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Dinner on a Dime: 9 Cheap Dinners for Easy Weeknight Meals

By: Christina Riviera, Editor, CheapThriftyLiving
Updated May 30, 2018
Dinner on a Dime 5 Cheap Dinners for Easy Weeknight Meals

With the holidays just around the corner, saving money has been priority number one for me. I’ve been making room in my budget by taking a good look at my food costs; it’s amazing how much the occasional trip to Starbucks or cruise through the drive-thru adds up over time! If you’re thinking ahead to the pricey holiday season ahead, now is the time to ditch dining out in favor of some quick budget meals at home.

Here are 9 simple dinner ideas that you can throw together in under an hour and on the cheap! Guaranteed, these are easier (and much cheaper!) than just going out to grab something.

Hobo Dinner Recipe

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What exactly goes into a hobo dinner? Recipes differ, but most hobo dinner recipes include beef or sausage of some kind, potatoes, and carrots. This hearty meal is a great way to use up those ingredients in your fridge that you want to use before they go bad. Plus, it's delicious!

Hobo Dinner Recipe

World’s Most Irresistible Chicken

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I know the title of this recipe is setting the bar high, but trust me – this dish lives up to the hype! This easy, elegant chicken recipe is made with 6 easy ingredients that you most likely have in your pantry right now. I love this meal because it takes just 30 minutes to throw together, so I can get dinner on the table in under an hour.

 And for dessert? Our irresistible cake mix bars.

World’s Most Irresistible Chicken

Ground Beef Stroganoff Recipe

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This delicious and savory beef stroganoff recipe is just what you've been craving. For a filling dinner that the whole family will love, give this recipe a try, and you'll be coming back for seconds. Warm egg noodles pair perfectly with this stroganoff recipe that features sour cream to make it even richer and tastier.

Craving something a little heartier? Try this simple salt baked potato recipe as a side!

Ground Beef Stroganoff Recipe

Cheesy One Pot Hamburger Casserole

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This recipe is basically a homemade, tastier version of Hamburger Helper. Always a classic dinner option, this meal is great when you need to whip something up fast. This is one of those meals that tastes every better the next day, so make a bunch of this and serve the leftovers up for lunch!

If you have a few extra minutes, serve this alongside our Best Bisquick Drop Biscuits!

Cheesy One Pot Hamburger Casserole

Dump and Go Amish Casserole

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Sometimes the simplest dishes are the best. Take a note from the Amish and bring it back to basics for dinner tonight! This meal can be made in under and hour and features some seriously cheap ingredients like ground beef and spaghetti noodles.

For most classic recipes, check out this Shortcut Amish Friendship Bread Recipe.

Dump and Go Amish Casserole

Classic Mac ‘N Cheese

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Just because you’re on a budget, doesn’t mean you have reach for those nasty boxed dinners. This dinner will take you just 20 minutes and is made with basic, cheap ingredients. Forget the boxed junk and feed your family this wholesome meal instead!

Kick it up a notch and serve this along side this Ritzy Baked Chicken!

Classic Mac N' Cheese

Copycat Cracker Barrel Cheesy Chicken

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Skip the trip to Cracker Barrel and learn how to make this deliciously cheesy and crunchy chicken casserole at home! Using classic ingredients like chicken breast, frozen broccoli, and Ritz crackers you can have dinner done in under an hour and on the cheap.

Complete the meal with these Cracker Barrel-Inspired Home-Style Mashed Potatoes!

Copycat Cracker Barrel Cheesy Chicken

Homemade Hamburger Helper Recipe

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This copycat version of everyone's favorite childhood dinner is just as delicious as you remember. This is a great way to use up some of that pasta and ground beef that's taking up room in your pantry. Give this recipe a try, and you'll be coming back for seconds.

Save your fork! There's pie.

Homemade Hamburger Helper Recipe

One Pot Chili Mac and Cheese Recipe

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This one pot chili mac and cheese recipe is the easy weeknight dinner for you! The base of this recipe is ground beef, beans, tomatoes, and pasta, and along with a special blend of spices and herbs, so you know you'll get a delicious dinner that's hearty and filling.

Working ahead? Check out our meal planning tips!

One Pot Chili Mac and Cheese Recipe

What is your go-to weeknight meal?

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