98 Frugal Meal Ideas

 We are big fans of meal planning and being frugal while at it.

But if you only know a handful of recipes and keep on recycling them week in and week out, things will definitely get boring.

I know we’ve given you so many recipe ideas over the years, but hey, if you are anything like me, I’d like my stuff nicely arranged in one place! Which is why we thought of listing 98 frugal meal ideas in one post.

Come on, I know you want to bookmark it!

Pork Recipes:

1. Slow Cooker Sausages in Onion Gravy

Slow cooker Sausages in Onion Gravy is perhaps one of the easiest recipes on the entire website to make! You can use any type of sausages, I particularly like using Italian style as it gives it a bit of a kick.

102 Frugal Meal Ideas | Stay At Home Mum

2. Bacon and Veggie Slice

Oh, nothing better than a piece of Bacon and Veggie slice for lunch, this is an easy-to-cook recipe that is tasty and filling for the family.

102 Frugal Meal Ideas | Stay At Home Mum

3. Lemon Parmesan Pork Chops

Even if you aren’t a fan of pork chops, you need to try this recipe because lemon + Parmesan cheese + pork = love!

4. Spicy and Sweet Island Pork Tacos

This recipe is healthy, filling, and very easy to make! The combination of spicy and sweet makes this dish a big hit.

5. Healthy Ham Veggie Cups

We used ham as our pastry and the result of these healthy snacks jampacked with veggies is TASTY!

102 Frugal Meal Ideas | Stay At Home Mum

6. Apple Cinnamon Slow Cooker Porkloin

One never goes wrong with apple and cinnamon. Work magic on your pork using this recipe!

7. Braised Pork With Prunes

An easier to make and more family-friendly version of the French classic!

8. Sweet N Sour Pork

Do your own take away at home with this yummy Sweet N Sour Pork recipe. You know exactly what has gone into it and it tastes even better than the takeaway one!

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9. Sausage Casserole

Sausage Casserole is an easy “all-in” recipe that provides a wonderful and complete dinner for the entire family!

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10. Electric Pressure Cooker – Creamy Mushroom Pork Chops

If you have an electric pressure cooker and want to use it for more than just boring stews, here’s a recipe that you need to check out!

11. Crock Pot BBQ Pulled Pork Recipe for Under $15 – Easy and Frugal

Who doesn’t love pulled pork? At least everybody in my house does! Here’s a yummy, savoury recipe you can add to your growing list of crock pot recipes.

12. Smothered Pork Chops Recipe

Tired of plain old pork chops? Try this recipe! The secret is in flipping the pork chops every hour to maximise the flavour.

13. Slow Cooker Barbecue Pork Roast

I’m usually not a fan of doing pork roasts in the slow cooker, only because they are so good in the oven with crackling and all the trimmings, but I’ll make an exception for this one – it’s delicious!

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14. Easy Ground Pork Stir Fry

Mince is a staple in any frugal homemaker’s shopping list. The best part about this recipe? The entire things costs only a little more than $5 to make!

15. Pulled Pork and Homemade Coleslaw

What’s better than pulled pork sandwich? A pulled pork sandwich that has homemade coleslaw in it!

16. Pineapple Pork Loin

There’s something about the duo of pineapple and pork — the refreshing, tangy taste of pineapple perfectly complements savoury pork. What’s better is that this recipe only needs two ingredients!

 17. Italian Stuffed Capsicums

The humble mince makes another appearance in this yummy Italian recipe. Double points for frugality by using rice!


Chicken Recipes:

18. Copy Cat Recipe – Chick – Fil – A Nuggets Recipe

If you ever find yourself craving for some fried chicken, this recipe is for you! She uses pickle juice and milk for her buttermilk batter.

19. Chicken and Cashew Stir-Fry

There are so many stirfry recipes that you must know, and here’s one of them! The sweetness of cashews works perfectly with the saltiness of oyster sauce.

20. Cheesy Potato Topped Chicken

Make use of your cheese and potatoes by whipping up this chicken dish with a twist!

21. Slow Cooker Chicken Burrito Bowl

Ah, the possibilities are endless when it comes to your slow cooker – surely a godsend! Try this slow cooker recipe for burrito bowl to spice things up.

22. Honey Baked Chicken Pieces

If you aren’t keen on chicken on the bone, you can substitute chicken pieces for breast – but reduce the cooking time to prevent it from over-cooking.

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23. Black Pepper Chicken

If you love Asian dishes, you should try this stir fry recipe! The black pepper in this recipe adds depth to the flavour, and the capsicum perfectly complements everything.

24. Mexican Chicken Bake

Mexican Chicken Bake is a good use of chicken thighs and cheese. Chicken and cheese can never go wrong in my opinion!

