Feeding the family on a budget can be difficult. These top tips will help you…
These favourite cheap family recipes will help you get to the end of the month without blowing your budget. Even though they are cheap, they are simple and delicious.
Are you on a strict budget? Struggling to think of delicious meals for the family? These ideas for cooking on a budget will help you get to the end of the month. Using simple ideas, like maximising your store cupboard and making the most of leftovers, these meals prove eating well does not need to cost much.
If you are cooking on a budget, one great way to save money is by meal planning. This helps you get everything you need for your meals when you go shopping and prevents you from buying stuff on impulse. If you are not sure where to start then read how to meal plan like a boss. This contains all the information you need to begin, as well as printable meal planning templates you can use.
Now lets look at the cheap family recipes.
Baked Bean Lasagne
If you are cooking on a budget, beans, lentils and pulses are great for making a tasty meal. You can also use them to bulk out meat and make the portions go futher. They keep you full so are perfect for winter dishes.
Baked bean lasange is the perfect comfort food. It is easy to make with store cupboard ingredients as well as being cheap. If you use store brand baked beans they are around 30p a tin, and often taste as good as branded versions.
- Cost for 4 servings: £3.54
- Cost per person: 88p
Lentils are one of those ingredients that I never use much, but they really are versatile. This stew uses green lentils and butternut squash with a blend of spices. The sauce is a mix of tomatoes and coconut milk. Once you have tried it you will make it again and again.
- Cost for 4 servings: £5.34
- Cost per person: £1.33
Lentil soup is one of my go to recipes for cold days. It is perfect for lunch, serve with crusty bread. I usually make a double batch and freeze half. If you are cooking a ham joint then keep the stock and use as a base to make the soup, it gives it more flavour.
- Cost for 4 servings: £1.12
- Cost per person: £0.28
Sausage and bean soup
A hearty soup is always good for a lunchtime meal, especially in cold weather. A mix of sausages and mixed beans in a tomato soup ticks all the boxes for a filling lunch.
- Cost for 4 servings: £3.10
- Cost per person: £0.77
Smoky Sausage Casserole
Smoky sausage casserole is a real warming and hearty meal. The addition of beans makes it filling and paprika adds a spicy smoky taste the family will love.
- Cost for 4 servings: £3.61
- Cost per person: £0.90
Choriso and Butter Bean stew
This stew uses butter beans and spiced them up with chorizo sausage and spices for a meal that is surprisingly tasty. You can use tinned or dried butter beans. If you use dried they will need soaking overnight.
- Cost for 4 servings: £3.26
- Cost per person: £0.81
Northumberland Ham Broth
This is another hearty soup, made with ham and vegetables. This version grates the vegetables so they blend into the soup. If you prefer you can leave them as small chucks. Either way tastes great and will fill you up.
- Cost for 4 servings: £6.52
- Cost per person: £1.63
Caribbean Chicken with Sweet Potatoes
Chicken is always good for making a cheap family recipes. A whole chicken can make at least three meals. Roast it for a roast dinner, turn the scraps into fajitas and use the bones to make stock for a variety of soups. Use more affordable cuts of chicken, like breast, thigh and drumsticks to feed your family for less without sacrificing on flavour.
Caribbean chicken with sweet potatoes is a tasty one pot meal that all the family will enjoy. It uses chicken thighs which add more flavour to the dish.
- Cost for 4 servings: £3.60
- Cost per person: £0.90
This Italian chicken in a tomato and bacon sauce is perfect for a mid-week meal. It is filling and tasty and ready in around forty minutes.
The price below is for fresh chicken breasts, but frozen chicken breasts work just as well and are often cheaper. You can usually bulk buy them so why not double up on the recipe and freeze half?
- Cost for 4 servings: £5.66
- Cost per person: £1.41
This is one of those meals that is so easy to make but tastes amazing. The chicken is marinated in a mix of mirin and soy sauce and then fried. If you don’t have mirin then substitute white wine instead. You can also add a little bit more flavour by chopping in some spring onions if you have some.
- Cost for 4 servings: £4.22
- Cost per person: £1.05
Jamican Jerk chicken is always a winner in our house. Marinade the chicken in a mixture of jerk seasoning, lemon juice and oil. When you are ready just grill the chicken and you will have a delicous and spicy dinner.
- Cost for 4 servings: £4.68
- Cost per person: £1.17
This is another delicious mid-week meal. Dip chicken in egg and flour and fry until crispy. Make a sweet sauce to cook the chicken in and throw in the sesame seeds and spring onions. Easy to make and one the whole family will love.
- Cost for 4 servings: £4.25
- Cost per person: £1.06
Chicken and Chickpea Curry
This is a mild chicken curry with a creamy taste and a hint of spice so should appeal to all the family. The chickpeas bulk it out and make it very filling.
