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5 Simple Family Meals Your Kids Will Love (and so will your budget!)

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Feeding a family can get so draining day after day. Then, it only gets more complicated when you are trying to just make something that everyone loves without breaking the bank. It is so helpful to have some favoite family meals on hand.

There are a handful of my family’s favorite recipes. They use ingredients that you most likely have on hand, and they are budget-friendly as well.

Even better? I’ve made them in a downloadable format for you! Yippeeeeee! Grab it below!
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Here are the family meals your kids (and you!) will love!

Creamy Macaroni & Cheese

family meals

For this recipe you will need:

•1 1/2 boxes of pasta like elbow macaroni, penne, or shells

•1/3 cup butter or margarine

•1/3 cup flour

•5 cups whole milk (but if you only have another kind on hand, don’t sweat it!)

•1 Tablespoon dry mustard

•2 Tablespoons dijon mustard

•1 teaspoon salt

•1/2 teaspoon pepper

•1/2 teaspoon paprika

•16 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese (but if you only have mild cheddar, that works, too)

Start the water for the noodles and cook according to package directions. Meanwhile, melt the butter and then add the flour to make a roux. This sounds complicated, but it’s not. Just melt the butter, but the flour in, and whisk it for a couple of minutes – just be careful not to burn it.

Once that has cooked together for a couple minutes, add the milk. Then, add the dijon mustard and the rest of the ingredients except the cheese. Cook on medium low until it thickens, whisking frequently. This usually takes the same amount of time that it takes to cook your noodles.

Remove thickened sauce from heat. Stir in cheese. Then, add cheese to noodles. Top with a little extra cheese if desired.

So creamy, dreamy, and easy!!!

Omelets…Like a Pro!

family meals

So the secret is having a big work surface area. I have a jumbo sized griddle on which I can make eight decent sized pancakes at once. This works perfectly!

For this recipe you will need:

•enough eggs for 2 per omelet

•whatever veggies you like

•whatever cheese

•canola oil

Here’s how to do it:

•mix 2 eggs with a teaspoon of water

•oil up your griddle and pour on the eggs

•the trick is to spread them out thin. You can see how thin mine is here.

•at the same time, I put the toppings the person wants off to the side, cooking at the same time as the eggs

•when it looks like it’s starting to firm up, loosen it up from underneath to ensure that nothing is sticking

•when it looks mostly cooked, flip

•add cheese and toppings

•fold up and voila!

Quick, frugal, and made to order in a flash (and like a pro!)

Taco Pizza

family meals

For this recipe you will need:

•1 pizza crust (I make my own pizza dough…it is so easy and so good!)

•1 can refried beans (I also make my own)

•1 16 ounce jar of taco sauce

•1 pound of ground beef flavored with taco seasoning (yes I make my own…queen of frugal, remember?)

•8 ounces of a Mexican flavored cheese




Once you have your pizza dough rolled into your desired shape and thickness, spread the refried beans evenly overtop. Next, layer on the taco sauce and spread evenly. Follow with the ground beef and top with cheese.

Place in 450 degree oven to bake. The time will vary depending on your oven, but mine is between 18 and 22 minutes. I would start checking at 15 minutes to be safe.

When pizza is cooked to your liking, immediately top with the remaining ingredients, starting with the lettuce. The idea behind topping right away is that the pizza is still hot, which will allow you to press all the toppings down into the gooey cheese, helping it to stick better so everything doesn’t fall off.

Toppings will also vary to your liking, but these are the toppings we love.

Chili Cheese Dog Soup

family meals

For this recipe you will need:

•1 pound ground beef

•1 large chopped onion

•4 cloves minced garlic

•3 15 ounce cans diced tomatoes

•2 15 ounce cans chili, with or without beans

•2 15 ounce cans refried beans

•1 6 ounce can tomato paste

•5 cups water

•3 Tablespoons ketchup

•2 Tablespoons mustard

•1 Tablespoon lemon juice

•1 Tablespoon salt

•1/2 tablespoon pepper

•1 1/2 Tablespoons chili powder

•2 packs hot dogs

•8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese

•sour cream for topping (optional)

Brown ground beef, drain, and add to crock pot. Add onions and let soften for 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients except for the hot dogs and cheese. Cook in slow cooker on high for 4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours.

About 30 minutes before serving, add sliced hot dogs and cheese.

Easy Baked Ziti

family meals

For this recipe you will need:

•16 ounces of whatever noodle you like. I use mostaccioli most times

•1 jar spaghetti sauce

•3 cups mozzarella cheese

•1/2 cup parmesan cheese

•15 ounces ricotta cheese

•1 egg

•1 cup milk

•1 teaspoon oregano

•1 teaspoon basil

•1/2 teaspoon paprika

•salt and pepper to taste

Prepare your pasta according to package directions, although cook it only until al dente at best since it will finish cooking in the oven. Meanwhile, combine the rest of the ingredients together in a large bowl.

When the pasta is finished cooking, add it into the large bowl as well.

To a greased 9×13 pan, add a thin layer of spaghetti sauce. Pour the cheese/noodle mixture over top. Cover, and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Uncover, and bake for another 20 minutes. Serve with extra spaghetti sauce.

Having these printed recipes on standby will be a welcome treat on those days when you just need a meal on the table in a flash…and know that everyone will love it! Grab yours and pin for later!

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