Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility Skip to main content
If you are using a screen reader and are having problems using this website, please call our office at 1-800-553-9338 for further assistance.
Find Your Place

Easy Winter Meals On A Budget

Easy Winter Meals On A Budget

Wherever you are in the country, it is no secret that the distinct chill of winter has settled in. You’re seeking something warm and filling, but it can be hard to fit in the time to get a hot meal on the table between shorter days and busy schedules. Have no fear!

InTown Suites is an expert in quick and easy meals. Using our budget-keeping tips and a few of these scrumptious — yet simple — recipes, you’ll be creating satisfying meals that everyone in your family will love! Let’s dive in and discover the easy winter meals you can create, even while on a budget.

Savor Seasonal Ingredients

There’s so much great food in season this time of year, especially hearty root veggies and nutrient-dense greens. Take your pick from cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, and cranberries — and those are just the C’s! Kale, potatoes, pumpkins, radishes and spinach are also in season, plus a ton of other flavorful veggies. Most of the dishes included below include at least one of these seasonal vegetables.

Shop Local & Keep It Fresh

Fresh produce is often the most affordable. Check out a local farmers’ market to support local producers, or even sign up for a farm share program. You’ll get fruits and veggies delivered every week, which means one less trip to the grocery store. Plus, most farm share programs provide free recipes to make the most of your haul. Not only will buying local help you save money but also support your community’s agriculture.

Here are a few more tips for buying fresh produce on a budget.using seasonal veggies, you can create delicious meals on a budget

Best Winter Dinner Recipes

One-pot meals are the best. With little mess to clean up, you’ll be left with more time to spend with friends and family. Plus you’ll save big with simple ingredients that create show-stopping meals. Who said you couldn’t create a figure-licking dish without the hassle?

All of these one-pot meals can easily be made in your InTown Suites’ fully-equipped kitchens. Better yet, take advantage of our grocery delivery service (Shipt) and save even more. No matter where you plan on spending your winter getaway, InTown Suites has a location near you with nearly 200 across the US!

Here are a few of our favorite winter dinner recipes that will keep your wallet fat and belly full:

1| Delicious One-Pot Pasta

After chopping up a package of cooked sausage, this delicious one-pot pasta is as simple as dump, boil and serve. All of the ingredients, including the uncooked pasta, are combined in a pot, boiled on the stove and voilà! A great option when you’re cooking for the family, this one-pot pasta will typically yield about six servings.

2| Meatball Chili With Dumplings

There’s nothing better than familiar culinary classics, and when you can combine those delicious classics into one pot, you’re sure to find a home run. This mouth-watering meal combines an incredible meatball recipe, a classic chili recipe and tops it with down-home cornbread dumplings. This dish makes about six servings.

3| Creamy Spinach Lentils

Lentils are a cost-effective kitchen staple. This recipe combines them with carrots, onions, celery and spinach in a creamy broth that will warm you up as winter approaches. With a little chopping and seasoning, you’ll have a warm and inviting meal that is done in an hour and heartily serves a family of four.

mushroom and swiss chard pasta is a great winter meal to make on a budget4| Mushroom and Swiss Chard Pasta

No need to boil your pasta in a separate pot. This flavorful recipe uses vegetable or chicken stock to cook the pasta along with all the other ingredients. You can easily change up this recipe depending on what’s in season, what’s on sale or what you have in the pantry. This one-pot wonder will serve a family of four and takes about 30 minutes to prepare.

5| Beef & Bean Sloppy Joes

Trade your traditional sloppy joe recipe with this simple, healthy alternative. By trading some of the meat for beans, you can save money and add some extra fiber to your diet. This one-pot meal also reduces the amount of sugar without losing any flavor. Once all of your ingredients are combined, cooked and thickened, you’ll serve on buns with any side of your choice. Four people can easily enjoy this recipe and you are only tied to the kitchen for about 20 minutes.

6| Spinach, Sweet Potato & Lentil Dhal

Try something out of the box with this flavorful Indian dish. It’s all about the spices with this recipe, combining ginger, garlic, turmeric and cumin. You are welcome to add meat to the dish, but the sweet potatoes make for a hearty meal that is sure to keep your tummy full. Bonus: This dish is great for freezing! Once cooled, pack into freezer-safe containers and store. Whenever you are ready to use for another meal, let the dish unthaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat to enjoy.

