When we started trying to make room in our budget so that we could snowball our debt on our journey to financial freedom, the most obvious place we could cut back was our grocery budget. Since we still value eating high quality food whenever possible, we started looking for frugal, healthy recipes to make our money stretch. One way that we’ve been able to do that is by going meatless sometimes. I will say that although not all of the members of our household love going meatless (ahem, my husband), we do all genuinely enjoy these particular frugal meatless dinners.
Where to Shop for these Frugal Meatless Dinner Ingredients…
I’ve compiled seven of our favorite frugal meatless dinners to share with you here. The prices listed for the ingredients reflect the current prices of our local Aldi. While you can certainly find the ingredients listed at any grocery store, you may end up paying slightly more per item at other stores.
We try to select organic options whenever possible. I love that more stores like Aldi, Kroger, and Costco are making organic food affordable these days! I priced out the conventional versions of each item as well as the organic. Certain items (like quinoa) only have an organic option available at Aldi, while other items (like cilantro) don’t typically have an organic option. If you choose to shop at another grocery store, you would obviously have a wider selection to ensure that your entire list is exactly to your preference.
While we do try to choose organic options when possible, there are times where the budget simply won’t allow it and I’ve decided I’m no longer willing to spend beyond my means to ensure that only organic food hits the table. Sometimes we just suck it up and do the best we can, and are thankful that we have access to as much food as we need, since so many people don’t.
Based on the prices at Aldi, if you select the organic options whenever available, the total cost for the ingredients of these meals is $57. If you purchase the conventional version of each item, the total would actually be closer to $43. These prices assume that you already have a few staple spices in your pantry.
One Week of Frugal Meatless Dinners
Use half the cabbage for the soup, and half the cabbage for the Stuffed Cabbage Casserole later in the list. Although I love serving this soup with salad and bread, in this meal plan I am assuming you’ll serve it over rice since rice is already an ingredient in another dish.
I leave out the jalapeño, because my kids wouldn’t eat it otherwise. I like to serve this with tortilla chips.
You can serve this with leftover tortilla chips from the One Pan Mexican Quinoa night.
This isn’t exactly a “recipe.” I cook some quinoa in broth or water, add some butter and salt, and then top it with two hard boiled or fried eggs and roasted vegetables. In this meal plan I assume that you will use the leftover carrots to chop & roast. I like to cut the carrots into strips, toss with olive oil or avocado oil or melted butter & salt, and roast in the oven at 400 for about 30 minutes. You can steam whatever your chosen veggies are as well, but I prefer the taste of roasted veggies. Roasted Brussel sprouts or sautéed kale is great with this as well. Since the bell peppers needed in the vegetarian chili are usually sold in a 3 pack you could always use the leftovers to roast and add in here as well!
Also not a “recipe.” Cook the pasta, top with sauce and voila – dinner’s ready!
I use the other half of the cabbage from the lentil soup for this recipe. To make it meatless sub black beans for the ground turkey. But if you’re not sold on the meatless thing, ground turkey is a pretty budget friendly option at Aldi. I’ve also made this with ground venison, which we get gifted to us by family members. Although this recipe calls for cheddar jack cheese, I usually just buy cheddar because it comes in bulk at Aldi and is more versatile.
Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup
Use the bread and cheese to make grilled cheese (no special recipe for that one) and serve along side this amazingly delicious and frugal recipe for tomato soup. I just use plain ol’ diced tomatoes & I use water instead of broth.
Bonus Meal: Breakfast!
If you don’t like one of the recipes listed here, or if you need an extra meal, breakfast is always a winner in our house! Use the leftover bread (or buy an extra loaf) and cook the leftover eggs your favorite way. You can also cook up any of the veggies you have left over from the other recipes (cabbage, bell pepper, or carrots) and serve them here!
You can see the cost breakdown below. Prices listed reflect the current prices at Aldi in my area. Some items are only available in organic, and some are only available in conventional versions. The total at the bottom of the conventional column reflects the cost of buying every conventional choice available, as well as the organic versions of the products that are only carried in organic. The price at the bottom of the organic column reflects the price of purchasing every organic option available, as well as the conventional products that don’t have organic selections at Aldi. If you choose to shop a different store, your prices will vary slightly.
To Download the Shopping List fill in the box below and it will be emailed to you!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this list of frugal meatless dinners! Although we wouldn’t prefer to go meatless all the time, it’s definitely a helpful way to trim back on your grocery budget! Even just having one meatless meal a week can really help! What are some of your favorite frugal meatless meals?
Don’t forget to pin this post so that you can come back to it later!
Other Posts You May Like:
Saving Money on Groceries by Buying in Bulk– Tips on buying in bulk without wasting money!
How to Save Money on Organic Groceries – Read how we cut $300 from our grocery budget!
How to Save Money on a Tight Budget – Learn how we created $1500 of margin in our tight monthly budget!