Eat Pip-Life

A bunch of low-cost dinner ideas to help with this nutso cost of living palaver

June 9, 2022

Everything is poxily expensive but we can still eat delicious things, pals!

Because I am a nerd I thought it would be a good idea to bundle up a bunch of ideas for a week’s worth of eats. This is a generous amount of food, with lots of leftovers so you can probably skip a recipe or two and still have a fridge full of excellent and nourishing things.  I know that for some people these ideas will still likely be too pricey and I totally get that. Many is the week I have survived on a giant vat of minestrone made from whatever is floating about. If you are in that camp I send you a squeeze of solidarity.

A bunch of fairly low-cost dinner ideas to help with this nutso cost of living palaver


The best dhal recipe I’ve ever made is the one by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. It’s so simple but so nourishing. Sometimes I add some dried grated coconut and a well-fried tomato to fancy it up a bit. Curry leaves are also an excellent addition. Or just make it as is with some of Hugh’s famous flatbreads. Recipe for the dhal is here. Cost? No more than $10 to feed four people. Maybe double the recipe so you can have some in the fridge for later in the week? It won’t cost much more to double it up.


Pasta with Big Sauce. I make a pot of Big Sauce most weeks and stow it in the fridge to use for a bunch of different things. I reckon you should make a pot too and then you can use it to have a very simple and delicious bowl of spaghetti for dinner on Tuesday. Make some garlic bread to go on the side by slicing a baguette and mixing crushed garlic, a bit of salt and butter into a spread to slather on the baguette, then baking in the oven until golden. Cost for the Big Sauce (which will do many meals) and the spaghetti, parmesan and baguette? Let’s say $15 to feed 4 to 6 people on Tuesday and sauce for the next week or two. Recipe here.


Meera Sodha’s potato and spinach curry. I made this a wee while ago and it’s very good and makes plenty. It uses frozen spinach and I actually only used half the amount suggested and that felt like PLENTY, so don’t feel you have to buy as much as Meera says. (Sorry Meera!) If you don’t have all the spices in your cupboard and can’t really justify buying them, just swap them out for a good quality curry powder. It’ll still be ace. Cost? $10 for enough to serve 4 to 6. Recipe here.


How about some corn chowder? It’s a childhood favourite of mine and you can make it vegetarian or not, depending on what you like. The recipe is in this post. Just scroll to the bottom. Cost? About $12 to serve 6.


How about spaghetti bolognese tonight? Depending on your preferences, fry up some mince or diced mushrooms or lentils and then use the big sauce as your tomato element. Too easy! Cost? Around $10 to serve 6 to 8 people. Again, you’ll have sauce leftover to freeze or use for lunches.


The best chicken soup. This soup is so, so, so good. The recipe makes a giant pot and it’s nourishing and comforting and super satisfying. Cost? Depends on the cost of the chicken. Let’s say $15 to make 6 or so generous serves. Don’t forget the croutons!


Bubble and Squeak! (Top image) This delicious concoction is lovely on its own – perhaps with a wee salad on the side – or you can smoosh it into a soft roll with some of your favourite condiments. If you have money in the bank still, you could sidle it up to some of your favourite sausages too. Cost? Let’s say $10 to make 6 serves. Recipe here.

Perhaps you’d like to add your own ideas in the comments? That’d be so good! Go on!

x Pip


  • Reply Deanna Apfel July 6, 2022 at 1:58 AM

    Pip, I don’t see a recipe for the potato? dish that starts this blog post. It looks like some kind of scalloped potatoes. It couldn’t be red lentil Dahl could it?

    • Reply Pip July 6, 2022 at 7:55 AM

      It’s the SUNDAY recipe, Deanna. Thanks so much for reading! xx

  • Reply Kylie June 10, 2022 at 9:56 AM

    Thanks so much for the recipes Pip.
    I made your Chicken Soup yesterday, it is delicious (I forgot about the croutons in the oven though and they turned into charcoal). I’m taking some to a sick friend today- hopefully it works it’s magic. I have also bought all the sweet corn. More canned corn than I’ve ever bought(!!!) and I can’t wait to try the Bubble and Squeak because I love cabbage 🙂

  • Reply Michelle Crawford June 9, 2022 at 8:16 PM

    Everything sounds so delicious Pip! I am going to make it all!

  • Reply Kate June 9, 2022 at 5:21 PM

    Love this thanks so much.
    Cheers Kate

  • Reply Sarah June 9, 2022 at 3:15 PM

    What a handy list of links. Thanks for the tips. My cost-cutting tip is buying in bulk, and I sometimes share with a friend. 10kg bag of spuds is so much cheaper perkilo, but you have to commit to a month of potato eating otherwise they start sprouting. And I have learned in recent years that the big supermarkets are not necessarily the cheapest. They might have good specials, but often fruit and vegetables are cheaper at the green grocer. Ok, sounding like my mother now……

  • Reply Katherine June 9, 2022 at 3:13 PM

    So perfect – what a thoughtful and useful post. X

  • Reply Dani June 9, 2022 at 1:40 PM

    Love it! Thanks Pip ??

  • Reply Reannon June 9, 2022 at 12:07 PM

    I was just sitting here thinking “I should Google new ways to save money on my groceries “ and then you pop up in my feed. Thanks Pip!

  • Reply Erin June 9, 2022 at 10:28 AM

    This is amazing! I was just wondering what on earth I was going to make this week… Thanks, Pip!

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