Low Budget Meal Ideas and Tips for Cooking on a Budget

You don’t have to spend a ton of money to make delicious food and eat a versatile diet. There are many delicious meals that you can make on a budget. Who doesn’t want to save money?

Greek Gyro Platter with Roast Potatoes, Meat, Coleslaw and Feta Cheese

The title really says it all and here are some of my favourite low budget meals. Low budget meaning that the dishes will not cost more than five euros (usually less) for at least four portions. That is tip number one, it is more cost efficient to cook more portions of the same dish and eat the leftovers on a different day. If you don’t like eating the same thing multiple days in a row you could either switch up the sides or freeze it for later in the week. Honestly good food does not have to be expensive.

Tips for Cooking on a Budget

  1. Base your meal plan on weekly sales
  2. Consider cooking for two days (especially if cooking for one or two people)
  3. Consider buying extras of pantry staples when on sale
  4. Eating a flexitarian diet will lower your grocery bill as plant-based protein (legumes and beans, not fake meat products) are cheaper than meat and fish
  5. Make your own spice blends as you will get more bank for your buck, even though it doesn’t seem that way at first

Low Budget Meal Ideas

Kale and Sausage Stew

A large batch of kale and sausage stew will easily make more than four portions. Opt for frozen kale (if necessary) and some sausage that is on sale. You can also use another kind of cabbage. It is comforting and filling.

Find this recipe here

Orange Chicken

Buy some chicken, when it is on sale, and with a leftover orange, some sambal oelek (check your dollar store) and soy sauce you can make a delicious and flavourful dish. Serve it with some stir fried rice with an Asian veggie mix from the freezer section. Add fresh sprouts and sesame seeds on top if you happen to have some.

Find this recipe here

Aubergine Veggie Burger with Baked Potato Wedges

Grilled aubergine serves as your burger patty with some spicy mayo, onions and lettuce on a bun it becomes a delicious burger. One abergine can feed up to four people and it has a beautifully meaty texture.

Find this recipe here

Pad Thai

This Pad Thai I made with a packet of chili shrimp that was on sale, a frozen Asian veggie mix, soy sauce, ginger, chili flakes and some lime juice from a bottle. The noodles are whole wheat mie noodles I found at my local Aldi during Asia week. I would highly recommend them as they don’t have that weird chewy texture a lot of whole wheat pasta has.

Find this recipe here

Burrito Bowls

Burrito bowls can be made a variety of ways and are rather cheap. Make it with some on sale meat, beans or lentils and season it with a burrito spice blend. A quick pico de gallo adds some crunch and freshness. Avocado is optional, I rarely buy them due to their environmental impact.

Find this recipe here

Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

This tomato soup is comforting, delicious and creamy. A can of tomatoes and a few fresh veggies is all you need to make a large batch. It is just perfect to dip a grilled cheese sandwich into and you can have it for dinner and lunch. You could also add some cooked rice to the soup to make it more filling.

Find this recipe here

Curries

Curries can be made a wide variety of ways and they are all very budget friendly. From spicy Thai curries (Thai Green Curry, Thai Red Curry) to lentil curries (here) and a variety of different colours there is something for everyone.

Find this recipe here

Spaghetti Bolognese

This classic pasta dish is a favourite for a reason and minced meat is almost always on sale somewhere. Leftovers freeze very well, so you can make a big batch of sauce for multiple meals. Or make some canneloni (here) or a small lasagna (here) with some of the sauce.

Find this recipe here

Chipotle Style Fiesta Potato and Tuna Salad

This one might be more for the warmer season but this potato and tuna salad is rather cheap and filling. With a can of tuna, some beans, mayonnaise and hot sauce you can whip up a large batch. You can also add some pickled onions, bell peppers and olive for extra crunch and flavour. Fresh cilantro is optional.

Find this recipe (here)

Homemade Pizza

Pizza is super easy to make and cheap, too. This is a veggie pizza with sautéed mushrooms, bell peppers and broccoli with some grated cheese and a sprinkle of chili flakes. Top it however you like. You can even freeze them for another day. You can even make pizza on the stove (here) if you don’t have an oven. (Stay tuned for the perfect Airfryer pizza hopefully coming to you soon)

Find this recipe here

Well, there you have some of my favourite low budget meal ideas. All of these recipes are staples in my rotation and most of these recipes include vegetarian or vegan alternatives, if possible. Hopefully you enjoyed this blog post and found some of these tips helpful. Feel free to name some of your own tips for cooking on a budget. Have a great day! Stay safe and wear a mask.

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