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Including cooking on a budget, family meal ideas and a cheap food shopping list
If you’re struggling to meal plan then these budget cheap family meals are going to help give you all the inspiration you need.
All of them have a cost per head and are easy to prepare in advance. You could call them basic and not all are healthy, but if you’re looking for cheap family meals that you can prepare quickly and that fit it with your family, then these are for you!
Cooking on a budget isn’t easy and can put a lot of parents off meal planning, which then means the whole family are “winging it” for the week. These cheap recipes for families are perfect if you haven’t built up your “little book of family favourites” yet.
I’ve given you a sneak peak into a few of my cheap recipes my family love below and given you some basic staples that I think are must haves if you’re trying to feed a family on a budget.
Trying to find cheap recipes for your family takes time but it really does stop you from reaching for the take away menu or just trying to make it while at the supermarket.
Implementing a weekly meal plan really does save you money and time. It stops you going for the takeaway menu when the family go nuclear and means you don’t have to face a cupboard full of food with no clue or inspiration on what to cook.
If creating your own budget weekly menu is giving you a headache, then Budget My Meals is for you. We can create your budget weekly menus, shopping lists and send you the recipes every week so you don’t even have to think about it.
No coupons. No yellow stickers, just easy family friendly recipes.
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(When you enter your email address, you are agreeing to be emailed about the Budget My Meals service. You will NOT be added to my mailing list and will NOT have access to The Resource Vault. Once Budget My Meals has launched, I will send you an email to update you and ask if you would like to join via a special offer.)
Family Meal Ideas on a Budget
If you’re struggling to meal plan or just unsure how to start meal planning you’ve never done it before, then start here to get the basic done right.
These cheap family recipes help me meal plan for my whole family meaning that the weeks we are struggling for money, we can shop for just £18 a week and sometimes £16 a week if needed.
These recipes use cheap food that you can buy anywhere to help you cook on a budget. We do suggest buying at Aldi or Lidi but if they are further away and it’s going to cost you more than £10 to get there then please do shop locally as it may work out cheaper overall.
Loads of our meals can be brought for under £1 a head including Slimming World family favourites plus vegan or vegetarian dishes.
Cooking on a budget doesn’t mean that your family are going to miss out on a good meal. It you buy cheap food and still rustle up a cooked breakfast on a weekend or a homemade pizza with all the fillings.
Everything is laid out below and will help you to create your meal plan with ease.
Make sure you bookmark this page on your phone incase you need it for next week too.
Note: All our prices are based on Asda. You may be able to get them cheaper at other stores. Please do shop around. All recipes are made for four people (two adults and two children) unless stated.
Cooking on a Budget
If you’re struggling to meal plan, then start by:
- Reading our Budget Meal Planning: How to meal plan so it saves you time and money post here. This will help you to get the basics of meal planning.
- Check all your cupboards. Have you got these budget pantry staples? These are going to be your cupboard essentials and will help you bring your shopping bill down.
- Grab a piece of paper or use your phone and write down every time you or your family finish something from the cupboards or fridge etc. This gives you a good list to start from when you are trying to meal prep in a hurry.
- Pick your meals from the below but remember to check your calendar first. There’s no point deciding to cook a full on family meal if everyone!
- Have fun and be flexible! Just because you meal plan doesn’t mean that your food is set in stone. Change it around if you want and add or take away a meal. Just remember to add it to next weeks meal plan and freeze it if needed.
So here are our 59 cheap recipes for families when cooking on a budget that are going to help you meal plan and keep your shopping bill down.
(We are assuming you have some of our Budget Cupboard Staples already brought. If not, please see our full list of Staple Food Store Cupboard Essentials here.)
A lot of these are also perfect for leftovers. So if you make to much, freeze and use again at the end of the week or take for lunch!
Cheap Recipes for Families
- Porridge with fruit
- Overnight oats
- Toast with banana
- Scrambled eggs
- Boiled eggs & soldiers
- Fried Egg & tomato
- Fruit smoothies
- Sliced pear, honeydew melon, strawberries and fat free Greek style yogurt
- 2 frozen hash browns, baked beans and scrambled eggs
- Sliced banana topped with Mullerlight yogurt
- Fried breakfast: 6 eggs, 6 sausages, 6 bacon medallions, 8 cherry tomatoes, 6 mushrooms and 2 tins of baked beans
- Breakfast muffins
- Poached eggs and bacon with a syn free Hash Brown
- Sweet baked potato, sliced ham, beetroot and a salad
- Butternut penne
- Pizza toast
- Choice of sandwich filling
- Spaghetti with dried herb to taste (we use chilli flakes and oregano)
- Boiled egg & toast
- Crackers ploughman
- Grilled cheese sandwiches
- Homemade sweet potato & carrot soup
- Scotch pancakes
- 3 egg omelette with your choice of filling (Bacon, Ham, Spinach, Tomatoes, Mushroom, Onion)
- Salad wrap with your choice or cheese or ham
- Bean and broccoli pasta salad
- Homemade sausage and bean soup
- Leek and egg salad
- Winter vegetable soup (chuck whatever you have leftover or vegetables from the freezer)
- Mexican rice (mix frozen veg and some chilli spice for some taste.)
- Butternut squash risotto (we use frozen butternut squash already but with frozen onions etc)
- Homemade Four Seasons Pizza (half of cheese, quarter of chicken & tomato, quarter Pineapple & Ham)
- Sweet potato curry
- Fish cakes, mash & beans
- Gammon (or ham), eggs & homemade chips
- Cheese & ham(or any leftover meat) pasta bake
- Vegetable Fajitas
- Vegetable Lasagne
- Jacket potato with a choice of toppings
- Egg fried Stir fry with Rices
- Egg noodle stir fry
- Hidden vegetable Pasta and sauce (could add tuna etc)
- Sweet & Sour Chicken with Rice
- Sweet Potato & Chicken Curry
- Syn free tomato and garlic pasta
- Frozen butternut squash lasagna
- Slimming World Creamy tomato sauce from Iceland mixed with cooked pasta
- Frozen sausage casserole
- Vegetarian chickpea curry
- Slimming World mushroom sauce mixed with cooked pasta
- Cottage pie
- Spaghetti carbonara
- Bean burger
- Turkey egg fried rice stir fry
- Carcass soup
- Baked (enter meat here) pesto alfredo
- Meat smothered sweet potato
Family Meal Ideas
If trying to find your own family meal ideas that don’t cost you earth is causing you a headache, then my new ring binder book “The Family Meal Prep Binder: Cheap Recipes For Families on a Budget” is for you. It has over 100 simple, budget recipes that don’t require any fancy gadgets or expensive ingredients. All the meals are “normal” family favourites that can be made in advance, from leftovers to Slimming World family friendly meals that can all be used to build up your meal plan weekly to keep you on budget.
You can also add to them. We’ve left pages at the back so you can write out your families favourites so you always have them to hand. We are also offering all these recipes on Savings 4 Savvy Mums as extras in one big printable so you can print them at home (or buy for a small fee and sent to you by post) so you can add them to your binder yourself.
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