Top 10 Budget Friendly Family Meals - Under £1 per Head

Are you trying to feed your family on a budget? If you are looking for some good quality cheap quick and easy meals for less than £1 per head then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve brought you some great meal ideas for a family of four that are easy to cook on a budget.


Chicken dishes are easy to prepare and a whole large chicken can really go a long way. Roast one large chicken and feed your family of four with at least four meals. Check out our chicken recipe ideas below for some cheap and easy midweek ideas.

Meal 1: Roast Chicken Dinner

Serve up part of your chicken with vegetables, potatoes and gravy for a filling Sunday dinner for all of the family. When you have finished, remove any excess meat from the chicken and set aside. Keep the bones and carcass for meal number four.
Approximate cost: 1/3 chicken £1.25, 2 potatoes 50p, 2 carrots 16p, serving of peas 25p, gravy granules 20p = £2.36 = 59p per head

Meal 2: Chicken Curry

A homemade curry is simple, simply add your chicken to a tin of chopped tomatoes and some curry powder from your cupboard. Heat through and stir in some natural yoghurt towards the end when you’ve taken the pan off the heat. You could even add some onions and courgette to pad this meal out a bit and make it go even further. Serve with rice.
Approximate cost: 1/3 chicken, £1.25, rice 50p, onion 30p, courgette 40p, chopped tomatoes 30p = £2.75 = 69p per head

Meal 3: Chicken WrapsChicken Wraps

Another easy meal using your leftover chicken is to make some chicken wraps. Warm the wraps and add some kidney beans and serve with rice, salad and salsa for a bit of flavour. You may even have leftover rice from the previous day.
Approximate cost: 1/3 chicken, £1.25, 1 pack of wraps 90p, salad 50p, salsa 20p, rice 50p, black beans 60p = £3.95 = 99p per head

Meal 4: Chicken Soup

After eating all of your chicken for the past 3 meals, you should be left with the carcass. In a large pan, cover the leftover bones with water, salt, pepper and some onions for flavouring. Bring to a boil and simmer for a couple of hours. Strain the solids until you have a nice smooth chicken stock which you can then use for the base of your chicken soup, simply add in some carrots, celery and pasta for a chunky more filling meal.
Approximate cost: 2 onions 60p, celery 50p, pasta 50p = £1.60 = 40p per head


Inexpensive joints of beef can yield delicious results in a slow cooker and can go a long way when it comes to stretching the budget. Here are four delicious beef dishes you can cook using just one large beef roasting joint.

Meal 5: Shredded Beef Rolls

Shred some of your cooked beef joint and serve this in a roll with some fresh coleslaw. Chop potatoes, drizzle with oil and bake in the oven for cheap and delicious homemade chips to go with this meal.
Approximate cost: 1/4 beef joint £2, 4 rolls 60p, coleslaw 50p, potatoes 50p = £3.60 = 90p per head

Meal 6: Beef Casserole

If you are looking for a nice comforting meal then a casserole is definitely a good option. Take some of your beef, add some pasta, gravy, and vegetables into a casserole dish and heat in the oven until the vegetables are cooked through. Serve with mash.
Approximate cost: 1/4 beef joint £2, 2 potatoes 50p, 2 carrots 16p, serving of peas 25p, pasta 50p, gravy granules 20p = £3.61 = 90p per head

Beef WrapsMeal 7: Beef Stir fry

A stir fry is an inexpensive meal and can be great for when you are rushed for time. Cook some noodles, add in a bag of stir fry veg with your beef and a sachet of your favourite sauce and stir through on a wok. Cooked in minutes, delicious, and great value!
Approximate cost: 1/4 beef joint £2, noodles 75p, stir fry veg 80p, sauce sachet 40p = £3.95 = 98p per head


Meal 8: Beef Burritos

Leftover beef can be added to a wrap to make a delicious burrito filling. Add similar ingredients that you add to the chicken wraps for a lovely beef alternative.
Approximate cost: 1/4 beef joint £2, 1 pack of wraps 90p, rice 50p, black beans 60p = £4 = £1 per head


Vegetarian meals can save you even more money as meat can often be the most expensive part of a meal. Try these tasty veggie dishes and serve your family a healthy filling meal. Read our article on ‘Vegetarian Food on a Budget’ for more great money saving tips.

Meal 9: Veggie Sausage and Potato Casserole

A sausage casserole is a lovely filling meal that can be cooked using your favourite veggie sausages. Brown your sausages then add onions and peppers. Add to a casserole dish with a tin of chopped tomatoes and your potatoes and bake in the oven until cooked through.
Approximate cost: Supermarket veggie sausages £1.50, 2 potatoes 50p, onion 30p, peppers 80p, chopped tomatoes 30p = £3.40 = 85p per head.

Meal 10: Vegetable Risotto

Making a risotto is simple and can be a tasty filling rice dish when packed with vegetables. You can add whatever veg you like to this meal and it will still be very tasty. Pack the meal with butternut squash, onions and peppers with a vegetable stock cube from your cupboard and you’ll have yourself a lovely meal that all the family will enjoy.
Approximate cost: Risotto rice £1, onion 30p, peppers 80p, butternut squash £1.50, = £3.60 = 90p per head

What is the Verdict?

MoneySavingPigWhat is your favourite family friendly meal to cook on a budget? Will you be trying some of these ideas out? We love feedback so please use the comment section below. 

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