Cheap Healthy Meals For The Family
Feeding a family on a budget is doable with our cheap family meal ideas. All of these budget recipes are under £1 a head.
From meatballs to burgers, from cottage pie to risotto, our cheap family meals are ideal if you’re trying to cook on a budget but don’t want to scrimp on flavour or comfort.
Our collection is full of simple cheap recipes that cost less than £1 per person but still make sure you eat well on a budget.
For example, our beer-battered fish and chips cost only £3.76 to make serving four, that’s 94p per person. Our hearty sausage omelette recipe costs only £2.38 to make serving four, that’s 59p per person.
A majority of these recipes exclusively use store cupboard ingredients too which is a great way to cut the weekly shopping bill down as you could bulk buy most of the items at the beginning of the month which can sometimes work out cheaper.
Please note that prices are average. We assume you have basic store cupboard ingredients such as oil, flour, butter, milk, soy sauce, dried herbs, stock cubes, etc.
We have allowed for alternative ingredients to be used to cut the cost down without compromising the recipe. And that the recipe serves four unless otherwise stated. We have included different pricing from a variety of supermarkets including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, and Asda.
Keep these homemade meatballs with spaghetti under budget by using dried herbs and skipping the Parmesan. Use stale bread to make homemade breadcrumbs – tastier (and cheaper) than shop-bought ones.
Items: Smartprice pork & beef mince (500g) £1.66, onions 16p, Smartprice chopped tomatoes (400g) 31p, Chosen by You green pesto sauce (190g) £1, Smartprice spaghetti (500g) 19p, tomato puree (142g) 35p
This hearty farmhouse chicken braise is perfect for Sunday lunch or dinner. Chicken thighs keep it cheap while the mustard cream sauce adds a punch of flavour and warmth.
Items: Everyday Value chicken thighs and drumsticks (566g) £1.50, loose carrots 40p, loose leeks 50p, fresh thyme or parsley 80p, Yeo Valley Organic Half Fat Crème Fraîche (200g) 77p
This Slimming World recipe for bacon and broccoli pasta salad is not only cheap to make but healthy thanks to the Tenderstem broccoli and spinach. We’ve doubled the ingredients so it serves four.
Items: Basics pasta shapes (500g) 35p, Basics cooking bacon (670g) £1.15, broccoli 65p, ready washed baby leaf spinach (100g) £1
This Women’s Weekly recipe for courgette, garlic and herb oaty crust quiche is perfect for Sunday lunch. You can use any cream cheese with garlic and herbs, but we’ve used Roule here as its a cheaper option.
Items: Highland Oatcakes (300g) 69p, loose courgettes 50p, French Roulé cheese (125g) £1, Basics mixed sizes barn eggs (6) £1, Yeo Valley Organic Half Fat Crème Fraîche (200g) 77p
Use dried spices and skip the chutney to make this flavoursome Lentil and spinach curry on a budget.
Items: Canned green lentils 48p, Bonduelle spinach 74p, Smartprice chopped tomatoes 33p, Red onion 10p, Garlic 30p, Pitta bread 35p, Pataks Madras curry sauce 72p
Just buy ready-rolled pastry, cherry tomatoes and pesto for this easy yet tasty tomato tart. This recipe serves six.
Items: 2 x cherry tomatoes (250g) £1.64, Smartprice green pesto (190g) 88p, Jus Rol ready-rolled puff pastry (375g) £1.52
If you’ve never cooked with polenta, try this healthy, heart recipe for baked vegetable polenta, packed with vegetables and Greek-style feta cheese. A pack of polenta costs only 59p.
Items: East End Cornmeal Polenta – Fine or Coarse (375g) 59p, fresh flat-leaf parsley (31g) 80p, leeks 60p, loose closed cup mushrooms 27p, cherry tomatoes (300g) 98p, Everyday Value salad cheese (200g) 75p
Light yet filling, this spring courgette and pesto pasta dish is simple to make, and sprinkled over with fresh basil and a tasty vegetarian Parmesan cheese alternative.
