Your family is busy on weeknights, so there's no shame in running through the occasional drive-thru and grabbing food for everyone. The problem is that if eating out becomes a habit, your food bill (and your waistline) can grow substantially.
Try switching things up with these healthy, cheap meals you can make from the comfort of your kitchen. Each costs roughly $5 to make and will leave you feeling full and satisfied without exposing your family to fast food.
Spaghetti With Garlic, Olive Oil, and Chili Flakes
Who says spaghetti has to be boring? When you use this recipe from PopSugar, the dish takes on a super flavorful punch, but it's still incredibly easy to make. All you need is the pasta, some garlic cloves, chili pepper flakes, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bon appetite!
Healthy Stuffed Peppers
Take four medium bell peppers, slice them in half, then lay them in a nonstick baking dish. Cover them in turkey, delicious seasonings, black beans, salsa, and brown rice, then cook them according to this recipe from Sugar Free Mom. It's a simple meal to make, and each serving is low in calories but extremely filling.
Turkey Sloppy Joes With Homemade Sauce
Armed with some lean ground turkey, seasonings, cheese, buns, and condiments, you can whip up a batch of these bad boys for the whole family in under an hour. Using turkey instead of beef makes the meal a little healthier, and the homemade sauce is mostly comprised of ingredients you probably have in your cabinet.
Turkey Siracha Meatballs
Want some big flavor without a big price tag? Grab some ground turkey and make a batch of these delectable meatballs. Once they're drowned in a sriracha glaze and paired with fresh rice, everyone in the family will be dying for a bite. Most of the sauce ingredients are pretty common, so you might only need to grab a few key items at your local grocery store.
Sesame Beef Stir-Fry
The Dinner-Mom can show you how to make a delicious meal that tastes as good as takeout but that's half the price. In under 30 minutes, you and your family will be devouring tasty beef strips with a steaming plate of veggies that are covered in a soy ginger sauce. The recipe mostly just calls for spices, veggies, some brown sugar, and beef, so you shouldn't need to pick up many ingredients at the store if you have a fully-stocked kitchen. Serve the yummy mixture with some brown rice or eat it without any sides.
Healthy Baked Chicken Tenders
Are the kids craving some chicken fingers? Steer them towards this healthy alternative by Sarah Lipoff. All you have to do is toss some chicken with yogurt and mustard, add some seasoning, then refrigerate and bread them. Pop them in the oven at 425 degrees and you're in for a mouthwatering meal that's way better for your diet than McDonald's.