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25. Chicken and Apple Croquettes

Unlike store-bought sausages that are too salty and too fatty, this recipe is not only delicious but also full of nourishing ingredients like chicken, apple, and cheese!

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26. Chicken and Bocconcini Pizzas

For me, homemade pizza beats store-bought any day! Perhaps it’s because you know exactly what went into it? That’s the charm of frugal meal planning!

27. Mandy’s Moist Marinated Chicken

This is my Mummy’s recipe. It is one of the most amazingly moist and tender recipes we have made to date. Best of all, it is super easy to make!

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28. Slow Cooker Chicken-N-Dumplings

There is a reason why Asian cuisine is popular in households — they’re so easy to make and they rarely cost too much! Add these dumplings to your recipe list.

29. Cheap And Simple Chicken Piccata

It’s always smart to have a chicken recipe or two under your belt, which is why we’re fans of this Chicken Piccata. It might sound complicated, but it’s actually just a method for cooking the meat, and serving it with a sauce.

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30. Aussie Chicken

You don’t have to whip up something out of beans or rice to make a frugal meal. Sometimes, a frugal meal means something cheaper but just as delicious (if not more delicious!) than takeout!

31. Roasted Cabbage and Chicken

One of the healthiest – and most frugal – way to cook is by roasting. Follow this recipe for a perfect chicken and cabbage roast!

32. Healthy One-Pan Honey Lemon Chicken

Healthy One-Pan Honey Lemon Chicken is a family favourite among even picky kids. It’s the perfect mix of sweet and sour, healthy for parents and kids, and it tastes incredible!

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33. Cucumber and Chicken Salad

You’ll never go wrong with a salad. Her recipe uses a creamy dill yoghurt dressing that is just the bomb!

Beef Recipes:

34. Mongolian Beef

The yummy combo of soy sauce and peanut butter makes another appearance here, as well as frugal superstars, mince and rice!

35. Quick Minestrone Soup

I love a hearty and filling Quick Minestrone Soup on a cold winter’s night… with some crusty buttered bread, it makes for a wholesome and delicious meal.

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36. Meatloaf Cupcakes with Mashed Potato Frosting

Your fussy eater wouldn’t be able to say no to this revamped classic dish. Feel free to use ground turkey in place of beef!

37. Slow Cooker Beef Ragu

Slow Cooker Beef Ragu is a delicious mince mix that goes perfectly with pasta. It is a little more hearty than our traditional bolognaise sauce – and freezes just beautifully!

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38. Zucchini Meatloaf

Squeeze in mega-nutrition to your kids’ meals with this recipe! This meatloaf is so tasty they wouldn’t even suspect a thing.

39. Bulk Spaghetti Bolognaise

Bulk Spaghetti Bolognaise is a great way to save time and money in the kitchen as it is a family favourite and so versatile.

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40. Chilli Minced Beef and Beans

This is probably not the last recipe on this list that uses mince, and that’s because it’s probably the most frugal way to eat meat. Nevertheless, this recipe is incredibly tasty!

41. Slow Cooker Shredded Mexican Beef

Throw the meat and ingredients in and forget for hours. It always comes out so tender!

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42. Beef Chorizo Sliders

Here’s a more interesting take on sliders — chorizo adds more zing to the otherwise plain sandwich. Add an avocado slice on top to complete the flavour!

43. Cheesy Spinach Burgers

Who says burger can’t be healthy? Add spinach (and lots of cheese) to your burger patties and your kids will be none the wiser.

44. Family Meat Pie

Meat pies are my eldest son’s favourite food in the whole world, In fact, he would only eat meat pies if he could – and he loves this version!

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45. Corned Beef Pink Pie

You simply can’t go wrong with this kind of comfort food…pastry, mashed potato, corned beef and white sauce (I know right!) and it is so amazing that even some of the children of our office staff went back for thirds!

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46. Beef Stroganoff {Gluten Free Recipe}

Beef Stroganoff is a family favourite, and I’m sure you have made this countless of times before. But this recipe is different — it is gluten-free!

47. Salt and Pepper London Broil

Yummy doesn’t always mean complicated, and sometimes, the simpler the recipe, the more fantastic the result! You need to try this recipe because you will only need four ingredients for the rub.

48. Louigi’s Meatballs

You haven’t eaten good meatballs until you have tried our tender marinated Louigi’s Meatballs. The trick is mixing the mince with milk. This breaks down the enzymes in the meat making them so tender, so succulent, your family will be begging you for more!

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Fish Recipes:

49. Tuna Melts

Tuna Melts are a cheap and easy meal to make – for when money is tight! You’ll love eating it with soups, during lunch or dinner!

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50. Sardines on Toast

Jumpstart your mornings with this healthy breakfast! Not only is it chock-full of carbs and protein, it has a high level of omega-3 as well.

