Many of us are having to think extra carefully about how to get the most out of our shopping and fuel budgets. Smart planning and cooking will help you make nutritious meals that taste great. We calculate a budget meal at a cost of £1.25 per serving for ingredients used. (You may have to spend a little more if you need to replenish staples such as a full bottle of cooking oil or a bag of flour or buy a pot of spices, but you will use these up over time and we will give you ideas for how to do this.) You may also have access to a markets and local shops that offer savings.
These recipes have been picked to provide homemade, delicious suppers for four people across a working week, making the most of affordable ingredients and including ideas for using up leftovers.
Looking for more budget-friendly recipes and cookery advice? See our main collections of budget recipes and leftover recipes, plus follow our guide to a week of budget-friendly meals. You can also find plenty more recipes and tips on our budget section.
Beetroot & feta pasta
Start the week with a burst of colour on your plate. This vibrant veggie pasta dish is packed with nutrients and delivers two of your 5-a-day, providing a healthy yet affordable lunch or supper option. The homemade beetroot and carrot sauce is a great way to hide veg for veg-dodgers, while creamy feta cheese provides a delicious tangy twist. This dish can also be easily made vegan by using a plant-based crème fraîche and vegan feta.
Use up any leftover beetroot and feta to make this luxurious beetroot risotto with feta or sprinkle it on other pasta or salads. Crème fraîche can be stirred into many dishes to add a creamy texture.
Also check out more budget pasta recipes.
Lemon & herb chicken traybake with butter beans and potato wedges
This fuss-free, versatile chicken traybake makes the most of store cupboard ingredients such as chopped tomatoes and canned beans, while the chicken thighs are a lower cost cut of meat. Stuff the chicken with herbs to maximise flavour, before roasting and serving with potato wedges for a hearty family supper.
Discover more simple traybake recipes.
Sausage & fennel risotto
Adding sausage meat to dishes is an easy way to pack in plenty of flavour and make less meat go further. This creamy and comforting sausage risotto also has a wonderful herby fragrance thanks to the fennel, thyme and garlic. Replace the white wine with equal amounts of chicken stock for even better value.
Use up any leftover sausages to make our simple sausage ragu.
Tomato & pasta soup
If you're looking for a bowl of comfort, stir up a batch of this hearty and nourishing tomato, pasta and chickpea soup in just 30 minutes. Finished with a swirl of basil pesto and served with crusty bread, it's full of flavour but low in fat and comes in at under £1 per serving.
Roasted cauliflower with tomato & cashew sauce
A fragrant and satisfying supper to round off the week, this simple veggie dish involves roasting cauliflower with spices, then cooking in a rich tomato and cashew sauce. If you can't find cashew nut butter, then peanut butter will also work really well. Serve with rice and naan breads to mop up the aromatic flavours.
Find more affordable meat-free meals with our collection of budget vegetarian recipes.
Get more inspiration for budget family recipes...
This article was published in April 2022. Cost per serving figures are correct at time of calculation and are based on ingredients available from a mid-range supermarket, selecting products from their value ranges. Costings exclude energy expenditure. Variations in the marketplace, availability of ingredients and changing food prices will impact these figures but where possible our budget articles will feature recipes that cost less than £1.25 per person. For more budget-friendly recipes and cookery advice, visit our budget section.
Cook Smart is a supportive campaign developed by BBC Good Food to bring together knowledge and ideas on how to help everyone eat well on a budget. Read more about Cook Smart with BBC Good Food.
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