beans (Rinsed & Drained)

How to Make

  1. Shred lettuce into a large bowl.
  2. Add cut chicken nuggets pieces
  3. Add corn & black beans
  4. Add lemon and olive oil
  5. Salt & Pepper to taste

Extra Ideas:

  • This tangy salad is a fun and healthy way to use those leftover chicken nuggets from lunch. Use regular salad dressing if you don’t like the zing!

19. Bean & Rice Burritos

What you Need

  1. 2c Beans with juices (pre-prepared to your liking in crockpot)
  2. 1c Rice
  3. 6 Flour Tortillas

How to Make

  1. In a bowl, combine bean & bean juice with rice.
  2. Mash.
  3. Spread bean/rice mixture on flour tortilla.
  4. Roll up and serve hot.

Extra Ideas:

  • If you have a little one, cut up tortillas with kitchen scissors and secure pinwheels with toothpicks. Be observant that they don’t poke themselves!

20. Congee (Rice Soup)

What you Need

  1. 1 Cup Rice
  2. 6 Cups Water
  3. 1/2 tsp salt

How to Make

  1. Place ingredients in slow cooker overnight.
  2. Serve

Extra Ideas:

  • This is a super basic congee recipe for the ultra bare-pantry moments.
  • You can add sugar and butter for a breakfast version (cardamon and cinnamon also are great additions)
  • You can add soy sauce and chicken bouillon for a dinner version

Too Many Kids? Too Many Chores? Too Little Time?

Me, too!

How to Get Things Done with A Supersized Family ebook and Worksheet

Download this ebook and worksheet that's saved my sanity!

Budgeting for food for your large family takes planning. Here are some dinner ideas for your large family that won't break the bank.
Budgeting for food for your large family takes planning. Here are some dinner ideas for your large family that won't break the bank.
Budgeting for food for your large family takes planning. Here are some dinner ideas for your large family that won't break the bank.
Budgeting for food for your large family takes planning. Here are some dinner ideas for your large family that won't break the bank.
Budgeting for food for your large family takes planning. Here are some dinner ideas for your large family that won't break the bank.

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Too Many Kids? Too Many Chores? Too Little Time?

Me, too!

How to Get Things Done with A Supersized Family ebook and Worksheet

Download this ebook and worksheet that's saved my sanity!