Bowl of mac and cheese with bacon and veggies

Cheap & Easy Dinner Ideas

who’s hungry?!

Nick and I make a LOT of the same meals over and over again – basically every week we just recycle recipes.  But that means the dishes we eat have got to be good, right?  We think so.  

These meals are SO incredibly easy to make, and they don’t take long to finish!  Plus, they’re pretty nutritious and budget-friendly, which are both important to us. (:

I hope these meals sound good enough for you to try one (or all) of them!  And if you do, we hope you enjoyed it as much as we do! 

Without further ado… here are our favorite cheap and easy dinner ideas!

rice bowl

Cook up some good ol’ rice and top with protein and veggies of your choice.  We like to make jasmine rice with chicken or meatballs, and then mix some frozen veggies in!  Drizzle the sauce of your choice (we like teriyaki) and sprinkle some seasoning (Nick loves garlic powder with some salt) and you’re good to go!

*The rice we’re currently using is a GINORMOUS bag from Costco – it’s lasted us since the beginning of July, and we still have plenty left!  Chicken and veggies are from Walmart; they sell small bags of frozen vegetables for about $1 each, and it’s a perfect size for the 2 of us!

pool o’ pasta

Similar concept to the rice bowl: make the pasta of your choice (we like spaghetti), and cover it in lots of yummy sauce (we usually go for either marinara, alfredo, or pesto).  Top with some protein (chicken or meatballs are our go-to) and veggies… and enjoy!

*Since we usually opt for chicken, we like to mix it up a bit.  Sometimes we’ll just get regular chicken breast, sometimes chicken tenders, or maybe even popcorn chicken!  Spruce it up every now and then. (;

beloved breakfast

If we’re having breakfast for dinner, it’s a gooood day. (; We love Kodiak pancakes topped with fruit, peanut butter, syrup, and fruit!  On the side, we’ll often have eggs with spinach and either bacon or sausage.  SUPER yummy – best dinner night of the week! ((:

*Kodiak pancake mix is sold in many stores, but it is a more expensive option – not too crazy, though.  For eggs, we like to buy the 5 dozen box from Walmart.  They go a long way, and they’re the cheapest option we have!

taco lovers

Ground beef, beans, tomatoes, greens, cheese, chips, salsa, guac… need I say more???

*Try to buy off-brand (or Great Value if you’re shopping at Walmart) ingredients if you can!  And only buy the amount you think you’ll be able to eat before it goes bad – super important for fresh ingredients like tomatoes and greens!

nacho night

We don’t make nachos much anymore because we don’t have a working oven, but you can make these in a microwave, too!  

Lay some tortilla chips all over a plate and sprinkle with the toppings of your choice.  We usually use cheese, ground beef or chicken, lettuce or spinach, and tomatoes.  And sometimes – if we’re feeling fancy – we dip them in salsa or guac!

*These are definitely better if made in an oven, just a fair warning. (;

macaroni madness

Sometimes Kraft Mac & Cheese is just the way to go.  But we don’t stop there!  We like to add veggies and some extra protein – usually chicken or bacon.  Nick is really weird and likes to put maple sausage in his macaroni… I would not recommend, but you’re free to try it.  

Again, we like to mix up what kind of chicken we add to our mac and cheese.  My favorite is popcorn chicken, but any kind of chicken with macaroni is delicious.

*If you want to add bacon to your mac and cheese, try to look for bacon with NO added nitrites or nitrates. (:

pizza party

Now, now, now… I’m not trying to fool everyone here.  Obviously, Nick and I are not world-class chefs or anything.  And we definitely don’t know how to make many other meals besides the ones listed above, so of course, we love to make a frozen pizza every now and then.  The easiest dinner ever, often with some yummy fruit on the side.

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