Not sure what to feed your family this fall? Here are my favorite easy fall meals on a budget, plus 5 meals you can make for $70 or less!
Fall is here and Texas weather has finally decided to cooperate. The cooler temperatures are making me so happy and in the mood for all the yummy fall recipes.
What comes to your mind when you think of fall or autumn foods? I immediately think of soups, chilis, and stews. Words like warm, nourishing, cozy, and comforting come to mind.
I also think of yummy apple recipes like apple crisp and of course all things pumpkin and pumpkin spice.
As I was thinking through the fall recipes that I want to make soon I decided that easy fall meals on a budget would make a great blog post.
Today I’ll be sharing five delicious fall meals that you can make for your family on a $70 budget, plus some other recipes that are great for autumn as well!
What is the cheapest fall meal you can make?
Soups and chilis are some of the cheapest meals you can make and they’re perfect for this time of year when the weather is getting cooler.
If you’re on an especially tight budget skip the meat and serve a hearty bean soup or pot of lentils. You’ll still get plenty of protein and a large pot will cost you very little. Pair your bean soup with a nice loaf of homemade bread or some easy muffins and no one will leave the table hungry!
A good potato soup is another of the cheapest fall meals you can make. While many call for half and half or cream, whole milk is a cheaper (and less fatty) option and will still produce a tasty soup. (See my meal plan below for a great potato soup recipe.)
What can you feed a large crowd in the fall?
Again, soup is a great option when you need to feed a crowd for cheap! I love making a large batch of Taco Soup (linked in the meal plan below) when I have a big group over.
If you’re not feeling like soup, there are definitely other great options to feed a large group of people in the fall. One idea would be to cook up a bunch of chicken breasts with BBQ sauce in the crockpot, shred, and serve them on hamburger buns with a side of creamy butternut squash or some sweet potato wedges.
Chicken drumsticks are another good cheap option for feeding a lot of people. You can cook up a bunch using several large crockpots and serve with a side of baked potatoes.
Most of the fall meals I’m sharing below would also work for a crowd – just double or triple the recipes!
Five easy fall meals on a $70 budget
Here are five delicious fall meals my family has enjoyed that you can make on a $70 budget. The recipes all serve at least four people. As always, my grocery list is included at the end.
A good pot roast is true comfort food and such a great meal for this time of year. I always use a chuck roast for this recipe and I wait to purchase it until they go on sale at my local Kroger. Most recently the sale price for chuck roasts was $3.97/lb which, while pricier than they used to be, definitely still beats paying $7.50/lb at Walmart.
I just made these wings recently and they were a huge hit! They’d be a perfect dish to make for game day. I didn’t have aluminum free baking powder on hand so I substituted cornstarch instead and they turned out perfectly. Sweet potato fries make a great fall side, though regular potato wedges would also make a great option.
Taco soup is a favorite around here and we enjoy it all year, but it seems especially perfect for the fall season. I cook up a couple chicken breasts to shred for the chicken in this taco soup. Just like I mentioned with the chuck roast I like to buy chicken breasts on sale at Kroger and can usually get them for $1.99/lb.
I love a good sheet pan dinner! I skipped the pecans and craisins when I made this recipe because they can be pricey, but they’d be worth adding if you have them on hand.
5. Potato Soup
This is a delicious and budget-friendly potato soup recipe. If you already have butter and milk on hand it will cost you even less! Top it with a little cheddar cheese for a satisfying meatless meal.
My $70 (or less) grocery list for 5 fall dinners
Note: The prices on this grocery list are from my local Walmart unless otherwise noted. Prices are current for my area as of October 2023.
Potatoes, 5 lbs – $3.27
Carrots – $0.98
1 yellow onion – $0.86
1 purple onion – $1.10
4 large sweet potatoes – $4.08 (though you can often find these cheaper this time of year)
Frozen corn – $0.98
Broccoli crowns, 2 – $2.96
Garlic clove – $0.69
Chuck roast, approx. 3 lbs @ 3.97/lb – $11.91 (sale price at Kroger)
Chicken wings, approx. 4,5 lbs @ 2.98/lb – $13.17
Chicken breasts, approx. 4.5 lbs @ 1.99/lb – $8.95 (sale price at Kroger)
Dairy / Refrigerated Goods
Milk, half gallon – $1.68
Butter – $3.98 (you’ll only use one stick)
Shredded cheddar cheese, 2 cups – $2.22 (to top both of the soups)
1 can petite diced tomatoes, 28 oz. – $1.48
1 can pinto beans – $0.78
1 can black beans – $0.78
1 can Rotel – $0.96
Taco seasoning packet – $0.52
Ranch dressing – $1.97
Better Than Bouillon chicken base – $4.28
Total = $67.60
More delicious fall recipes
Fall dinner recipes
Other fall recipes
- Apple Donut Muffins
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Baked Butternut Squash (this is an ancient recipe post from the early days of my blog!)
- Baked Oatmeal (add apples to the recipe for an extra fall taste!)
What do you think? Would these cozy fall meals be a hit with your family? What is your favorite meal to eat in the fall? Let me know in the comments!