19 Cheap Dinners To Make While Waiting For Your Next Paycheck

We’ve all been there before–it’s still five days from payday and somehow all your money has vanished out of your bank account. Instead of living off of macaroni and cheese and ramen for the next week, why not try one of these delicious (and affordable!) dinners instead?

Shakshuka [x]

One of the easiest ways to cut costs? Cut the meat. This Middle Eastern dish can be customized with whatever you have available to you. The most expensive ingredient you’ll have to buy is probably the cherry tomatoes–but even the recipe lists them as optional.

Lemon Thyme Tilapia Packets [x]

This is an easy and beautiful dinner that comes together quickly. The only ingredient you’ll probably need to run to the store to get is the fish itself.

Better-Than-Takeout Chicken Fried Rice [x]

This is a great way to use up leftover rice, veggies, and meat from previous meals. As with any good recipe, you can always improve or omit ingredients based on what you have.

Curried Chickpeas With Spinach [x]

Budget Bytes breaks down the cost of this recipe and calculates that it’s only $1.35 a serving!

One Pot Spaghetti With Meat Sauce [x]

Pasta is typically fairly cheap on it’s own and this recipe is a no-hassle, quick clean-up recipe you’ll want to add to your repertoire. For even more value, a Buzzfeed article recommends substituting half the ground beef for minced mushrooms.

Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup [x]

Budget meals can still be hearty! Bonus: this recipe will give you leftovers for days (so prepare to cut back even more on your food costs!).

Sweet Potato, Kale, and Shrimp Skillet [x]

The recipe recommends fresh shrimp, but using frozen would work just as well. This is a great way to use up additional veggies that may be on the verge of going bad.

Slow Cooker Poor Man’s Stew [x]

It’s all in the name. The main ingredients for this recipe only cost $6.24.

Chicken Shawarma [x]

Budget Bytes breaks down the cost for this recipe at only $2.00 a serving. Be impressed with your dinner (which is sure to become a household staple) as well as your grocery bill.

Rotisserie Chicken Skillet [x]

Buying a rotisserie chicken will not only save you time, but it will provide enough meat to make a few meals from it. Try this skillet recipe for an easy and delicious weeknight meal.

Slow Cooker Mexican Style Corn And Potato Chowder [x]

Try this recipe when you’re looking for a dinner that literally cooks itself. This is also a gluten-free recipe, which makes it ideal for those with dietary restrictions.

Italian Wonderpot [x]

Try this meatless pasta dish and you’ll only be shelling out approximately $1.06 per serving.

Vegetarian Taco Salad [x]

Healthy, quick, and delicious. Try it here.

Cheater Cheater Chicken & Dumplings [x]

Who knew that rotisserie chicken and a can of biscuit dough could create a hearty and affordable meal? You’ll be craving this hearty meal as the weather gets cooler.

Keilbasa, Pepper, Onion, and Potato Hash [x]

If I could have kielbasa for dinner every night, I would. It’s cheap, flavorful, and extremely versatile. Try out this kielbasa hash, which can be modified based on what you have on hand.

Bean and Cheese Freezer Burritos [x]

At 55 cents per burrito, you can stock your freezer with these during good times, so you have consistent sustenance during bad times.

Easy Cheesy 5-Ingredient Pizza Pasta Bake [x]

What’s better than a dinner that practically bakes itself? A dinner that’s delicious and practically bakes itself. Try this pizza pasta bake for a unique pasta flavor that’s ready to go in no time.

Easy Crockpot Turkey Chili [x]

Serve this chili over rice and you’ll have leftovers for days. Warm and hearty, this dish is one you’ll want to be serving regularly–even when you have the money to go out.

Spicy Sausage and Pasta Skillet [x]

One pot recipes are amazing in their own right. However, this recipe doesn’t only provide easy clean-up–it’s also cheap and delicious!

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