A week's dinner for less than £30 - Luxury Student Homes

A week’s dinner for less than £30


Tired of the same old meals? If you’re looking for some cost-effective inspo for next week’s shop, look no further.

First up, we recommend making sure that the spice cupboard in your house is always well stocked. This is often the trick to improvising your way to delicious dishes from whatever other ingredients you have lying around. Have a good balance of herbs and spices from different cuisines on hand to give you the most variety from the same ingredients.

In a pinch, there are some clever sites which will let you input the ingredients you have at home to generate some inspiration/ideas for meals you can create on the spot, but if you don’t want to think about it at all: check out our list below.

It’s a week’s worth of tasty recipes to try, complete with shopping list conveniently arranged by supermarket section, and it comes in at just £29.97. Let’s go!

Monday: Pea and Chorizo Risotto

This takes about 25 minutes to make, is super tasty and really cost-effective. We’ve only counted it once in our budget here, but the ingredients you buy will actually make this meal 3-4 times over, taking the price per serving down to less than £2. The other brilliant thing is that the ingredients are all relatively long life, making them great to keep on hand so you can whip this up in a pinch.

Ingredients: Chorizo, frozen peas, risotto, chicken stock, parmesan

Tuesday: Teriyaki Stir Fry

Readymade stir fry kits are a gift from the gods of convenience and reduced food waste. Pre-portioned for you, all you need to do is buy noodles to go with. You’ll need carrots for some of the other recipes on the list, so why not throw in some shredded carrot here too to bulk it out and add that extra veggie goodness?

Ingredients: Stir fry kit, egg noodles, carrots

Wednesday: Smoky Bacon Spaghetti

Be very liberal with the smoked paprika as you’re pulling this together for a dish that’s rich, delicious and ready in no time. Hold back about half of your pack of bacon: you’ll need it later in the week!

Ingredients: Bacon, spaghetti, onion, tin of chopped tomatoes, garlic, parmesan to serve

Thursday: Chicken Curry


You know the drill with this one, readymade sauce for a midweek timesaving cheat. You can swap your chicken for turkey for a leaner meal if you wish, but make absolutely sure to throw a spoonful of turmeric into your rice as it’s boiling. Your housemates’ minds will be BLOWN by your “authentic” curry-house nosh.

Ingredients: Chicken breast, curry sauce (as hot or as mild as you like!), onion, bell peppers, rice

Friday: Pesto Pasta with Halloumi


Quick, simple, and you can alter the flavour however you like with your choice of pesto. Tailor the dish further by throwing throwing in additional herbs, chillis, etc. – make it your own!

  1. Get your pasta boiling.
  2. Slice and fry your onions, bell peppers and garlic.
  3. Slice and fry your halloumi.
  4. Throw it all together with a spoonful or two of your pesto of choice.

Ingredients: Pasta, halloumi, red pesto (roasted pepper or spicy), garlic, onion, bell pepper

Saturday: Spaghetti Bolognese


“Spaghetti bolognese with no tomatoes?!”, we hear you cry.

That’s right. You can add them if you like, but try making spaghetti bolognese by frying your beef and onion together as normal, then adding chopped celery and a couple of grated carrots with a little water or beef stock to broil gently until soft. What you end up with is a more filling, textured, and nutritionally-balanced spag bol. Game changer.

Ingredients: Beef mince, spaghetti, onion, celery, grated carrot, garlic

Sunday: Loaded Jacket Potatoes


Want something as comforting as your folks’ roast dinner to look forward to for Sunday? Jackets are a classic for a bit of stodgy comfort food, and you can use the spare potatoes for a couple of mid-week lunches.

Snip up a couple of rashers of your bacon with some scissors before you fry it to get extra crispy little chunks. This is a great idea to keep in your back pocket for times when you have a lot of deadlines to hit. Stick your potatoes in the oven and use it as your timer for getting your head down to make progress with essays or revision.

Ingredients: Jacket potato, baked beans, bacon, grated cheese

Shopping list:

  • Frozen
    • Frozen peas: £0.85
  • Veg
    • Bag of carrots: £0.47
    • 2 x pack of 3 onions: £1.40
    • Pack of bell peppers: £0.95
    • Celery: £0.50
    • Garlic: £0.69
    • Packet of baked potatoes: £0.60
  • Dry/tinned goods
    • Spaghetti: £0.53
    • Risotto: £1.30
    • Egg noodles: £3.75
    • Rice: £0.90
    • Penne/Fusilli pasta: £0.53
    • Chicken stock cubes: £0.39
    • Curry sauce of your choosing: £0.64
    • Red pesto: £0.65
    • Baked beans: £0.24
    • Tin of chopped tomatoes: £0.24
  • Chilled
    • Lean beef mince: £3.19
    • Chorizo: £1.85
    • Stir fry kit: £3.75
    • Bacon: £1.69
    • Chicken breast: £1.97
    • Halloumi: £1.75
    • Parmesan: £2.25
    • Block of cheese: £2.00

We hope these give you some inspiration for meals that are tasty, easy to pull together, and reduce the amount of food that goes unused from your weekly shop. It’s important to get your veggies in, but there’s nothing worse than buying them and watching half of it go to waste!

Prices taken from Asda.com 6th August 2020.
Image credits:

  • Pea and chorizo risotto: https://www.jamandclottedcream.co.uk
  • Teriyaki stir fry: https://jamiecooksitup.net
  • Chicken curry: https://allrecipes.co.uk
  • Smokey bacon spaghetti: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com
  • Pesto and halloumi pasta: https://goodfoodandredshoes.blogspot.com
  • Spaghetti bolognese: https://www.foodnetwork.com
  • Loaded jacket potato: https://freyasglutenfreeworld.com