FACT: Much of the time, mums are time poor and we just don’t want to cook dinner. There, I said it.

Recent research by San Remo revealed that households with children under 18-years-old are the biggest takeaway consumers. Particularly families with kids aged under 3, where 1 in 10 are purchasing takeaway daily.

And we totally get it.  Family life can be tiring, hectic and so very annoyingly busy between work, kids and ALL the extra-curricular activities.

Cooking a family dinner can often feel overwhelming when all you want to do is unwind at the end of the day. Interestingly, it’s women who are consuming more takeaway than men. Despite more mums (and women in general) working outside the home, statistics show they’re still doing a whole lot more of the household chores and looking after the kids than their male partners. It’s little wonder women juggling the “double load” are defaulting to ordering takeaway on a regular basis.

This research also showed we’re spending a bucket load of cash on takeaway.

The average Australian spends $23.70 on a takeaway meal, increasing to a hefty $36.20 per meal for families with children aged between 3 and 12. That adds up to huge spend for convenience!

A typical Friday night family pizza party which includes three pizzas, garlic bread and a bottle of drink costs $40, delivered. Over the year that’s a whopping $2080 … FOR PIZZA! Wouldn’t you rather save it for a family holiday instead of stodgy pizza?!

Preparing a healthy, tasty meal for your family needn’t be expensive or time consuming. You just have to know where to look for some #budgetdinnerinspo. That’s why we’re loving the San Remo ‘Budget Busting’ recipe collection, filled with pasta recipes to feed a family of four for under $10, several even under a fiver!

Best of all, they taste so amazing you wouldn’t believe it cost just a few bucks to make! Even better, pasta takes very little time to cook, so it’s a win for both time AND money!

budget family meals

5 Budget friendly family meals for pasta loving families

From spaghetti to wagon wheels and all the knobbly and delicious macaroni shells in between, there’s a budget family meal here below to appease every pasta lover in your family!

1. Tubular Spaghetti with Napolitana Sauce and Fresh Basil

Cost for 4 serves: $4.55 – 4 serves
Difficulty to cook: Easy
Total prep and cook time: 30 minutes
Ingredients
  • 400g San Remo Tubular Spaghetti
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 800g tinned chopped tomato
  • ¼ bunch basil, leaves picked and stems retained
  • 40g grated parmesan
  • sea salt & cracked black pepper
Method
  1. Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat, add olive oil, onion, garlic and basil stems and saute until onion is softened.
  2. Add tinned tomato and season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil.
  3. Lower heat and simmer sauce for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove basil stems and puree the sauce with a hand blender.
  5. Meanwhile, cook tubular spaghetti according to packet instructions.
  6. Return drained pasta to the pasta cooking pot, pour over the sauce and stir to combine.
  7. Serve pasta with grated parmesan and garnished with basil leaves.
budget family meals
Tubular Spaghetti with Napolitana Sauce and Fresh Basil

2. Baked Mac and Cheese with Spinach and Bacon

Cost to make: $9.35 – 4 serves
Difficulty to cook: Easy
Total prep and cook time: 45 minutes
Ingredients
  • 350g San Remo Curls
  • 30g butter
  • 30g plain flour
  • 500ml milk
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 250g diced bacon
  • 100g grated parmesan
  • 200g grated cheddar
  • 250g frozen chopped spinach
  • sea salt & cracked black pepper
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 200C.
  2. To make the béchamel, melt butter in a medium saucepan, add flour and cook until lightly toasted. Add milk slowly, whisking constantly. Simmer and stir until thickened. Season with salt.
  3. Cook onion and bacon in a medium frypan.
  4. Cook curls according to packet instructions.
  5. Oil a 2L capacity baking tray, add cooked pasta, onion, bacon, cheeses and chopped spinach.
  6. Season with salt and pepper and toss to combine.
  7. Pour over béchamel and stir to mix through.
  8. Place tray in oven and cook for 30 minutes, or until golden and bubbly.
budget family meals
Baked Mac and Cheese with Spinach and Bacon

