5 budget meals that cost under £1 a portion

Here are five easy-peasy, mouth-watering meals that will cost you under £1 per portion to make (you are welcome!).

Let’s be honest, however determined we are, student loans will only stretch so far, which means every penny really does count. Of course, the less of our budget we need to allocate on food, the more we can spend on other things, like pints and that fabulously fancy dress outfit. With that in mind, here are five easy-peasy, mouth-watering meals that will cost you under £1 per portion to make.

Crispy mac ‘n’ cheese (47p/portion) – veggie friendly


Macaroni pasta (60g)
Soft cheese (30g)
Cheddar cheese, grated (30g)
Ready-salted crisps (18g)

Does anything beat mac ‘n’ cheese? The king of all student dishes, right? Super speedy, yet totally tasty.

Method: All you need to do is cook the pasta in boiling water before draining and putting in a bowl, then stir in the soft cheese and grated cheddar. Finally, crush up the crisps (feel free to explore different flavours) and sprinkle on. If you fancy – for that extra crunch – you can brown your meal off under the grill.

That’s A Wrap! Pizza (71p/portion)

Ingredients per portion

One wrap
Tomato puree (one tablespoon)
Cheddar cheese, grated (30g)
Half a bell pepper, sliced
A quarter of red onion, sliced

Additional meat option: Pepperoni (1/4 pack) (additional 25p – still under £1!)

Who would have thought you could get your hands on a pizza for under £1. Boom! Also, remember pizza prep is a great ice breaker for you and your new housemates, so don’t be afraid to get the whole flat involved.

Method: Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees. Then simply spread the tomato puree onto your wrap, before layering up your chosen toppings. Stick in the oven for three minutes, or until the cheese is melted and starting to tan.

Pea and Bacon Risotto (84p/portion)

Vegetarian alternative: Sub the bacon for sundried tomatoes (98p/portion)

Ingredients per portion

Risotto rice (60g)
Garlic purée (teaspoon)
200ml stock (chicken/vegetable stock cube plus boiling water)
Crème fraiche (two tablespoons)
Frozen peas (80g)
Hard cheese, grated (30g)
One rash of bacon (cooked to your liking) or
A quarter of jar of sundried tomatoes

Whether it’s dinner in front of the TV, an impressive date night meal, or your turn to cook for your flatmate, then have a go at this showstopping risotto.

Method: If you’re going with bacon, then chop it up and fry until it starts to crisp. Alternatively, add the sundried to the pan and cook on a medium heat until they start to sizzle. Add the risotto rice and stock, reduce heat and cook, covered, for around 2 minutes (or until the rice is tender and there’s pretty much no water left). Add the frozen peas and cook for three minutes, before stirring in the hard cheese just before serving.

Vegan-friendly stuffed potatoes (85p/portion)

Ingredients per portion

One sweet potato
A quarter of an onion, chopped up
A tablespoon of smoked paprika
Half a tin of chopped tomatoes
Half a tin of baked beans

Here’s how to turn your bog-standard jacket potato posh but on a budget.

Method: Heat the oven to 180 degrees and cook the sweet potato in the oven for 45 minutes (speed things up by sticking it in the microwave – and don’t forget to pre-prick it with a fork). Meanwhile, fry your onion until soft, before adding the smoked paprika and chopped tomatoes and cook until it’s started to thicken up, which is when you want to stir in your baked beans. Once your sweet potato is cooked and tender, split it in half, fluff up the insides and top with your bean mixture. Yum!

Speedy sausage spaghetti (93p/portion) – vegetarian option available!

Ingredients per portion

Spaghetti (60g)
Two pork / vegetarian sausages
Chopped mushrooms (90g)
Quarter of a pot of soured cream
50ml stock (beef / vegetarian stock cube plus boiling water)

Looking for a hearty meal to fill you up but doesn’t take long to make? Try this one out, we’re sure you won’t be disappointed.

Method: In a pan, cook your spaghetti using boiling water. In the meantime, fry your sausages in a second pan, cooking them for around eight to 10 minutes, or until brown. Add the mushrooms and cook for a further five minutes before adding the stock. Once your pasta is cooked, drain then add it to your sausages and mushrooms. Mix together, before finally stirring in your soured cream before serving.

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