Hearty winter dinners don’t have to be big on cost to be big on flavour. So many everyday ingredients punch well above their weight when it comes to taste. And if all else fails, just add bacon. Never fear. Here are our pick of the budget winter meals that will see you through the last of the cold weather.
Budget Pantry Staples
Of course when it comes to cooking on a budget, it helps to have your pantry and fridge stocked with a few essentials.
Dried pasta – you often pick up a bag of dried pasta for as low as $1. Stock up on a few varieties when you see it on special.
Shredded cheese – This will keep in the fridge unopened for a while, so pick some up to make a deliciously cheesy bake with leftovers.
Eggs – If you’ve got a carton of eggs in the fridge, you’ve got a meal. These protein powerhouses are great whisked up into scrambled eggs or an omelette. Or combine it with cheese and leftovers for a fabulous filling frypan frittata.
Chicken thigh fillets – considerably cheaper than breasts, chicken thighs lend themselves to curries and other winter fare as they can stand up to longer cooking times without drying out. Plus, they’ve also got double the iron of chicken breasts. Winner winner chicken thigh dinner!
Bread and butter – or spreadable. Seems obvious, but don’t waste your 2 day-old loaf leftovers. Combine it with butter and cheese to make toasties or savoury or sweet bread and butter pudding.
Simmer sauces – next time you’re in the Asian aisle, pick up packet or two of simmer sauces mix it up and get a mild one or something with a little spice. It will happily hang in your pantry until you need a quick, easy and tasty dinner.
9 budget winter meals to try tonight