Feed 5 for £1 (or less) per portion – MoneyMagpie

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Can you really feed 5 for £1 per portion or less? Times are tough and money is tighter than ever. Choosing between heating and eating is a real concern for thousands of people across the country.

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Keeping food costs down is foremost in our minds when we go food shopping. The treats we used to take for granted here are a distant memory, and the reduced section is our new best friend.

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But still you can eat delicious, healthy and heart touching food in a low budget. Here at MoneyMagpie, we’re always on the lookout for cheap meals to fill you up without breaking the bank.

So, here are five meals to feed five people, for less than £5 – or just £1 per portion! Whether you’re a fan of light pasta dishes, or want a hearty bake to beat the winter chill, why not try these mouth-watering meals.

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We will be using Tesco items for these meals. Please note that other supermarkets are available. Prices are correct at the time of publication.

stir fry with chicken noodles

Cost per portion: 86p

A family favorite and classic dinner-time dish is the good old stir-fry. A crowd-pleaser, this dish can be stashed in the fridge with any leftover veggies just waiting to be used. You can also add tinned sweetcorn or frozen peas for that extra oomph.

It’s also delicious warmed up for a hot lunch the next day, and the variety of vegetables within the stir fry give you and your family all the vitamins you need to fight off the winter sniffles.


Total: £4.47

Total cost of materials used: £4.30


The best thing about a stir fry is that it can be ready in minutes—literally. Remember to thaw any frozen chicken the night before or during the day just before you leave for work. If you have carrots, cabbage, zucchini, mushrooms, or any other vegetables available, you can use them instead of buying a packet of vegetables, saving even more money.

However, we find pre-cut vegetables super convenient and quick to use, especially if you have little ones running around under your feet!

First, fry the chicken in a pan with some oil. While you’re doing that, turn on the kettle to boil your water for the noodles. Once the chicken is slightly browned and heated through, add the packet of vegetables and let it heat through.

While the vegetables are languishing in the heat and cooking, turn on your noodles to cook. It should take about 4 minutes for them to cook. Add stir-fry sauce and stir fry veggies to your cooked chicken, and mix evenly.

Once the sauce is hot and your dish is taking on a delicious flavor, drain your noodles and add to the pan. Mix it all together and dish up. Very easy. Plus, you’ll have an extra nest of noodles to use the next day with leftover noodles!

Tomato and Basil Orzo

Cost per portion: 75p

This dish is a big hit here at MoneyMagpie. Inspired by Bay Orzo with Roasted Tomatoes and Peppers from Rukmini Iyer’s Green Roasting Tin, Magpie Easy has found a way to make the dish just as delicious with fewer ingredients.

This is a truly comforting dish, perfect for winter nights curled up in front of the TV. Orzo is essentially very small pasta, almost like large grains of rice. It takes about 10 minutes to prepare and then pop it in the oven for 20 minutes and let the heat do its work.


Total: £5.43

Total cost of materials used: £3.72


If you already have the vegetable stocked in your cupboard, which most of us do, then fab, you’re already saving money on this recipe. Also, you can always use dried basil as opposed to fresh basil, which many of us have in our store cupboards as well.

It’s really a simple one-pot dish. Preheat the oven at 200 degree Celsius. As the oven heats, place your orzo in a large oven-proof dish. You can split this into two smaller dishes if easier.

Mix two stock cubes with boiling water, about 500ml boiling water per stock cube. Cover the orzo with the stock and make sure it is covered. Then, halve your cherry tomatoes, placing them evenly on top of the orzo to cook them evenly. Scatter about half of the basil over the orzo and tomatoes and finish with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

Put it in the oven for about 20 minutes. Dish out evenly. If you’re feeling a little flushed, sprinkle a little cheddar cheese on top.

Sausage and Egg Bake

Cost per portion: 65p

This is a cheap, filling, and quite frankly, delicious dinner. It is easy to assemble and tastes heavenly. Eggs, sausage, beans, and tomatoes come together to create an unexpected fusion of flavors. Like breakfast, but for dinner!

