If you’re on a tight budget and want to please fussy kids, check out these easy recipes for family meals that won’t cost the earth.

When your weekly budget is stretched and noses are turned up at everything you serve, finding the motivation to come up with meal ideas can be a challenge.

To make life easier, we’ve compiled our picks of easy family dinners that are guaranteed to please even the fussiest of eaters and save your hip pocket at the same time.

Spaghetti Bolognese



Pasta might seem like an obvious choice when it comes to cheap family meals, but its a tried and tested staple. If you want to put a more creative spin on a classic spaghetti bolognese with extra veg or why not try Spaghetti Pie or keep even the pickiest child happy and give Spaghetti Nests with Meatball Eggs a go.




There’s nothing better on a cold winter evening than a bowl of wholesome and delicious soup. It’s also a great way to hide a few extra veggies and can be easily reheated for lunches or leftovers. While a simple vegetable soup is guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser, we also love tangy chicken soup or this pumpkin soup with a twist to keep things interesting.

Fried Rice



We love a recipe that is easily adapted, and fried rice is the family dinner that keeps on giving. We’ve even got a fussy-child friendly fried rice recipe and cauliflower fried rice for something different. Whether you choose to keep it veggie based or prefer to add prawns or bacon, its the perfect choice as a side dish to accompany chicken or fish or a hearty main meal. Plus it is lunchbox friendly! If you want to avoid rice, try chicken noodles with vegetables or ‘purple’ noodles for something fun.

Asian-Style Chicken



When you’re looking for a versatile recipe that can be easily paired with veggies, salad or even rice, you can’t go wrong with Sesame and Miso Glazed Chicken with Fresh and Crunchy Noodle Salad. Choose this Sweet chilli, BBQ & Honey marinade or try the delicious char-grilled flavour of this delicious dry BBQ marinade. Best of all, any leftover marinated chicken can be used as the perfect addition to a salad wrap or paired with couscous.

Homemade Pizza



When you’re on a budget, waste is your worst enemy so any recipe that allows you to clear out your fridge is a winner. Get out the half-finished jar of olives, box of cherry tomatoes and bag of spinach leaves from the fridge, pop it on a pizza base or even a wrap and you’ve got yourself a delicious dinner option that can be customised to suit any taste. Try this delicious potato and pumpkin pizza for something different or make this never-fail pizza dough recipe for the yummiest homemade pizza ever.

So next time you find yourself low on cash and time, try one of these easy recipes to get maximum deliciousness for minimal effort.

Do you have a go-to budget-friendly dinner recipe? Share it in the comments!

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  • Kids seem to love anything with pasta and there are so many things you can make with pasta.


  • After reducing my hours at work due to illness I am on the hunt for budget friendly meals. Thanks.


  • I make a lot of these budget meals already, but I do love the look of that Asian chicken. Cant wait to try that out


  • We make many of these budget friendly meals especially fried rice and spagetti.


  • A lot of good recipes thanks for sharing


  • We love all of these recipes!


  • Thanks for the ideas! Could also prepare certain meals in bulk and freeze to save time.


  • Fussy eaters are the worst. My kids are only averagely bad, but it still makes me crazy.


  • some great ideas, my kids are not huge fans of soup, except on of my kids loves french onion soup! – other things to try that can be budget friendly is apricot chicken, honey mustard chicken and a simple stir fry with frozen veg, honey and soy sauce.

    Also look at alternate ways to use up the left overs like a left over casserole makes a great pie!


  • There are so many cheap meals that are delicious and satisfying to make and eat! There are some great examples of that


  • Any kind of pasta and sauce goes down well here and it’s always good value!


  • Have been looking for a good recipe for fried rice. I’ll certainly be trying out this recipe and some of the others as well.


  • I make some of these already I will check out the others, anything that helps to budget is ok with me


  • A lot of Mums put spices & herbs, onion & garlic etc. in their meals. Some children don’t like them or perhaps just a little. Not the amount we like A lot don’t like vegetables such as swede, turnip, spinach, broccoli. brussell sprouts etc because of their strong flavour. If your family likes Tuna Mornay use canned tuna, white sauce and put crumbs on the top if you want to. fresh or frozen tuna is too expensive. Some people sue salmon but it is more expensive,


  • Love all of these. Spag bol is always my easy go to and zucchini slice.


  • Wonderful ideas, we had Spaghetti Bolognaise last night.


  • Thank you for sharing, I am a big fan of making soup when trying to save money. I hadn’t thought of homemade pizza. That would be a fun activity as well.


  • Thanks for sharing – I find that slow cooker meals are a great money saver too and last for a couple of days.


  • Some of my go-to meals for sure! Kids & spaghetti= you just can’t go wrong. Ravioli always goes down a treat too!


  • Any type of one-dish casserole – Shepherd’s Pie, Beef stew, Chilli con carne, Goulash. Pasta bake, Lasagna and Tacos are good too!


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