So many of us love to cook but don’t always have the time (or the money) to make elaborate, fancy meals. Luckily, there are easy ways to make truly scrumptious meals that don’t take hours in the kitchen and don’t cost a fortune in random ingredients. With a little creativity and know-how, you can make delicious and fun recipes in a snap that use ingredients you likely already have in your kitchen. Here’s a few of our favorite ideas:

Creative Salads

Salads are a lot more than just a random handful of romaine, a few slivers of carrots and a tomato or cucumber wedge. Salads can be bright, crunchy, crispy, fruity, spicy, and topped with creamy dressings or a drizzle of oil and vinegar. Spruce them up with your favorite herbs, chunks of cheese, crunchy nuts, or nutritional yeast. Eat them atop brown rice or quinoa for added bulk, or throw them on top of leftover pizza. Salads can be the perfect accompaniment to a grilled meal, or eaten on their own for a quick and healthy lunch.

In summer, a simple cucumber and tomato salad with a wedge of crispy cornbread is the perfect meal. This salad recipe from is a perfect version that you should definitely try. For something a little classy that goes great with chicken dishes, try a strawberry and spinach salad, adorned with crunchy honey-almonds and feta cheese. No need to hit up the fast food joint for that amazing asian salad – you can create your own with fresh steamed edamame, chow mein noodles, crisp spring onions and your favorite store-brand spring rolls.

Stir Fries

Stir fries don’t have to be boring. The truth is, stir fry is incredibly versatile and the only thing you need to take them out of a rut is a great sauce. Whether you love veggie stir fry over rice, quinoa, grits or a bed of mashed potatoes, whipping up a delicious stir fry sauce is the key to keeping things fresh and new. Try a spicy orange sauce, a lemon-basil vinaigrette, a savory french onion sauce, or a sweet, spicy sriracha honey sauce to brighten your meats and veggies and turn your stir fry into something the whole family will love.

The One Pot Craze

The instapot and slow cooker are all the rage for a reason – they save you so much time in the kitchen and the results are delicious. Yes, they’re perfect for that traditional pot roast or pot of chili, but your slow poker or instapot can be used for a whole lot of other creative recipes, too. Fun ideas like slow-cooker lasagna, pho with tofu, and even low country boil can all be made in your favorite trusty appliance while you’re at work or out running errands, and you’ll be shocked at how delicious they are.

Breakfast for Dinner

Whether you enjoy your breakfast for dinner or your breakfast for breakfast, it’s easy to make your favorite morning staples in a flash. From three-ingredient pancakes (that happen to be gluten free), to bacon-in-the oven, to a make-overnight strata to wow last-minute guests, there are easy hacks to make breakfast a snap.

With just a few simple, creative tricks, you can have food on the table in no time flat, without spending a fortune.