Missing one of the ingredients on the list? Check out this helpful ingredient substitution list.

Winter Slow Cooker Meals

The air is chilly, the days are shorter and no one feels like spending hours in the kitchen. Enter our old, trusty friend—the slow cooker. Easy to use and even easier to clean, slow cookers offer a break from the kitchen without sacrificing nutrition, volume or flavor. So embrace that creeping feeling of self-imposed hibernation, flick on the slow cooker and curl with the family for a movie while you let these tasty dinners finish themselves.

We’ve gathered over 10 of the best winter slow cooker meals stored in our cookbooks to share with you. Best of all, these dishes are budget-friendly by making large meals for family gatherings or convenient, next-day leftovers. Whether you are staying with us at InTown Suites for a winter vacation or simply looking for a few new meals, let’s dive in and cook a little less.

who doesn't love a bowl of beef stew on cold winter day?7| Cider Beef Stew

Standard chili gets an extra burst of flavor with the addition of a chopped apple and sweet apple cider, along with carrots, potatoes, onions, and waistline-saving lean beef. This slow cooker recipe takes about nine hours to cook, so it’s perfect to prepare before work and let it cook while you are away. Serve six to eight people with this dish or save and freeze the leftovers for another meal in the future.

8| Whole Chicken

Just three ingredients (two of them are everyday salt and pepper) combine to make delicious chicken. The liquid that’s leftover makes for awesome broth for future meals. Check out the full recipe for tips on how to prepare your chicken and create a simple stand in your slow cooker. Serve your chicken with a side of your choosing or use it to create multiple dishes like chicken tortellini soup or chicken salad.

9| Cranberry Pork Loin

Just because Thanksgiving has passed, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a little more cranberry sauce. This pork loin recipe is just the thing to get you excited for the holidays to come. Using canned cranberry sauce, cranberry juice, sugar, mustard and ground cloves, you can create a delectable sauce for your pork loin. Using a three-pound pork loin, expect six to eight hours of cooking time and a meal for eight people.

10| Meatball Sliders with Tomato Sauce

Bakery fresh rolls, zesty meatballs and slow-simmered marinara? Sign us up! This gourmet slow cooker recipe can be started in the morning and finished up while helping the kids with homework or in the time it takes to squeeze in a workout. Add some steamed veggies or a mixed salad to the side and you’ll have a mid-week meal that feels like a Sunday night dinner. Total cooking time, including the final touches, is about nine hours and thirty minutes and expect to enjoy about two dozen sliders.

11| Four-Ingredient Pot Roast

With just four ingredients and minimal prep, this simple yet tasty slow cooker recipe is music to our ears. The carbonation from your favorite beer (or dark soda for a fun twist) slowly breaks down the toughness of chuck roast, while an envelope of Italian dressing mix adds that perfect hit of acid and salt to bring this meal together. Serve on a crusty roll with sandwich fixings or toss on a plate with some roasted potatoes and green vegetables. The best part? This recipe makes tons of leftovers—perfect for lunches. After eight to ten hours, you’ll enjoy a delicious meal that serves six to eight people.

mac and cheese cooked in a slow cooker is a great alternative to traditional baked mac and cheese12| Uncle Jack’s Mac-and-Cheese

A little bit of southern comfort in the dead of winter. This classic, cafeteria-style macaroni recipe is indulgent and the perfect dish for blustery snowstorms and rainy days. Toss all the ingredients in the slow cooker and cook for four hours for the perfect crispy-on-the-outside, gooey-on-the-inside scoop of mac and cheese. Homestyle goodness with minimal cooking is a win-win in our books. Serve this dish as a side for eight to ten people or enjoy it as a meal for a family dinner for four.

