5 of Our Family Favourite Dinners ….

I vowed I would never be a mum who cooked multiple dishes for my family at dinner but of coarse I want everybody to like and enjoy what’s put in front of them. So here are our family favourites that ensure everyone clears their plates !

Most of these dishes are quite economical and with one or two you can get two dinners out of them. I put the costings as if you were to buy the ingredients from scratch but if you shop with these recipes in mind for the week they will come out even cheaper … I find Lidle and Tesco is where you get the best bang for your buck!

Bacon, bean and beef burgers.

This is a great way of inexpensively bulking out your packet of mince and adding a twist to your conventional beef burger !

What you need;

An average packet of mince ( just over 400g). I like to use the less than 5% fat mince but decide for yourself depending on preference and budget.

1/2 tin of mixed beans drained.

125g of bacon lardons ( double this I’d you want to bulk out the beef even more)

Potatoes to serve with the burgers roasted or chipped.

I top with cheese, onion and tomatoes but go with what you feel !


Simple bung the meat and beans in s bowl, mix shape and fry ! Serve with your favourite toppings and with chips or potatoes .

This recipe will make 4 large burgers or 2 large and 3/4 small for just e6.


Mr Mmmm’s fave !

“The only difference between good and bad meat is the length of time you cook it ” a quote from my grandad who discovered in later life that he is a great cook !

For these to be deliciously tender this dish needs to be made at least 24hrs in advance.

What you need;

Family pack of meatballs.

Dried or fresh Basil.

3 carrots.

2 onions.

2 peppers (3 small ).

4 tins of chopped tomatoes.

1 tablespoon of sugar.

1 tablespoon of ketchup.

Add in any extra veg you have in the fridge.


*Brown the meatballs on the pan and set aside.

*Fry up the veg and when almost cooked add the meat to brown a little more

*Bring the 4 cans of tomatoes to the boil stir in the ketchup, sugar and a dash of salt and pepper. Let it simmer for a while before adding to the dish with meat and veg.

*Heat in the oven for 20 mins at 140/160′ and do this at least two more times before serving and you will have lovely tender and tasty meat balls.

*Be sure to stir each time and add water if necessary.

*serve with pasta or roasties.

With this recipe you will feed a family of 5 approx for less than e10. You will also have enough sauce left over to use for cheesy pasta and garlic bread another day!

Sausage Stew.

Another fairly new love of the kids ( us adults like it but the kids are nuts for sausages so there you go !)

What you need;

12 jumbo sausages.

3 large carotts.

4 celery sticks.

110g of pearl barley.

1 pint of beef stock.


* cover the pearl barley in water and bring to the boil, simmer for 10 mins.

* lightly cook the sausages.

* fry the veg ( adding 100ml of water to prevent sticking) and add the stock bring to boil and simmer for five minutes.

* transfer to a casserole dish and add the pearl barley, put in the oven at 140′ for 20 minutes.

* add the sausages before heating at 180′ for 20/30 mins to serve with boiled potatoes.

With this recipe you will feed 4/5 for e7.50 . You will have enough veg and gravy left over to either make soup with or freeze to add another packet of sausages to another day so it’s great eating on a budget

Bacon and Green bean potato cakes topped with a fried egg.

This is a more recent favourite in our house but it’s my no 1! Everybody cleans their plate when I produce this dinner.

What you need for 8 Potatoe Cakes;

10 average potatoes.

180g of bacon lardons.

40g of chopped green beans.

20g of chopped onion.

Serve with;

A egg per person.

50g of green beens per person.


* Boil and mash the potatoes, I mash them with salt, pepper, butter and milk !

*Fry the lardons chopped onions and green beans, when cooked add and mix into the mash.

* fry (or boil) your whole beans to serve on the side partially.

* Make up your potatoe cakes and fry one side , just as your turning sides fry your eggs in a separate pan and pop your partially cooked green beans in with the potatoe cakes .

* and serve ! Make sure to leave the egg runny to get the full flavour !

The kids don’t notice the green beans chopped into the potatoe cake but won’t eat them on the side so I usually give them some baked beans or spaghetti on the side.

With this recipe you can feed a family of 4/5 for under e6.

Fish Pie.

Confession …. the whole family does not eat this I hate fish !!! Everyone knows the nutritional value of fish and my gang love it so I grin and bare the smell and whip this up for them and I eat the leftovers from the night before.

What you need:

( I make this in my good old free dolmio lasangne dish)

10 average potatoes.

A mix of fish, I usually buy from the 3 for e10 range in Dunnes so I get coley fillets, cod and salmon. I also buy extra prawns but they are not a must.

2 stock cubes.

50g of plain four.

Splash of milk.

1 small onion.


2 sticks of celery.


* Steam the potatoes to create your mash topping … once you have them on bake the fish for about 15/20 mins with a splash of balsamic vinegar.

* Chop the carrots, celery and onions and fry lightly. You can throw in whatever you have veg wise but I think carrot, celery and onion work best with the fish.

* Disolve the two stock cubes in a pint of boiling water, put in a pot and sieve the flour in gradually whisking to eliminate lumps and bumps. Add a splash of milk and have a peek at the fish, if there its juice collecting on the tray tip it into the pot and stir in.

* When the fish is cooked add it into ( if you used the same fish as I did only use half of it ) the veg to the sauce.

* Pour the sauce and fish into a dish and top with mash.

* Bake at 180′ until the mash is browned and crispy.

* Serve with the veg of your choice.

This will serve 4/5 people for e16 (e12 if you leave out the prawns) but you have half the fish left (freeze what’s left ) to do a puff pastry pie or chowder too. You can also cut cost or bulk out by adding more veg.

So there you have it ! Five family friendly dinners that can be done on a budget. I’d love to hear what you think if you give any of them a go !

Xoxo L.


4 thoughts on “5 of Our Family Favourite Dinners ….

  1. Your first few lines just held me. I am also a mum who can’t bring herself to cook elaborate dinners or multiple dishes so that each family member’s tummy stays full. Somehow I manage 🙂 Eating on budget is a great idea and I must see how I can incorporate this in my household.


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