10 Budget Lunch Ideas and Cheap Easy Meals You Should Try

Last month’s roundup 10 Budget Recipes proved to be popular, so I’m back at it again with 10 Budget Lunch Ideas and Cheap Easy Meals You Should Try. Food is one of the largest expenses a family can have each month, which is why I’m a big believer in and lover of weekly meal plans. If you are…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: May 25, 2023

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LLooking for budget lunch ideas? Here are 10 cheap meals for lunch recipes that you should start making. Yes, these are easy lunch ideas that are delicious!ast month’s roundup 10 Budget Recipes proved to be popular, so I’m back at it again with 10 Budget Lunch Ideas and Cheap Easy Meals You Should Try.

Food is one of the largest expenses a family can have each month, which is why I’m a big believer in and lover of weekly meal plans. If you are looking for some new budget lunch recipes to start making for you and/or your family, then you’ve come to the right place.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the average family of four spends around $700 to $1,000 a month on food. That’s a lot of money, especially considering that most families waste around a large amount of their food each month!

Related: Does bringing lunch to work actually save money?

If you want lunch recipes that are budget friendly and delicious, don’t worry, it is possible! The budget lunch ideas included in this lunch recipes roundup are affordable, easy, and you may already have many of the ingredients in your home!

I have all of these cheap lunch ideas recipes in my current meal plan, and I’m excited to make all of them.

Note: If you’re looking for easy weekly meal plans, full of budget recipes, I recommend $5 Meal Plan. $5 Meal Plan is a meal planning service that sends you a delicious meal plan and shopping list every week for just $5 a month.

Other helpful content to read:

Here are 10 budget lunch ideas and cheap meals you should try:

 

1. Crock Pot Chicken Caesar Sandwiches

Get the lunch recipe here.

Looking for budget lunch ideas? Here are 10 cheap meals for lunch recipes that you should start making. Yes, these are easy lunch ideas that are delicious!

 

2. Quinoa Salad Wraps

Get the easy lunch idea here.

Looking for budget lunch ideas? Here are 10 cheap meals for lunch recipes that you should start making. Yes, these are easy lunch ideas that are delicious!

 

3. BBQ Chicken Pot Pie

Get the recipe here.

Looking for budget lunch ideas? Here are 10 cheap meals for lunch recipes that you should start making. Yes, these are easy lunch ideas that are delicious!

 

4. Pasta Salad

Get the recipe here.

Looking for budget lunch ideas? Here are 10 cheap meals for lunch recipes that you should start making. Yes, these are easy lunch ideas that are delicious!

 

5. Pepperoni Pizza Sliders

Get the recipe here.

Looking for budget lunch ideas? Here are 10 cheap meals for lunch recipes that you should start making. Yes, these are easy lunch ideas that are delicious!

 

6. Easy Chicken Burritos

Get the recipe here.

Looking for budget lunch ideas? Here are 10 cheap meals for lunch recipes that you should start making. Yes, these are easy lunch ideas that are delicious!

 

7. Vegan Taco Casserole

Get the recipe here.

Looking for budget lunch ideas? Here are 10 cheap meals for lunch recipes that you should start making. Yes, these are easy lunch ideas that are delicious!

 

8. Quinoa Salad

Get the recipe here.

Looking for budget lunch ideas? Here are 10 cheap meals for lunch recipes that you should start making. Yes, these are easy lunch ideas that are delicious!

 

9. Spanish-Style Vegan Lentil Stew

Get the recipe here.Looking for budget lunch ideas? Here are 10 cheap meals for lunch recipes that you should start making. Yes, these are easy lunch ideas that are delicious!

 

10. Easy Baked Chicken Parmesan For Two

Get the recipe here.

Looking for budget lunch ideas? Here are 10 cheap meals for lunch recipes that you should start making. Yes, these are easy lunch ideas that are delicious!

What are your favorite budget lunch ideas right now? Share them in the comments below!


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Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

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  1. Good stuff here. But best of all is #3. I’d made this years ago for dinner, but sort of got away from it. This post is a great reminder. It also shows there is more to school lunches than PB&J. Cheers. Tom

  2. Wow everything looks so delicious! I’m all for good food at a low price.

    We usually cook Chinese food at home, so I haven’t tried any of the recipes above yet. It’s totally worth it to give it a shot though ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Back in the day, I used to eat Tuna fish sandwiches with a few Oranges and call it a day. That was when I was a supposed “vegetarian.” Now I’m striving to get back where I once was and eat smaller meals. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Budget Kitty

    Yum! These all look so good. The pepperoni will make a great snack during game time!

  5. I love Quinoa salad. It looks awesome! I will try it out soon.

  6. Mrs. Picky Pincher

    Thank you for sharing these! It’s refreshing to check out some recipes I haven’t heard of before. And how timely – I’m about to start making next week’s menu. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Jamie

    Yeah the crock pot chicken sandwiches look good

  8. I appreciate that you included vegetarian/vegan options since that’s the diet I follow. After reading a bunch of personal finance blogs, I’m thinking of relooking at my food expenses to see how much we actually spend on food and what we can do to reduce that expense. Thanks for sharing!

  9. I’ve been rocking a similar quinoa salad for years now. It sooo awesome and yes it’s pretty cheap. Also quinoa is very high in protein and healthier than most people realize.

  10. Jason@Simple Man Money

    I like these ideas, especially for those times when a cold ham sandwich just doesn’t sound very appealing! I could eat on the BBQ pot pie for days – and I think even I could make it. Thanks for sharing the recipes.

  11. The food looks good.There are a few recipes that I need to try.

  12. These are amazing! Thank you, Michelle. I’m always looking for easy and healthy food ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Thank you for including my recipe here. I am so delighted and all the other recipes look really good

  14. The easy chicken burritos look good. I really enjoy cold wraps and I’m usually tempted to buy them… forgetting how easy they would be to make at home… if I would make a point to buy the right ingredients!

  15. I’ve been experimenting with my new crockpot for the last few weeks. I really like the first dish.Going on the menu list for this weekend :).

  16. Hello Michelle,

    Thinking about what food to serve daily is stressful! I love your list since they are creative and easy to make. The pasta salad really worked for me because it’s simply “toss and serve,” and what’s best about it is that the more it stays in the fridge, the tastier it becomes.