frugal meals

47 Frugal Meals (That Are Tasty And Healthy)

Is it that time of the month where you feel like you’ve got to stretch out your paycheck or are you simply searching for frugal meals?

Eating out has become an ingrained habit. 

I blame Grab and UberEats, they make it too damn easy! The convenience and hassle-free service you get seem like a no-brainer, on days when you’re tired or when you can’t be bothered to whip up a meal in the kitchen. 

Even though eating out is a luxury enjoyed by many, this habit will hinder your ability to achieve your financial goals.

Embracing a simpler method of cooking by having frugal meals, is one of the easiest ways to save a significant amount of money

47 Best Frugal Meals

  1. Fruits
  2. Muffins
  3. Pancakes
  4. Sandwiches
  5. Eggs
  6. Breakfast Casserole
  7. Oats
  8. Waffles
  9. Yogurt And Fruits
  10. Toast
  11. Granola And Yogurt
  12. Raw Spiralized Zucchini Noodles
  13. Torn Cabbage Salad 
  14. Kale Salad With Toasted Pita And Parmesan
  15. Parsley Salad
  16. Tuna Salad Endive Wrap
  17. Chicken Noodle Soup
  18. Chicken and Pumpkin Soup
  19. Southwestern Chicken Soup
  20. Hamburger Soup 
  21. Quinoa Chilli
  22. Beef and Cabbage Soup
  23. Vegan Squash Chilli
  24. Broccoli Soup 
  25. Minestrone
  26. Chicken Enchilada Casserole
  27. Greek Marinated Chicken
  28. Baked Pizza Chicken
  29. Lemon Garlic Chicken 
  30. Multipurpose Shredded Beef
  31. Korean Ground Beef Rice Bowls
  32. Sausage and Squash Skillet
  33. Chili Cheese Beef and Mac
  34. Curry Beef With Peas
  35. BBQ Beef And Beans
  36. Beef Ragout With Mashed Cauliflower
  37. Ground Beef And Cabbage Stir Fry
  38. Creamy Tomato Spinach Pasta
  39. Sweetpotato, Lentil, and Chickpea Curry
  40. Eggplant Chickpea Peanut Curry
  41. Roasted Tilapia And Broccoli Sheetpan Dinner
  42. Vegetarian Fajita Pasta
  43. Grilled Greek Lemon Chicken
  44. Chicken Parmesan Casserole
  45. Sliced Baked Potato
  46. Rice Noodle With Peanut Sauce 
  47. Black Bean Soup


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frugal meal ideas

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It doesn’t matter if it’s fresh or frozen, you can never go wrong with having fruits for breakfast. Have it on its own, pair them with some toast, or whip up a fruit smoothie with all the frozen fruits stored in the fridge. 

Fruits like bananas, berries, and oranges will keep you full for a longer period. The versatility of bananas is unparalleled, here are 17 scrumptious ways to put some bananas to good use.


Muffins are one of those versatile items that can be customized to however you want them. Sweet or savory, you can have this filling and nutritious breakfast without breaking the bank. 

Here are some savory muffin choices : 

Here are some sweet options :

frugal meals


Can anyone tell me how can one go wrong with having pancakes for breakfast?

Given the choice, I’d be having them for all three meals a day, plus snacks! Pancakes are great to make in batches and stored in an air-tight container for a quick fix when the stomach is growling. 

Here are some savory options : 

frugal lunch ideas


Sandwiches are another versatile dish that is perfect for any season. 

Here are some options : 


The possibilities are endless with this one ingredient.

With various ways to have them, as long as you have some eggs around the house, you will rarely run out of ideas of dishes to make. 

You don’t have to eat fried eggs for the rest of your life just because you’re eating frugal food. Here are some alternative ways to have your eggs : 

Breakfast Casserole

 A casserole is a baked dish consisting of these three things; a source of protein (tofu, white or red meat, fish, etc), vegetables, and a binder like flour or pasta. You can also add some cheese on top for some extra goodness.

These casserole variations will almost definitely keep you full until lunch. 

frugal meals


Even though oats are loved by many over the years for their health benefits, recently, people have gotten as creative as possible with oats. No longer are they a bland lump of mush, they’re now luxurious desserts as well.

 Here are some recipes for you to try :


You probably have all the ingredients you need to create this crisp and perfect breakfast! The best part? You don’t have to travel to Belgium to indulge in this goodness! 

Some frugal recipes for you to try are :

frugal breakfast ideas

Yogurt And Fruits

Having fruits and yogurt are beneficial for overall human health due to the healthy fibers and probiotics present in the fruits and yogurt. 

Try these recipes out :


It’s bread. Need I say more? It’s only the best ingredient out there. Frugal eating can’t get any easier than this. Try these out :

Granola and Yogurt

Try out these homemade granola recipes to go with yogurt for breakfast if you’re tired of having yogurt and fruits. The best thing about granola are the ingredients! All you need are oats, salt, oil of your choice, sweetener of choice, and salt. That’s it. 

