I am by no means a budget guru or a chef but I often find with so called budget friendly or family meals that they are heavily bulked up with rice or pasta. I have been looking at what I cook for my family lately and watching the cost and think I have some pretty good, healthy, budget friendly recipes to share. I can feed my family of 4, generally with leftovers for lunch or dinner the next night, for around $10 to $15. Some nights we do lash out and spend more than $10, especially if Guy and I are having a really nice piece of steak or something, but in general I keep the cost down.
So my first recipe is for a yummy lamb and vege soup. This makes heaps and is excellent for freezing.
2 medium sized lamb shanks - about $9
packet of soup mix (beans, split peas, chickpeas etc) - $1.65
2 carrots, 2 potatoes, 1 parsnip, 1 swede or turnip, 1 onion - about $4
2 handfulls of pasta (macaroni etc) - about $1
Cut the veges into chunks and place in a large stock pot with the lamb and the soup mix. Fill the pot with water and place on the stove on a medium to high heat.
Bring to the boil and reduce to a rolling simmer. Simmer for 2 - 3 hours. The water will turn to stock and the soup mix will make it thicken. The lamb will cook and start to fall off the bone. You can remove the bones from the stock and shred the meat. 10 mins before serving throw the pasta in to cook. You can make it without the pasta but I personally like lamb soup with pasta for some reason. You could use a cheaper cut of lamb if you wanted. You can also throw in some frozen peas or cut up beans close to the end for extra green.
This meal last night served the 4 of us, I froze a generous lunch sized portion and there is enough left to reheat for everyone's dinner tonight. I reheat in a saucepan and add a little water. Even husband Guy likes this and he is one who doesn't consider soup to be a 'real meal'.