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10 Easy Dinner Ideas on a Budget

Chili is easy to make and delicious.
Chili is easy to make and delicious.

On days when it seems like there's nothing in the house to make for dinner, you can almost always find enough ingredients on hand to prepare a pot of chili. This versatile dish allows you to take advantage of what you have in the pantry and create a meal that's both cheap and filling. Start with a few cans of diced or stewed tomatoes, then mix in several cans of beans. Throw in onions, garlic, peppers or whatever other vegetables you have on hand, and season generously with chili powder. If you prefer a meaty dish, try adding a few servings of braised beef tips, or you can use leftover beef, chicken or sausage. While the chili simmers on the stove, toss a quick salad or slice a loaf of bread to complete the meal.