Awesome Money Saving Meals You Can Cook At Home

Awesome Money Saving Meals You Can Cook At Home

Written by Pierre Noronha

Born and raised in Mumbai, Pierre Noronha thought that he was destined to be a Chartered Accountant, but all that changed when he discovered his love for writing. Taking this new found passion forward, he started working as a content writer for UniAcco.

January 5, 2021

University students know all too well, the heartbreak of spending top dollar at restaurants for dishes that could’ve been made at home. We’re here to give your bank account some rest by giving you our favourite money-saving meals that can be prepared on a budget. Why spend £15 on Spicy Arrabiata Penne when you can make it at home for £5? All the following recipes will cost you well under £10 and will last for at least 2 days. Imagine all those savings! Stop spending so much money on eating out and start preparing these simple money-saving meals. Use some of those savings towards something cooler, like a Netflix subscription. 

Minestrone Soup

If you were wondering, “How to meal plan to save money”, we’ve got you covered. Here is one of the ultimate money-saving meals to keep you going during your time at university. If you were wondering does meal planning save money, this nifty little recipe will make you realise how easy it is to whip up a delicious meal at a fraction of the cost you normally pay at restaurants. 

Level – Easy

Prep time – 15 mins

Cook time – 30 mins

Yield – 4-6 servings

Ingredients – 

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1/3 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 28-ounce can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
  • 1 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 15-ounce can low-sodium kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup elbow pasta
  • 1/3 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Directions – 

Get a large pot and heat some olive oil over medium heat. Add onions to the pot and saute them until golden brown. This should take about 4 minutes. Add some garlic and cook for 30 seconds. At this point of time, add your carrot and celery and cook until they soften. Stir in the dried oregano, basil, green beans, salt and pepper. Cook for 3 more minutes. 

After this, you will add the finely diced tomatoes and chicken broth to the pot and bring to a boil. Make sure you reduce the heat and allow the ingredients to simmer for 10 minutes. Now add the kidney beans and pasta, and cook until they are tender. This should take you about 10 minutes. Finally, add some salt to taste. Pour the soup in your bowl and top it off with some parmesan and chopped basil.

Rice Bowl With Fried Eggs

Awesome Money Saving Meals You Can Cook At Home

A classic dish that can be made on a limited budget. Rice Bowl With Fried Eggs is one of the best money-saving meals in this article that can be made in a total of just 30 minutes (15 mins prep and 15 mins cook).

Level – Easy

Prep time – 15 mins

Cook time – 15 mins

Yield – 4 servings

Ingredients – 

  • 3 cups broccoli florets (about 8 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 
  • 2 cups sliced shiitake mushrooms (about 6 ounces)
  • 1 small bunch scallions, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed (about 6 ounces) 
  • 1 8-ounce can sliced water chestnuts, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1 cup snow peas, trimmed and halved (about 3 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium teriyaki sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha, plus more for serving
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice 
  • 4 large eggs

Directions – 

We start off with microwaving broccoli in a large microwave-safe dish along with 2 tablespoons of water. Do this for 2 minutes until the broccoli appears bright and green.

Next, you will have to heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil that will act as the base for sauteing the mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms look slightly brown around the edges. Now, add the broccoli and cook the mixture for around 2 minutes. Then it’s time to dump in the edamame, water chestnuts, bean sprouts, scallions, snow peas, teriyaki sauce and Sriracha. Keep cooking for another 4 minutes. 

Divide the rice and vegetables into separate bowls. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil over medium-high heat and crack open the eggs and cook until the whites are set. Add a fried egg to each rice bowl and top with more Sriracha.

Vegetarian Enchiladas

Here is one of the greatest vegetarian money-saving meals that you can relish with your friends. Don’t be daunted by the long cooking time because we promise you, once you take a bite of the Enchiladas, it will all be worth it! This is one of the best meal prep ideas to save money.

Level – Easy

Total Cooking Time – 1 hr 40 mins

Yield: 6 servings (2 enchiladas each)

Ingredients

Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ancho chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Large pinch cayenne pepper
  • One 15-ounce can tomato puree
  • Kosher salt

Filling and Topping:

  • One 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • One 15-ounce can pinto beans, strained and rinsed
  • 4 ounces shredded Cheddar (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 4 ounces shredded pepper Jack cheese (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3 scallions, sliced
  • Kosher salt
  • Twelve 6-inch corn or flour tortillas
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime

Directions –

First things first, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

To make the Vegetarian Enchiladas, we will start with the sauce. Saute some onions in a large skillet over medium heat till they are golden brown. Then you must add the chilli powder, garlic, cumin and cayenne and continue stirring until the spices are toasted for about 1 minute. Next, add 2 cups water, the tomato puree and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and bring to a simmer. Keep cooking the mixture until the sauce reduces and thickens slightly. This will take you approximately 15 to 20 minutes. 

