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Meal planning for one on a budget

Eat well and save money with our seven day budget friendly dinner menus for one adult. Complete with recipes and grocery shopping list.

Meal plan for 7 days (Dinner only)


At today’s prices (Feb 2023) a basic weekly budget of under $100 should be sufficient for cheap dinners for one person over seven days. For this meal plan we’ve assumed a satisfying and balanced dinner for one person would consist of a main protein source and or complex carbohydrates with seasonal fruits or vegetables. Most of these recipes can be easily doubled so you can have leftovers for lunch the next day. 

Day 1 - Spanish Frittata with Salad

Frittata is a deliciously filling Spanish-style omelette made with chorizo, peas and potatoes to create a complete meal in one dish. It can be enjoyed hot or cold so any leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for the next day. This is a great dish to make if you have leftover potatoes. See recipe.

Day 2 - Jacket potato with tuna and sweetcorn 

This is a deliciously light and refreshing salad packed with sweet corn, tuna and crunchy salad vegetables. Serve it with a steaming hot jacket potato and some mesclun salad leaves to perfectly complete this meal. See recipe.

Day 3 - Pasta Bolognese (make 4 portions)

There are many different ways to make a Bolognese sauce, some recipes add wine, others include chopped bacon and fresh herbs to add more flavour. This recipe is a little bit more basic to make it more affordable for midweek meals on a limited budget. It is still full of wonderful Italian-inspired flavour.

We’ve used a 500g pack of minced beef which should make enough for 2 meals this week and depending on your portion size, between one and two extra portions of the sauce to pop into the freezer for later. See recipe.

Day 4 - Chicken Fajitas (make 2 portions)

Fajitas are a really simple one pan meal to enjoy midweek. They are full of vibrant colours and delicious Mexican-inspired flavours. This recipe makes enough for 2 meals for one person. The cooked chicken onion and capsicum filling can be kept in the refrigerator for 3 days so is perfect for meal prepping on one day and reheating and serving on another day. See recipe.

Day 5 - Pasta Bolognese 

Leftovers night! No need to do any cooking tonight as you have a portion of Pasta Bolognese ready to reheat from the fridge. 

Reheat for 6 minutes in the microwave oven, stir thoroughly and check it is piping hot before eating.

Day 6 - Chicken Fajitas 

Leftovers again! Your hard work earlier in the week means you have a portion of chicken fajitas in the fridge ready to heat.

All you have to do is reheat the chicken and pepper mix in the microwave for 5 minutes, stir through and check that it is piping hot. Warm two tortillas in the oven then pile half the chicken onto the tortillas. Top with some salad leaves and some salsa then wrap and enjoy.

Day 7 - Shakshuka 

This is a very simple but very satisfying Middle Eastern-inspired one pan dish. It’s vegetarian, rich in flavour and a little bit spicy to perk up your meal. See recipe.


Shopping list 

Products and pricing will vary based on seasonality, brand, size and store. Pantry staples* not included. 

ITEM

QUANTITY

PRODUCE


BROWN ONION

2

RED CAPSICUM

3

RED ONION

2

MESCLUN SALAD MIX

1

YELLOW AGRIA POTATOES

2

SWEET CORN

1

BUTCHERY


ANGUS BEEF MINCE

500g

BONELESS SKINLESS CHICKEN BREAST

1 pack

CHORIZO STICKS

1 pack

DAIRY & EGGS


EGGS

6 pack

FROZEN FOODS


FROZEN PEAS

1 KG BAG

CANNED FOODS


TOMATO PUREE

1

SALSA DIP

1

CRUSHED GARLIC

1

TUNA CHUNKS IN OLIVE OIL

1

CHOPPED TOMATOES IN JUICE

2

PASTA, RICE, & NOODLES


PENNE RIGATI PASTA

1

BAKERY


TORTILLAS

10 PACK

Seasonings


CRUSHED CHILI SAUCE

1

LIME JUICE

1

BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE

1

CAJUN SPICE

1

*Pantry staples needed

  • Milk (or non dairy alternative)
  • Olive oil
  • Vegetable oil 
  • Mayonnaise
  • Butter or spread
  • Beef stock cubes
  • Bread
  • Recommended herbs and spices: 
  • Smoked paprika
  • Ground coriander
  • Ground cumin