Items: Chosen by You Green Pesto Sauce (190g) £1, Smartprice spaghetti (500g) 24p, loose courgettes 90p, onion 8p, Life Free from Dairy Free Parmazano Cheese (60g) 98p, fresh cut basil 65p
Try this smoked bacon and onion tart one night this week for a tasty change to you usual dinner. It takes less than an hour to make and costs only 42p per person too as it serves eight.
Items:Everyday Value cooking bacon (500g) 81p, Onions 20p, Everyday Value mixed eggs (6) 93p, Weight Watchers West Country Crème Fraîche (200ml) 75p, British Mature Cheddar (approx 100g) 68p
This hearty pork and pepper goulash recipe is flavoured with paprika and packed with veggies such as red onion, tin tomatoes and roasted red peppers.
Items: Pork filet £2.80, onion 10p, pepper 50p, chicken stock 39p
Using dried herbs instead of fresh makes a lot of recipes cheaper, like this courgette pasta bake. It also opts for Smartprice pasta from Asda which is only 31p per pack.
Items: Smartprice pasta 31p, Courgettes £1.26, Good for you! natural fromage frais (500g) 78p, Passata (500g) 39p, Red onions 20p, Garlic 24p,
With frozen peas, fresh herbs and chillies, this Mexican rice is full of flavour and easy to make as well. Its a bargain at only 96p per portion.
Items: Easy cook long grain rice (500g) 99p, hand selected brown onion (5) 42p, Savers chopped tomatoes (400g) 31p, Savers peas (900g) 89p, fresh coriander (31g) 79p, mixed chillies (50g) 45p
Skip the takeaway and make beer-battered fish and double-cooked chips from scratch. Pollock is a good, cheaper alternative to cod and haddock too.
Items: Chosen by You Cook from Frozen pollock portions (368g) £1.75, Smartprice British small potatoes (1Kg) 69p, Manns original brown ale (500ml) £1 or Smartprice lager (4x440ml) £1, 2 x Smartprice mushy peas (300g) 16p each
Using lamb and mutton mince makes these kebabs in pitta a real bargain dinner. If you’d rather serve with salad, swap the pitta for a gem lettuce instead.
Items: Value lamb & mutton mince (500g) £1.59, Paxo natural breadcrumbs 65p, Natural Greek-style yogurt (200g) 65p, Garlic 25p, Cucumber portion 38p, Value White Pitta (6) 25p
This classic family meal has been given an added boost of flavour with crispy bascon and sweet peas.
Items: Everyday Value pasta penne quills (500g) 29p, Everyday Value garden peas (900g) 89p, Everyday Value cooking bacon (500g) 81p, Weight Watchers West Country Crème Fraîche (200ml) 75p, British Mature Cheddar (approx 100g) 68p
This recipe for quick and easy Spaghetti Bolognese is much cheaper than you think it would be. If you’ve already got spices, then you’re good to go with just these few simple ingredients.
Items: Medium onions 10p each, beef mince £1.69 for 500g, mushrooms 80p, chopped tomatoes 28p, spaghetti 20p.
This Woman’s Weekly turkey mince cottage pie is perfect for Sunday dinner. We’ve used tinned peas instead of frozen to keep it cheap.
Items: Butcher’s Selection British Turkey Mince £2.22, Smartprice chopped tomatoes (400g) 31p, celery 89p, onion 10p, Smartprice garden peas in water (300g) 20p, loose potato 20p, carrots 8p
This tuna and brown rice salad is not only cheap to make but nutritional to packed with vitamins including omega-3.
Items: Onion 17p, basmati rice 80p, mild salsa dip 60p, black olives 49p, red kidney beans 30p, sweetcorn 40p, tuna steaks (tinned) £1.19
Chilli, lemon and walnuts add zest and flavour to Gino D’Acampo’s broccoli and courgette spaghetti.
Items: Courgettes (300g) 54p, Broccoli (200g) 40p, Lemon 30p, Walnuts (70g) £1, Italian Parmesan shavings (50g) £1.24, Smartprice spaghetti (500g) 39p
These delicious, vegetarian bean burgers made with coriander, onions and spring onions. Use old bread or the ends of a loaf of bread to save waste.
