5 nights of budget dinner ideas for this week

The cost of living crisis is on everyone’s minds, and that includes looking at budgeting the weekly shop. What’s more, weekdays don’t afford you much time to plan, put together and cook meals for you and your family. So if you want to avoid thinking about meal-planning altogether, AND save money, we’ve done the hard work and picked 5 of our best budget weeknight recipes. We’ve even included ideas on how to use up the leftovers too.

We’ve got a healthy and flavourful curry, a sardine spaghetti, cheese and onion pasties and a pizza night for Friday that’ll bring smiles to faces without costing an arm and a leg.

5 nights of budget dinner ideas for this week

Monday: sweet potato and chickpea curry

Ease yourself into the week’s cooking with this sweet potato and chickpea curry. It’s full of fibre and iron from the pulses and spinach, and is under £1.90 a portion.

It will only take 20 minutes of prep time and is a meat-free Monday champion. Enjoy with rice or naan for start-the-week satisfaction.

Find the recipe here

Tuesday: sardine puttanesca with a herby crumb

Tinned fish are a budget cook’s saviour, and this pasta is an example of why. It’s sardine puttanesca spaghetti, and it comes in at just £1.11 a portion.

If your squad are vegetarian, opt for our breadcrumb spaghetti instead, at just 99p a head.

Find the recipe here

Wednesday: cheese and onion pasties

Get through the midweek slump with a classic recipe: these cheese and onion pasties are sure to tick the boxes. If you’ve never made pastry before, don’t sweat it, just follow our simple guide here, or opt for shop-bought puff pastry instead. You’ll be saying hello to pasties in just an hour’s time.

At under a pound a portion, we recommend making a double batch and freezing these. They reheat amazingly well and are such a treat served with chips and beans.

Find the recipe here

Thursday: sausage and cider casserole

Thursday is the new Friday, so enjoy it with a classic and easy-to-make recipe: our sausage and cider casserole. You could serve it with the fluffiest mash for next-level comfort.

£1.36 per portion is all this will set you back, and it’s a cinch to prepare. Our veggie sausage casserole is the one to go for if you need things to be meat-free.

Sausage and cider casserole

Find the recipe here

Friday: pizza night

Whip up a batch of our cheap and cheerful basic pizza dough then homemade tomato sauce and you have yourself the foundations of a perfect pizza night. Choose from easy toppings like this courgette and blue cheese option or make use of the capers and olives you had for Tuesday night’s pasta here…

TOP TIP: our frying pan pizza method might just change your life…

Find the recipe here

As for the leftovers…

Enjoy any leftover chickpea and spinach curry for weekday lunches – with rice or in a tortilla wrap.

Leftover mashed potato from Thursday will make for excellent fishcake lunch on Saturday. Or try our veggie hash, with cabbage and mustard.

Any of your leftover homemade tomato sauce can be enjoyed at the weekend in the form of a shakshuka. Just fry off some peppers, add your sauce, then continue from step 2 of this recipe. Top with parsley or coriander and a sprinkling of feta and dunk chunks of bread in for a heavenly brunch.

Or, go ahead and check out all our budget meal ideas


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