(COLORADO SPRINGS) — Supermarket prices are stretching home budgets making it more difficult to create good meals for decent prices. Here are FOX21’s top five easy and customizable meals that can be made for cheap and easily modified to create a variety of meals.

Filled Sandwiches: A simple recipe using biscuit dough and preferred fillings

Eight filled sandwiches cooling on a tray
Courtesy: FOX21 Digital Producer Brett Yager

A simple and basic version of the filled sandwich is to use ham and cheddar cheese. The great thing about filled sandwiches is the endless combinations of ingredients that can be used.

Simply roll out the dough, add your preferred fillings, then follow the instructions for the biscuit dough to bake a crispy and delicious, filled sandwich.

Depending on the ingredients and dough the recipe can be very affordable. A set of eight ham and cheese sandwiches with biscuit dough costs about $7 for the three ingredients.

Change the dough, and experiment with fillings, this simple recipe has endless possibilities and can easily be stored in the fridge throughout the week.

Rice and Beans: Add protein to turn a side dish into the main course

Four containers of rice and beans and Kielbasa Sausage
Courtesy: FOX21 Digital Producer Brett Yager

The combination of rice and beans can become many meals, and adding a simple protein turns a simple side dish into the main course.

A simple variation is a box of rice and beans with pre-cooked kielbasa sausage added. The cooking process is simple, follow the instructions on the box for the rice and beans, and just add whatever protein you want.

A box of rice and beans is around $2, with the protein being the main expense, however, protein comes from a variety of sources with Kielbasa Sausage being only $3.50 for 14oz.

This meal is filling and provides plenty of variations; from the rice and beans to the protein — this recipe will surely become a family staple.

Pasta Salad: The humble and easily adaptable recipe

  • A pasta salad with brocoli, peas, tomatoes, onion and cucumber in a large bowl with no dressing
  • A pasta salad with brocoli, peas, tomatoes, onion and cucumber in a small dish with ranch dressing.

The humble pasta salad, a staple of the salad bar, is an easy recipe to adapt to a variety of ingredients. The only needed ingredient is pasta, which pasta is a personal choice, and the versatility allows for vegan and vegetarian options.

After picking the pasta of choice, FOX21 recommends picking your favorite three to five additions to compliment the pasta and dressing of choice.

The cooking process is boiling the pasta to the preferred texture, in addition to any other ingredients that need cooking. The next step is adding all the ingredients to a bowl, plus the dressing of choice, and letting it sit in the fridge overnight so all the flavors can get to know each other.

The total price of a five-serving salad is dependent on the ingredients chosen. Pasta runs around $2 with many fruits and vegetables in that same price range.

Not much is needed to fill a large bowl of ingredients, and two different pasta salads can be made with one, 16oz, box of pasta.

Tray Bake: Your entire meal in one pan

  • A tray bake filled potatoes, sweet peppers onion and turkey sausage
  • A tray bake filled potatoes, sweet peppers onion and turkey sausage
  • A tray bake filled potatoes, sweet peppers onion and turkey sausage

Tray Bakes are a simple way to cook the entire meal at once in one pan, saving time.

Take the protein of your choice, along with sides of your choice such as; potatoes, sweet peppers, or onion. Cut all of your ingredients into uniform pieces, cover a cookie sheet pan with olive oil and spread your ingredients over the pan, and season with ingredients such as paprika, garlic powder, and salt and pepper. Bake for about 30 minutes or until everything is cooked.

The pricing of ingredients depends on the ingredients chosen. The pictured tray bake costs around $12 for all the baked ingredients, not including the spices used.

Overnight Oats: Breakfast On-the-Go

  • Abbie Burkes overnight oats with blueberries and strawberries
  • overnight oats with berries made by FOX21 News Craig Coffey

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day and as FOX21 Morning News showed, overnight oats are one of the more versatile meals to make.

Overnight oats require only oats and milk, after that one can add anything they want to create a quick morning meal for on-the-go. Fruit, nuts, and even Nutella or chocolate can be added to the recipe.

Half a gallon of milk and 18oz of oats are around $6, a good base for an easy breakfast with many options for add-ons.