Finding a frugal meal that is easy to make can be difficult. I’ve listed out 8 meals below that can be pulled together in a pinch with what you already have sitting in your pantry.
1. Tomato Bisque Soup
Making a tomato soup can be a meal by itself or you can pair it with a grilled cheese sandwich.
Make this frugal meal by using those cans of tomatoes you’ve been stocking up on.
2. Twice Baked Potatoes
Make these twice baked potatoes by firstly baking the potatoes and then letting them cool. Once cooled, split the potatoes in half and scoop out the insides and mix the potato with butter, sour cream and cheddar cheese. Once mixed, add the mixture back into the shells and bake.
Serve with garnishes if you’d like, such as chives or bacon. Get the full recipe here or click the button below.
3. Kosher Latkes
These latkes are another potato-based recipe that are easily fried up for the whole family. You don’t even need to peel the potatoes, just grate and add in finely sliced onion. Fry up the kosher latkes in oil over medium heat until they are golden brown on both sides.
The best part about making these potato pancakes is that you can get creative with the toppings! Add applesauce, sour cream, fresh or dried herbs or that leftover lox in your fridge.
4. Sausage Potato Hash
This hash can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner. If you’re like me, you enjoy breakfast any time of day!
Dice up a potato and a bit of onion and saute with a tablespoon of your favorite cooking oil. Once the potatoes are fork-tender, add in the breakfast sausage and brown. While the meat is cooking, get out another pan and fry an egg, so that everything in your meal is ready at the same time. Or if you only want to use one pan, finish the hash and then fry your egg in the leftover sausage drippings.
5. Chicken Bone Broth
This chicken bone broth is another way to add nutrition to your soups, or you can just drink it on its own. Slightly different than just regular broth, bone broth boils down bones so that you are able to drink the collagen from the connective tissues. Super easy, super nutritious.
This recipe calls for chicken bones, but you can make this bone broth with any kind of bones you have that you want to use up. I used the full carcass of what was left over after eating my store bought rotisserie chicken.
6. Classic Chicken Matzo Ball Soup
Similar to a satisfying chicken noodle soup, this classic chicken matzo ball soup is a Jewish classic that you need to make yourself at least once.
The base of the soup is the same as a standard chicken noodle soup – add in those leftover veggie scraps that are at the end of their life to make one last frugal meal.
To make the matzo balls, mix together matzo meal, water, baking powder, chicken smaltz or plain oil. Chill or until ready to use and then boil in broth while your chicken soup is cooking. Add the matzo balls to your chicken soup when ready to serve.
7. Mixed Vegetable One-Pot Pasta
In addition to this being a frugal meal that is big enough to feed an entire family, it’s also an incredibly easy recipe! All you have to do is place all your ingredients into the pot and boil until your pasta is tender – what could be easier than that?
8. Air Fryer Eggplant Parmesan
Many probably wouldn’t think of making a full Italian meal as a frugal meal, but hear me out. Making an Air Fryer Eggplant Parmesan is actually one of the most cost-effective meals to make for a family.
The protein portion is an incredibly affordable vegetable – eggplant! Eggplant is about a dollar per vegetable and you can feed between 4 – 6 people per eggplant – now that’s a steal!
While you’re air frying your eggplant, make the pasta of your choice (I generally go with spaghetti) and heat up some marinara sauce. I love making a large batch of a homemade simple tomato sauce and then heating it up as I need it. Then, plate it all together. Add extra cheese on top if you want some extra cheesy goodness.