December 19, 2022

When you’re feeling under the weather or just having a bad day, comfort food might be just what you need. Exactly what is comfort food? In general terms, it’s things you eat that wrap you up in the warm hug you need. For most people, comfort food – often homecooked – takes them back to their childhood or another happy time in their life. We pulled together some budget-friendly recipes that will make both you and your wallet smile.

Tuna Noodle Casserole

A quick-and-easy dish, it has one characteristic of comfort food: simple preparation. Another reason tuna noodle casserole is so popular is its versatility. You can get as creative as you’d like with choice of the carb (noodles or pasta) and vegetables. It’s a great way to clean out your veggie drawer.

Pot Pie (both kinds)

When you hear “pot pie,” what comes to mind? Is it the gravy-style crusted pot pie or the Pennsylvania Dutch-style brothy, noodle-y kind? Doesn’t matter – we’ve got simple recipes for both!


A piping hot dish of lasagna fresh from the oven evokes fond memories for many people, whether they’re Italian or not. Bring this simple, filling, delicious meal to your table with this easy-to-make vegetarian recipe.


  • Zucchini
  • Yellow Squash
  • Carrots
  • Onion
  • Fresh garlic (or 1 tsp. garlic powder)
  • Mushrooms or diced red bell pepper
  • Spinach (fresh or frozen)
  • Ricotta (for vegan style, substitute cashew or tofu ricotta)
  • Lasagna noodles – regular or no boil
  • Pasta sauce
  • Italian seasoning
  • Olive oil
  • Salt + pepper


Cook the noodles according to the package directions. Skip if you’re using no-boil noodles.
Sauté the vegetables in olive oil and garlic
Prepare spinach ricotta by mixing the spinach with the ricotta.
Assemble ingredients in a baking dish:

  1. Put a little sauce on the bottom of the dish, then add a noodle layer and top with 1/2 the ricotta and 1/2 the veggies
  2. Add another noddle layer and remaining the ricotta and veggies
  3. Add the last noodle layer and finish with a layer of pasta sauce 

Cover the dish and place it on the center rack of a preheated oven set at 375 degrees. Bake for 40 minutes. After you remove it from the oven, let it rest for five minutes while still covered. Remove the cover and let cool for another 10 minutes.


Meatloaf gets a bad rap because it’s not the most attractive-looking food on the planet, but when made right, it’s delicious. It also happens to be really simple to put together. Try this dupe for Cracker Barrel’s meatloaf recipe. They’re known for their tasty home cooking and comfort foods.

Mac & cheese

Mac & cheese is a comfort food all-star. Noodles and gooey cheese? It doesn’t get any better than that. A main dish or a side, it’s loved by people of all ages. It’s a home-run comfort food and this recipe from Budget Bytes ensures it will make it to the table with minimum monetary impact.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

No comfort food meal is complete without dessert, and there’s almost nothing more comforting than a warm and chewy chocolate chip cookie. Invented by Toll House restaurant manager Ruth Wakefield in 1939, they were an instant hit and have remained a beloved classic.

More Budget-Friendly Tips

PSECU is here to help our members achieve more. In addition to affordable meal ideas, we offer you an array of financial wellness resources and money management tips via our Online Learning Center. Learn money hacks that can help you take charge of your financial future.

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