Cheap and Easy Family Meals

Lockdown Winter Warming Recipes for Under a Fiver

At Stockport Credit Union we know with the latest Lockdown children can eat you from house and home and the increased household food bills can cause added financial stress.

Sometimes it may seem difficult to get fresh food on the table. so here are three simple, fresh and delicious family meals you can prepare for under a fiver.

Cooking from scratch is a much healthier and financially beneficial way to eat. Getting the kids involved can be a fun and educational activity. Not to mention it will keep them busy and in your sight!

Big Batch Winter Vegetable Soup

It’s that time of year where nothing will warm and comfort you better than a lovely homemade soup. The amazing thing about making a large batch of soup is that it is a perfect lunch for the next day when the kids are moaning they are hungry and it’s also great to freeze.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 35 minutes


  • Two diced brown onions
  • 2 finely chopped celery sticks
  • 2 diced carrots
  • 400g cubed potatoes
  • 1 diced pepper
  • 1 litre of chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp of vegetable or olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • Any leftover or frozen veg available


  1. Add the oil and butter to a large saucepan on a low to medium heat until butter has completely melted.
  2. Bring the heat down to low and add your onion and celery to the saucepan. Cover with a lid and sweat for 10-15 minutes until onions are translucent. Not brown!
  3. Once the onions and celery are done put in your carrots and potatoes plus any frozen, tinned or leftover veg. Continue to cook for another 5 minutes.
  4. Cover the saucepan add in the stock and simmer on a low heat for 15 minutes.
  5. Blend until thick and smooth.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Simple and Hearty Corn Beef Hash

Corned Beef hash is hearty, high in protein and super easy to make. Served with frozen peas and a buttered slice of white bread, this family style winter warmer will guarantee satisfied customers. It’s also great to freeze or served with a fried egg for a decadent breakfast so maybe double your batch.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes


  • 1 diced onion
  • 1 cloves of minced garlic
  • 500g of diced potatoes of your choice
  • Half a tin of baked beans
  • 1 340g can of corned beef (preferably reduced salt) cut into cubes
  • 2 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce or 2 tbsp brown sauce
  • 2 tbsp of oil


  1. Put the potatoes in a saucepan, cover them with cold water and bring it to the boil. Cook for 5-7 minutes until beginning to soften and then drain.
  2. Heat oil in a large frying pan to a medium heat, add the onions and fry for 4-5 minutes until they begin to brown a little.
  3. Add in the potatoes garlice, and corned beef and mix with the onion. Be careful not to break the potatoes up. Leave the contents of the pan to fry for 5 minutes and then stir again being careful not to break the potatoes.
  4. Put in Worcestershire sauce (or brown sauce) and leave to cook for another 3 minutes.
  5. At this point pour in the baked beans, season with a generous pinch of black pepper and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
  6. Serve with buttered sliced white bread and frozen peas.

Veggie Sausage Family Pasta Bake

In a more meat conscious world this recipe ditches meat for a quick and delicious recipe bound to please every eater. Pasta bakes are the best both on the night and heated up the next day.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 30 minutes


  • 1 tbsp of oil
  • 1 clove of minced garlic
  • 1 diced onion
  • 8 vegetarian sausages
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes or a 400g jar of passata
  • 2 handfuls of grated cheese
  • 250g of pasta – anything other than spaghetti works great


  1. Grill veggie sausages for about 8 minutes or until turning brown turning halfway through.
  2. While sausages are grilling cook pasta to packet instructions, drain and set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 180°C/gas mark 6
  4. After turning the sausages heat oil in a frying pan on a medium heat bring up to temperature and add onions, fry for 3 minutes, then stir in the garlic and cook for another minute.
  5. Add the tinned tomatoes (or passata), sausages and pasta to the frying pan, season with a pinch of salt and pepper and then stir until fully incorporated cook for another 5 minutes.
  6. Transfer ingredients to oven proof dish, sprinkle cheese on top and cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown on top. Leave to rest for 5 minutes and serve.

Top tips

Here are some top tips for cooking on a budget.

  1. Purchase vegetables like onions and carrots in bulk – When buying by the kilo prices drop dramatically and remember vegetables can be frozen!
  2. Cut down the amount of meat you eat – Meat is one of the most costly items that will put a dent in your budget. There are thousands of fantastic recipes on the internet that are meat-free. Cut your costs, get creative and help the environment.
  3. Plan ahead – Weekly meal plans help you budget your grocery bills and save time. Try incorporating any ingredients you already have into your weekly meal plan.
  4. Turn Leftovers into meals – Often with a little bit of creativity leftovers can often be more exciting than the night before. Take a chili for example, any leftovers can be turned into a delicious plate of cheesy nachos that the kids will love!