| Inspiration | 12 best budget-friendly recipes

12 best budget-friendly recipes

Did you know food is often the highest living expense after paying rent or a mortgage? Every families’ food bill varies, but one thing is the same from house to house: Kiwis are a hard-working bunch, and we want to know our hard-earned dollars are being put towards good quality kai for our whanau.

When it comes to eating on a budget we know people sometimes associate that with boring meal choices such as cooking an extra-large batch of something on Sunday and eating the same thing, slightly varied all week. Surely it could be more appealing than that? Well you know what? It is. Here's a look at some of our favourite budget-friendly recipes.

Magic Mince

Versatile, quick and delicious, mince is a Kiwi favourite. Easy to whip up for a variety of different meals, this is a recipe to always keep on hand. At $2.55 a serving, it's great on the wallet too!

Budget-Friendly Cottage Pie

This cottage pie recipe is made with Kiwi families in mind. Quick and easy to prepare, and delicious - it’s guaranteed to please! And at $2.02 a serve, it's great for Kiwi families who looking to lower their food bills.

Mince Fried Rice

This beef fried rice is a one-pot meal that is both affordable and delicious. This recipe is super versatile, so if you don’t have some of the vegetables use what you have leftover in the fridge. At $1.86 a serve, it offers great bang for your buck!

Beef Roulades with Crunchy Honey Pumpkin

Although the beef roulades are the star of this dish; the crunchy, honey pumpkin is a stand-out side dish on its own that we know the family will request as much as possible.

Beef & Potato-Top Bake

Think of this dish from Chelsea Winter as a delicious twist on a shepherd’s or cottage pot pie, using lovely chunks of beef (rather than mince), which are so tender they fall apart on your fork. Using cost-effective ingredients, it’s lovely and simple to make and tastes sensational.

Beef Shin Ragu

The Italian word ‘Ragù’ more or less means a meaty sauce for pasta (Bolognese is a type of ragù). This beef shin version is a lovely way to make a rich, flavoursome sauce using a very economical cut. I like the way the meltingly tender chunks of meat add a great texture to the sauce too. The sauce freezes well so it’s easy to whip up a quick meal on a weeknight, or you can use the slow cooker for the ragù during the day and cook the pasta when you get home.

Baked Lamb Neck Chops

This recipe from Kathy Paterson is a great way to keep the family fed during winter. This well-seasoned dish will fill your kitchen with a rich aroma that will bring everyone to the table.

Skewered Rogan Josh

These lamb Rogan Josh skewers are sure to satisfy all taste buds. Served with a delicious lemon and mint yoghurt sauce, naan bread and raw veges.


A Mexican style toasted tortilla is perfect for a casual, easy meal or snack. Packed full of veges and easy to make mince balls, if you want more spice add some chilli to the mince patties.

Easy Lamb Koftas

This easy and delicious lamb kofta recipe from Allyson Gofton makes 10 skewers. As a family meal, or part of a barbecue selection, they are quick to prepare and great on their own, or served in a pita bread with your favourite sauce. This mixture can also be used to make tasty burgers; the same quantities will make around 6 burger patties.

Lamb Pizza with Fresh Herbs

This recipe makes a little bit of lamb mince go a long way. The pizza bases are easy to make, or use readymade bases or pita breads if you prefer. These can be made as individual pizzas but you could easily make one or two larger ones.

Family Lamb Stir-fry

With all the goodness of iron, carbohydrates and minerals perfect for muscle recovery, this dish is perfect to serve up post-exercise. Quick, easy, delicious. Suitable for toddlers.

Posted by Shawn Moodie

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