13| Meatloaf

If you put your mind to it, you can cook anything in a slow cooker — even this hearty meatloaf. Using a few shortcuts like dry onion soup mix and shredded sharp cheddar cheese, this quick loaf comes together in a little under six hours. So head to work, run those errands and come home to a ready to serve, crowd-pleasing main dish. Serve with homemade, store-bought or instant mashed potatoes to finish off the meal. This slow cooker recipe yields six servings.

14| Whole 30 Creamy Taco Soup

Creamy and dairy-free might seem like an oxymoron, but this filling, healthful soup is a match made in heaven. Coconut milk lends a decadent touch to this warm and savory soup that has all the flavor of tasty tacos, without the cheese or tortillas. Let the whole family enjoy dinner their own way, by offering a selection of toppings like jalapeños, green onions, cilantro and avocado. Depending on your needs, you have the option to prepare this meal in a slow cooker, instant pot or on the stovetop. A family of six will happily enjoy this meal or freeze in containers to serve at a later date.

15| Chicken Tortellini Soup

Cozy chicken noodle soup meets savory cheese tortellini in this ingenious recipe that offers maximum flavor with minimal effort. Store-bought tortellini and premade chicken broth elevate humble chicken noodle soup ingredients in this slow cooker recipe. Simmer during the workday and toss in the tortellini 15 minutes before serving. With only 5 minutes of prep time, your family of six will love this twist on a traditional chicken noodle soup. Plus, you can easily store the leftovers in the freezer.

16| Slow Cooker Ramen Noodles

Remember when ramen was reserved for penny-pinching college students? Well, this homemade version discards that sodium-filled seasoning packet to bring you a trendy dish more reminiscent of an authentic Japanese dining experience than a 50 cent meal made with a kettle. Let the savory broth and boneless chicken breast simmer away for three hours while you catch up on a little me time, then stir in the noodles and add toppings like soft boiled eggs, fresh cilantro or a handful of spinach for a vitamin boost. Serve a family of four with this recipe or invite a few friends over for a Saturday movie marathon and appetizing meal.

17| Lasagna Soup

All the flavor of lasagna, no baked-on mess to deal with. This wonderfully meaty soup breaks the rules and encourages you to go heavy on the noodles and cheese. Add peppers, tomatoes and spinach to round out this decadent meal, so there’s no need for sides or plates, just a big bowl and your appetite. Add extra cheeses for your toppings and serve! In a pinch, you can prepare this meal on the stovetop with ease. This slow cooker recipe yields eight servings and freezes great for leftovers.

you won't regret making this thai chicken soup on a cold winter's day18| Thai Chicken Soup

Take-out taste for a fraction of the price. Curry dishes can be daunting, but this set-it and forget-it soup takes the guesswork out of homemade Asian cuisine and offers a balanced flavor reminiscent of your favorite Thai spot. Cook up a side of fragrant jasmine rice, garnish with cilantro and call it a night. In just over four hours, you’ll be noshing on homemade Thai chicken soup. Easily feed a family of six with this slow cooker recipe.

19| Enchilada Soup

Thick. Rich. Stick-to-the-ribs. This slow-cooker dinner ticks all the boxes when looking for a cozy, warm soup that everyone will love. With almost zero prep work, this dish will have you in and out of the kitchen in under 10 minutes. Double and freeze the recipe to pull out during those busy weeks where even time spent chopping an onion is time you don’t have. Garnish with some cheese and crunchy tortilla chips, and wait for the “yums” to break the silence. This slow cooker recipe is great for winter gatherings or a girls’ night in. In six to seven hours, you and five friends will be gobbling down the goodness.

Premium suites have been completely renovated from top to bottom.Affordable Winter Rentals 

Cozy and budget-friendly are what we do best. InTown Suites’ extended stay accommodations boast fully-equipped kitchens in every suite, perfect for creating any of these delicious winter meals on a budget. Plus, every location now offers newly renovated Premium Suites filled with modern finishes, updated appliances and fresh style.  Even when you’re away from home, you can enjoy home-cooked comforts that won’t break the bank.

Looking for more tips on how to stay on budget this holiday season? We have a great guide that will help you with last-minute gift buying, fun activities that will keep your kids entertained and a suitcase full of travel tips for flights and road trips. You’ll be basking in holiday cheer while keeping your wallet closed.