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18 Family-Friendly 5 Dollar Dinner Ideas

These cheap dinner ideas only require a crisp $5 bill!

Updated August 09, 2018
18 Family-Friendly 5 Dollar Dinner Ideas

Fast food chains like to advertise their 5 dollar meal deals, but you can make an entire family feast at home at the same cost! These 5 dollar dinner ideas will feed your hungry family with a single Lincoln. Weekly meal prep doesn't have to be burdensome on your time or finances. This collection of cheap dinner ideas will provide inspiration to feed your army with cost and time-efficient recipes.

When you take your next trip to the grocery store, focus on inexpensive and flavorful ingredients that can be turned into elevated meals. From dinners using frozen ingredients to Ramen noodle recipes, the key to this 5 dollar meal plan is to make thrifty meals from inexpensive ingredients. The trick is being able to upscale these ingredients into crowd-pleasers without spending your entire day in the kitchen.

1. Ramen Noodle Salad Recipe

Cheap dinners start with inexpensive ingredients! There's nothing cheaper than Ramen noodles that serve as the base for this delicious dinner salad.

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Ramen Noodle Salad Recipe

2. Swiss Chicken Bake

This few-ingredient casserole will feed your whole family! Your family will love the combination of swiss cheese and herb stuffing!

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Swiss Chicken Bake

3. Homemade Hamburger Helper Recipe

Hamburger Helper is a frugal favorite, but you can elevate the idea at home for the same price! This homemade dish is flavorful and filling!

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Homemade Hamburger Helper Recipe

4. Ground Beef Stroganoff Recipe

Beef stroganoff is the ultimate thrifty comfort food! This recipe is rich in flavor but not in price!

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Ground Beef Stroganoff Recipe

5. Hobo Dinner Recipe

These personal dinners put all of your ingredients in a foil packet for a low-stress supper. Full of beef and vegetables, this dinner will be a family favorite!

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Hobo Dinner Recipe

6. 3-Ingredient Cucumber Chicken Salad

If you like to garden, bringing fresh ingredients into the kitchen is both rewarding and frugal! This cucumber chicken salad adds a bright and fresh meal from garden to table!

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3-Ingredient Cucumber Chicken Salad

7. 5-Ingredient White Pizza

Homemade pizza is a fun activity in which the whole family can participate! This 5-ingredient white pizza ditches the sauce for a cheap, cheesy creation!

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5-Ingredient White Pizza

8. Cauliflower Hot Wings Recipe

One of the easiest ways to get your weeknight dinner under five dollars is to ditch the meat! These cauliflower hot wings are as tasty as chicken without the added expense!

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Cauliflower Hot Wings Recipe

9. Frozen Meatball Sub Recipe

When making inexpensive dinners, elevating frozen ingredients is one of the easiest ways to cut costs. These meatball subs add cheese and sauce to the frozen protein for a warm and gooey sandwich!

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Frozen Meatball Sub Recipe

10. 3-Ingredient Cheesy Tuna Casserole

Speaking of frozen ingredients, this tuna casserole uses frozen mac and cheese for a new spin on a classic. Add tuna and peas for a cheesy twist on your favorite casserole!

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3-Ingredient Cheesy Tuna Casserole

11. 4-Ingredient Ground Beef Casserole

Casseroles are perfect inexpensive meals because they require little effort and add flavor to cheap ingredients! This ground beef casserole uses ingredients that are regularly on sale for big flavors at a small cost!

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4-Ingredient Ground Beef Casserole

12. 5-Ingredient Baked Spaghetti

Pasta is a cheap dinner but can get repetitive quickly. Upscale your weekly pasta with this baked spaghetti instead that adds a crunchy texture to a common Italian dish!

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5-Ingredient Baked Spaghetti

13. Dollar Store Southwest Soup

Canned vegetables are inexpensive but add bold flavors when used correctly. This Southwest soup combines dollar store ingredients with pantry spices for big, budget-friendly flavors.

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Dollar Store Southwest Soup

14. Easy Pantry Tuna Penne

Pasta recipes don't have to taste the same! Adding tuna and tomatoes instead of a canned sauce provides protein and freshness,

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Easy Pantry Tuna Penne

15. Super Easy Cheesy Quesadillas

Quesadillas are perfect for picky eaters as they can be made plain or with a variety of fillings. Simple cheese quesadillas only require tortillas and cheese, and you can add from there!

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Super Easy Cheesy Quesadillas

16. One-Pot Pepperoni Pizza Mac and Cheese

Your kids love pizza and macaroni and cheese, so why don't you combine them? This skillet pizza pasta combines two family-favorites at one low price!

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One-Pot Pepperoni Pizza Mac and Cheese

17. Dollar Store Black Bean Soup

Soup goes a long way. From warm winter lunches to spicy summer suppers, this black bean soup can be customized to feed your family all year!

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Dollar Store Black Bean Soup

18. Stovetop Chuckwagon Macaroni

This chuckwagon macaroni uses those canned vegetables that have been sitting in your pantry. Add your favorite macaroni and cheese and you're ready to feast.

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Stovetop Chuckwagon Macaroni

What's your favorite 5-dollar recipe? Let us know in the comments!

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