Dinner for UNDER $20 – a Week of Budget Meals for Families

Want to leave some money in the kitty for things MUCH more fun than groceries? Here’s a whole week of family meals, costing $20 or under. Budget family meals have never looked more delicious!

We often default to boring meals when trying to save money on the weekly shop, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You can pack the cheapest of meals full of flavour with pantry staples, herbs and condiments.

Ready to slice your grocery budget? Here’s a week of not-so-spendy budget meal ideas!

A week of delicious $20 (or under) dinner ideas

Monday:  Rissoles

My boys’ favourite. Pair rissoles with vegetables, salad or, when the weekend rolls ’round and you’re looking for a quick fix, grab a bag of potato wedges and throw them in the oven. Delicious!

easy rissoles and sweet mash potato recipe, budget meals for families, mince meat recipe

Tuesday:  Tacos

But of course, bring on taco Tuesday for tacos are ALWAYS popular! We often switch out beef mince for turkey and the kids love it! Load up on cheap salad stuff (carrot, cucumber, lettuce), sour cream and grated cheese. These are delicious and oh-so budget-friendly.

tacos recipe, budget meals for families

Wednesday: Sticky honey soy baked chicken

One of my all-time-favourite budget meals and recipes for chicken drumsticks and wings. This recipe DOES require a little babysitting with the continual basting – but it’s well worth it for that jammy glazed goodness! Check out the Mum’s Pantry recipe for honey soy baked chicken drumsticks and cook it this week!

budget meals for families, honey soy chicken drumsticks and wings

Thursday: Noodles

Looking for a DIY takeaway meal that’s on the table in 15 minutes? This flavour-packed chicken rice noodles will be loved by all the family. Waving the flag for budget meals, you can make it ALL FOR UNDER $20 (which is cheaper than feeding a family takeaway too!). #winning

easy chicken noodles recipe, budget meals for families

Friday: Cheesy smoked sausage pasta

Sausages aren’t the devil! Kids love them, they’re scrumptious in just about everything AND they’re a great bang-for-your-buck budget meal option. Pasta and sausages are a WINNING combination with this yummo cheesy smoked sausage pasta dish! #carbloversunite

sausage pasta recipe, budget meals for families

Saturday: Honey mustard baked chicken drumsticks

Holy mustard, I can just about smell how good these will be cooking away in the oven! Team with smashed roast potatoes and broccoli and you have yourself a full meal. Find the recipe at Recipe Tin Eats.

budget meals for families, mustard chicken, beans, potatoes

Sunday: Chicken Enchilada Rice

Feeling like all things Mexican but looking for a one-pot wonder? Chicken enchilada rice ticks all the boxes AND it uses mostly pantry staples. You could even cheat and use a BBQ chicken and STILL come in on budget. Budget meals, too EASY!

rice recipes, budget meals for families


Keeping meals under $20 tips:

  • You can save a bucket load of cash on pantry staples. Choose the supermarket brand (or whatever is cheapest) for foods like pasta, tinned tomatoes, tomato paste and you’ll soon be saving money.
  • For fresh fruit and vegetables, always shop what’s in season for the very best deal. Also, don’t be afraid to shop the ‘ugly’ fruit. Ugly only refers to their appearance, not their flavour!
  • Choose your cuts of meat wisely! Budget-friendly meats to look out for are minced meats, chicken drumsticks and chicken wings (just to name a few). Chicken breast can be a little expensive but can go far in a curry. Oh and remember, chuck beef steak is awesome for slow cooking casseroles.
Avatar of Lexi Klaebe

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!

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