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  • Dave Kinzer

Three Delicious, Cheap, Kid-Approved Recipes

Updated: May 11, 2020

(Click HERE to see how much money you can save by cooking at home.)

Cook at home more often to save money! I'm no professional chef, but I've been making these stews and chilis for years now. They're tasty, cost very little, can be prepared quickly, and kids will eat them. My kids are four and six years old and have been eating them for years, and they love them.

TIP #1: Have your kids help you make these meals. Picky eaters will be more inclined to eat and enjoy something they've helped prepare.

Kids will usually eat something they helped cook.

TIP #2: You might want to double a recipe to make sure you have leftovers to freeze. Then sometime in the next month when you don't feel like cooking, set it out to thaw first thing in the morning, and that evening it will be ready to be warmed up and devoured. Cook once, eat twice!

I've included the cost to make each recipe. Of course, your cost will depend on whether or not you buy generic goods, the particular store you buy from, whether or not anything is on sale, coupons you use, etc. Your cost probably won't match exactly, but should be similar.


Cost of ingredients: $12.35

Cost per serving (8): $1.54

If you think it might be too spicy for you, use mild chili beans and a mild picante sauce.

2 pounds ground beef

1 1/2 cups diced onion (or 2 tablespoons dehydrated chopped onions)

2 cans (28 oz.) diced tomatoes

2 cans (17 oz.) corn

1 can (15 oz.) hot chili beans

1 cup picante sauce

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1. Brown beef and onions

2. Drain fat

3. Add ingredients and bring to a boil

4. Simmer at least 20 minutes


Cost of ingredients: $14.97

Cost per serving (6): $2.50

1 pound ground beef

1/2 cup chopped onion (2/3 tablespoons dehydrated chopped onions)

2 cans (15 oz.) hot chili beans in sauce

2 cans (15 oz.) diced tomatoes

1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained

1 can (11 oz.) condensed cream of mushroom soup

1 teaspoon chili powder

1. Brown beef and onion

2. Add ingredients and bring to a boil

3. Simmer at least 30 minutes

White Chili

Cost of ingredients: $12.23

Cost per serving (8): $1.53

This is my kids' favorite recipe.

To save time, buy canned, pre-cut, fully cooked chicken breast. You will save a ton of time by not having to cut the chicken into chunks.

1 1/2 pound chicken bites

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoon garlic

4 tablespoons dried onion

1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes

1 can (14 oz.) corn

2 cans (19 oz.) cannellini beans

2 cans (15 oz.) great northern beans

2 cans (4 oz.) green chili (hot)

2 teaspoons cilantro

4 cups chicken broth

2 teaspoons cumin

3/4 teaspoon oregano

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 cup half & half

1. Combine ingredients and bring to a boil

2. Simmer for at least 30 minutes.

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