Feeding your family can be a great stressor in your life, especially if you work full time outside the home, or if your kids are in lots of activities, or for many other reasons in our busy lives.

Planning your meals and shopping ahead of time is the very best way to handle feeding your family, and should help to reduce the stress around the question “Mom, what’s for dinner?”

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat

The reality is, however, that even if you DO plan your meals, there will come a day, or days, when things don’t go as planned. Maybe you get sick, or kids are sick and you don’t make it to the grocery store. Or maybe you did really well and put your dinner in the crockpot before you left for work, only to get home and realize that you never plugged it in! (Not that I ever did that!)

For days such as these, it is good to have some emergency meals on hand. Meals that you can keep all the ingredients in the pantry, for such a day as this. Let me share a few options with you.

These 3 meal ideas are taken with permission from The Bizy Mommy’s new $5.00 Cookbook with 20 easy meals for $100. As mom of 6 kids, Tiffany (my daughter!) does a great job of feeding her family that is always on the go. Check out these meals below that can all be made from the pantry.

Creamy Chicken and Pasta

Quick Easy Cheap Chicken Pasta

1 pound pasta

1 can chicken

1 can diced tomatoes

1 can cream of chicken

1 cup milk

1 Tbs cornstarch

¼ cup water

1 Tbs garlic powder

½ Tbs onion powder

1 Tbs dried parsley flakes

Salt and pepper, if desired



1. Cook pasta in large pot as directed, drain and set aside.

2. Drain chicken in can, and break up with fork.

3. Mix tomatoes, soup, milk and chicken in a large pot, bring to a boil.

4. Whisk water and cornstarch together and slowly mix into sauce.

5. Stir in seasonings and noodles.

6. Remove from heat and serve immediately.


These 2 recipes below have the ingredients, but not the directions out of respect for the author’s hard work!

Southwest Beans and Rice

2 cups rice

4 cups water

1 can black beans

2 cups sweet corn

1 can Rotel

½ pack taco seasoning

1/8 tsp garlic powder

Salt and pepper, if desired



½ lb of short pasta

4 cups water

4 chicken bouillon cubes

1 can spinach, drained

1 can navy beans, drained

2 cans diced tomatoes with Italian seasoning

1 ½ Tbs garlic powder

1 Tbs onion powder

1 tsp Italian seasoning

Salt and pepper to taste