Guaranteed to become a new favorite in your household, why not try this Sausage and Egg Bake?


Total: £4.09

Total cost of materials used: £3.23


This is a straight forward, fast meal to make. You’ll have plenty of sausage left over, and a nice egg for breakfast. First of all preheat your oven at 200 degree Celsius.

Fry the sausages in a pan or in your air fryer until browned. Add onions and fry till soft and translucent. Add the diced tomatoes and cannellini beans to the pan and mix until all ingredients are evenly coated with the tomatoes.

Once all the ingredients are hot, put them in an oven-proof dish and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and use the back of a wooden spoon to make five small dips in the mixture. Break an egg into each dip, and place back in the oven for 20 minutes.

Remove from oven, serve two sausages and an egg to each person, and enjoy. If you want, you can sprinkle some cheese on top of this dish. The best part is that it has all the ingredients you need for a great meal. Protein, vegetables, and best of all it will keep you full all night long.

Tuna Pasta Bake

Cost per portion: 93p

Pasta bakes are a classic in most homes. In fact, Pasta Bake has kept the Magpie Easy going for years—through university trials and while cooking for friends. It can be cooked in large quantities, and is equally delicious for lunch the next day.

It’s very rare that someone turns their nose up at something so delicious, especially your little ones. Plus, if you’re not a fan of tuna, you can easily omit it from the meal and you won’t miss out on flavor.


Total: £6.51

Total cost of materials used: £4.65


This is a very simple recipe, but it does take a few steps to assemble. In a pan, cook the pasta according to the directions on the packet. This is usually 8 to 10 minutes, and don’t forget to add some salt to the water!

While this is cooking, pour 425 ml of milk into another pan, and add the Tuna Pasta Bake Powder Mix. Whisk it well and keep stirring regularly on medium flame. The sauce mixture will thicken as it heats.

Sieve the pasta when cooked. Then, just add the thick sauce to the pasta, add your tin of tuna, sweetcorn and give it a good stir, making sure the ingredients are evenly distributed.

Then, pour it into an oven proof dish and spread it evenly. Grate some cheese on top and put it in the oven or under the grill until the cheese is melted, golden and deliciously bubbly. A big family favorite that you’ll want to make again and again.

fish pie

Fish Pie Feed 5 for £1

Cost per portion: 97p

Fish pie is one of those really hearty dishes that really warms you up from inside. There’s nothing better than coming home to a hearty dinner to chase away the winter doldrums. Now, you can make mashed potatoes from scratch if you want—but we know it can be a lot easier and more convenient to use readymade mash.

We don’t judge either way, so use whatever mash you like. There’s only one thing about fish pie, it takes a little love to prepare. Eggs need to be boiled, mashed potatoes made and fish cooked. But if you’re willing to put a little TLC into this dish, you won’t regret it.

We sometimes like to prepare everything the night before, so we can pop it in the oven to heat up when we get home after a hard day’s work.


Total: £6.10

Total cost of materials used: £4.85


Cook fish according to packet instructions. You may need to defrost your fish overnight before cooking it, but sometimes you can cook it from frozen. A good tip is to poach it lightly in some warm water or milk.

While the fish is cooking, keep four eggs at a hard boil. Depending on how done you like your egg yolks, allow them to boil for up to 8 minutes before moving them to a bowl of cold water. This stops the cooking process.

Then prepare the mash. With frozen mash, although it tastes great on its own, it might be nice to add milk water or a little butter to soften it a bit. The mash is microwavable and ready in minutes.

After all this is done, make white sauce. It only takes seconds to make and it thickens quickly. Then assemble it completely. Put the fish and white sauce in an ovenproof dish and mix. Cut your hard-boiled eggs into quarters and sprinkle evenly over the mixture.

Then, layer your mash evenly over the top of the fish and egg mixture. If you want, you can also put some cheese on top. Then, bake in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until the mixture is hot and bubbling nicely.

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