At the risk of sounding like a goody two-shoes (although, hey, who wants just one good shoe?), giving gifts is my favorite part of the holidays. I love dreaming up the perfect presents for friends and family, whether it’s handmade coasters, jars of nutty granola, chunky sweaters, or tried-and-true kitchen tools. But I don’t love how empty my bank account feels as we inch through the month.
We all know it’s the thought—not the price tag—that truly matters, and there are loads of ways to spend less on gifts during the holidays. But in addition to DIY-ing gifts, I’m looking for other thrifty ideas to cut back on December spending. Cooking my own meals is a good start, and specifically budget-friendly dishes are even better. If you, too, are looking for inexpensive dinners this season, here are 18 wallet-friendly dishes that just make sense.