Top 10 budget family meals
Looking for easy, thrifty meals to feed the family? Our budget recipes save you money and keep your midweek fuss-free without compromising on flavour.
When weekdays are busy, getting dinner on the table can often be a challenge, so it's easy to opt for expensive ready meals with little nutritional value. But you don't have to spend a fortune to enjoy healthy, nourishing food that will keep everybody satisfied.
We've created ten midweek meals for four people that require very little prep and make the most of simple, cheap ingredients, without compromising on taste. With these crowd-pleasing curries, hearty stews and speedy spaghetti dishes, your menu for the week ahead is sorted.
Combine the gorgeous nutty flavours of roasted cauliflower with a creamy tomato and cashew sauce to make a vibrant veggie supper. With only five minutes prep time, this fragrant curry dish is a midweek marvel.
Once the family has tucked into this nourishing tomato, chickpea and pasta blend, there will be no going back. Even better – it's a great source of fibre and provides two of your five-a-day. Finish with a swirl of pesto and serve with crusty bread for dunking.
More like this
Reheating this the next day? The orzo will have absorbed some of the liquid, so just add some boiling water to make it more soup-like again.
Check out more budget soup recipes.
Buying cheaper cuts of meat or mince is a great way to lower your shopping costs. Sausagemeat is already packed with flavour so there's no need to add any extra ingredients to the burger mixture. Simply flatten and fry the patties until golden, then kids can help assemble the burgers with apples, rocket and dressings. These juicy buns can be on the table in just 30 minutes, making them an ideal weeknight dinner.
Healthy and hearty, this warming one-pot will keep everyone satisfied, and provides two of your five-a-day. Chicken thighs are cheaper and often more flavoursome than using breasts, and chunky veg helps to bulk up the stew. Serve with crusty bread on the side for dunking.
Try more recipes using chicken thighs.
Give this comfort food classic a healthy makeover by making it from scratch using simple ingredients such as chopped tomatoes, cannellini beans and baking potatoes. Kids won't even notice the hidden veg and it's sure to become a family favourite.
Save on the washing-up by making this simple spaghetti supper with meatballs and tomato sauce – all in one pan! This speedy dish makes the most of shop-bought meatballs and storecupboard ingredients, and requires only five minutes prep time. What's more, it's healthy and low in calories.
Enjoy a healthy yet filling vegetarian dinner with our plant-based twist on kedgeree, combining brown rice with plenty of veg. Like the traditional version, it's served with boiled eggs and has a lovely mild curry flavour.
Try more fabulous vegetarian rice recipes.
Serve up a gorgeous green plate of gnocchi, chicken and peas in a zingy homemade kale pesto. Ready in just 20 minutes, it's a quick and thrifty way to pack in plenty of veg. Serve with a scattering of basil leaves and parmesan for an added layer of flavour.
Put a can of chickpeas to good use in this speedy veggie supper. Fry them with aubergines and serve on top of pittas with tahini and crème fraîche. We've added chipotle paste for a spicy kick, but you can easily swap it for tomato purée if you're serving kids. Finish with lime wedges and coriander for a burst of freshness.
For more inspiration on how to use your chickpeas.
Sardines are a great source of omega-3 and an easy way of incorporating fish into your diet without breaking the bank. The crunchy breadcrumb topping texture combination against the silky spaghetti creates a fancy feel for this family meal.
Look no further for more budget pasta recipes.
Discover more budget family meals...
10 quick budget family meals
5 nights of waste-free family meals
Budget family chicken recipes
10 easy budget family meals
One week of budget-friendly family dinners
Top 10 healthy family meals
A week of budget-friendly meals
Top 10 budget food buys
What other midweek recipes do your family enjoy? Leave a comment below...