cheap dinner ideas

Dollar Dinner Ideas While You Get Out Of Debt

We’re a big family, and we spent as little as possible on food. Around $5 per person, per day. That means we eat many family meals that cost as low as $1 dollar per person. Here are some dollar dinner ideas we eat (or drink) as cheap meals while getting out of debt or saving money towards a goal.

dollar dinners

If you’re trying to hit a financial goal, it’s likely you are looking to cut costs wherever possible. This often means your food budget gets a hard look. Slashing grocery store bills or canceling your restaurant reservations is first on the list. If you have a large family, like we do, this might tricky. I’ve got a few suggestions on meal ideas to help keep your costs down.

Remember, this is not forever.

This is a temporary eating plan. No one wants to eat this way long-term. It’s just until you reach your goal. If you keep that in mind, you can grin and eat it a whole lot easier.

dollar dinner ideas

If you go OUT to eat, SHARE a meal.

Of course to reach your money goal fastest, it’s best to stay out of a restaurant.  Get cozy with these super inexpensive DOLLAR meal ideas instead.

  1. Spaghetti

Plain jane spaghetti with marinara sauce is a weekly staple in out house. I ate it in college, and we’re eating it as a family. Sure you can splurge and toss a few chopped up meatballs on top.

2. Eggs

They’re SO versatile. Egg sandwich on a toasted bagel or bread, scrambled, over easy etc. With a large family everyone has their favorite form of egg, and I can easily deliver since they cook up so quickly.

3. Pancakes

Breakfast, lunch or dinner – just like eggs, they work anytime. We add sweet potato puree to our batter, plus a side of banana. Mmmmm MMm. Delicious. Maple syrup can get expensive, so look for sales and stock up. You can also skip the maple and drizzle with honey (depending on the age of your kiddos).

4. Sandwiches

Peanut Butter and Jelly was my lunch for over ten years. This was by choice. I love it. Who doesn’t. A complete protein on the cheap. Heck yeah! But you can also go the tuna fish route. Ain’t nothing cheaper than tuna cans.

5. Grilled Cheese

This is a two or three-day a week meal in our house at the moment. The kids can’t get enough, and frankly I’m getting tired of grilling em’. But grill them I do. Gooey cheese and paired with an inexpensive can of tomato soup. YUM!

6. Shakes

For lunch at work I blend 5 bananas and a splash of juice with water. It fills me up just fine, and doesn’t eat into my time. Bananas are pretty inexpensive. It leaves my lunch break free for a walk or errand. As a busy mom, I need every minute I can get.

7. Rice & Veggies (or Beans)

I like to buy bags of frozen vegetables and fry them up with some rice with soy sauce. It’s a super quick meal to prepare after I get home from work, and feels like Chinese. It’s definitely not the same as take-out, but it gives that flavor of it.

Seem like common sense meal ideas? Well they are. I’m just giving your permission to feed them to your family on repeat while you reach for your dreams.