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Cheap Meals with Ground Beef

Are you looking for new ideas to make family meals on a tight budget? Look no further than ground beef! Not only is it inexpensive, but there are so many cheap meals with ground beef that can be made with this versatile and tasty ingredient.

Ground beef dishes are satisfying, comforting and simple to prepare – perfect for busy families who don’t have time (or money) to create elaborate dinners every night. In this post, we’ll share some of our go-to recipes for quick and cheap family meals with ground beef.

From simple casseroles to easy weeknight tacos, these delicious dishes will help stretch your grocery budget while providing balanced nutrition during a busy week. So let’s dive right in and explore the many possibilities of cooking with this pantry staple.

cheap meals with ground beef

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Ground beef is a versatile and affordable ingredient that can fit into almost any budget. From tacos to burgers, there are so many creative recipes you can make with ground beef. Let’s take a look at some tasty and budget-friendly meals you can whip up in no time with this kitchen staple.

What meals use the most ground beef?

When you’re trying to stretch one pound of ground beef to feed a family, avoid making hamburgers or meatballs. Any time you serve meat “by itself,” everyone seems to eat a larger portion. Or is that just true at my house?

Even meatloaf seems to disappear quicker than when I cook a casserole or soup that includes ground beef.

How to stretch a pound of ground beef

In general, ground beef can easily be made to feed more people with some simple additions such as extra vegetables or pantry staples like rice or noodles. You can even use cauliflower to bulk up ground beef.

Additionally, bulking up the meat by adding sauces such as taco seasoning mixes or tomato sauce are great options to add flavor while stretching the meat further.

pound of raw ground beef

Cheap meals using ground beef

Ground beef is a great protein option for cutting costs while still having an amazing meal. There are countless tacos, casseroles, and one-pot dishes that you can make with ground beef that won’t break the bank. Here are some suggestions:


Most tacos can be made with one pound of ground beef, making for a great midweek dinner for the family. To stretch the ground beef even further, use lettuce or cabbage leaves instead of taco shells and stuff them with the meat mixture to create tacos without purchasing an additional item.


Spaghetti is an especially great budget-friendly meal with ground beef as the star ingredient. Cook up some spaghetti noodles and brown some ground beef in a skillet with your favorite seasonings.

Once cooked, combine the two and add in whatever other ingredients you’d like, such as diced tomatoes or spinach. Your entire spaghetti dish can be done on a single burner in under 20 minutes for a fraction of the cost of restaurant delivery.

Other simple ground beef pasta recipes can be made in a skillet, like goulash.

ground beef macaroni casserole


With a handful of inexpensive staples like carrots, potatoes, peas, tomatoes, and onions, you can make a hearty casserole that will serve multiple people at a fraction of the cost.

All you have to do is brown some onions and garlic for flavor, simmer your vegetables until they’re semi-tender then add ground beef and stock before baking it in an oven-safe casserole dish.

In just over half an hour you’ll have a delicious meal perfect for both weeknights and weekend dinners.

Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed peppers are a classic dish that can be made with a variety of ingredients. One pound of ground beef is stretched with rice, quinoa or beans to fill red or green bell peppers.

Try our Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers or use taco flavors for a Mexican twist, like our Taco Stuffed Peppers. Besides the taco seasoning, use black beans or corn to stretch the beef.

chili con carne in white bowl - cheap family meals using ground beef


Most chilis made with ground beef start with basic ingredients like diced onion, canned chiles and tomatoes, cumin, chili powder, and garlic.

Learn how to make homemade chili, then stretch the meat using beans or by serving over rice. You can also serve with inexpensive sides like homemade cornbread.


When it comes to making easy meals with ground beef, soups are often the go-to choice. Loaded with vegetables, beans and grains, soups that use ground beef as a protein source provide hearty servings for the whole family.

With soups like vegetable ground beef soup or hamburger soup in your weekly menu rotation, there is no need to compromise taste for affordability.

Ground beef is one of the most versatile ingredients out there. Its affordability makes it perfect for budget-minded cooks who want to stretch their grocery dollars further. There are so many delicious meals you can create with this staple item from your pantry.

So put away those takeout menus and get creative in the kitchen today with some delicious budget-friendly ground beef meals!

cheap ground beef family meals like spaghetti and skillet beef and rice