One of the ways to be successful with a written budget is to meal plan, and to choose those meals that are more economical.
Here are some of my favorites:
This is yummy pork recipe. I can usually pick up a pork shoulder roast for around $5. Everything goes into the slow cooker, and 8 to 10 hours later, viola! Dinner is ready. I serve it with some Spanish rice, tortillas, salsa, and other toppings.
Slow Cooker Meat-Marinara Sauce
The above recipe is the one I use, but I do use ground beef, add a chopped onion, and triple the spices. We have it over pasta with a salad.
Tostadas with Jalapeno Lime Sauce
Any time you cut meat out of a dish it usually goes down in price. We eat this tostada recipe with my homemade refried beans and rice and it is SO good.
Lentil and Ham Soup
This is another great economical meal. I ask the deli at our store to give me one thick slice of ham. I often do this dish on the stove top instead of the slow cooker. Just saute all vegetables, add the lentils, spices and broth, and cook for about 30 minutes or until tender. Add the ham and maybe a salad and you have a complete meal.
Another meatless dinner - this is a family favorite and goes well with a simple salad or rice.
And to make any of these meals even more economical, consider using dry beans. I can buy enough beans for any of these meals for under a dollar. For all beans except kidney beans, I put them into my slow cooker, fill with water, and cook on low overnight. (Kidney beans are not safe cooked in a slow cooker. They need to come to a boil when they cook, and the slow cooker can't guarantee that,)
I hope this inspired you to save money by cooking for your family!