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Cheap Eats & More Budget Meals

Featured Recipes

Paprika Shrimp & Green Bean Saute

Green beans add snap and color to the garlicky shrimp and butter beans in this Spanish-inspired sauté. Slightly pricier prepeeled shrimp are worth it, given the amount of time they save on a harried weeknight. Serve with quinoa or brown rice.

» Paprika Shrimp & Green Bean Saute

Gnocchi with Zucchini Ribbons & Parsley Brown Butter

For this recipe, convenient store-bought potato gnocchi are tossed with delicate ribbons of zucchini, shallots and cherry tomatoes that have all been sautéed in nutty browned butter.

» Gnocchi with Zucchini Ribbons & Parsley Brown Butter

Sweet & Sour Chicken with Brown Rice

In about the time it takes to order and pick up Chinese takeout, you can make this much healthier version of sweet & sour chicken. Our version loses all the saturated fat that comes from deep-frying, along with the extra sugar and salt. If you prefer, use tofu instead of chicken, and use your favorite vegetables; just be sure to cut them into similar-size pieces so they all cook at about the same rate.

» Sweet & Sour Chicken with Brown Rice

Beef & Bean Chile Verde

Chile Verde, usually a slow-cooked stew of pork, jalapeños and tomatillos, becomes an easy weeknight meal with quick-cooking ground beef and store-bought green salsa. Make it a Meal: Serve with fresh cilantro, red onion and Monterey Jack. Add your favorite hot sauce.

» Beef & Bean Chile Verde

Tijuana Torta

A Mexican-style torta is just like a burrito, except the “wrapper” is a hollowed-out roll instead of a tortilla. Here it's filled with mashed spiced black beans and a quick guacamole. Take this vegetarian version to another level (and add calcium) by melting Monterey Jack cheese onto the bean side of the sandwich. Serve with: Grilled corn on the cob or Spanish rice.

» Tijuana Torta

Huevos Rancheros Verdes

Huevos rancheros or “ranch eggs” is a classic Mexican dish that is great for a quick dinner. Traditionally, it's made with a red tomato-based sauce. Here we use tart and tangy green salsa instead. Serve with: brown rice and slices of avocado.

» Huevos Rancheros Verdes

Lime-Honey Glazed Chicken

The sweet and tangy lime-honey marinade is simmered on the stovetop and then used as a sauce to baste and glaze the chicken. Don't let the chicken marinate any longer than 2 hours; overmarinating in soy sauce and lime juice can make the texture of the meat spongy.

» Lime-Honey Glazed Chicken


It’s hard to escape the biggest news in the country: the economy’s struggling. At a personal level, the nation’s financial woes may have you figuring out where you can cut costs. Cooking at home instead of eating out is an easy way to save money, particularly if you focus your meals around cheap ingredients.

We’ve pulled together more than 100 recipes that utilize some inexpensive, but nutritious, items from the grocery store. Browse these cheap dinner suggestions for budget-friendly recipes to help you save money and make an easy cheap dinner tonight.

Download a FREE Budget Dinner Recipe Cookbook!

Buy the book now, EatingWell on a Budget.

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