Skip the meat tonight, and make a delicious, low-cost meal
Meatless meals can be surprisingly family-friendly. And by eliminating the meat, you’ll keep grocery costs down. Try to build one or two of these healthy dinners into your weekly meal plan.
Cost per serving: 80¢
Canned chickpeas are a great pantry staple, and this super-cheap meal can be tossed together in minutes. Add cooked shrimp or chicken if you like, and serve with a crusty loaf of bread.
See recipe: Sauteed Chickpeas with Broccoli and Parmesan
Cost per serving: 75¢
If you need to feed a family of four for a few dollars, you can do it with this budget dinner. For small appetites, one tostada should be plenty; bigger kids and adults will want two. If the tortillas are too stiff to fit inside a muffin tin, place them between two paper towels and microwave for 10 to 20 seconds to make them more pliable.
See recipe: Refried Bean Tostadas
Cost per serving: $1.43
Summer veggies make this dish a crowd-pleaser. If your family doesn’t like lima beans, leave them out.
See recipe: Grilled-Vegetable Succotash Salad
Cost per serving: $1.57
These cute little quiches are infinitely versatile: You can swap in whatever cheese or veggie you have in your fridge. Or make a classic quiche lorraine with crumbled bacon and shredded Swiss cheese. If you do use broccoli, here’s a shortcut for steaming: Place the broccoli and a bit of water in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover and cook on high until just tender, about three minutes.
See recipe: Broccoli-and-Cheddar Mini Quiches
Cost per serving: $1.36
Use pita bread as a salad ingredient? You bet. Fresh mint and a lemony vinaigrette add lots of flavor to this budget meal.
See recipe: Pita Bread and Pea Salad
Cost per serving: $1.03
This elaborate-looking dish is surprisingly easy to make. Use red, orange and yellow tomatoes for a shot of color.
See recipe: Tomato-Basil Tart
Cost per serving: $1.49
Your family will love this pizza-parlor favorite. Experiment with the ingredients: Try smoked mozzarella or pepper Jack cheese, or use chopped spinach instead of broccoli.
See recipe: Broccoli and Double Cheese Calzones