51. Tuna Mornay

Tuna Mornay is a tremendously frugal dinner and tasty too! You can substitute the tuna for salmon if you aren’t a tuna fan. Best of all, you can feed a family of four for under $10!

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52. Fish Stew Recipe

This recipe for fish stew is not only very healthy but also easy to make. Reminders from the chef: use deveined shrimp and do not overcook the seafood!

53. 20-Minute Swai Stew

This recipe takes literally only 20 minutes to make and is very economical because it uses ingredients that are already in your pantry. The olives give a nice flavour to the dish!

54. Fish Taco Recipe

Are you a fan of tacos? Then remove the icky, fishy image of fish tacos from your mind because this beg to differ. She uses beer batter as it is light and airy!

55. White Wine Poached Salmon Fillets

White Wine Poached Salmon Fillet might sound like a dish read from a high class resto’s menu, but we guarantee that it is much better made at home.

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56. Tilapia Fillet Recipe

How to make a fish dish taste better and more refreshing? Add citrus! This recipe uses lemon, orange, and grapefruit so there’s no shortage of vitamin C here.

57. Sweet and Tangy Oven Baked Salmon

If you’re a fan of salmon, there aren’t too many recipes that do the fish justice like our Sweet and Tangy Oven Baked Salmon. Remember, you can add toasted sesame seeds on top, which you can toast in a pan just before tossing them on your salmon.

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58. Effortless Fish and Potato Cakes

Fish and Potato Cakes is so much better homemade than those bought in the shops. And what mum doesn’t love any quick, easy and delicious recipe?

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59. Chilli Tuna Rice with Vegetables

This lunch has everything you’ll possibly need in a good tuna meal – rice, a tonne of vegetables, and citrus. This is a great meal to take to work!

60. Tuna Salad for Lunches

I buy those little tins of ‘tuna salad’ with tuna, corn kernels and mayonnaise and I love it smothered on fresh bread with butter and it is totally divine. But at $1.50 or so a can, it can really add up. Here’s how to make it easily at home (I bulk it up even further with pasta so it can be a meal on its own!) – and it lasts up to three days in the fridge!

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61. Fish Sticks

You can use almost any kind of fish for this recipe as long as they are the white, fleshy type. She recommends frying these babies in very, very hot oil!

62. Fish risotto

Cooking frugal dishes not only means stretching your meal budget but also aims to create food with as little waste as possible. This is a good recipe that minimises waste and helps the environment!

Meatless Recipes:

63. Frugal Vegetarian Lasagne

If you are after a Frugal Vegetarian Lasagne, then this is the recipe for you. Very easy and cheap to make, the whole family will love it!

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64. Spinach Lasagna Rolls

Adding veggies into pasta is a great way to sneak in some decent nutrition for the kids, and this lasagna recipe is no exception. The recipe also freezes well!

65. Frugal Bruschetta

Frugal Bruschetta is a delicious start to a meal – but it can also save you money too by filling up hungry tummies before a main meal. And if tomatoes are in season, then this truly is a frugal starter!

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66. Bell Pepper and Potato Frittata

Frittatas are on top of the list of the most frugal dishes ever! They easily extend a meal and they are really filling, too. This recipe, which uses green bell pepper and potatoes, is perfect for St. Paddy’s day.

67. Green Plantain Empanadas with Cheese Filling

Empanadas are Latinos’ gift to mankind, and this recipe is no exemption. It is totally gluten-free because it uses green plantain dough in place of regular flour.

68. Mushroom Garlic Quinoa Recipe

Carbs are a foolproof way to extend a meal, but if you want to avoid pasta and rice, a healthier alternative is quinoa. It tastes really good, too!

69. Tasty Vegetable Fritters with Tomato Relish

Get your kids to eat more vegetables with these fritters! They taste so yummy they can serve as lunch or snack. And don’t miss out on her homemade tomato relish!

70. Spicy Corn Fritters

These Spicy Corn Fritters certainly aren’t for the faint-hearted! They are particularly delicious served with cream cheese and smoked salmon on top… mmmm, makes me hungry just thinking about it!

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71. Kale & Quinoa Patties

Quinoa makes another appearance on this list, and this time, with another superfood, kale. This recipe tastes so delicious, it makes clean eating a lot easier.

72. Skillet Pizza Potatoes

The second pizza on our list proves that pizza can be frugal! This drool-worthy pizza is made in the skillet and uses potatoes instead of regular pizza dough.

73. Kielbasa and Cabbage 

This dish may be your standard vegetable-based dinner, but it doesn’t change the fact that it is frugal, reliable, and delicious!

74. Leftover Pasta Bake For Under $10

Leftover Pasta Bake is a great recipe to make the night before a food shop. Get rid of all the leftovers and bits and pieces out of the fridge – and throw them into a pasta bake. Feel free to substitute any of the ingredients – it’s really up to what you have left!

