Meal planning when you have a large family and a small budget can feel stressful and confusing. You have to figure out how to satisfy picky eaters while staying within your budget. Fortunately, there are a lot of cheap and easy family meals under $20 to choose from. If you don’t want to spend a fortune eating out, give one of these cheap family meals a try!


Chicken Taco Bowls

Taco Tuesday just got a lot better! All you need for a family taco bowl night is a few different ingredients. This taco bowl recipe calls for 1.5 boneless chicken breasts, a jar of salsa, a can of black beans, frozen corn, shredded cheese, rice, cilantro and a few different seasonings you probably already have in your pantry. Put all of the ingredients except the rice in the slow cooker and let it simmer all day long. When your family is ready to eat dinner, cook some rice and assemble the bowls. This cheap and easy family meal will be a winner on Taco Tuesday and your bank account.

Zoodle Stir Frye

Incorporate more vegetables into your inexpensive family meals with this cheap and easy zoodle stir fry! This particular recipe is also “Meatless Monday”-friendly. You can, however, add some chicken if you want. The recipe contains veggies like green onions, carrots, bell peppers, snap peas and zucchini. It’s seasoned with garlic, sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar and cilantro. You can cook the recipe in under 12 minutes after you cut all the veggies. This zoodle stir fry is a perfect meal under $20 for any family that wants a healthy and tasty cuisine.

Egg and Avocado Flip-Over

When you have a busy family schedule, a slow cooker is your best friend. Fortunately, there are plenty of cheap and easy family meals you can make in the slow cooker. This slow cooker barbecue chicken recipe only contains six ingredients and fits in the cheap family meals under $20 category. All you need is four halved chicken breasts, a bottle of barbecue sauce, distilled white vinegar, brown sugar, garlic powder and red pepper flakes. Whisk together all of the ingredients besides chicken to create your sauce, then pour it over chicken in the slow cooker. Serve the chicken with corn on the cob or another side of your choice.

Slow-Cooked Barbecue Chicken

When you have a busy family schedule, a slow cooker is your best friend. Fortunately, there are plenty of cheap and easy family meals you can make in the slow cooker. This slow cooker barbecue chicken recipe only contains six ingredients and fits in the cheap family meals under $20 category. All you need is four halved chicken breasts, a bottle of barbecue sauce, distilled white vinegar, brown sugar, garlic powder and red pepper flakes. Whisk together all of the ingredients besides chicken to create your sauce, then pour it over chicken in the slow cooker. Serve the chicken with corn on the cob or another side of your choice.

Slow-Cooked Shepherd’s Pie

Take your family on a journey to Great Britain. Instead of baking shepherd’s pie in the oven, you can put it in the slow cooker for the day. Although authentic shepherd’s pie calls for lamb meat, this recipe uses ground beef. You will also need an onion, mashed potatoes (get instant or create your own), brown gravy, carrots, peas, cream of mushroom soup and a few spices. Create everything in the morning and let it cook all day while you’re busy. Once dinner time rolls around, all you have to do is open the lid to your slow cooker and dinner is served! This cheap and easy family meal under $20 is a family favorite and easy to make.

Cheesy Italian Sausage Meatloaf

Time for a trip down south to Louisiana with this classic Cajun dish. The inexpensive family meal only takes 40 minutes to cook. You need rice, kielbasa, onion, bell pepper, kidney beans, tomatoes and seasonings to create the recipe. If you want to kick up the spice, you can add some cayenne pepper to the recipe; just use it sparingly, as it can quickly get too spicy for your family’s liking. 

Chili Cheese Dog Casserole

There’s nothing more American than chili, hot dogs and casseroles. Why not combine these three beloved American meals into one delectable cheap and easy family meal under $20. This recipe uses only six ingredients and creates eight servings. All you need to create your family’s new favorite dish is Velveeta cheese, two cans of chili with beans, chopped red onion, a package of hot dogs, Pillsbury crescent dinner rolls and shredded cheddar cheese. Not only is this an inexpensive family meal, but it only takes about 55 minutes to make!

Red Beans and Rice

Take your family on a journey down south to Louisiana with this classic Cajun dish. This inexpensive family meal only takes 40 minutes to cook. You need rice, kielbasa, onion, bell pepper, kidney beans, tomatoes and seasonings to create the recipe. If you want to kick up the spice, you can add some cayenne pepper to the recipe; just use it sparingly, as it can quickly get too spicy for your family’s liking. 

Baked Ziti

It’s possible to cook meals under $20 that taste great and are easy to make – just looked at this baked ziti recipe. All you need to create this cheesy Italian dish is a jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce, a package of ziti pasta, ricotta and mozzarella cheese, and an egg. It only takes about an hour to make from start to finish, including baking time. Take a break from lasagna and spaghetti and give this baked ziti dish a try!

Take Online Surveys to Earn Cash or Gift Cards for Cheap Meals

If you want to earn extra money to spend on family meals, taking online surveys is an easy way to earn in the comfort of your home – and on your own time. When you become a member of Branded Surveys, you can get paid for voicing your opinion in market research surveys for big companies. After you take a survey, you’re awarded points. Once you achieve 1,000 points, you can exchange them for cash or a gift card to your favorite grocery store, or a restaurant if you really don’t feel like cooking.

If you’re ready to earn easy money or earn free gift cards to spend on cheap family meals under $20, sign up with Branded Surveys today to start taking online surveys!