Money Matters Team

Family meal ideas on a budget

By Money Matters Team 21/07/2020


Family meal ideas on a budget

We’ve all heard about the savvy parents who feed their family healthy, well-balanced meals on a budget and wonder how they do it. What do these super-parents know that we don’t? And do they have infinite time, patience and freezer space?

As parents we know that time is precious and while preparing meals in advance sounds appealing, giving up your free time doesn’t. The good news is that serving up budget-friendly family meals has never been easier - and you don’t need to set aside a whole evening to do it. You can create delicious meals the whole family can enjoy without drastically needing to change your daily habits.

To help inspire your kitchen prep, we’ve picked our top five lip-smacking favourites from Sainsbury’s budget friendly recipes. These healthy budget recipes offer up a great chance to get your family involved, whether that means getting your kids to help with the chopping or letting them be the master taster!

Breakfast is served... Fruity-tastic

Photo credit: Sainsbury's

£0.74 per serving, 9 ingredients

READY IN

35 minutes

COOKING TIME

25 minutes

PREP TIME

10 minutes

SERVES

6

Ingredients

6 slices thick wholemeal bread

4 medium eggs, beaten

1 tbsp runny honey

1 tsp vanilla extract

20g unsalted English butter

150g blueberries, washed

2 nectarines, washed, stoned and sliced

3 kiwi fruit, peeled, halved and sliced

6 tbsp 40% less-fat crème fraîche

Method

  1. Cut each slice of bread in half diagonally. Put the eggs, honey and vanilla in a bowl and mix well. Dip the bread into the egg mixture, making sure the bread is coated all over.
  2. In a large non-stick frying pan, melt one third of the butter. Add 4 eggy bread slices and fry for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden. Remove from the pan to a warm plate, and repeat with the remaining butter and eggy bread slices.
  3. Serve 2 half slices per person, topped with the prepared fruit and crème fraîche.

Mexican hotpots with cheesy wedges

Photo credit: Sainsbury's

£1.45 per serving, 6 ingredients

READY IN

30 minutes

COOKING TIME

25 minutes

PREP TIME

5 minutes

SERVES

4

Ingredients

375 g pack frozen mixed peppers

2 x 420g tins mixed beans in mild chilli sauce

325 g tin naturally sweet sweetcorn in water, drained

400 g frozen lightly spiced jacket wedges

75 g mature white cheese, grated

200 g bag crunchy salad, to serve

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC, fan 180ºC, gas 6. In a large non-stick frying pan, stir-fry the peppers over a medium heat for 1 minute, then add the mixed beans and drained sweetcorn. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 4-5 minutes until heated through.
  2. Tip the bean mixture into 4 mini casserole dishes (or a large baking dish). Top each with a layer of frozen wedges, then scatter over the cheese.
  3. Put the dishes on a baking tray and bake for 20 minutes, until the wedges are crisp and the cheese has melted. Serve with the salad on the side.

Courgette and white bean quesadillas

Photo credit: Sainsbury's

£0.78 per serving, 10 ingredients

READY IN

22 minutes

COOKING TIME

12 minutes

PREP TIME

10 minutes

SERVES

4

Ingredients

100 g mature British Cheddar grated

1 red onion finely chopped

15.5 g pkt fresh coriander

1 red chilli finely chopped

1 courgette trimmed grated

410 g tin cannellini beans in water drained rinsed

1 carrot grated

1 tbsp olive oil

4 plain flour tortillas

80 g bag baby leaf rocket salad

Method

  1. In a large bowl, combine the cheese, onion, most of the coriander, the chilli, courgette, cannellini beans and carrot. Set aside.
  2. Brush a large frying pan with a little oil and place over a medium heat. Press 1 tortilla into the pan, then top with half of the cheese and vegetable mixture. Top with another tortilla and press down.
  3. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side (invert onto a plate to turn it over), until golden and filling is hot and the cheese has melted. Remove from the pan, cover with foil to keep warm while you make the second quesadilla.
  4. Brush the pan with the remaining oil and repeat with the remaining tortillas and cheese and vegetable mixture.
  5. Cut the quesadillas into triangles and serve with the salad on the side.

Gnocchi and veggie bake

Photo credit: Sainsbury's

£1.01 per serving, 8 ingredients

READY IN

25 minutes

COOKING TIME

15 minutes

PREP TIME

10 minutes

SERVES

4

Ingredients

1 red onion, sliced

1 tbsp olive oil

1 green pepper, deseeded and cut into chunks

500g fresh gnocchi

700g jar tomato and herb pasta sauce

14g fresh basil, leaves picked and washed

60g breadcrumbs, made from ¼ white baton

125g mozzarella, drained and roughly torn

Method

  1. Preheat the grill to high. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and pepper and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pan of water to the boil. Add the gnocchi and cook for 2 minutes. Drain, then tip back into the pan. Stir in the pasta sauce, the cooked onion and pepper, and most of the basil. Heat for 2 minutes, until the sauce is heated through.
  3. Pour into a 1-litre baking dish, then scatter over the breadcrumbs and mozzarella. Place under the grill for 3 minutes until the cheese is melted and the breadcrumbs are toasted. Scatter with the remaining basil to serve.

Mini-veggie-pizzas

Photo credit: Sainsbury's

£0.23 per serving, 6 ingredients

READY IN

15 minutes

COOKING TIME

8 minutes

PREP TIME

7 minutes

SERVES

6

Ingredients

200g crusty white baguette

3 tbsp sun-dried tomato paste

½ red pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced

50g chestnut button mushrooms, sliced

49g tin sweetcorn in water, drained

30g mature grated cheddar

Method

  1. Preheat the grill to medium. Cut the baguette in half lengthways, then cut each into 3 to create 6 pizza bases.
  2. Spread with the tomato paste, then top with the pepper, mushrooms and sweetcorn. Sprinkle over the cheese.
  3. Grill for 8 minutes, until the cheese is melted, golden and bubbling.

Ready to get cooking? You can buy all the ingredients from Sainsbury’s for these recipes or discover more recipes.

Ready, steady, save

Cutting back on the weekly food shop and planning family meals with these budget recipes can help cut costs. If you’re saving towards a family getaway, home improvement or just for a rainy day, see how our savings account can help you achieve your savings target. If the kids have been helping you in the kitchen and you’d like to get them thinking about the value of money, check out our Teaching Kids to Save guide. We share tips on creating good money habits that will hopefully stay with your kids for life.

This Money Matters post aims to be informative and engaging. Though it may include tips and information, it does not constitute advice and should not be used as a basis for any financial decisions. Sainsbury's Bank accepts no responsibility for the opinions and views of external contributors and the content of external websites included within this post. Some links may take you to another Sainsbury's Bank page. All information in this post was correct at date of publication.