50+ Tasty Budget Meals for Families Under $20!

POP QUIZ: You have $20 to feed five people for dinner, what are you going to cook? Ladies, this is my jam! Here’s more than FIFTY ideas for budget meals for families – all of which can be cooked for $20 or under!

If you don’t already meal plan, this list of budget-friendly dinners will surely spur you into action. There’s SO MANY awesome suggestions here, you could plan an entire MONTH of family dinners.

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The good news is, you don’t have to spend a fortune to feed your family. With some careful planning, you can REALLY keep meal costs down. Feeding a family of five dinner every night for under $20 a meal can be easily done – and I’m not talking about endless pasta dishes.

In fact, you can really push the envelope and create some of the below-listed dinners for around $10. CRAZY! But first some shopping tips:

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Often you can nab special price bargains at the supermarket … and sometimes you can’t. When wanting an inexpensive dinner (and still wanting meat) you can’t look past mince and chicken. Heck, even a $10 BBQ chicken is a great value I-have-no-time / can’t-be-bothered option.

  • Chicken breast goes amazingly far when pummelled into crumbed schnitzels, easily feeding 5 people with around 500g of breast meat.
  • Beef, lamb and chicken mince too can go the distance, especially when mixed with lentils or other meatier beans.
  • Roasts also offer sensational value. Lamb and beef can be expensive but chicken and pork are much more budget-friendly.
  • And let’s not forget sausages!

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To scrape in  or under a budget, vegetables are always a go-to. Also because even if out of season, the freezer aisle is ALWAYS in season. Veggies like carrot, potato, pumpkin and onion are usually cheap as chips – and coincidentally, make great chips!

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These two superstars are budget-friendly celebrities. However, there are LOADS more options beyond the classic spaghetti bolognese (good as it is). Be adventurous with grains, it might just turn out to be delicious! Rice is an easy, inexpensive filler that pairs wonderfully with curries and sauced dishes. Cook it in stock or add a touch of spice to flavour it up!

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1. Lasagne
2. One-pot pasta
3. Pesto pasta
4. Mac and cheese
5. Carbonara pasta
6. Spaghetti Bolognese
7. Tuna mornay with spiral pasta
8. Real-deal sausage roll dogs
9. Sausages in gravy with mash potato
10. Devilled sausages and mash potato
11. Sausage curry

budget meals for families
Source: Instagram / @woolworths_au

12. Shepherd’s pie
13. Meatball subs with oven chips
14. Tacos
15. Rissoles, oven bake chips and salad
16. Swedish meatballs and mash potato
17. Fried Rice
18. Risotto
19. Nasi Goreng
20. Corned beef silverside and vegetables
21. Savoury mince
22. San Choy Bow
23. Homemade hamburgers
24. Braised beef casserole

budget meals for families
Source: Instagram / @woolworths_au

25. Chicken drumsticks with sunshine rice
26. Chicken stir-fry with Hokkien noodles
27. BBQ Chicken and salad rolls
28. Slow-Cooker French onion chicken and vegetables
29. Honey mustard chicken
30. Baked chicken kievs
31. Chicken schnitzel and chips
32. Honey soy drumsticks
33. Chicken and beans with honey soy rice noodles
34. Butter chicken
35. Marinated chicken wings and potato bake
36. Roast chicken and root vegetables

budget meals for families
Source: Instagram / @woolworths_au

37. Apricot chicken
38. Chicken wraps
39. Roast pork with vegetables and apple sauce
40. Brinner – bacon and eggs on toast
41. Nachos
42. Frozen fish and salad
43. Fish fingers, salad and chips
44. Corned beef silverside and vegetables
45. Loaded hot dogs
46. Beef pies and salad
47. Toasted sandwiches
48. Frittata

budget meals for families
Source: Instagram / @woolworths_au

49. Jacket potatoes
50. Zucchini slice and salad
51. Pizzas – homemade
52. Quiche and salad
53. Soup with crumpets or dinner rolls

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Budget meals don’t have to be boring! Inspiration lurks in many groups of like-minded people, like Facebook group Budget-Friendly Meals Australia and check out Woolworths Instagram and their online vault of recipes – there are PLENTY of delicious (and cheap) ideas there, perfect for family cooking.

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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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