5 Delicious & Healthy Recipes to Feed a Family For Under $20
It is amazing how much money goes into the food portion of a family budget. No matter how much you try, it just doesn’t seem like you can keep those growing kids full. For most families, it’s a struggle between feeding good, healthy meals to your family and going for what’s cheap (and usually easier). But sometimes it’s hard to find healthy recipes for under $20.
Well, we’re here to tell you that you can feed your family for less than you think. With a little menu planning and perhaps taking advantage of sales, you can start saving money on that huge portion of your budget.
Below you’ll find just the tip of the iceberg for meals under $20. Do a quick Google search, and you’ll be on your way to learning how to cook delicious and healthy meals for your family that won’t break the bank.
1. Asian Beef and Rice Bowls
This quick meal is sure to be a hit with everyone in the family, and it’s healthy! Add in a side of steamed or roasted broccoli, and you’ll have an awesome, cheap family dinner ready in under 20 minutes.
- 500 grms 96% lean ground beef
- ½ tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup onion, roughly chopped
- 1 tsp finely diced ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- for serving: toasted sesame seeds, green onion, and rice
In a large pot, heat the olive oil and cook the onions on medium-high heat until translucent. Add in the ginger and garlic and cook for a minute or so. Add the ground beef and break up the meat into small pieces. Cook until no longer pink, then add in the soy sauce and brown sugar, stirring to mix everything evenly. Let simmer for 2-3 minutes. Serve over rice with toasted sesame seeds and chopped green onion.
2. Aussie Bubble and Squeak with Fried Egg Topper
Here is yet another healthy recipe for under $20. Eggs are an inexpensive way to fill up everyone, and they are so easy and versatile because you can pair them with so many things. It makes throwing together dinner at the end of the day quick, easy and, best of all, cheap.
- 1 tbs olive oil + cooking oil spray
- 500g leftover roasted vegetables (such as sweet potato, pumpkin, potato and carrots), roughly chopped
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
Heat oil in a medium non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add roasted vegetables and cook, tossing often, for 4-5 minutes until vegetables are hot and crisp at the edges. Toss through peas and keep warm over low heat. Spray a separate medium non-stick frying pan with oil to grease. Heat over medium heat. Crack eggs into pan and fry until cooked to your liking. Top vegetables with fried eggs, season and serve. (Plan to serve each person two eggs.)
3. Spaghetti Carbonara
Another easy go-to healthy recipe for under $20 is pasta — it can be used in so many ways and is a staple easily purchased at the supermarket for pretty cheap (stocking up when there is a sale can save you even more money!). Plus, for this recipe, you can take the rest of the bacon and make a whole different meal. Score!
- 225g spaghetti
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 4 slices bacon, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions; reserve 1/2 cup water and drain well. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs and Parmesan; set aside.
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes; reserve excess fat. Stir in garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute. Reduce heat to low.
Working quickly, stir in pasta and egg mixture, and gently toss to combine; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add reserved pasta water, one tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired.
4. Chicken, Rocket and Hummus Burgers
Another healthy recipe for under $20. Sometimes something on a bun sounds good, but it doesn’t always have to take the form of a hamburger. This refreshing recipe still comes in under $20, but certainly doesn’t taste like it. For a veggie friendly version substitute the chicken for halloumi or marinated tofu.
- 4 (about 180g each) chicken breast fillets, trimmed
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp Moroccan spice mixture
- 4 Turkish bread rolls, split in half
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 cup hummus
- 60g baby rocket leaves
- 2 ripe tomatoes, sliced
- 2 Lebanese cucumbers, cut into thin ribbons
- Potato fries and lemon wedges, to serve
Place chicken between sheets of baking paper. Gently flatten to about 1cm-thick using a meat mallet. Combine oil, spice and lemon juice in a large snap-lock plastic bag. Add chicken and toss to coat in mixture. Chill for 15 minutes. Preheat a chargrill or non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add chicken and cook, for 4-5 minutes on each side or until golden and just cooked through. Transfer to a plate, cover and keep warm. Toast or grill bread rolls. Place roll bases onto a board. Top each with hummus, rocket, tomatoes, chicken and cucumber. Season with salt and pepper. Top with roll tops. Serve with fries and lemon wedges.
5. One-Pot Chicken and Potatoes
For our final healthy recipe for under $20 we bring you this simple one pot meal. When trying to feed a family, who doesn’t love it when you can throw everything in one pot and pop it in the oven? Well, this recipe does just that and still won’t cost you a lot.
- 8 chicken thighs
- 6-8 large potatoes, cut in quarters or halves
- 5-6 carrots, cut in 5cm pieces
- 1 onion, cut in quarters
- 15-20 garlic cloves, whole
- salt & black ground pepper
- 5 cloves garlic, crushed
- ½ tsp paprika (optional)
- 3-4 Tbsp olive oil
Preheat oven to 190C. Line a rimmed 12in x 18in baking sheet with foil or even better, parchment paper. Thoroughly wash the potatoes & carrots with a scrubber and cut them in smaller pieces. Pat dry with a paper towel. Pat dry chicken with paper towel. Add chicken, potatoes and carrots, onion & garlic to the lined rimmed baking dish and sprinkle with salt, ground pepper and garlic. Drizzle with olive oil. Carefully toss everything to coat. Place in the oven and bake for 1 hour 20 minutes.
Check if the potatoes and chicken thighs are soft and easily pierced with the fork, if so they are ready. If the chicken and potatoes have not browned up as much as you would like, turn the grill setting on and grill for 5 minutes. Watch carefully, or they will burn. Remove from the oven and serve right away in the baking pan or transfer to a warm serving plate.
As you learn how to cook meals on the cheap for your family, there might come a time where you find yourself in a pinch. An unexpected expense might weigh heavily on you this month and will tie up your expenses for awhile. Rather than spend every night worrying how to pay for everything your family needs, consider taking out a medium term loan from Swoosh. This medium term loan outlines exactly how long it will take to pay it off, and you’ll get your money quickly. So start menu planning and stop the worry!