I’m a single mum with twin daughters after I pay rent and money off my bills I have $200 left for groceries, what are some cheap meals I can make for dinner. Money has never been so tight in my life until recently my rent went up to $400 a week and I can’t afford to move any ideas for cheap meals would be great.


Posted by mom66977, 22nd June 2015


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  • Vegetable soups with beans are easy to make, healthy and don’t cost a lot.


  • You could borrow Save with Jamie from the library – he has some great ideas to save money


  • Do you like vegetarian meals. I don’t like meat much and quite frequently cook without meat such as omelette recipes, stirfry vegies with oyster sauce and rice , vegie patties etc. I am sure kids will eat anything when they are hungry nd these days fruits and vegies are always on special every week as long as you don’t mind trying a variety .


  • I buy on special most of the time, I buy the chicken Maryland and slow cook it. Buy in bulk other meats when on a really good special and freeze . I have tried some markets but sometimes aldi is the same price when it comes to fruit and veges.


  • I buy a massive mince from Costco and separate into 500gm bags, mince is the cheapest meat apart from sausages. I do Bolognaise, nachos, burgers (make your own patties its pretty easy), savoury mince, Ros il Forn (Maltese dish to die for and rice is cheap too), meatballs, cowboy pie, shepherds pie, lasagna, tacos, tortilla stacks, porcupines (like meatballs but with rice so yummy), chow mein, loaded potato bakes and the list goes on.

    The other regular meat I buy is chicken thighs or drumsticks, thigh is cheaper than breast and works well in a slow cooker, drumsticks are a winner and even cheaper than thighs. With these I make, satay chicken, butter chicken, chicken mushroom and bacon risotto, grilled chicken and chips, Bbq plum chinese chicken, honey soy or honey sesame chicken.

    I find slow cooking is cheaper try looking at the website Slow cooker central,http://www.slowcookercentral.com/ a lot of the recipes I use are off here (except I use my own butter chicken recipe) and the Ros il Forn is from a maltese website. Good luck


  • Something my kids love is when I get Chicken kebas & take the meat off the stick & fry it up & then add it some rice, Quick & easy.
    I also buy the continental pasta meal bases & cook them as they say and add either the chicken off a kebab or a tin of tuna with bacon & onion fried up, great pasta meals.


  • A big mince from aldi $13 I freeze 4 portions and make one mince meat that night.
    With the left over four portions I make mince pastry pockets, mince pizza or mince meat taco.


  • I have 4 children and only spend about $200 a week on groceries, and i get luxery items as well, i just have normal meals like casseroles, meat and vegies etc.


  • I only have to cook for 2 now but nevertheless you can still have really nice tasty meals on the cheap as hey say. Hubby goes down to the local supermarket most days as he is retired now and comes back with the most amazing bargains especially in the meat department. Most things are half price or less because it is the morning of the use by date or the day before. We have never had a problem and the meats have always been top quality. Years ago no one ever heard of a use by or best before date. My darling mum used to work in a butcher shop many years ago and meat was hung for at least 1 week before it was put in the shop for sale.


  • Always buy on special, invest in a freezer. The Coles magazine has a section on the back page what you can do with leftovers. A toasted sandwich maker is useful. You can add many fillings cheese, oysters baked beans, veg, chicken. A slow cooker can create cheap meal, and veg and a cut of meat with fat on it will cook beautifully. Google recipes according to ingredients in your house rather than a specific recipe.


  • When I was younger with 3 boys & only one wage from hubby coming in we used to buy a side of lamb as we were paid monthly & I just learnt to stretch the budget until the end of the month.


  • I cook for 3 on about the same budget as you. Buy veg that would last, meat when on special and mostly mince, chicken thighs or whole chickens. Veg ideas are celery by the bunch, carrots, anything that’s cheap at the time. Usually about $80 shop will last the week.


  • Vegetarian meals are usually cheapest. Try pasta sauces, bakes, and casseroles.


  • Burgers are great,as well as pasta,curried sausages and rice,noodles with chicken and vegetables.It’s good to make a big serve so you have left-overs!


  • I am enjoying reading everyones responses as I am on a tight budget at the moment.
    Interesting to read these tips.


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