- Cost for 4 servings: £3.96
- Cost per person: £0.99
Quick and Easy Mince
Minced beef is another great choice for a budget family recipes. It is so versatile, you can make any amount of different dishes with it. It is another great choice for batch cooking, make twice as much and freeze half and you have a meal ready for later in the month.
Quick and easy mince is another family favourite. My mum got the recipe from our neighbour and it has been a regular feature in mealtimes since.
- Cost for 4 servings: £3.44
- Cost per person: £0.86
Cottage Pie is one of those recipes that every family has their own version of. It is the perfect winter warmer and great one pot meal. A large plateful of this will keep everyone in the family happy.
- Cost for 4 servings: £3.15
- Cost per person: £0.78
Tagliatelle with Ragu Sauce
For another twist on mince why not try serving it with a ragu sauce? This recipe also makes the pasta from scratch, it is amazing how easy this is. Of course you can just use dried pasta if you can’t be bothered.
- Cost for 4 servings: £3.15
- Cost per person: £0.78
Minced Beef Hash
There are times when you just want to pop everything into one pot and leave it to cook. Minced beef hash is perfect for doing this. You don’t even need to prepare anything to go with it as potatoes go into the dish. If you want a side dish a simple salad will suffice.
- For 4 servings: £3.30
- Cost per person: £0.82
Pastel De Choclo
Pastel De Choclo is a traditional Chilean beef and corn pie. It is a twist on shepherds pie with a creamed corn topping. If you are looking for something a little different this is great. It does take a while to make, but the effort is worth it.
- For 4 servings: £4.89
- Cost per person: £1.22
Simple Beef Nachos
Beef Nachos are the perfect comfort food. Why not make a bowl and serve them with a movie for a cosy family night in? They are simple and easy to make and very tasty.
- For 4 servings: £4.30
- Cost per person: £1.07
Spaghetti bolognese is a dish that you probably already make. Most households have their own version. It is a cheap and delicious meal that is a family favourite.
Parmesan cheese freezes really well so grate it up and store in the freezer. That way whenever you fancy spaghetti bolognese you have some cheese ready to go. If you don’t have pamesan then just grate up some cheddar. It works just as well.
- For 4 servings: £5.40
- Cost per person: £1.35
Spaghetti and Meatballs
Home-made meatballs simmering slowly in tomato sauce will have the family desperate for dinner to be ready. It will be worth the wait as these meatballs are simple but full of flavour.
- For 4 servings: £3.65
- Cost per person: £0.91
This is another twist on shepherds pie, this time it is given the wild west treatment. The meal is made in the slow cooker, so you can just leave it cooking and have a meal ready when you are.
- For 4 servings: £3.41
- Cost per person: £0.85
American meatloaf is not something that I think of making on a regular basis, I am not sure why. The baked mince is topped with a delicous spicy sauce making it a taste sensation. Any leftovers can be frozen to enjoy another day.
- For 4 servings: £3.27
- Cost per person: £0.81
Panacutly is a great way to use up leftover roast beef and vegetables from the Sunday roast, so technically you could say it doesn’t cost anything to make! If you don’t have any leftover roast beef then just use a tin of corned beef for the ultimate in corned beef hash.
- For 4 servings: £3.99
- Cost per person: £0.74
Leek and Potato Bake
Bake leeks and potatoes in a creamy sauce for the ultimate in comfort food. This is great as a warming main meal or a side dish. It is easy to modify as well, just add leftover ham or sausages to give it more flavour. This is one of those cheap family recipes you will return to again and again.
- For 4 servings: £2.70
- Cost per person: £0.67
Bacon floddies are pan fried potato cakes with bacon and onion. They are ideal for a breakfast or brunch on a cold morning. They are very easy and quick to make. Serve with a fried egg.
This is a reallygood budget recipe coming out at 92p for four.
- For 4 servings: £0.92
- Cost per person: £0.23
Prawn and Chorizo Rice
Chorizo is a great ingredient for cheap family recipes. It adds plenty of flavour to the dish. This prawn and chorizo rice is easy to make, making it perfect for a mid-week dinner.
- For 4 servings: £4.48
- Cost per person: £1.12
Hot Dog Hash
Take a tin of hot dogs, left over boiled potatoes and some onions for a meal that is ready quickly. Add a fried egg for some extra flavour.
- For 4 servings: £0.90
- Cost per person: £0.22
How I priced the recipes
To get the cost of the ingredients I went to ShelfScraper. This is a really useful link that compares the prices of different items in various supermarkets. I took the average price for that item and divided it by the quantity the recipe uses.
Which of these budget-friendly recipes would you try first? Do you have any cheap family recipes I should try? Let me know below.
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