9 Wallet-Friendly January Meals

Here's some tasty and affordable ideas for your new year meals!
Michelle Grogan

Ah, January – the month of newfound resolutions and often, a bit of a budget reset after the festive holiday season.

We get it—your wallet might be a bit worn out from all the Christmas indulgence. But fear not!

We’re here with a guide on whipping up delicious, budget-friendly meals that won’t just nourish your body but also your bank account.

Dive into these wallet-friendly wonders!

1 Vegetarian Chilli

Warm your heart and belly with a bowl of hearty vegetarian chili. Packed with beans, tomatoes, onions, and a magical mix of spices, this dish is not only easy on your budget but also a plant-based protein powerhouse. Pair it with rice or a chunk of crusty bread for the ultimate comfort meal. It’s easy to add a range of lentils or beans to your usual chilli recipe instead of the more expensive beef!

2 One-Pot Pasta Magic

Keep it simple and stress-free with a one-pot pasta creation. Choose your favourite pasta, toss in some veggies, canned tomatoes, and a sprinkle of herbs. It’s a quick fix for those busy nights, with minimal clean-up! For inspo, check out one-pan cheese, zucchini and chicken pasta, chicken pesto pasta, and our quick frying pan lasagne!

frying pan lasagne
Frying pan lasagne (Credit: that’s life!)

3 Easy egg fried rice

Eggs are the unsung heroes of budget cooking. Whip up egg fried rice by sautéing cooked rice with colourful veggies. Scramble in some eggs, add a dash of soy sauce, and a hint of sesame oil for a flavour explosion. Quick, easy, and oh-so budget-friendly. This chinese-style prawn recipe comes with a guide to how to make fried rice.

4 Soup, Glorious Soup

There’s something magical about a bowl of homemade soup. Use up leftover veggies, beans, or lentils to create a comforting broth. Spice it up with your favourite herbs, and voila! A bowl of warmth that’s easy on both your palate and your pocket. Try this pumpkin and chickpea soup or this chicken and veg version.

5 Pasta Primavera

Dive into the world of colours with a pasta primavera. Grab budget-friendly veggies like bell peppers, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, and broccoli. Toss them with pasta and a simple olive oil-based sauce for a dish that’s as vibrant as it is economical. Or get inspo from this cheesy vegie pasta bake!

Pumpkin and chickpea soup
Try a cheap and hearty soup (Credit: that’s life!)

6 Baked potatoes

Potatoes are a budget superhero. Bake them and load up with affordable toppings like beans, cheese, sour cream, and chives. Get creative with your toppings, and you’ve got a budget-friendly feast. Try these roast jacket potatoes, or these cottage pie topped spuds! And this potato wedges bake is a great alternative.

7 Pizza party

Say no to expensive takeout and yes to a homemade pizza night. Create your own dough, add tomato sauce, and pile on budget-friendly toppings like mushrooms, olives, and onions. It’s not just a meal; it’s a fun and wallet-friendly activity. These spooky pizzas are fun for kids, and this no-cook pizza is too easy! Try something a bit different with this Indian lamb naan pizza, or this five-ingredient pull-apart bread!

Spooky pizzas
Spooky pizzas – they take just 10 minutes! (Credit: that’s life!)

8 Black Bean Quesadilla

Transport your taste buds to Mexico with black bean quesadillas. Spread black beans on tortillas, sprinkle cheese, and cook until golden brown. Serve with salsa, guacamole, or a dollop of sour cream for a tasty and budget-friendly south-of-the-border delight.

9 Oat pancakes

Why wait for brekkie? Enjoy a wholesome breakfast-for-dinner with oat pancakes. Mix oats, flour, milk, and eggs to make a simple batter. Top with affordable fruits like bananas or berries and a drizzle of honey for a delightful and budget-friendly twist on a classic. Gluten free? Try this gluten-free pancake recipe as an alternative.

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