Items: KTC Chick Peas (400g), KTC Red Kidney Beans (400g) and KTC Rosecoco Beans (400g) 3 tins for £1, spring onions 74p, fresh coriander bunch 87p, Chosen by You seeded white burger buns (6) 85p, onion 10p, Smartprice seasonal salad (180g) 44p
This quick and easy bacon and chilli pasta takes just 10 minutes to prepare. Use dried basil to keep it under budget.
Items: Smartprice spaghetti (500g) 35p, Smartprice unsmoked streaky bacon (275g) £1.09, mixed peppers £1.50, Chosen by You Stir-Through Sauce – Tomato, Red Pepper & Cheese (190g) 96p
This tuna pasta bake comes in at just over £4 with the cheese, however you’ll only need less than half of the packet, so you can save the rest for another meal.
Items: Skipjack tuna chunks (79p), red onion (9p), mushrooms (70p), sweetcorn (47p), chopped tomatoes (28p), penne pasta (53p), cheddar cheese (67p/£1.65 for 250g)
This 95p per person recipe for curly kale mash with spring onions goes well with chunky grilled sausages.
Items: Kale (200g) £1, loose baking potatoes 80p, spring onions (100g) 70p, Butcher’s Choice pork Lincolnshire or Cumberland sausages (8 per pack – 454g) £1.30 (usually £1.80)
The pesto adds a nutty flavour to this meatballs and beans in tomato broth. You can even skip the kale if you want to keep this even cheaper.
Items: Smartprice mince (454g) £1.40, onion 9p, loose tomatoes 25p, cannellini beans in water (300g) 48p, Chosen by You green pesto sauce (190g) 79p, British sliced curly kale (200g) 95p
It costs just £2.47 to make Gino D’Acampo’s classic Margherita pizza. This recipe makes two pizzas which are perfect for sharing amongst four people.
Items: Passata (500g) 79p, 2 x Basics mozzarella cheese ball (125g) 44p, basil bunch (28g) 80p, strong white bread flour (1.5kg) 80p, Allinson Dried Active Yeast (125g) 64p
Cheaper cuts of chicken, like chicken wings, are great for budget meals and full of flavour. This Peri-peri chicken dish is a real winner – great with couscous or chips and coleslaw.
Items: Basics British chicken wings (approx 900g) £1.88, Colman’s Season & Shake Piri Piri Chicken Seasoning Mix (29g) £1, lemon 30p, ginger 10p, couscous (500g) 69p
This colourful, tasty beetroot risotto is packed with flavour. You can save a bit more by buying Everyday Value beetroot (500g) 49p and cooking it yourself instead of buying the already-cooked version.
Items: Arborio risotto rice (500g) £1.10, onion 9p, cooked beetroot (300g) 80p, Everyday Value horseradish sauce (165g) 51p, Just Wild rocket salad (70g) £1
This recipe for homemade tagliatelle is less than £2 for four servings. To make into a full meal, whip up a batch of our pasta sauce
Items: Plain flour 49p, 4 x eggs £1
Whip up a sausage herby omelette for a lazy Sunday morning brunch or quick lunch. For an extra treat, add a handful of grated cheese to the raw egg mixture for a creamy and stringy omelette.
Items: Frankfurter sausages £1.20, eggs £1.18 for 15.
This sausage and potato casserole is so cheap you could buy fancier sausages and still keep it under £1 a head.
Items: Onion 17p, New potatoes 72p, Green pepper 80p, Value pork sausages (8 pack) 50p, Value pasta sauce (440g) 33p
This Bengal butternut squash and chickpea naan recipe uses store cupboard spices such as cumin, tumeric and masala.
Items: Cauldron Falafels (200g) £1.68, butternut squash 68p, onion 9p, loose ginger 15p, loose chillies 7p, KTC Chick Peas in salted water (400g) 37p, plain mini naan breads (4) 67p
To make this tomato-baked chicken cheaper, use dried herbs and normal mushrooms instead of button. This recipe also uses Smartprice chicken wings but you could swap for thighs instead as they are just as cheap.
Items: Smartprice chicken wings (1kg) £1.65, Tomato & garlic pasta sauce (560g) 92p, Smartprice British small potatoes (1kg) 50p, Baby button mushrooms (150g) 86p