For moms and dads with kids, weekdays go by like a blur. Moments of spare time are few and far between, and obligations of day to day life are endless. Meal planning often doesn’t occur, so when the day winds down – it’s take out, pizza delivery, or cereal for dinner. Though this is fine from time to time, it’s always great to have an arsenal of recipes on hand that are tasty, convenient, easy to prepare, cheap, and healthy for the whole family.
Pasta is super easy and cheap, but the problem is that it’s loaded with unhealthy carbohydrates. Sure, spaghetti noodles, sauce and ground beef might cost a whopping six dollars and feed a family of five, but it’s one of the least healthy options you might come across. Make a slight change to the recipe, however, and you’ll discover a brand new world of healthy “pasta” that’s easy, cost effective and healthy. Simply swap out the noodles for a few zucchinis, and spiralize them at home quickly and easily (with the spiralizing tool), bake them on paper towels at 200 degrees for 30 minutes, and throw them into your sauce. It’s an incredibly easy and healthy alternative to the unfortunately unhealthy favorite weekday meal – spaghetti.
When you need cheap and easy, the crockpot can be your best friend. Taco soup will last days at a time, and is really easy to prepare. The only labor included is browning your meat, which takes no time at all. Simply brown your meat, and dump it along with 2 cans of black beans, 1 jar picante sauce, 2 cans of red kidney beans, 2 cans of corn, 2 cans of mixed beans, and one can of Rotel – into a crock pot at the beginning of the day. Cook it all on low, at least 6 hours, and enjoy a tasty Mexican soup when you get home from work!
Grab a bag of boneless skinless chicken breasts, a few stalks of celery, a jar of mayonnaise and a jar of miracle whip, and you’ve just what you need to make a solid chicken salad. Throw it on some toast, crackers, or eat it as is, and it’s a phenomenal taste that goes a long way for a very minimal cost. Simply boil your raw chicken until it’s cooked, shred it up with a fork, dice your celery, and mix it all together with equal parts mayonnaise and miracle whip, to the consistency of your liking. It’s a great meal to sit down to, and a great meal on the go!
Sometimes you have ingredients but you’re just not sure what to do with them. Almost always, the answer is stir fry. Stir fry can be made nearly out of anything, flavored any way you like, and is often filling and enjoyable for the whole family. Peppers, onions, beef, turkey and sausage are common favorites for stir fry – flavored with teriyaki sauce, cumin and chili powder, salsa or tomato sauce.
Don’t spend one more busy week night settling for cereal at the dinner table. Get to work on one of these cheap and easy meals, and you and your whole family will be glad you did!