WHAT'S FOR DINNER
To keep dinners cheap and easy, start by selecting a few staples, such as eggs, cheese, noodles, and bread, that can be used in many different ways. Then plan dinners for the week around these items, accounting for leftover ingredients from previous nights and knowing when to buy a little more of something for an upcoming dish. Choose meals that can be adapted for everyone in the family, so each person isn't eating something different. And choose dishes that are hearty enough to keep everyone from snacking a couple of hours later. A few minutes of planning can save time and keep the food budget within bounds. Here's a sample menu of cheap, filling dinners, including alternatives for picky kids.