Charles loves to cook and enjoys trying new recipes every day. He specializes in recreating gourmet comfort food.
Think it's impossible to make budget-friendly meals that are easy and nutritious with ingredients found at Walmart? I have compared labels from Walmart's Great Value brand and have found that they meet or exceed the nutritional values of the name brand products almost every time. Feeding a family at Whole Foods or Wegmans can get expensive, especially if you have recently lost your job, had your hours cut back, or even if you simply would like to save yourself a couple of bucks. Check out these meals I frequently put together to save money and feed my family.
1. Easy Pennsylvania Dutch Chicken and Dumplings
This quick and easy budget-friendly dish is designed to satisfy even the heartiest appetite. The main ingredients can be found at Walmart for less than $10. Throw in some sauteed celery, onions, and carrots for a warm, delicious, hearty meal. Find my recipe for this easy weeknight meal below. This is one of my favorites.
Prep time: 30 min Cook time: 30 min Ready in: 1 hour Yields: 6 servings
- 5 chicken thighs, baked and meat pulled from the bone
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- 1 cup carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bay leaf, whole
- 2 (10 to 14 oz) cans condensed cream of chicken soup
- 1 (48 oz.) can chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups half and half
- 1 package Pennsylvania Dutch egg noodles
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons sweet unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- In a 6-quart pot. Start by heating the butter and olive oil over medium-low heat.
- Add the celery, carrots and onion. Sautee until translucent, about 7 minutes.
- Put in the garlic and cook until the smell of garlic fills the room, about 3 minutes.
- Now add the cream of chicken soup, bay leaf and chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Then reduce to simmer.
- Next comes the chicken, half and half and the package of noodles, salt and pepper to taste, cover and simmer approximately 20 minutes.
- Serve with fresh Italian or French bread and butter. Enjoy!
2. Spaghetti and Meatballs
A quick weeknight meal doesn't have to break the bank. This five-ingredient meal feeds four with leftovers for around $4 a person. Every ingredient in this quick meal is from Walmart's Great Value brand. Using prepackaged ingredients saves a ton of time without sacrificing flavor. Who doesn't love good old-fashioned spaghetti and meatballs in under an hour?
3. Cheeseburgers and Fries
What beats burgers on the grill, skillet, or even an air fryer? The fact that you saved a ton of money at Walmart. This easy meal covers all the bases. From good quality frozen burgers to fresh lettuce and tomatoes. This meal comes in at around $4 per person for a family of four. Whip this up in less than an hour and the whole house will love you for it.
4. Hot Dogs and Baked Beans
To continue with your cookout theme, why not enjoy some quick hot dogs and beans. These Great Value dogs are uncured and don't include nitrates or nitrites, making them a healthier choice when serving them. Top them with sauerkraut, onions, and spicy mustard for a taste of New York City. Serve them with delicious brown sugar and molasses baked beans for a meal that costs less than $2 a person and you can't go wrong.
5. Frozen Pizza
Mix and match from a huge selection of frozen pizzas from Walmart. Get ready for the game on Sunday with pizzas ranging from $3.98 to $6.98. Throw a couple of these guys in the oven tonight and save that delivery charge for some cold beverages to wash everything down with. Serve these frozen pizzas with some of your favorite chicken wings or a salad for a complete meal.
6. Chili and Cornbread
I make this chili many times during the fall and winter seasons. This was something my mom would make and I remember her fondly every time I have this meal. Inexpensive items and minimal prep make this a great weekend meal. Brown the meat and onions, try using a combination of different beans. Throw everything together in a crockpot and a heartwarming dinner is ready in hours. Top with golden corn, tangy sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, or toasty corn chips. Serve with Great Value sweet cornbread for a meal that clocks in at around $3 or less per serving for a family of four to six.
7. Caribbean Jerk Shrimp With Red Beans and Rice
Take a trip to the islands with pre-packaged ingredients from your local Walmart. Your family and guests would never think this was a budget meal. The frozen shrimp for $5.70 is a hidden gem for quick weeknight meals and the $2.24 red beans and rice from Zatarain's are authentic and taste like they are homemade. I like to serve this meal with some $1 frozen Great Value broccoli florets for a complete gourmet seafood meal that costs less than $10 for everything.
8. Vanilla Pudding Pie Dessert
This quick-prep, delicious dessert idea is made in minutes with most of the work done in the fridge. Every ingredient in this recipe is a Great Value brand. I mix this dessert up with different flavored pudding mixes like chocolate or pumpkin spice. Try slicing a couple of bananas and mixing them into the pudding before filling the crust. Top with whipped cream and this tasty sweet ending comes in at about $4 for the whole pie.
Thank you for stopping by, I hope some of these ideas provide inspiration for feeding your family on a budget. Most, if not all of these ingredients and products can be found online and are available for pick up at the store or for delivery to your door.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Charles Kikas