This year I’m all about saving us some money with budget-friendly dinners, while also saving me time in the kitchen. So this week’s meal plan is all family-friendly slow cooker dinners under $10 each. Whoo! I’m so excited for a week of super-easy dinners that still leaves me some extra cash for something fancy, like nice chocolates?
Who am I kidding? It will probably go to homeschool books or theater classes instead.
Either way, this weekly meal plan will make your dinners this week a breeze, so enjoy! And if any of these don’t suit your family this week, be sure to check our other posts on slow cooker meals under $10 for even more ideas.
Note: I calculated these recipes based on serving a family of 4 at the current prices at my local grocery in Nashville. Note that some of these recipes are for 8 or more servings, so they can be cut down to feed 4 people. Or, even better: make the full recipe and freeze half for more easy dinners later!
Speaking of grilled cheese, these mouth-watering Italian Beef Grilled Cheese sandwiches at Grandbaby Cakes look in-cred-i-ble, and the recipe serves 12! For my family, I’d actually make this two dinners. Start with that Mississippi Pot Roast recipe that makes her beef so delicious on night one with some mashed potatoes on the side, then use the leftovers in the sandwiches the next night for dinner. Grand total price: This recipe makes 12 servings, which is a whole lot, but four servings cost me just $8.80. I’ll go ahead and make all the meat, though, and save it for other dinners later in the week.
A good slow cooker beef stew, like this Beef Stew recipe at Damn Delicious, is perfect for winter nights. Let me give you permission to totally skip some of the more obscure spices (like carraway seeds) that you will likely not use again. It will still taste great, I promise. I’d serve this with some baguettes to sop up that yummy juice…then save any leftovers for roast beef sandwiches with au jus for lunch! Grand total price: For 4 servings, my total price is $7.48 with me buying the meat (the most expensive part, of course) at Costco for $4.19 per pound.
When I was recovering from surgery recently, a friend brought baked ziti for dinner and my kids flipped out. Who knew? So now I’ve added this slow cooker Baked Ziti at Chop Happy to our regular rotation, and it’s making everyone so happy. You can switch out the pepperoni for ground beef or sausage, or just keep it meatless (which is my kids’ favorite) for an even cheaper dinner. Grand total price: This dinner runs me $5.44 for four servings. You could switch up the pepperoni for other meat options and still keep this under $10 for your family.
Having a great slow cooker chili recipe is crucial for me during the winter months, and this Chili Recipe at Inquiring Chef is a favorite. You could make it with ground turkey for some variety, or save even more by making this a vegetarian version by leaving out the beef and doubling up on the beans. Serve this in a bowl with toppings, over baked potatoes, on hot dogs, over fries or tater tots . . . and probably a million other ways I haven’t thought of. Don’t limit yourself to a bowl though. Chili all winter long is good with me. Grand total price: Jess says she can get this dinner on the table for $15 for 8 servings, so this is well under $10 for 4 servings. That means you can add baked potatoes, corn bread or corn chips and toppings to make it even better!
Make spaghetti night way more fun with these Giant Meatballs at Budget Bytes. By cooking them in the slow cooker, you can get them cooked through without burning them like you might in the oven. If you have any leftover meatballs, warm them up and the next day for my dad’s “famous” meatloaf sandwiches: slice them up and serve them on white bread with a slice of cheese and some mayo. So good. Grand total price: Beth puts this dinner at $2 per serving, based on her grocery’s prices. At $8 for a dinner for four, you can grab some baguettes and stay under $10.