Looking for the best struggle meals available? Sometimes eating healthy when you are on a budget seems like an impossible task. Instead of getting extra money with an unreliable online payday loan to afford nutritious meals, there are other things you can do. Thankfully, there are cheap and easy meal options to prepare for your family for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Keep reading to learn about some of the best struggle meal options available!
What Do I Need To Make Basic Struggle Meals at Home?
What do you need to make the best affordable meals at home? The perfect place to start is grocery shopping on a budget. Here’s a basic shopping list of items you may want to purchase now and have on hand so that you can make an affordable meal anytime from the comfort of your own home. You may even be able to acquire everything on this grocery list for $300 or less!
- Lunch meat (like ham, turkey, or salami).
- Seasoning and spices (such as salt, pepper, basil, onion powder, and garlic powder).
- Pasta or instant noodles.
- Soy sauce.
- Sour cream.
- Pinto beans.
- Chicken stock.
- Oil (such as olive, grapeseed, vegetable, or avocado oil).
Top 11 Best Easy Struggle Meals
Eating on a budget doesn’t have to be difficult when you have a few great ideas under your belt. Check out these awesome recipes below next time you want to make a quick, easy, and affordable struggle meal.
1) Loaded Baked Potatoes
Baked potatoes in the oven are a great way to get an easy meal with endless possibilities. Start by taking a potato and splitting it down the middle. From there, you can add condiments, cheeses, or vegetables. Then just heat it in the oven until everything softens, and enjoy! You can also add a bit of extra flavor with some melted butter or sour cream.
2) Roasted Vegetables With Hot Sauce
Try roasted veggies in the oven with hot sauce as a healthy alternative to buffalo chicken wings. To begin, slice your favorite vegetables, like broccoli, carrots, peppers, or cauliflower. Then toss the sliced veggies in your favorite hot sauce, and bake in the oven until tender. You’ll get a nutritious meal without the calories that come with chicken wings!
3) Crockpot Casserole
Save time during the day and try crockpot casseroles. You can make a chicken enchilada casserole by putting a few chicken breasts, enchilada sauce, and some cheese in your crockpot. Leave it on low for 4-6 hours. After that, all you have to do is give the casserole a stir, and it’s ready to be served.
4) Grilled Cheese
For a quick comfort meal, try a grilled cheese. You can make a grilled cheese sandwich on the stovetop or in a toaster oven. Simply put some buttered bread and cheese on the skillet or toaster and cook until crispy. Then put the bread slices together and enjoy a delicious, gooey, grilled cheese sandwich.
5) Hot Dogs
A simple staple that is great for lunch or dinner is hot dogs. You can cook a hot dog on the grill, in a skillet, or even boiled in water. For the grill or skillet, simmer your hot dogs for a few minutes until they are slightly charred. If you are boiling them, simply boil them in a pot of water for several minutes. Add some condiments like ketchup, mustard, pickles, or relish, and you’re ready to go!
6) Cinnamon Toast
Cinnamon toast is a classic comfort food that is quick and easy to make. All you have to do is toast some bread in the toaster or on the stovetop and cook until the bread is crispy. Then just add some butter and cinnamon sugar, and your cinnamon toast is ready to eat!
7) Rice and Beans
A great staple to have in a meal is rice and pinto beans. This combination makes a great side dish or even a filling main course! You can also add some red pepper, egg, or even lime for some extra flavors and textures.
8) Pork Chops
Pork is one of the more affordable meat options at the grocery store, but just as delicious as beef or chicken! You can make a classing pork chop meal with green beans, apple sauce, and mac and cheese. Simply bake your pork chops in the oven until they are tender and cooked through, add your favorite barbeque or hot sauce, and serve with your favorite sides.
9) Stir Fry
Another great way to use the extra veggies you have lying around in your fridge is to put them in a stir fry. Add your favorite vegetables to a pan and saute them until they are soft. Then, add some rice or instant noodles. You can then either eat the stir fry as is or add some seasonings or sauces for flavor.
10) Breaded Tuna Patties
Fish can get expensive, but fortunately, tuna is quite affordable. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on crab cakes for the family, make a delicious and cheap alternative with breaded tuna patties. You can take a few cans of tuna, drain them, and mix them with a bit of mayo and bread crumbs. After baking them in the oven for a few minutes, they should come out hot and crispy, just like crab cakes from a beach restaurant!
11) Oats and Fruit
Try a quick and healthy breakfast of oats and fruit. You can add some oats, fruit, and milk (or milk alternative) in a jar and leave it in your fridge overnight to have a cold and filling meal reminiscent of a milkshake. Or, you can add everything in a bowl and pop it in the microwave to eat the same meal warm.
Tips for Creating the Best Struggle Meal
When you are budgeting with irregular income, it can seem daunting to purchase all the groceries you need to make healthy meals at home. Below are a few tips to help you make struggle meals an easy and attainable goal in your household.
Cook With Leftovers in Mind
When you are making meals try to make a bit more than you think you will eat in one sitting. That way, you can grab a healthy meal from the fridge another day instead of letting hunger drive you towards ordering takeout.
Meal Prep To Save Time
Instead of cooking daily, set up meals for a few days or a week ahead of time. You will save time deciding what to eat because you have already decided for yourself! Meal prep can also help you save time in the actual cooking process because you can chop and season foods ahead of time.
Use a CrockPot or Air Fryer To Save Time
Save even more time and give yourself a break by using a crockpot or air fryer to make meals. Instead of putting a chicken breast in the oven to cook for 35 minutes, you can prepare it in the air fryer in just a few minutes. Or, you can toss it in the crockpot in the morning and come back around dinner time for a ready-to-go meal!
Try To Mix Things Up
Cooking the same things can get monotonous and even boring at times, which may make ordering takeout or unhealthy foods more tempting. Give yourself some variety and mix up your meals every now and then. You will be more likely to stick to the habit of cooking at home if there are always new and interesting options available.
Limit Utensils To Make for an Easy Clean Up
To avoid a lengthy clean-up, try to limit the utensils you use to cook. Instead of using several pots and pans for cooking a meal, see if you can cook everything in the same pan. You can save time on both the cooking and cleaning up processes!