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10 Easy and Cheap Budget Recipes For Under £5

By Sophie Campion

In our mission to expand financial education and help you become the best at smart spending, we share with you the first blog of our Eat well for less series which will help you stay on budget while enjoying tasty midweek meals, student meals and even meals for one or to share.

£35 may seem like a tight budget, but if you use some of the tricks and tips in this article, you will be able to have your food shop for the week. All the meals for this week are designed to be quick, simple and cheap!

The Pantry Items you will need to start eating well for less

These items are essential, I would recommend buying them in bulk to save money

  • Dried Chives
  • Cinnamon
  • Oil
  • Soy Sauce
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Dried Paprika
  • Garlic powder
  • Dried mixed herbs
  • Honey
  • Peanut butter
  • Sugar
  • Stock cubes
  • Dried Chilli flakes
  • Butter
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Oats

Your eat well for less Meal Plan


Egg muffins (makes 12 mufffins - 3 breakfast servings)


- A bag of spinach

- 2 peppers finely diced into (1 red + 1 green)

- 100g cheddar cheese

- 10 eggs


  1. Coat each cupcake tin with a thin layer of oil
  2. Distribute all the chopped veggies into each tin equally
  3. Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl and add your seasoning to taste. I would recommend adding mixed herbs, paprika, and salt and pepper.
  4. Add the egg mixture to the tins, fill two-thirds of the tins. Then add the cheese on top.
  5. Cook for 25-30 minutes at 250 degrees (Celcius).


The egg muffins can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days, or placed in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Overnight Oats

Ingredients (per individual serving size)

- 90 grams of oats

- 90ml milk

- ½ a banana

- 50grams frozen berries

- Sugar

- A pinch of cinnamon

- Honey on top as needed

  1. Place the oats in a container along with the milk and cinnamon.
  2. Defrost the frozen berries and add sugar to taste.
  3. Add the berries to the container with the oats and place in the fridge overnight.
  4. When you are ready to eat the oats, add half a sliced banana for more texture and flavour!

Store in the fridge until you eat them, these oats will keep for three days in an airtight container.

Lunch and Dinner

Honey and Soy Salmon

Ingredients (per portion)

- 110g of Salmon

- 50 grams of frozen broccoli

- Rice

- garlic powder

- 1/3 onion

- 1 tbsp soy

- 1 tbsp honey


  1. Preheat the oven to 230 degrees celsius
  2. Cook the rice according to the instructions on the packet
  3. Mix the honey and soy together along with the mixed herbs and garlic powder
  4. Place the salmon on a baking sheet and pour over the honey soy mixture
  5. Add ⅓ finely diced onion and the frozen broccoli to the baking sheet
  6. Cook for 25 mins, or until the salmon is fully cooked

NOTE: if the broccoli is quite large you can warm the frozen broccoli in a microwave using 30-second intervals until the broccoli is partially defrosted.

Storage: The salmon can be kept in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Chicken and pesto pasta


- Pasta

- Pesto

- Cherry tomatoes

-rocket (a cylindrical projectile that can be propelled to a great height or distance by the combustion of its contents, used typically as a firework or signal)


Preheat the oven to 230 degrees celsius

  1. Cook the pasta according to instructions
  2. Place your chicken in the oven with 2tbsp of oil and a tsp of salt and a tsp of pepper as well as chilli flakes and garlic powder. The chicken should take 25 minutes to cook.
  3. Once the pasta is fully cooked and drained add the pesto pasta along with 200ml of the pasta water (the starchy water will help to create a sauce for the pasta.
  4. Once the pesto pasta is fully cooked add cherry tomatoes and rocket

Chilli and rice


- rice

- 500g minced beef

- 1 onion

- 4 garlic cloves

- 2 cans of kidney beans

- 2 cans of chopped tomatoes

- 2 bell peppers

- 1 can of sweetcorn

Recipe (5 portions)

Cook the rice according to the instructions on the packet.

  1. Add one diced onion and 4 garlic cloves finely chopped in a tbsp of oil to a large pot on medium heat.
  2. Cook the onions until they are slightly translucent.
  3. Then add the minced beef.
  4. Cook the mince until the beef starts to brown
  5. Then add the two cans of tomatoes and two stock cubes ( that have been dissolved in 200ml of hot water) to the pot.
  6. Add your other seasonings: mixed herbs, pepper, chilli flakes etc. Add a tablespoon or two of sugar if your sauce tastes bitter/acidic - this is likely due to the tinned tomatoes.
  7. Next, add in the finely chopped bell pepper and can of sweetcorn.
  8. Simmer your chilli for 30 minutes
  9. Taste your chilli and adjust your seasoning

Storage: Chilli is great because it can be frozen up to 3 months without the flavour being affected. Just simply reheat in the microwave when you want to eat it

Stir-fried rice


- 2 slices of ham

- 2 eggs

- leftover rice

- sweetcorn

- peppers

- onion

- garlic

  1. Chop up 2 slices of ham, 2 garlic cloves, 2 onions and 2 peppers into fine cubes.
  2. On medium heat add a small amount of butter and your two eggs.
  3. Scramble the eggs and cook them fully
  4. Place your cooked eggs on the side
  5. Place a tsp of oil in the pan and cook the vegetables for two to three minutes
  6. Add the leftover rice and sweetcorn to the pan, adjust the heat if necessary
  7. Once the rice is warmed thoroughly add the egg and ham
  8. Add any seasonings you want e.g. soy sauce, pepper, paprika, chilli flakes
Chickpea stew


- 2 cans of chickpeas

-1 can of diced tomatoes

- 2 eggs

- cauliflower

- sweetcorn

- peppers

- onion

- garlic

Recipe (for 2 portions)

Add 1tbsp of oil, finely chopped garlic and onions to a large pot on medium heat.

  1. Once the onions are slightly translucent add in all the veggies, cook for 5 minutes
  2. Add your seasoning, 2 stock cubes, salt and pepper, tsp mixed herbs, chilli flakes, tsp paprika.
  3. Drain and add two cans of chickpeas, mix in well. Put the heat on low
  4. Create a “pit” in the stew with the back of your spoon. Add the two cracked eggs into the “pits”.
  5. Place a lid on the pot and cook for another 5 minutes (or until the eggs are cooked to your liking.
  6. Two slices of bread are the perfect thing to compliment the dish.

“Roast Chicken” for 1

- Potato

- Onion

- Garlic

- Carrot

- Broccoli

- Chicken


  1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Celcius
  2. Slice your potatoes into 2-inch cubes, and parboil the potatoes until you can pierce them easily with a butter knife.
  3. Drain the water and place the potatoes back in the pot.
  4. Shake the pot around to create little mashed pieces of potatoes, you still want most of the potatoes to be whole.
  5. Season the potatoes with salt, pepper, garlic powder, mixed herbs and chilli flakes.
  6. Place your chicken breast in a baking sheets mix them with oil, paprika, salt, pepper and mixed herbs
  7. Add your broccoli and carrots to a baking sheet with the chicken
  8. Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes

Chicken Grilled Cheese


- 1 leftover chicken breast

- Cheddar Cheese

- Butter

- Bread

Recipe (1 portion)

Dice the chicken breasts and warm in the microwave for 2 minutes

  1. Heat a pan on medium heat
  2. Mixed the softened the butter, garlic powder and mixed herbs together thoroughly!
  3. Butter the bread and add your chicken and cheese
  4. Place the sandwich in a pan on medium heat for 3 minutes
  5. Once one side has turned golden brown flip onto the other side until the cheese has fully melted.

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