4 Ways Casseroles Can Cut Food Costs

Discover how these one-dish wonders can turn affordable ingredients and leftovers into hearty, nutritious meals, helping you save on food expenses without sacrificing taste or quality.

by Rose Scott

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In today’s fast-paced world, feeding a family can be both time-consuming and expensive. With the continually rising food costs these past few years, finding innovative ways to stretch your grocery budget without compromising on taste or nutrition is essential.

Enter the humble casserole: a versatile, one-dish wonder that delivers on flavor and nourishment and can also significantly help reduce food costs.

We explore four ways cooking up casseroles can help cut food costs and some cheap ingredients for coming up with your own casserole creations without breaking the bank.

Ways Casseroles Can Help Cut Food Costs

Here are four ways casseroles can help you feed your family well for less:

1. Use Up Leftovers

Casseroles are a great way to use up leftovers. For example, you can use leftover roasted chicken, vegetables or rice in a casserole. This means you can reduce food waste and save money by not having to buy as many ingredients.

2. Cook in Bulk

Casseroles are great for bulk cooking. You can make a large casserole and freeze individual portions for later use. This can save time and money by not having to cook every day. Use these tips to prevent freezer burn.

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3. Stretch Meals

Casseroles are a great way to stretch a meal. For example, if you have a small amount of meat or vegetables, you can add them to a casserole with pasta or rice to create a filling meal that feeds more people

4. Use Inexpensive Ingredients

Casseroles typically include inexpensive ingredients such as canned vegetables, pasta, rice and affordable cuts of meat. Using these ingredients, you can create a filling and nutritious meal that doesn’t break the bank.

Cheap Ingredients for Creating Casseroles

You can use many delicious, nutritious and inexpensive ingredients in casseroles. Here are some ideas that can help you quickly and affordably toss one together, perhaps with ingredients you already have on hand:


Casseroles are a great way to incorporate vegetables into your diet. Consider using veggies such as broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, zucchini, bell peppers and spinach when they are in season and typically on sale. Here are 14 ways to save on produce for your casseroles.


Rice, quinoa or couscous are great options for adding bulk and texture to your casserole.


Adding a protein source like chicken, turkey, beef, pork or tofu can make your casserole more filling and satisfying. Use these tips to save on meat and poultry for your casseroles.

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Adding beans to your casserole can also increase the protein and fiber. Try using kidney beans, black beans or chickpeas. Here are some ways dry beans can help reduce food costs.


Cheese can add flavor and richness to your casserole. Use varieties such as cheddar, Parmesan or mozzarella.

Herbs and Spices

Adding herbs and spices can enhance the flavor of your casserole. Consider herbs like basil, thyme or oregano and spices like garlic, paprika or cumin.


Adding a sauce such as tomato sauce or cream of mushroom soup can help bring all the ingredients together and create a cohesive dish.

Learn how to perk-up other frugal recipes with sauces.

What Casseroles Will You Cook Up?

Casseroles are a budget-friendly meal option that can help you save money on food costs while providing a nutritious and satisfying meal. Get creative and experiment with different ingredients to find the best combinations for your family!

Reviewed April 2024

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