Dining well on a budget might seem like the most impossible task. But some of the best meals are made from the least obvious ingredients.
In fact, focusing on these good, simple ingredients, getting cheaper cuts of meat and using produce that is in-season can go a long way.
Below you will find three of our frugal meals that we’ve found taste great, feed a family of four and don’t blow the budget.
1. Roast Chicken
Not a store bought roast chicken from Coles or Woolworths, even perhaps the local butcher, but rather a whole chicken that you can take home and chuck in the oven for an hour and roast away with some veggies of your choice.
At first this seems like an expensive dinner choice, but really it’s not.
Online, Coles and Woolworths list a whole large sized chicken as costing $9.36 ($3.90/kg). That leaves just over $5 for sides. A nice leafy salad or roast veggies could be easily made with this remaining money.
Frugl Tip: Make this dinner a budget winner by using left over veggies to reduce waste or buy frozen veggies for as little as $3 per kg.
As an additional tip: buying in-season vegetables and fruit will cost less than those that are not in-season. Click here to discover what fruits, vegetables and herbs are in-season in Aus.
You can find a Moroccan-spiced roast chicken recipe here.
2. Stir Fry
Utterly delicious, nutritious and budget friendly, stir fries can be made from almost anything.
One of my favourite stir fry recipes that costs roughly $6 for four servings is the Budget Bytes’ Southwest Beef and Cabbage stir fry.
The genius part of this stir fry is that is uses the humble cabbage as its main source of vegetables. Yes, there’s tomatoes (though I strongly argue this is a fruit) and corn – but the great thing about cabbage is that it’s packed with benefits. In fact, just 1 cup of cabbage is packed with nutrients such as vitamin C. This vegetable is even low in calories!
3. Spaghetti with Meatballs and Cherry Tomatoes
Spaghetti with meatballs may be a little more time consuming to make than a quick stir fry, but it is one filling meal that any fussy eater in the family will enjoy.
Even better is that this meal is easy to put into school lunch boxes the next day – with it most likely tasting even better than last night.
Alternatively, if you’re not a meatball fan (and it’s okay if you’re not) you might want to check out our personal recipe for Spaghetti Bolognese that costs under $15 too.