Feeding a Family of Four on a Budget

Budget Meals Under £1Eating on a budget does not mean that you can’t eat well. Our Bolognese recipe costs around 85 pence per person for a family of four and is a tasty, nutritionally balanced meal that you can make easily from scratch in around half an hour.

Budget bolognese with pasta shapes for less then a £1 per head, can’t be bad!

Budget Bolognese

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Serving Size: 4

Budget Bolognese


  • 1 tsp of oil. (10p)
  • 500g beef mince. (£2)
  • 2 medium sized onions, finely sliced. (25p)
  • 2 tins of chopped plum tomatoes. (61p)
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree. (3p)
  • 400g pasta shapes. (40p)
  • Optional Extras
  • When cooking on a budget it is best to stick to what you already have in your cupboards, rather than buying a list of expensive ingredients.
  • 1 tbsp spice – you could use paprika, chilli, cayenne pepper or a thai spice mix.
  • 1 tbsp dried herbs – you could use basil or oregano (If you grow herbs then fresh taste even better than dried).
  • A pinch of salt.
  • A few grinds of pepper.
  • Cheese to taste


  1. Heat the oil in a large non stick-pan over a medium heat, and add the finely sliced onions. Gently fry the onions until softened for around 4 or 5 minutes.
  2. Add the meat and cook well, making sure that the meat thoroughly browned.
  3. Add both tins of chopped plum tomatoes and the tomato puree. Stir well and add whatever spices and herbs you have available. Add pepper to taste.
  4. Gently simmer the Bolognese on a low heat for around 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, allowing the sauce to thicken. If the sauce becomes too thick then add a little water. If it seems too watery then add a little more tomato puree.
  5. Whilst the sauce is thickening cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet. Add a little salt to taste.
  6. When the sauce and pasta are cooked, drain the pasta thoroughly and place on the serving dishes. Split the Bolognese sauce between four and serve with a little grated cheese for extra flavour.


Top Money Saving Tip – Meat can be expensive so to use less meat and make your meat go further cook it with finely sliced onions or mushrooms. It will work out much cheaper and is also healthier!


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  1. Ross says

    Fantastic recipe for one of my favorite meals. I used less meat as suggested which reduced the cost of the meal even more! Thank you for sharing Tina, looking forward to your next budget meal!

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