As a working mom, I know how hard it is to plan fast and filling meals for a hungry family while trying to stay within your grocery budget. When you’re looking to save money, one of the top ways recommended to save money is to slash your grocery budget.
But that isn’t always easy. For busy families, how do you reduce your grocery costs when you don’t even have time to meal plan? Usually it’s whatever is in the fridge or whatever take-out is closest on the way home from work.
The key to reducing your grocery budget, saving money, and still having quick and easy meals for your family is to have a set of go-to fast & cheap meals.
Quick, easy, and cheap? Now we’re talking! Here are five fast and cheap meals for busy families.
Crock Pot Pork Shoulder
- 2 pound Pork Shoulder
- 1 jar of your favorite salsa
Place pork shoulder in crock pot, pour jar of salsa on top. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Shred.
This is one of my absolute favorite recipes as a working mom and is always a hit. I tend to select a sweet salsa, like pineapple, or the giant jar of mango peach salsa from Costco.
The pork is sweet and yummy and shreds easily. I’ll put the pork and the salsa in the crockpot in the morning before I even go to work, and by the time I get home, dinner is practically ready! I normally put some white rice in a rice cooker, and then we have some yummy pork bowls with chopped up lettuce on top. Or if you have some tortillas, you can do pork tacos with rice on the side. The possibilities are endless!These meals are perfect for busy families on a budget. Click To Tweet
- 1 store-bought rotisserie chicken
Rotisserie chicken is one of the most underrated foods available at the grocery store, and yet it’s perfect for a busy family! Instead of going through the drive-thru, pick up a rotisserie chicken for its endless possibilities.
We like to pick up a chicken, and eat the chicken with a side of veggies the first night. The second day (because there’s always leftovers!), I’ll shred the rest of the chicken meat and use it for enchiladas, stick it in some mac and cheese, or make chicken tacos. It’s so versatile!
- 1 bag of pasta
- Anything and everything in your fridge or pantry
This is my go-to lunch recipe. I will cook a bag of my favorite pasta and then raid my fridge for any veggies, such as mushrooms, spinach, zucchini, broccoli. I’ll put any combination that I think sounds good. Then I add some meat, usually we buy a bag of pre-cooked chicken sausage as one of our fridge staples and I’ll stick some of those in (or some of that leftover rotisserie chicken!), or some frozen meatballs.
I’ll either add my favorite jar of pasta, or if I don’t have any, I’ll use plain old olive oil. This meal is always a hit because it’s always different dependent on what you have available.
Eating healthy on a budget can sometimes be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be! With a little bit of creativity, you can have some fast and cheap meals for your family, without sacrificing your budget!
What are your favorite meals for busy families? Do you meal plan?