Eating out can be a fun and enjoyable experience, but it can also be expensive. If you want to save money and still enjoy delicious meals at home, here are some cheap dinner ideas for two people. These cheap dinners are full of flavor and require minimal ingredients, so you don’t have to break the bank to get a good meal.
Ways to Prep
Meal Prep and Batch Cooking
One of the best ways to save money is by preparing meals ahead of time. Meal prepping is when you cook ingredients all at once and then use them throughout the week in various recipes. For example, if you’re making an easy recipe for tacos one night, double or triple the amount of meat and vegetables so you can use them later in salads or burrito bowls. Batch cooking is a great way to prepare the main ingredients ahead of time, so everything is ready to go in minutes when you need them. Both methods will save time and money and help make dinner prep less stressful, letting you get dinner done for the whole family in less time.
Cooking from scratch
Another way to save money (and eat healthier) is by cooking from scratch instead of relying on premade convenience foods like frozen dinners or boxed macaroni and cheese. Not only does this help reduce food waste, but it also allows you to control what goes into your food, so you know exactly what ingredients are included in your meal and how healthy they are. Plus, many basic ingredients, like rice, beans, pasta, etc., are inexpensive yet very versatile and filling – perfect for stretching leftovers over multiple meals! You can get the best bang for your buck with a healthy meal made with low-cost ingredients, making this an easy way to make cheap family meals.
Make it a date night
Finally, why not make dinner into an event? Have a romantic candlelit dinner with your partner at home, or even better – cook together! This means cooking the perfect weeknight dinner together can be a good way to make great memories and a great meal! Spending quality time together while working on something creative like cooking can be fun as well as practical – plus, it helps keep costs down too! You could even plan a themed dinner around your favorite cuisine or movie night, where both of you pick a movie to watch while enjoying dinner together.
Recipes to Try
Pasta Carbonara with Spinach – This delicious pasta dish is a classic Italian favorite that is easy to make but packed with so much flavor. All you need is spaghetti or any type of pasta, bacon, eggs, Parmesan cheese, garlic, and spinach. Cook the bacon until crispy, then add garlic and spinach before adding the egg mixture. Finally, mix in the cooked pasta and top with some grated Parmesan cheese. This is sure to please the entire family!
Baked Tortilla Pizza – This recipe takes just minutes to prepare and is great for those nights when you’re short on time but still want something tasty, making it one of the go-to easy weeknight dinners. You’re less than 20 minutes away from a delicious meal. Start by preheating your oven to 425°F. Then spread some pizza sauce over a flour tortilla before sprinkling on some cheese (mozzarella or cheddar cheese, depending on your preference) and your favorite toppings such as pepperoni or vegetables. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Twist: make it a Mexican pizza by adding pre-cooked ground beef and hot sauce before topping it with sour cream once it’s out of the oven.
One-Pot Chicken Teriyaki Rice Bowl – This one-pot meal is perfect for busy weeknights because it requires minimal effort and cleanup! Simply combine chicken breasts (or chicken thighs), rice, teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, and sesame oil in a pot and let simmer for 20 minutes or until the rice is tender. Serve with steamed vegetables (bell pepper, red pepper flakes, broccoli, asparagus, or any other stir-fry veggie you like) or a side salad for an extra boost of nutrition!
Creamy Mushroom Tagliatelle – This creamy mushroom tagliatelle uses simple and cheap ingredients like mushrooms, cream cheese, and garlic to create an incredibly flavorful dish that will satisfy both vegetarians and meat lovers alike! Start by sautéing the mushrooms in butter until they’re golden brown before adding in cream cheese, garlic powder, salt & black pepper, and some fresh parsley (optional). Finally, add cooked tagliatelle pasta before stirring everything together for a creamy yet light dinner that’s sure to impress!
Hearty Chickpea Masala – Spice up your weeknight dinners with this easy chickpea curry recipe! It’s made with canned chickpeas, which makes it one of those super convenient and budget-friendly meals; simply cook onion & garlic in oil before adding spices such as garam masala & turmeric, along with diced tomatoes & coconut milk (or heavy cream if you prefer). Simmer until thickened, then serve over basmati rice or naan bread for an extra dose of flavor! This is the ultimate comfort food and is better than some of the store-brand meals.
Which One Will You Make?
With these five cheap dinner ideas for two people, you can enjoy delicious meals without breaking the bank! All of these recipes are easy to make while still being flavorful – so why not try them tonight? You won’t be disappointed!
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