Estimated reading time: 8 minutes
Are you looking for quick and cheap dinner ideas for a family with kids? These meal ideas are perfect for busy moms and dads on a budget!
10 Deliciously Cheap Dinner Ideas That Kids Love
I think most kids are notorious for being picky eaters, which makes it difficult to find family meals that everyone can agree on.
My daughter will tell you I am never to allow black pepper or anything spicey to hit her plate. My son can’t stand onions or potatoes and believe it or not, my husband can’t stand shellfish.
Getting it right for everyone can be a daunting task and can make meal planning more difficult.
It isn’t easy making everyone happy.
That’s where these inexpensive meals that kids love can come in handy. These are all cheap dinner ideas that my family can get behind, plus they are simple to make.
Plus, they are all perfect for busy moms and dads on a budget!
Here is a collection of some easy, inexpensive meals that your kids will love.
Let’s get started with these amazing cheap dinner ideas that are kid-friendly
1. Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and Tomato Soup
This simple classic is perfect for a quick dinner or lunch that the whole family will enjoy.
It’s also filling, comforting, and inexpensive, and you likely always have the ingredients you need on hand.
Get the recipe – Easy Three-Ingredient Tomato Soup
2. Macaroni and Cheese with Hot Dogs
Looking for dinner you can have on the table in a matter of minutes? How about a kid-pleasing meal of hot dogs and macaroni and cheese?
All you need are a couple of hot dogs sliced into coins or diced, and then saute them while the macaroni boils. Kids just adore mac & cheese.
You can make the box kind or make the homemade version below.
Get the recipe – Homemade Mac and Cheese
3. Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
If you’ve made the sweet and sour meatballs, you should still have ½ lb of ground beef left that you can use to make spaghetti with meat sauce. Meal planning is a great way to keep your food budget in check.
It is also a sure-proof way to make sure none of your ingredients are tossed out.
Spaghetti is an inexpensive and filling meal that just happens to be a favorite of most kids.
Get the recipe – Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
4. The Best BBQ Meatloaf
I’ve never been much of a meatloaf fan, but this recipe is killer!
Tender, juicy ground beef.
This recipe is loaded with savory flavors and topped off with a BBQ Sauce glaze! It is the perfect weeknight dinner, and it is one of our family’s favorite Cheap Dinner ideas.
Tacos are another inexpensive kid-friendly dinner. You can make tacos with shredded chicken, pork, or beef, or with ground beef.
You can even use leftover shredded chicken, pork, or beef from another night’s dinner to use them up and reduce food waste. There is a recipe for homemade tortillas here.
If you need a quick and easy while still being a relatively inexpensive meal your kids will love then check out these slow cooker ranch chicken sandwiches.
Is chicken not on sale this week?
You could easily substitute the chicken in this recipe for a pork roast or loin if they are easier on the budget right now. Whether you use pork or chicken, this broccoli salad recipe will pair perfectly with it for a complete meal!
Get the recipe – Easy Ground Beef Tacos
6. Fried Rice
Looking for a way to use up leftovers in your fridge that your kids will still want to eat? Then fried rice is the perfect, inexpensive meal for you that your kids will still enjoy sitting down to.
You can throw any leftover proteins that you have in the fridge (pork, beef, chicken, or shrimp) along with some rice and a couple of scrambled eggs.
This meal is also a perfect opportunity to use up any veggies that may be lingering in your fridge as well.
Get the recipe –Easy Weeknight Vegetable Stir Fry
7. Cheeseburger Casserole
If you’re looking for an easy ground beef dinner recipe this hamburger casserole is the ultimate cheese lover’s dream come true!
It’s made with just a handful of cheap ingredients and is just as good leftover for lunch or dinner the next day. Two meals in one!
Get the recipe – Cheeseburger Casserole Recipe
8. Shepherd’s Pie Stuffed Bell Peppers
Ok, technically this is not shepherd’s pie because it is made with ground beef instead of lamb But it’s essentially the same thing, plus it’s really easy to make with just 10 simple ingredients!
Kids love it because of the brightly colored peppers.
You can use any mashed potatoes that you’d like, such as boxed, store-bought, or homemade.
Get the recipe – Shepherd’s Pie Stuffed Bell Peppers
9. Best Creamy Chicken & Rice Soup
Homemade soup is certainly a crowd-pleaser on any day.
I make this Chicken and Wild Rice Soup with carrots, corn, chicken, and jasmine rice in a creamy and flavorful broth.
Make it in the slow cooker or on the stove. It is healthy and such a great cheap dinner idea.
Get the recipe – Best Creamy Chicken & Rice Soup
10. Southwest Bacon Mac & Cheese
Mac & Cheese is the dinner recipe of choice for my kids. It is the ultimate comfort food.
If it were up to them, we would have a different variety every single night. They love it so much that I have learned quickly to develop healthy versions of their favorite meal.
This Easy Southwest Bacon Mac & Cheese Recipe takes simple ingredients that you would have on hand already and turns them into a family favorite meal.
Get the recipe – Southwest Bacon Mac & Cheese
These are just a few of the inexpensive meals you can put down on the dinner table in front of your kids that they will love.