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Home » 10 Best Frugal Meal Ideas for When You’re on a Tight Budget

10 Best Frugal Meal Ideas for When You’re on a Tight Budget

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Preparing a frugal meal can be an excellent option when eating on a tight budget. Despite thinking to be a challenge, there are numerous frugal meals to help you achieve your daily nutritional needs while staying in line with your budget. 

With some creativity and planning, you can enjoy delicious, nutritious meals without breaking the bank. Therefore, here are ten frugal meal ideas that can help you stay within your budget while still enjoying tasty and healthy foods.

3 Frugal Meal Ideas for Breakfast

The old but true cliché, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But most people living on a tight budget might avoid eating breakfast outright to save money. But we’re here to tell you that you don’t have to do that. So, here are the three frugal meal ideas to have for breakfast. 


Oatmeal is the budget breakfast we’ve all had. Making oatmeal is simple. All you need is some fresh fruit and honey to spice up the flavor to your liking. A bowl of oatmeal is a cheap and healthy way to start your day.

Yogurt and Granola 

A serving of plain yogurt topped with homemade granola is a simple and satisfying breakfast that won’t break the bank. Furthermore, yogurt is healthy, while granola provides the nutritious value to keep you full until lunch. 

Breakfast Burrito 

The least frugal meal, a breakfast burrito is nutritious, healthy, and delicious if done right. The right breakfast burrito should use scrambled eggs, black beans, and a small amount of cheese to make up the inner filling. Then, wrap it in a tortilla, and you’re good to go.

3 Frugal Meal Ideas for Lunch

Making frugal meals for lunch doesn’t have to cost a pretty penny. While it’s tempting to go for a full-course meal for lunch, that will set you back financially when living on a budget. So, here are three frugal meal ideas to have for lunch that won’t break the bank. 

Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich 

It may be a childhood favorite, but a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is a cheap and filling lunch option. But let’s not kid ourselves; PB&J isn’t necessarily the lunch of our dreams. Despite that, it’s an excellent frugal meal for lunch that’s cheap and delicious. 

Soup and Salad 

Homemade soup and a simple side salad are an easy and nutritious lunches that won’t cost you much. It’s simple to make, affordable, and perfectly aligned with your budgetary restraints. 


Don’t underestimate the power of leftovers. Eating yesterday’s leftovers is what everyone should be doing when dining on a budget. So, reheat yesterday’s dinner for an easy and frugal lunch option.

4 Frugal Meal Ideas for Dinner

The main meal of the day, dinners are meant to be full and rich. But sadly, eating on a budget means you need to cut back on the calorie intake to save money. Fortunately, we have four frugal meal ideas for dinner to keep you full until breakfast. 


Stir-fry is a wonderful and inexpensive dinner meal idea. That’s because you can make stir-fry by adding leftover veggies and inexpensive rice or noodles. Combine the ingredients to make a mean stir-fry. If you feel like spending, add meat to give the dish a nice protein kick. 

Pasta With Tomato Sauce 

A simple pasta dish with homemade tomato sauce can be a delicious and inexpensive frugal dinner option. This frugal meal dinner idea provides plenty of flexibility, as you can choose the type of pasta and add inexpensive ingredients to give it the kick it needs to keep you full. 

Beans and Rice 

Beans and rice is a dinner classic. This meal combination is cheap, filling, and full of protein. Add some spices and vegetables to make it more flavorful.

Baked Potatoes 

A satisfying and inexpensive dinner option is a baked potato topped with cheese, broccoli, and sour cream. If you feel like breaking the bank, combine the dish with the meat you choose for a king’s course meal. 


Eating frugally doesn’t mean sacrificing taste or nutrition. With these ten frugal meal ideas, you can enjoy delicious and healthy food without breaking the bank. 

The trick to eating frugal meals is to plan your meals ahead of time, shop smart, and use leftovers to stretch your food budget even further.

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