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75. Lentil Sweet Potato Casserole

One cannot organise a list of frugal meals without throwing in a casserole recipe or two! This spicy-sweet recipe is incredibly healthy and the lentils make it more filling.

76. 20-Minute Black Beans Recipe

Rice and beans are probably the best ingredients a meatless but filling meal can use, and this one uses ingredients that are probably already in your pantry!

77. Macaroni Cheese For Under $8!

Macaroni Cheese was my favourite food growing up, I had it every birthday. This is a particularly amazing recipe because you can make the Macaroni Cheese for under $8 bucks!

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78. Double Crunch Chile Relleno Monte Cristo Sandwiches

Traditional Monte Cristo sandwiches are good enough, but what happens if you add chilli relleno to the mix? One stack of awesome coming right up!

79. Egg-Stuffed Baked Potatoes

I probably could eat baked potato for an entire month (for months?) and wouldn’t get tired of it. This recipe adds egg to the usual baked potatoes, making it a good breakfast meal!

80. Lemon Risotto For Under $9!

Lemon Risotto is a very fresh and filling meal that is frugal too. It will easily feed a family of four for under $10 – with leftovers! This is a great recipe for weeks when the budget is tight, and it’s sure to fill any belly!

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81. Roasted Tomatoes and Potatoes 

When everything goes wrong, roast some tomatoes and potatoes! The secret is in using lots of olive oil.


Soup Recipes:

82. Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Soup For Under $10

Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Soup is great for those cold winter nights — warms our tummies well! It is easy to make and tastes a-maaa-zing. Not to mention it comes together for under $10, which for those tight budget weeks, is exactly what you need.

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83. Taco Soup Recipe

I know you guys love taco and crave for soup on cold nights (we all do), but have you ever thought of combining the two? Follow this recipe for a hearty meal your kids (especially your husband) will enjoy!

84. Loaded Vegetable Soup

When the recipe says “loaded,” it is safe to assume that it really is! This vegetable soup is literally a chock-full of colourful vegetables that will surely fill your tummies.

85. Cream of Pumpkin Soup For Under $7

There’s nothing like a hearty Cream of Pumpkin Soup to warm you up on a cold night! I love it with crusty hot bread! It makes for a great meal in itself and it freezes really well!

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86. Mushroom Soup

You don’t need to buy canned soup to get your mushroom soup fix. This recipe is a lot healthier and very hearty and you know exactly what went into it!

87. Veggie-Packed Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup

Yet another good use for your slow cooker! She prefers her vegetable soup to be quite chunky and uses black beans to make it more filling.

88. Tuscan Bean Soup Recipe

Another hearty and filling meal, this soup recipe also uses beans. You can eat it alone, and you can also use it as dip for bread, even sandwiches!

89. Low Fat Chicken and Barley Soup

Low Fat Chicken and Barley Soup is a yummy dish for those cold nights when you want something to warm you up, but without the guilt.

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90. Grilled Vegetable Gazpacho

A Spanish recipe, Gazpacho is intended to be served cold, making it perfect for the warm weather. It’s very easy to make: grill, process, then serve!

91. Black Bean and Salsa Soup

Like Asian recipes, Mexican dishes are apparently very popular among the frugal bunch, too! Give your traditional soup a run for their money with this salsa-based recipe.

92. Home Made French Onion Soup Mix

Run out of French Onion Soup Mix or just want your own version at home? Here’s how to make your own Home Made French Onion Soup Mix!

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93. Beer-Cheddar Soup

The maker of this recipe recommends two things. First, toast the bread cubes one day ahead and store them at room temperature. Second, do not use dark beer to not make the soup too bitter!

94. Chicken Corn and Noodle Soup

This is a thick, hearty soup that is a mixture between chicken noodle soup and creamy corn chowder! This one is also good for when you aren’t feeling too well.

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95. Dill Pickle Soup

Even if you don’t love pickle, you will surely love this savoury-sour soup! The best part is that this nutritious soup is so easy to make. Serve with crusty bread for a complete meal!

96. Slow Cooker Vegetable Black Bean Tortilla Soup

Another Mexican-inspired delicious recipe, this soup again puts your slow cooker to good use but you can also make it on your stove top without changing a thing!

97. Poor Man’s Soup

There’s nothing poor about this soup — in fact, it is rich in nutrients, will fill up your stomach, and will warm your cold heart… Kidding aside, bookmark this recipe for times when you need to stretch your dollar a bit further!

98. Bacon and Potato Soup

This is one of the Stay at Home Mum fans’ favourite winter warmer soup! Aside from having two of our favourite things (bacon and potatoes!), bacon and potato soup freezes really well.

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What are your go-to frugal recipes? Please share it with us!

98 Frugal Meal Ideas


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