Senior Resources » 10 Budget-Friendly Meals Retirees Can Cook at Home

10 Budget-Friendly Meals Retirees Can Cook at Home

cooking budget-friendly meals with a whisk

Retirement is a time to relax and enjoy life after working for years. However, it’s also a time when you need to manage your finances much more carefully. For many seniors, cooking meals at home is a great way to save money and maintain a healthy diet. But who says eating on a budget has to be boring? With a little creativity and planning, anyone can enjoy delicious and nutritious meals at home. Here are 10 budget-friendly meals for retirees to cook at home!


1. Omelet


An omelet is an easy, low-cost meal you can prepare for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Mix some whisked eggs with some cheese and your choice of vegetables, and then cook the eggs in a non-stick pan until they are set. DONE!

2. Chili

pot of chili

A hearty slow-cooker chili can be made with affordable ingredients like canned beans, canned tomatoes, and ground beef. You can even stretch the recipe further by adding in more vegetables like onions, peppers, and carrots. There are really no rules when it comes to modern-day chili!


3. Fried Rice

budget-friendly meals, fried rice

Fried rice is an excellent go-to meal for retirees who want to eat something filling, satisfying, and affordable. Start with leftover rice in the fridge and scramble an egg. Cook your choice of protein, such as chicken, tofu, or shrimp, in a pan and set aside. Sauté some frozen vegetables in a pan until they’re cooked through, then add soy sauce and rice to the pan. Stir until everything is mixed well, then add your protein.

4. Fish Tacos

fish taco

You can use inexpensive fish like tilapia to make delicious tacos at home. Add some shredded cabbage, avocado, and cilantro to create a flavor explosion in your mouth.

5. Baked Potatoes

potatoes, budget-friendly meals

Have you ever eaten a baked potato as a main course? Don’t knock it til you try it! A baked potato can be a filling and cheap meal. You can top it with just about anything – cheese, sour cream, bacon, or even shredded chicken (topped with BBQ sauce – mmmmm!).

6. Meatloaf


Meatloaf is a classic comfort food that is both delicious and budget-friendly. To make this dish, all you need is ground beef, breadcrumbs, eggs, ketchup, onion, and some basic seasonings. It’s easy to make, versatile, and can be served with mashed potatoes and veggies.


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7. Ramen with Vegetables


That’s right! Ramen noodles are a pantry staple that can be turned into a nutritious and filling meal with the addition of vegetables like carrots, broccoli, and bell peppers. It’s a quick and easy meal that’s budget-friendly and perfect for busy days.

8. Chicken Stir-Fry

chicken stir-fry

Stir-fry is a great option for retirees to enjoy a delicious and nutritious meal while keeping a tight budget. The best part is that you can mix and match the ingredients based on the veggies and protein you already have in your kitchen. All you need are boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into strips and a mix of veggies such as peppers, onions, broccoli, and carrots. Stir-fry the chicken until cooked and tender, then add your veggies and some soy sauce. Serve with rice or noodles.

9. Chicken Tacos

chicken taco

Who doesn’t love a good taco night? Retirees can save big money by making their own chicken tacos at home. And, get this – it’s truly as simple to make as 1, 2, 3! Put a pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a slow-cooker, coat with taco seasoning, then pour in your favorite salsa (see? 1,2,3!). In 8 hours, you can open up that lid, shred the chicken, then serve on corn or flour tortillas with all your favorite toppings.

10. Oven-Baked Salmon with Roasted Vegetables

salmon and veggies, budget-friendly meals

Salmon is a great protein and omega-3 source for seniors! Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking pan with foil, then place a seasoned salmon fillet on it. Roast for about 12-15 minutes until it’s cooked thoroughly. Meanwhile, roast some veggies like broccoli, zucchini, and carrots in the oven for about 20 minutes with some olive oil and seasonings. Serve the salmon fillet with roasted veggies, and you have a healthy and delicious meal that won’t break the bank.


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Originally published June 19, 2023

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