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Cheap Summer Meal Ideas On A Budget

Summer is basically here and that means a whole new menu! Forget those hearty winter meals, it’s time to go fresh, fun and light. Stay on budget and maybe even save money with these cheap summer meal ideas. This can help with credit card debt relief.

If you're paying off debt, cook a cheap summer meal to save money.

If you’re paying off debt, cook a cheap summer meal to save money.

How to Make a Delicious Cheap Summer Meal

While it may seem impossible to save on groceries, there are probably some ways you can make cuts. Let’s take a look at some cheap summer meal ideas and tips to help you reach your financial goals.

Go to the Farmers Market for Cheap Summer Meal Options

Most farmers markets offer really good deals on produce. I have experienced some that are more pomp and circumstance than affordability, so hopefully, you can locate one focused on delivering the good stuff! While visiting the market first thing will score you the best quality produce, going toward the end of the day usually means even better deals.

You may encounter a farm or local collection of farms offering a CSA program. CSA’s (Community Supported Agriculture) is basically a subscription based system where you buy produce directly from the farmer. You get an assortment of goodies every week or every two weeks to enjoy. This is another way to save on produce as well as support local farmers. Rather than facing consumer debt at the grocery store, use these options to drop your grocery bill every month.

Change Your Menu to Simple and Fresh

It might be time to turn off the Food Network. Those meals are often amazing and fairly complicated. Special ingredients, culinary tools and time add up. Keeping your meals simple and based around seasonal produce from the grocery store or market can a helpful addition to your debt management plan.

Here are some cheap summer meal ideas that are fresh and affordable:

  • Grill meat and veggies to add flavor and sizzle.
  • Make fruit and veggie smoothies for breakfast instead of boxed cereal.
  • Create interesting salads with lots of ingredients.
  • Try some vegan or vegetarian meal ideas to save on meat and dairy purchases.
  • Buy quick oats and add fruit for breakfast instead of pre-made items.
  • Grow a few veggies in your garden to reduce cost- zucchini, cucumber, beans and lettuce usually grow easily for even a novice gardener.

Cheap summer meal options can be found in your local grocery store, your local farmers market as well as your own backyard. Keep these tips in mind as you plan your meals and eliminate debt.

If you’re struggling to pay off debt, ACCC can help. Schedule a free credit counseling session with us today. 


Michelle is a regular contributor to Talking Cents. She has taken several financial courses on debt management and is ready to circulate what she has learned from them as well as lessons from her own life- family to DIY projects to student loan debt.

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