What to CookMeal Plan

Dinners That Will Get You Through the End of the Month

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Last month, my landlord upped my rent. It could’ve been worse...but when I pulled out my checkbook yesterday and wrote the new amount, reality sank in. This rent is my new normal.

I can't help that rent, as well as the fact that my electricity and internet bills all come at the same time each month. But I can find other ways to cut down on my spending. I already cook most of my meals at home, but thoughtfully shopping my pantry or limiting myself to low-cost ingredients like cabbage, tomatoes, or ground beef until payday helps keep my bank account (and me) full. Here are 9 dishes I’m considering for the rest of the month.

Kelli's Green Spaghetti With Aji Sauce
Kelli's Green Spaghetti With Aji Sauce

This interpretation of a Peruvian classic uses two wallet-friendly staples—frozen spinach and cream cheese—to make a rich, creamy sauce.

Eggs in Spicy Minted Tomato Sauce
Eggs in Spicy Minted Tomato Sauce

Dress up canned tomatoes and eggs with refreshing mint and spicy sriracha for a speedy, satisfying breakfast-for-dinner.

Pull-Apart Cheesy Baked Potato
Pull-Apart Cheesy Baked Potato

This is for days where I don’t want to feel like I’m budgeting—it's a hybrid baked potato–French fry. It’s so fun to pull apart, and I can customize it to my mood (and pantry) with spicy kimchi, funky blue cheese, or fragrant curry powder. Plus, it’s ready in under 10 minutes.

White Bean and Tuna Salad with Hard Boiled Eggs and Dukkah
White Bean and Tuna Salad with Hard Boiled Eggs and Dukkah

I’m not letting the fact that I don’t have dukkah in my pantry keep me away from this super-simple salad. I’ll just mix the sesame seeds, ground cumin, caraway seeds, red chiles, and black pepper myself.

Cabbage e Pepe
Cabbage e Pepe

Yes, pasta is inexpensive, too. But transforming cabbage into a cozy bowl of noodles makes me feel just a little bit healthier.

Anytime Meatball Sandwiches
Anytime Meatball Sandwiches

I currently have a pound of ground meat in my freezer, just waiting to be morphed into meatballs. And I won’t judge if you use jarred tomato sauce, because I’m doing the exact same thing.

Peter Miller's Lentils Folded into Yogurt, Spinach, and Basil
Peter Miller's Lentils Folded into Yogurt, Spinach, and Basil

A salad that will actually keep me and my wallet full? Sign me up for two, please.

Entomatadas (Cheese-Filled, Tomato Sauce-Smothered Tortillas)
Entomatadas (Cheese-Filled, Tomato Sauce-Smothered Tortillas)

This lighter, less spicy version of enchiladas will still satisfy my cheese cravings.

Tomato Rice
Tomato Rice

My O.G. end-of-month dinner—I am in love with Merrill’s buttery, slightly sweet tomato rice. Plus it’s a one-pot dish. Swoons.

What did I miss? Share your own wallet-friendly recipes in the comments below!

Automagic Spring Menu Maker!
Automagic Spring Menu Maker!

Tags: On the Cheap