3. Curly Fettuccine with Pork Sausage and Borlotti Bean Ragu

Cost for 4 serves: $8.55
Difficulty to cook: Easy
Total prep and cook time: 40 minutes
Ingredients
  • 400g San Remo Curly Fettuccine
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 250g Italian style pork sausage, casings removed and roughly chopped
  • 800g tinned chopped tomato
  • 400g tinned borlotti beans
  • 40g grated parmesan
  • sea salt & cracked black pepper
Method
  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a medium saucepan, add onion and garlic and sauté until softened.
  2. Add pork sausage and cook until browned.
  3. Add tinned tomato, season with salt and pepper and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add drained borlotti beans and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, cook fettuccine according to packet instruction, reserving a small cup of the pasta cooking water.
  6. Return drained pasta to the pasta cooking pot. Pour over the ragu and toss to combine, adding a small amount of the pasta cooking water, if required, to loosen the sauce.
  7. Serve topped with grated parmesan.
budget family meals
Curly Fettuccine with Pork Sausage and Borlotti Bean Ragu

4. Wagon Wheels with Cauliflower, Anchovy, Lemon, Chilli and Breadcrumbs

Cost for 4 serves: $4.61
Difficulty to cook: Easy
Total prep and cook time: 20 minutes
Ingredients
  • 400g San Remo Wagon Wheels
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried chilli
  • 4 anchovies
  • 40g capers
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 1/4 medium cauliflower, chopped
  • 40g currants
  • 1 lemon, zested & juiced
  • breadcrumbs, toasted
  • salt & pepper
Method
  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large frypan. Add red onion, garlic, chilli, anchovies, capers and celery and sauté until fragrant.
  2. Add chopped cauliflower and sauté until toasted.
  3. Add currants and lemon zest.
  4. Meanwhile, cook wagon wheels according to packet instructions.
  5. Add cooked pasta to the frypan, add lemon juice, season with salt and pepper and toss well to combine.
  6. Serve pasta garnished with toasted breadcrumbs.
budget family meals
Wagon Wheels with Cauliflower, Anchovy, Lemon, Chilli and Breadcrumbs

5. Wholemeal Spirals with Chicken, Kale and Broccoli

Cost for 4 serves: $7.70
Difficulty to cook: Easy
Total prep and cook time: 20 minutes
Ingredients
  • 400g San Remo Wholemeal Spirals
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 leek, finely sliced
  • 250g chicken breast, finely chopped
  • 125g frozen kale
  • 200g broccoli, finely chopped
  • 80g butter
  • dried chilli
  • salt & pepper
Method
    1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large frypan. Add onion, garlic and leek and saute until softened.
    2. Add chicken breast and saute for 2 minutes.
    3. Add kale and broccoli and cook for a further 2 minutes.
    4. Meanwhile, cook spirals according to packet instructions, reserving a small cup of the pasta cooking water.
    5. Add the cooked pasta to the frypan, add butter, season with salt and pepper and toss well to combine, adding a small amount of the pasta cooking water to create a sauce.
    6. Serve pasta with either grated parmesan or dried chilli.
budget family meals
Wholemeal Spirals with Chicken, Kale and Broccoli

Kicking goals with pasta!

You’ll always win the dinner game with pasta! You’ll be kicking kitchen goals all over the place – it’s easy to cook, nutritious, super affordable and mighty delicious for the whole family to eat – even for the fussiest of eaters. #winningwithpasta

Need more pasta cooking inspiration? Head to San Remo to check out their HUGE range of recipes – from the budget busting $10 and under budget family meals to the quick-eats perfect for Friday nights – it’s all there! #sanremopasta #budgetbusting #fakeaway

find out more about San Remo recipes


This is a sponsored post for San Remo.
Author

South Australian mum and self proclaimed foodie, Lexi can most days be found in the kitchen, apron tied firm and armed with a whisk or wooden spoon!

Write A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.