Easy and Healthy Budget Meals Perfect for January

Words: Julie Velosa

Mid-January has hit and February is still coming… if you’re feeling the pinch in your pocket, try these recipes that are simple and use ingredients that won’t break the bank. These are our top easy budget meals.

Easy budget meals using Chickpeas

Tinned chickpeas are inexpensive and are a great source of protein and fibre. When you open your tin, don’t toss the brine, you can make your own vegan aquafaba mayo.

easy budget meals
easy budget meals

Spiced Pumpkin & Chickpea Pot Recipe

A mildly flavoured vegetarian dish that is perfect for a tasty weekday dinner. Even in summer, when the weather is hot it’s still good to sit down to a warm, filling meal at the end of a long workday.

Recipe for Spiced Pumpkin & Chickpea Pot

Curried Gem Squash Soup & Toasted Chickpea Croutons

Gem squash is another fairly inexpensive ingredient that adds flavour and texture to a dish. Throw in some chickpeas and you have a healthy and tasty meal. Makes for great leftovers!

Recipe for Curried Gem Squash Soup & Toasted Chickpea Croutons

easy budget meals
easy budget meals

Indian Spiced Chickpea and Courgette Burgers

We love the spicy flavour of these vegetarian burgers, opt not to have the bun and serve instead with a simple side salad.

Recipe for Indian Spiced Chickpea and Courgette Burgers

Warm Barley and Chickpea Salad with Roasted Vegetables

Barley, chickpeas and roasted veg make this salad a filling option, also great the next day for your workday lunch. We daresay it improves overnight. Barley is filling and cheap!

Recipe for Warm Barley and Chickpea Salad with Roasted Vegetables


Easy budget meals using Tinned Tuna

Have you been staring at that tin of tuna in your cupboard and wondering how to stretch it into something tasty? Here are two ideas.

easy budget meals
easy budget meals

Creamy Tuna and Spinach Conchiglioni

A tuna pasta is always a great way to go. Both ingredients are inexpensive and filling and very tasty.

Recipe for Creamy Tuna and Spinach Conchiglioni

Zesty Tuna fishcakes with Chives and Dill

We are mildly obsessed with these fishcakes. They are seriously yum and they prove that you don’t need fancy fish to make a tasty fishcake. Bulked up with potato they are budget friendly and delicious. Kids will love them!

Recipe for Zesty Tuna fishcakes with Chives and Dill


Easy budget meals using Lentils

Lentils should be a budget conscious pantry staple. Filling, cheap and tasty when done right.

easy budget meals
easy budget meals

Chunky Lentil and Chorizo Soup

Although it may feel like soup is not an option in summer, it really is a great way to stretch ingredients and feed a crowd. If chorizo is not easy to get or not in the budget, you can sub for regular sausages.

Recipe for Chunky Lentil and Chorizo Soup

Lentil & Vegetable Bobotie

This vegetarian bobotie is a great dish to make when you want to cut costs. Full of local Malay flavour and really hearty and delicious. This dish is so satisfying that you won’t even miss the meat!

Recipe for Lentil & Vegetable Bobotie


Easy budget meals using Vegetables

easy budget meals
easy budget meals

Mini Aubergine Pizzas

Kids will love these mini vegetable pizzas. We love that aubergines give a meaty texture and flavour and are reasonably inexpensive. They are a great meat substitute.

Recipe for Mini Aubergine Pizzas

Zucchini Boats with Bolognaise Gratin

Disguise your veggies as something fun with this recipe. A great, low-carb way to serve your family their veggies. Parmesan is expensive so either leave this ingredient out or sub with a little grated cheddar instead.

Recipe for Zucchini Boats with Bolognaise Gratin

easy budget meals
easy budget meals

Pumpkin Pizza Fritters

Another great way to serve veggies inexpensively and with a bit of fun. These tasty pumpkin fritters, with a yummy pizza-style topping, are perfect as a meal, or as bite-size snacks. They are also great the next day and are perfect for lunchboxes.

Recipe for Pumpkin Pizza Fritters

Tex-Mex Baby Marrow Chilli

A tasty way to serve up baby marrows, full of flavour and cheap to make. Lose the avo topping for extra savings. 

Recipe for Tex-Mex Baby Marrow Chilli


Easy Budget Meals using Chicken

easy budget meals
easy budget meals

Cashew Nut Chicken

Cashew nut chicken is a great mid-week go-to dish and is a firm favourite in most households. We know nuts can be expensive, so be sure to chop them up the to make them go further. You only need a sprinkle for a nutty crunch.

Recipe for Cashew Nut Chicken

Old-fashioned Chicken Pie

This recipe for Old-fashioned Chicken Pie is hard to beat – if you shred the chicken and pack with veggies it’s another dish that can go a long way. Our recommendation, if you are short on time and budget, is to buy readymade pastry – it’s really inexpensive and a great way to add a little something extra to regular chicken.

Recipe for Old-fashioned Chicken Pie

easy budget meals
easy budget meals

Simple Chicken Curry made with Homemade Wraps

We love the simplicity of these chicken wraps – no airs or graces. If you can make your roast chicken stretch, this is a great way to get a second meal the next day. Pack those wraps full of veggies.

Recipe for Simple Chicken Curry made with Homemade Wraps

Simple Roast Chicken

A good old roast chicken is always a crowd pleaser and, if served right, can go a long way to feed a family and still possibly make a stock or leftovers the next day. Tip: Use leftovers to make the wraps above.

Recipe for Simple Roast Chicken


Easy Budget Meals using Pasta

easy budget meals
easy budget meals

Marmite Sketi

If you have Marmite loving kids, then this will be a fav. Do dinner on the cheap, or really quickly when you are short on time with this easy recipe.

Recipe for Marmite Sketi

Garganelli Arrabiata with Tomato and Garlicky Basil

Pasta is always going to be budget friendly, buy a packet if you don’t have the energy to make your own and make a great simple sauce to go with it. This one is spicy and delish

Recipe for Garganelli Arrabiata with Tomato and Garlicky Basil

easy budget meals
easy budget meals

Penne with Curried Rainbow Carrots, Peas and Peppers

Buying frozen veg doesn’t need to be taboo, it’s what you do with it that counts. Adding a little curry flavour goes a long way.

Recipe for Penne with Curried Rainbow Carrots, Peas and Peppers

Spaghetti served with traditional Red Sauce

This pasta dish will work just as well with spaghetti or tagliatelle (or any pasta type for that matter). Add some chopped tomatoes and herbs and you are good to go.

Recipe for Spaghetti with Traditional Red Sauce

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