Baked chicken tenders, mac and cheese and more

Looking to eat healthfully without breaking the bank?

These fast, simple and budget-friendly meals might just be the key to eating well and saving cash. While shopping for ingredients, don’t forget to use a supermarket loyalty card and take advantage of any coupons, sale items or generic brands.

These three meals will make a great addition to your weeknight menu rotation, plus each recipe can generally be made for less than $10 and will feed a family of four.

Can’t decide between tacos and macaroni and cheese? Enjoy both! Joy Bauer

This recipe is perfect for when you can’t decide between mac and cheese and tacos. The culinary collision of these two comfort foods is pure heaven — you’ll seriously want to jump into the pot. This is a great way to serve a large crowd when you’re on a budget, too. It boasts beans and lean turkey, so there’s ample protein to help keep you feeling full for hours. The leftovers also freeze well. Plus, there’s gooey cheese, savory taco seasoning and pasta — no skimping on any savory extras here!

Get the recipe.

Sweet potatoes are a great base for variety of fillings. Joy Bauer

Looking for a meatless meal that’s budget-friendly, satisfying and super simple to toss together on a hectic weeknight? Enter these scrumptious spuds! This meal is bursting with nutrition: beta-carotene-rich tubers, fiber-rich beans and lycopene-loaded salsa. Feel free to add optional toppings of your choice to boost the flavor and fun. I love to top mine with Greek yogurt, cilantro and a sprinkle of shredded cheddar cheese. Pro tip: Enjoy the sweet potato with the skin on … that’s where you’ll find most of the fiber.

Get the recipe.

Joy Bauer's Crispy Oven-Baked Chicken Tenders

Joy Bauer

No need to heat up a fryer here. These chicken tenders are baked and will definitely please every picky palate in the house. I coat ‘em in a whole-grain crust (with a touch of cheese for extra flavor), then bake them in a hot oven so they get super crispy. Dunking them in honey mustard, ketchup, hot sauce or even homemade ranch dressing is highly recommended. You can also cook up this good-for-you recipe for about $2 per serving.

Check out more of Joy Bauer’s favorite healthy meals:

Joy Bauer's BLT Pasta Salad

Joy Bauer

Joy Bauer's Broccoli Tots


“Joy Bauer’s Superfood!” by Joy Bauer

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Credit: CC0 Public Domain For some people, being told to stay home all day can disrupt meal routines and add to the challenge of heart-healthy eating. But that challenge can be an opportunity. Problems can arise when everyone spends their days steps away from overstuffed refrigerators, said Esther Granville, who […]
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