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Pams Prep Kitchen: Budget Family Dinner Ideas

Sticking to a budget for family meals tends to have us um’ing and ah’ing in the supermarket aisles. What’s the best way to minimise spend, but maximise flavour? What will get my family excited to eat, without pulling too hard on the purse strings?
Make your weekly shopping budget go the distance with these cheap and cheerful dinner ideas - along with our everyday tips and tricks for stretching your dollar.

Meat Free Monday - Lentil Bolognese

With Monday comes meat-free – a great way to know exactly what kind of dinner you’ll cook. Lentil bolognese is a delicious and nutritious meal that mimics the family fave of spag bol, with just as much flavour! Quick, easy and affordable, to make it an even better budget idea, try using any dried pasta you have in the pantry and double the spaghetti batch to use in your frittata tomorrow.

Tuesday – Spaghetti Frittata

With your leftover pasta from last night’s bolognese, this frittata is a creative way to take it to the next level. By adding eggs, cheese and vege and baking in the oven for a golden crust, you’ve got yourself a delicious and foolproof lunch or dinner! For an ultra-budget friendly tip, we love using sausages as a form of protein as they’re cheap and you only need a couple to add tons of flavour. We also love using seasonal vege, or just anything left in the fridge! We’ve used broccoli in this recipe, but why not try a tomato and capsicum version?


Wednesday - Mexican Beans

For one of the best meal bases, this Mexican Bean chilli does the trick! Packed with protein and super versatile – all you need is a couple of tins of beans and tomatoes! This vegetarian budget-friendly dinner is a great minimiser of that midweek mayhem; simply add your ingredients to a pot and let it simmer away until you’re ready. If you do want to add meat, try adding 300g beef mince to bulk it up! We love these beans piled on top of rice (or even corn chips for nachos) with grated cheese and spoonfuls of sour cream. Double the batch to use for tomorrow night’s stuffed kūmara!


Thursday - Stuffed Kūmara!

For a deliciously loaded dish, try using your leftover Mexican Bean mix as a kūmara stuffer! Prick your orange or purple kūmara all over and place on a baking tray before drizzling with oil. Roast in the oven until soft, and allow to cool slightly before slicing open, ready for toppings. Spoon on your reheated Mexican beans and add dollops sour cream, guacamole and garnish with coriander!


Fakeaways Friday - Friday Night Fish Burgers & Chips!

Nothing beats a takeaway on a chill Friday night after a hectic week. Save the ordering admin, and your dollars, and whip them up at home! Making your favourite takeaways in the comfort of your own kitchen is one of the best ways to save money and stick to a weekly food budget – plus the kids wouldn’t think twice. Pams has a huge range to help bring your fakeaways creations to life. Try our fish burgers using Pams Crispy Battered Fish Fillets, and don’t forget a hearty side of crispy Pams Agria Fries!

Budget-Friendly Shopping Ideas

Shopping smart and prepping ahead for a full week’s worth of meals is a great way to stay on top of your spending. Here at Pams, we’re all about cutting down on any unnecessary costs while delivering great options for healthy and affordable meals - because we know how the dollars add up when you’re feeding your family! Sticking to a budget doesn’t have to be boring.

Some other budgeting tips could include:
  • Buying meat in bulk and separating it out for freezing.
  • Shopping seasonally and working recipes around what produce is cheapest.
  • Establishing healthy habits with your weekly spending by using a budgeting system.
  • Writing a shopping list each week and sticking to it!
  • Creating meal ideas around what you already have in the pantry – no waste left over from a weekly shop is always ideal!

    Looking for more ideas to stretch your dollar? Check out the article Hacks to reduce food waste!