Meal Plan: Cheap and Easy Recipes

A 5 day meal plan with cheap and easy recipes that the whole family will love! Every recipe can be ready in about 1 hour!

There is absolutely a place for fancy, complicated dishes that require a trip to the grocery store for exotic ingredients. But that place is NOT this meal plan round-up! For this meal plan, I’m focusing on cheap and easy recipes that are made from things you probably already have in your pantry and fridge. I hope you find some inspiration in these hearty, delicious, easy recipes that can be modified based on what you have in your house and on your table in about an hour! 


  • A variety of meals that you can make quickly and inexpensively, most of which you can have on the table within an hour of when you get home from a busy day at work.
  • yummy dessert for each day, some of which can double as lunch kit treats for kids at school! 
A weekly meal plan featuring cheap and easy recipes


Of course, there are a few things you need to remember to make this kind of thing work for you and your schedule.  Sometimes I hear people say that meal planning doesn’t work for their lifestyle, and usually it’s because they don’t do at least one of the following: 

  • Make sure you have all the groceries! It is crucial to go  through the plan the weekend before, to make sure you have all the ingredients and are ready to go when the work week starts and life gets crazy.  I have tried to make sure ingredients are simple and on-hand in most pantries, but there’s always going to be a few things missing! 
  • Review and change the order you prepare the suggested recipes to suit your needs. For days you know you will be running errands or taking kids to activities, plan the meals with the lowest prep and shortest cook times.  Save the slightly more involved recipes for evenings when you can breathe. 
  • Plan ahead. Look at the recipe for the next day the night before, and see if there’s anything you can do to get ready.  Even chopping vegetables the day before will make you feel in control and give you that precious extra few minutes to get out the door on time. 
  • Take meal planning seriously! If you know what’s in your pantry and what your plans are for feeding your family at least a few days in a row, you will find that dinner will become far less stressful.  I’m including the link for my FREE printable meal planning toolkit to help you really get organized and set up for success. 

Now, let’s get planning! I’m so excited to present this week’s meal plan full of cheap and easy recipes. These meals are sure to get you and your family through the week well-fed, on budget, and stress-free.


This menu includes a Creamy Tomato Macaroni and Cheese as a main dish, a Simple Green Salad with Homemade Mayo Dressing as a side, and The Best Ever Banana Muffin for dessert!

Main Dish: Creamy Tomato Macaroni & Cheese

Side Dish: Simple Green Salad with Homemade Mayo Dressing

Dessert: The Best Ever Banana Muffin


Meatloaf gets such a bad rap! But we love it around here, and I hope to change your mind with this Classic Meatloaf and its delicious sauce. Pair it with steamed green beans and my Slow Cooker Baked Potatoes for a meal of easy, low-maintenance comfort food. Round it off with these simple Puffed Wheat Squares as an after-dinner treat. 

Main Dish: Classic Meatloaf

Side Dish: Slow Cooker Baked Potatoes

Dessert: Puffed Wheat Squares


One-pot meals are so handy on busy weeknights! This hearty Winter Vegetable Soup is full of delicious and healthy ingredients like chickpeas, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, and tomatoes. Pair it with an easy Basic Quick Bread (ready in one hour start to finish!), and simple Dad’s Cookies for dessert.

Main Dish: Winter Vegetable Soup

Side Dish: Basic Quick Bread

Dessert: Dad’s Cookies


Sheet pan creations are some of my favourite quick and easy meals! This Hawaiian Chicken Sheet Pan Supper is made with chunks of flavourful marinated chicken, roasted vegetables, and roasted pineapple. Serve it with steamed rice, and follow it up with Pina Colada Pops for dessert to stay on theme! 

Main Dish: Hawaiian Chicken Sheet Pan Supper

Side Dish: Steamed Rice

Dessert: Pina Colada Pops


Breakfast for dinner?  Yes please! Assemble this Sausage and Egg Breakfast Bake in the morning before you go to work, and then pop it in the oven when you get home! Easy peasy.  Serve with some sliced fruit to make a balanced meal, and finish off with these delectable Peanut Butter Cookie Bars for dessert.

Main Dish: Sausage and Egg Breakfast Bake

Side Dish: Sliced Fruit

Dessert: Peanut Butter Cookie Bars

There you have it, a whole workweek of cheap and easy meals to make your busy life a bit easier! Let me know in the comments which one went over best at your house.

Have a delicious day!

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