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Cheap Recipes That Are So Much Better Than Fast Food

Cheap and Easy Ideas for Budget Meals with Pizzazz

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Cheap recipes don't have to start with packaged foods or use boring ingredients. These budget meal ideals prove just how easy it is to enjoy a good meal without going the fast food route and without breaking the bank.

Don't Miss: Budget Meals for Busy Families

Sloppy Joes Recipe

Sloppy Joes
Paul Poplis/Getty Images

Not only are sloppy joes a great cheap recipe, they're fun, easy and kid-pleasing, too. What more could you want?

Baked Ziti with Spinach

Baked Ziti with Spinach
© Sam Stowell/Getty Images

This baked ziti recipe makes clever use of frozen spinach souffle -- it goes right in the casserole. This baked ziti one of those cheap recipes that's tasty enough to serve to company.

Salmon Patties Recipe

Salmon Patties Recipe
Stephanie Gallagher

Canned salmon is not only cheap, it's uber-healthy, and these salmon patties are a great way to enjoy it. If you can't find Panko bread crumbs (or they're too expensive), feel free to use homemade fresh bread crumbs (tear 1-2 slices of day-old bread into pieces, then pulse in a blender or food processor).

Beef Fried Rice Recipe

beef fried rice
Stephanie Gallagher

Fried rice is a terrific way to use leftover rice and vegetables. In this cheap recipe for fried rice, you can use leftover beef from beef stew or frozen cooked beef, such as Trader Joe's carne asada.

Taco Ring Recipe

Taco Ring Recipe
Stephanie Gallagher

This taco ring recipe is a classic for busy cooks who want to eat cheap. Made with crescent roll dough and ground beef, this cheap recipe is a real kid-pleaser, too.

Chicken Parmesan Recipe

Chicken Parmesan Recipe
Stephanie Gallagher

Whenever chicken breasts are on sale, I stock up. And whenever I can't figure out what to do with them, my family asks for this chicken parmesan. It's cheap and easy, and everybody loves it.

Spaghetti Pizza Recipe

cheap recipes - spaghetti pizza recipe
Stephanie Gallagher

Like a baked spaghetti recipe, this spaghetti pizza is one of my "go to" cheap recipes for busy weeknights. The kids love it, and it's hardly any work at all to throw together. Top with your favorite pizza toppings, if desired.


See also: Spaghetti Recipes for Every Day of the Week

Chicken Fingers

Chicken Fingers
Stephanie Gallagher

These chicken fingers are crispy, just like the ones you'd find in restaurants, but this recipe is cheaper and healthier, because the chicken fingers are pan-fried, not deep-fried. If Panko bread crumbs are expensive where you live, just take a few pieces of stale bread and pulse in a blender. Voila - bread crumbs just like Panko!

Mexican Quesadillas Recipe

cheap recipes - Mexican Quesadillas
Stephanie Gallagher

With just five ingredients, these Mexican quesadillas are one of those cheap, easy recipes you'll find yourself making again and again. Serve with tomato salsa, guacamole and chili con queso.

Sausage Potato Frittata Recipe

Sausage Potato Frittata Recipe
Stephanie Gallagher

Breakfast for dinner is a cheap, fun way to mix things up. This sausage potato frittata is made with turkey sausage, frozen hash browns, eggs and cheese, and it all bakes in one cast iron skillet. Easy!

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