Any other customization is completely up to you, based on what’s left in your pantry!

frugal lunch ideas

Frugal Meals For Lunch

Salad Recipes

It doesn’t have to be costly to make a great salad, despite what expensive salad restaurants might have you believe. 

By sticking to seasonal vegetables and fruits, pantry staples, and simple ingredients, you can whip up a delicious and nutritious bowl of greens in no time without breaking the bank. 

A myth about salads that have been implanted in us for years now is that they are a bunch of lettuce with some dressing on them- leaving you starved after 30 minutes. 

The salad recipes shared below will keep you full with lots of energy! 

Here are some tips to build a great salad : 

  • Incorporate starchy ingredients (pasta or quinoa)
  • Add fibre-rich fruits and vegetables
  • Add legumes such as lentils 
  • Add some crunch (Granola made in the recipe above)
frugal meals

Soup Recipes

I think everyone enjoys soup, if you claim that you don’t like them, then you haven’t found the right soup for you. Soups are easy to make, comforting, and have a long shelf life. 

You can prepare these soups in big batches, eat them every day of the week should you wish to, or store them in the freezer for a quick fix after work. 

These hearty, vegetable-filled frugal soup recipes are guaranteed to keep you full and there are so many varieties, you can never be bored!

Chicken Soup Recipes

Beef Soup Recipes

Vegetarian Soup Recipes

frugal meals

Chicken and Beef Recipes

Chicken and beef are some of the most widely consumed meats. Not only are they readily available and simple to prepare, but there is no end to how you can cook these two ingredients. 

Chicken and red meat like beef are high in a variety of essential nutrients and can be a great addition to a well-balanced diet. Since chicken is low in calories but high in protein, it can help you lose weight if that’s something you’re working towards. 

This ingredient can be particularly beneficial if you’re planning on doing a frugal meal plan due to its versatility.


Dinners are meant to be easy and fuss-free. 

There’s nothing worse than having to come back home to an empty pantry, and no meals prepped when your stomach is already rumbling.

Try out these frugal dinner ideas to save you money, while keeping your tummy happy. 

frugal healthy meals

Healthy Meals

Have whole and unprocessed ingredients as part of your frugal meal ideas to maintain a healthy and budget-friendly lifestyle. 

Here are some tips for a to prepare healthy meals while sticking to a frugal food budget:

  • Don’t grocery shop when you’re hungry
  • Have a meal plan ready
  • Do not buy more than you need, only buy staples and stick to your grocery list!
  • Buy in bulk
  • Buy frozen fruits and vegetables

Try out these frugal meals that are good for your waistline and wallet :

frugal meals


What Is The Cheapest Meal To Make?

Short Answer: Cheesy Pasta ! 

Long answer: 

Food is essential, and we can’t just cut it out of our budget. But while food is a necessity, it does not have to break the bank. 

At the end of the day, making the cheapest meals is all about keeping it simple:

  •  use a handful of ingredients
  • do not overcomplicate the recipe, and 
  • make full use of all ingredients in your pantry

It does not matter if you’re trying to prepare frugal meals for 1 or frugal family meals, know that money shouldn’t have to be the barrier to creating scrumptious, nutritious, and satiating meals. 

What Is The Cheapest Meal To Feed A Crowd?

Short Answer: 

Long Answer: 

It is important to realize that not everyone is going to eat the same thing and if you’re someone who constantly feeds a crowd, do not compare your grocery budget with anyone else. 

For example, if you have six kids, your grocery budget will be significantly higher than someone who has one kid. 

The goal is to find ways to bring down the cost of food consumption of your crowd. 

There are a couple of tips that can help you reduce the cost of preparing frugal meals for a crowd :

  1. Where You Shop
  • Different grocery stores carry different prices, so shop around to find the grocer that provides the best bargain yet maintaining the quality of ingredients. 
  • Go through the hassle of comparing prices because it will be worth it when you’re saving them bills. 
  1. Use Coupons

Okay, now that we’ve gotten the tips out of the way, one of the best things you can do to make the cheapest meals to feed a crowd is by cooking your meals in batches. Try out instant pot recipes, and sheet pan recipes. 

This kind of cooking requires minimal ingredients, and they’ll definitely save you the time and hassle of preparing meals for a large group. So it doesn’t matter if you’re thinking of frugal dinners, or you’ve been asked to cook for a potluck party, the recipes above will come to the rescue!


There you go! 47 of the best frugal meals for you to whip up anytime the budget is tight, or when you’re simply trying to eat simpler meals. Eating on a budget does not mean you’re going to be deprived of delicious tasting food and the recipes given above are proof of that. 

Though the habit of eating out is glorified with new, aesthetically pleasing cafes popping up in each corner every other week, spending money constantly eating out might do you more harm than good. 

If your bank account is depleted or you just want to save money by preparing frugal meals, make do with what you have on hand. Some of the best recipes are made from what you already have in your pantry and refrigerator.

So have a go at these recipes, or be creative with what you have in your pantry, the choice is endless when it comes to food. Remember, you do not have to compromise on the quality of food to have frugal meals. 

47 Frugal Meals Ideas (That Are Tasty And Healthy)

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