7 Cheap and Filling Meals You Need To Make

Being on a budget doesn't mean you can't eat good food that fills you up. It's not about surviving on a tin of soup but about being savvy with your money and swapping a couple of ingredients here and there to provide you with a cheap meal that tastes good and fills you up. Whether you're a family looking for feed everyone for less than a £1 a portion or living on your own looking for recipes to batch cook, all of these recipes will be useful. Here are 7 cheap meal ideas for you to enjoy!

How to feed a family for less than £1 a portion

Toad in the hole

This is a favourite in our house, we make it from scratch and it couldn't be easier. We make a big Yorkshire pudding meaning we've got enough for tea and for lunch the next day. We make our own Yorkshire pudding, stick some sausages in it and serve it with some homemade mash and frozen veg. All in this meal makes 4 portions and comes to around 70p a portion.

Turkey curry

We love using turkey mince, it's much lower in fat and costs so much less then beef mince. A big hit is my turkey keema curry which is packed with spice and bulked out with peppers and peas. I've wrote a whole recipe for this because it's so easy to make. We do it in the slow cooker and find we can usually get 5 portions out of it, which we put into trays and freeze. This comes in at just under £1 a portion.

Gammon joint

Joints of meat can get very expensive but we've found a really versatile joint that can be cooked and then used for some many other dishes. We tend to slow cook a large gammon joint then freeze the leftovers. From a large joint we can usually get 4-5 different meals out of it depending on what we make. The variety of meals we have from one joint are, a roast dinner, sandwiches, pasta bake and omlette. As I've said, once the joint is cooked you can portion it off and freeze it then just get some out to defrost and throw it in an omlette and a pasta bake. A large joint costs around £3.70 so for two roasts, 4 sandwiches and 2 omlettes you're looking at around 46p a portion. Also aside from a roast, all the other meals it can be used for a super cheap too.

Pasta bake

You can of course make a sauce from scratch but pasta bake sauces are actually fairly cheap to buy which makes them a great item to have in your cupboard as it's a quick meal to make when you can't think of anything else! Pasta bakes are really good to bulk out with any left over meat you have left (see above with gammon) and a tonne of veggies. You'll normally get around 4 portions out of a jar of sauce so working off using left over gammon and some frozen veg, you're looking at around 85p a portion.

Turkey chilli con carne

Another recipe we use turkey mince for instead of beef is chilli con carne, again this is one we like to do in the slow cooker and we pack it with kidney beans, baked beans and peppers to make it go further. I've wrote a whole recipe for my chilli con carne if you'd like to check it out. We usually get around 6 portions of it making it around 70p a portion.


Omelette's are another super quick meal that you can fill with just about anything you've got left over. It's a great way to use leftovers up like we pointed out with the gammon joint and served with some baked beans or a salad it can definitely fill you up. I like to put peppers, sweetcorn, gammon and a bit of cheese in my omelette so working off that it'd be about £1 per omlette.

Cottage pie

Here's another hearty meal where we substitute beef for turkey to keep the price down. This usually makes 4 portions which can be frozen. However I'd advise to freeze the meat and veg separately and just make mash up on the day you want it as in my opinion frozen mash never tastes as good as fresh. We like to put carrots, peas and green beans in our cottage pie to make sure we're getting some veggies too. A portion of cottage pie made with turkey mince comes in at just under £1.

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