Now we shall prepare the filling. Mix the spinach and pinto beans in a large bowl. Don’t be afraid to use your hands to smash the beans. Add half of both the Cheddar and the pepper Jack, half of both the sour cream and the scallions and 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, and stir to combine.

Now it’s time to concentrate on the tortillas. Lay the tortillas out on a work surface, and spread 1 side of each with about 1 teaspoon of tomato sauce. Add 1/4 cup of the filling across the middle of each tortilla. Now roll them up and arrange them neatly in 2 even rows in the baking dish. Pour the remaining sauce on top of the rolled tortillas, and sprinkle them with the remaining cheeses. Cover the baking dish loosely with foil, and bake until the cheese melts. This should take about 30 minutes. Next, uncover the baking dish, and let it sit for about 10 minutes more.

Finally, we come to the topping. Whisk all the remaining lime juice, sour cream, salt in a small bowl. Drizzle the mixture over the baked enchiladas, and sprinkle with the remaining scallions. Your amazing meal prep ideas to save money is ready! 

Orange Roasted Chicken Thighs

A beautifully cooked roasted chicken is akin to a fancy 3-course meal for a university student. Let’s learn how to cook this simple money-saving meals.

Level – Easy

Total Cooking Time – 40 mins

Yield – 4 servings

Ingredients – 

  • 2 oranges (1 juiced, 1 thinly sliced)
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons grainy mustard
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 8 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (about 2 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 bulb fennel, thinly sliced, fronds reserved
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound fingerling potatoes, halved lengthwise, then crosswise if large
  • 8 sprigs thyme, halved
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, crushed

Directions – 

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F so that we can get started on cooking the chicken thighs. Thoroughly whisk the honey, olive oil, orange juice, mustard, 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper in a large bowl. Once your marinade is ready, add the chicken, sliced oranges, sliced fennel, red onion, potatoes, thyme and fennel seeds. 

Add a single layer of vegetables in the baking tray and top it with chicken pieces, skin side up. Don’t forget to add a dash of salt and pepper to the chicken. Return to the oven and roast until the chicken is golden and cooked through and the vegetables are tender. This should take you around half an hour. Finally, top the dish with fennel fronds.

Spicy Arrabiata Penne

We simply cannot end our awesome money-saving meals blog without some al dente pasta! This recipe is amazing as it takes less than 20 minutes to prepare and gives you restaurant-level Arrabiata Penne right in your kitchen

Level – Easy

Total Cook Time – 20 mins

Yield – 6 servings

Ingredients – 

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound penne rigate (penne pasta with ridges) 
  • 1/4 cup olive oil 
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped 
  • One 26.42-ounce container chopped tomatoes, such as Pomi 
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes 
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning 
  • 6 leaves fresh basil, chopped, plus more for garnish
  • Block of Parmigiano-Reggiano, for garnish

Directions – 

In order to cook the pasta al dente, we will first bring the water to a boil. Add some kosher salt and then finally, the pasta to the pot. Cook according to the package instructions, which will generally be about 9 minutes.

Now place a large skillet over medium heat and add some olive oil and heat it till it starts to shimmer. Then add your garlic and cook until fragrant. Add some chopped tomatoes, red chilli flakes, Italian seasoning and salt and pepper to taste. Bring them to a boil and all allow them to cook for 5 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and top it with some chopped basil.

For the last step, drain the pasta well and then add it to the sauce. Finishing touches include garnishing with Parmigiano-Reggiano flakes and some more basil. 

We hope your question – “Does meal planning save money?” is answered now. Make sure to incorporate these easy money-saving meals into your daily lives. Perhaps, use the savings into something fun like a Netflix subscription. If you have any awesome money-saving meals recipes then do reach out to us in the comments section below. 

Looking for your perfect student accommodation?

Looking to study abroad? Searching for the perfect student affordable accommodation? Choosing the right accommodation for a university that’s thousands of miles away can be, say the least, a difficult experience. We can help.

Looking for student accommodation abroad?

Your enquiry has been successfully received. We'll get in touch within 24 hours via email/phone.

Don’t let your friends miss out on all the fun! Simply refer your friend to book a room with us and get upto £100 Amazon gift voucher.

You might also like

3 Comments

  1. Cukrzyca

    Its rare for me to discover something on the net that is as entertaining and fascinating as what you have got here. Your page is sweet, your graphics are great, and what’s more, you use reference that are relevant to what you’re saying. You’re certainly one in a million, well done!

    Reply
  2. Tom Michalowsky

    Ive learned so much online in the past four years. The majority of my knowledge I attribute to reading great blogs like yours. Thank you!

    Reply
  3. Chwyty gitarowe

    Perfect piece of work you have done, this website is really cool with great info.

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This