Easy budget meals for two

Busy week ahead? You can eat well even when you’re in a hurry with our week’s worth of simple, delicious, affordable meals for two – all for only £35.

Three bowls of pesto pasta with broccoli

For many people, cooking a well-balanced range of meals from scratch often feels unachievable, with the pressure of busy schedules and rising food costs. But with a bit of forward planning and clever use of ingredients, we believe it’s possible to make a range of low-cost, nourishing meals to enjoy every night of the week. 

For a budget of only £35, we’ve put together a seven-day menu of satisfying and scrumptious suppers or lunches to serve two people. You might even have some leftovers!

We've provided a handy shopping list to get you started, based on prices from a range of supermarkets. Please note the £35 total does not include a few storecupboard and fridge ingredients, which are listed below.

Your shopping list:

From your kitchen: olive oil, butter, plain flour, malt vinegar, oregano, garam masala, salt and pepper
 

Fruit & veg:Eggs & dairy:Meat & fish:Other:
2 red onions6 eggs

4 boneless and 
skinless chicken thighs

400g can cherry tomatoes
1 aubergine500g plain yogurt2 salmon fillets250g mixed grain pouch
1 bulb garlic1 litre whole milk250g fillet steak250g pouch spicy Mexican rice
2 heads broccoli200g vegetarian
hard cheese or parmesan
 500g pasta shells
500g new potatoes  1 loaf crusty bread
4 lemons  1 jar roasted red peppers
large pack parsley  1 pack stuffed green olives
small pack basil  1 sachet fajita seasoning
small pack mint  1 small jar capers
150g pack rocket  1 small bag toasted pine nuts
150g bag mixed salad  200g ground almonds
500g frozen peas  1 jar tartare sauce

Check out our week of easy meals:
 

 

Easy caponata

Bowl of vegetable stew topped with basil leaves, served with bread

After a long day at work, this rich and flavoursome Sicilian veggie stew is a welcome culinary comfort which you can have on the table in under 30 minutes. With smoky aubergines, sweet tomatoes, punchy capers and fragrant herbs, this simple dish truly maximises on taste. Serve with warmed crusty bread.

Easy caponata


Pea & pasta frittata

Pasta and pea frittata circle in slices

Make the most of leftovers in our easy pea and pasta shell frittata, flavoured with fresh mint and parmesan. Ready in only 20 minutes, this is a reliable and cheap midweek meal you'll return to again and again. It also keeps well and makes a tasty lunchbox meal for the next day.

Pea & pasta frittata


Fish, mash & peas

Fillet of breaded salmon with potato and pea mash

Want something different to battered cod from the local chippie? Try coating salmon in a tasty breadcrumb, garlic and parsley crust, served on a dollop of mash and peas. This is ultimate comfort food for busy weeknights. 

Fish, mash & peas


Steak burrito bowl

Steak and rice burrito bowl with lemon slice

Short on time? Stir up this spicy steak and rice burrito bowl in just 10 minutes. Use a sachet of fajita seasoning for an easy flavour boost.

Steak burrito bowl


Crispy broccoli salad

Breaded broccoli salad on a rectangular plate

Try a new way with broccoli by coating it in spiced ground almonds and roasting for a wonderfully crispy texture. Serve in a fresh salad with mixed grains, mint and rocket.

Crispy broccoli salad


Broccoli pasta shells

Pesto and broccoli pasta shells in a bowl with a spoon

Elevate a typical pasta and pesto dish by making our healthier version with homemade lemony pesto and broccoli. Whipping up your own delicious pesto is suprisingly easy – it's also lower in salt than most shop-bought jars. This recipe serves four people, but is freezable so you can keep leftovers for another day.

Broccoli pasta shells


Chicken & crispy capers with new potatoes

Chicken pieces, new potatoes and capers in a frying pan with coriander

Get out the frying pan and stir up a super-satisfying and substantial meal that won't break the bank. The winning combination of crispy capers, chicken thighs, new potatoes and stuffed olives will leave you wanting seconds. Finish off with a sprinkling of zingy lemon zest and fragrant parsley.

Chicken & crispy capers with new potatoes

Find more budget meal inspiration...

Budget meals for one
10 easy budget family meals
5 nights of budget family suppers
Budget dinner party ideas
5-ingredient dinners

Have you tried our easy budget meals? Leave a comment below...


Prices are accurate for a range of supermarkets in May 2018.

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