With school coming up quickly, that also means our busy schedules will begin again. Soon our nights will be filled with running kids back and forth between extracurricular activities and helping them complete homework assignments, while keeping all the household duties running smoothly.
With all of that going on, deciding what to make for dinner might be the last thing on our mind, and finding time to do it can be challenging. That is why I want to share with you 20 cheap and quick family meals on a budget. These recipes are easy weeknight dinners for the family that will save you time and money.
All these recipes are delicious and easy meals for busy moms and don’t take a lot of time. My family also loves these meals. And they are recipes I regularly add to my weekly meal plans. I hope you enjoy these family dinner menu ideas.
One Pan Garlic Parmesan Pasta – This has a delicious creamy sauce and it’s an easy recipe. Just place all the ingredients into a pot after you saute the garlic, and then let it simmer for 20 minutes until done.
Slow Cooker Ranch Chicken Tacos – The slow cooker ranch chicken tacos are an easy meal to make on a busy night. It only takes about 5 minutes to put the ingredients in the crock pot for dinner.
Time-Saving Tip: Take frozen chicken out of the freezer and place it directly into the crock pot. No need to thaw the chicken beforehand.
Slow Cooker Beef & Broccoli – It takes about 10 minutes to cut the meat, combine the ingredients for the sauce and put it all in the crock pot. After it’s cooked all day and you are ready to eat dinner, just thicken the sauce with cornstarch, quickly steam the broccoli and cook the rice.
Time-Saving Tip: Something I invested in is a rice cooker. It makes cooking rice so convenient. Once you add the rice and water to the cooker and push the cook button, you don’t have to watch it or worry about it. And it will keep the rice warm until you are ready for dinner.
Three-Bean Chili – This is one of my favorite chili recipes to throw together at the last minute. Place Fritos or tortilla chips crumbled on the top to add to the delicious taste of the chili.
Time-Saving Tip: Keep cooked ground beef in the freezer that you can pull out, thaw, and use for this recipe.
Crock Pot Chicken and Gravy – Place all the ingredients in your crock pot in the morning. Right before dinner all that’s left to do is quickly shred the chicken and stir in sour cream. It’s then ready to serve over rice, potatoes or noodles.
Slow Cooker Hawaiian Meatballs – This only takes a few minutes to put in the crock pot. You can make your own meatballs ahead of time and freeze them, but on busy days purchase store-bought, fully cooked meatballs. We’ve tried a lot of meatballs and our family favorite is the Farm Rich Italian Style Meatballs. They are big and have a delicious flavor.
Time-Saving Tip: If you don’t have time for the crock pot or you forgot to put the ingredients in the crock pot that morning, you can cook this recipe on the stove. With fully cooked meatballs, the recipe just needs heated up and allowed to simmer for 5-10 minutes.
French Bread Pizza – With this pizza, you don’t have to make any pizza dough. It’s a fast meal to make on days when you don’t have a lot of time or you haven’t decided what to make for dinner.
Crock Pot Pork Chops & Gravy – This recipe is only 2 ingredients! It takes less than five minutes to put it in the crock pot. Then right before dinner, make rice in the rice cooker and steam some vegetables.
Time-Saving Tip: Keep frozen pork chops on hand. Pull them out of the freezer and place directly into the crock pot without thawing.
Crock Pot Macaroni & Cheese – This recipe took about 10 minutes to put into the crock pot. And my kids like this homemade macaroni and cheese better than the store-bought boxes.
Time-Saving Tip: While the pasta is cooking, cube the butter and cream cheese and then place the cubes and the other ingredients in the crock pot.
Spaghetti Boats – This Spaghetti Boats recipe is so easy to make. It’s a new way to eat spaghetti and a great way to use up the leftover spaghetti in the fridge. Making garlic bread and adding spaghetti to the top really makes it flavorful.
Crock Pot Black Bean and Corn Salsa Chicken – This only takes about 5-10 minutes to put all of the ingredients in the crock pot. Once it’s done cooking and the chicken is shredded, serve it with tortillas, rice, chips, or eat it like a soup.
Time-Saving Tip: This makes a large batch of food, so freeze the leftovers in a re-sealable freezer bag. Then pull it out a few weeks later and heat it up for dinner.
Crock Pot Ranch Pork Chops – Only three ingredients are needed to make this dinner! After the pork chops are cooked in the crock pot, they are yummy, tender and easily pull apart.
Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches – These are the best Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches. The meat is tender, the flavor tastes good, and the broth is a delicious dip for the sandwiches.
Chinese Tacos – This recipe was handed down to me from my mom and is a family-favorite recipe. It’s also quick and easy to make. If you don’t want to use chow mein noodles, put the sauce over rice instead.
Time-Saving Tip: Keep cooked ground beef in the freezer, to make this meal come together even faster.
Creamy Tomato Soup – To make this simple, creamy soup, combine all of the ingredients in a pot and heat it through. Make grilled cheese sandwiches to dip in it.
French Bread Chicken Sandwich – Spread ranch dressing on the French bread and build the sandwich with a handful of ingredients. Bake it for about 10 minutes, and it’s ready for dinner.
Time-Saving Tip: It does take a few extra minutes to cook the bacon, but it really adds to the flavor of the chicken sandwich and makes it taste delicious. However, on busy days if there isn’t time to cook bacon, just leave it off. The sandwich will still taste yummy.
Crock Pot Creamy Italian Chicken – Stir three ingredients together and put it in the crock pot with the chicken to make this delicious meal.
Time-Saving Tip: Take frozen chicken out of the freezer and place it directly into the crock pot. No need to thaw it beforehand.
Crock Pot Teriyaki Chicken – It only takes a few minutes to combine ingredients to make a sauce to pour over the chicken in the crock pot.
Time-Saving Tip: Turn this meal into a freezer meal that you can pull out of the freezer and put in the crock pot on a busy day.
Oven Baked Beef Tacos – This is a simple and delicious meal that doesn’t take too much time to make. After browning the meat, add a handful of other ingredients to make this tasty dish.
Time-Saving Tip: Prepare the taco meat in advance and freeze it. When ready to make the Oven Baked Beef Tacos, pull the meat out of the freezer, heat it up and finish adding the other ingredients to it.
Crock Pot Chicken and Dumplings – This is another crock pot dish that you put all the ingredients in the crock pot within 5-10 minutes and let it cook all day. All of my family ate second helpings.
Time-Saving Tip: If there isn’t time to cook the dumplings on top of the chicken mixture, just cook store-bought canned biscuits in the oven and have them as a side that you can dip into the soup.
Do you have easy weeknight dinners for the family that you make?
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