This post may contain affiliate links.

This week’s family meal planner is a student special!

But you don’t have to just be at university to get the most out of this meal plan – it’s for anyone who’s feeing the pinch or simply want to save money on their food bill. I hope these £1 student recipes to give you some inspiration.

Meal plan 12 cover featuring student recipes.

This is a little bit of a different meal plan today. 

Some of you asked for inspiration for students going off to university so here we are! My criteria was:

⭐️ Very good value (aka CHEAP!)

⭐️ Easy to keep leftovers or make just one portion.

⭐️ No fancy equipment used and simple to make.

This collection of recipes prove you don’t have to break the bank to cook nutritious, delicious and satisfying meals. And, of course, these would also work really well for any family too. Hope you love them!

I’ll be sharing this meal plan on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok, so watch out for the videos so you can cook along.

For reference, I shopped for this Meal Plan in July 2022 at Asda and it cost £22.87.

Why use a meal plan?

⭐️ Knowing exactly what food to buy for avoids food waste, saving you money.

⭐️ Having a plan for dinner each night avoids the mental load of “what’s for dinner?” questions every night.

The printable shopping list can be found here.

You can find my latest Meal Plans here:

Meal Plan 11 – £30 from Aldi

Meal Plan 10 – £32 (All 10 minute meals!)

Meal Plan 9 – £32 from Aldi

Some notes on student recipes and cooking:

➡️ All of the recipes here serve 4 or 6 people, but if you’re cooking for just yourself, all of my recipes on the website can be adjusted by hovering over the number of servings and using the slider bar. Just adjust to 1 if you prefer.

➡️ HOWEVER… It’s always worth considering making extra portions and saving for lunch or dinner the next day as it will save you time, effort and energy. Also bonus if you find dinner ready cooked in the fridge when drunk/hungover (HI STUDENTS!)

➡️ Buying frozen vegetables (if you have freezer space) can be a really good way of saving money when cooking just for yourself. (Annoyingly they were out of stock when I shopped for this but I’ve left them on the shopping list with a * as I think they are worth looking for rather than fresh to save money and waste.)

➡️ My printable shopping list includes the cheapest options to buy. Obviously if you want to buy higher quality (free range eggs, for example) you can substitute in.

➡️ The shopping list includes some store cupboard items that aren’t included in the budget that are worth always keeping in your cupboard. They will help you make heaps of other meals.

➡️ I normally include a fish dish every week. I haven’t done it here as fish can be very expensive, but if you do want one, try my Easy Tuna Pasta Bake. It’s SO easy, a classic.

Weekly meal ideas – student recipes:

Dinner 1

⭐️ Frozen or fresh broccoli works well here. Frozen may take a little extra time to cook.

⭐️ You can easily adjust this recipe to make one portion.

Meal plan orzo bake recipe.
5 from 68 votes

Broccoli Orzo Bake

This Broccoli Orzo Bake is a delicious vegetarian pasta recipe that’s so easy to make and is all thrown together in one pan.
View Recipe

Dinner 2

⭐️ My cream cheese pack was slightly smaller, but that’s fine. I just used the 200g pack.

⭐️ Also courgette pack sizes vary. One pack will be enough even if there’s only x2 courgettes, I wouldn’t bother spending money on another whole pack. You will have spare peas to add if you want more veg.

⭐️  Substitute parmesan for some of the grated cheddar from the shopping list.

⭐️ Make a single portion or make extra portions for lunches.

Quick and simple cream cheese pasta on a plate with peas and parsley on top. Ready to serve.
5 from 39 votes

Cream Cheese Pasta {10 Minute Meal}

This Cream Cheese Pasta recipe is a super speedy 10 minute midweek meal. Add whatever vegetables or meat you have in the fridge and you're good to go.
View Recipe

Dinner 3

⭐️  Serve with extra rice from the bag.

⭐️  You can use curry powder instead of curry paste depending on what you have. Just use about 1tsp per person or more or less depending on your spice tastes.

⭐️ You could adjust this recipe to make one portion OR the extra portions freeze brilliantly if you have freezer space.

⭐️ If you can’t find the cheaper dried red lentils, a can of green lentils also works well. Just drain and rinse them and add as normal (like I did in the video).

A bowl with butternut squash curry with rice and a fork ready to eat.
4.96 from 68 votes

Easy Butternut Squash Curry {Ready in 30 Minutes}

This vegan Butternut Squash Curry recipe is a deliciously comforting and nourishing dish. It’s also easy, ready in 30 minutes, is full of flavour and the whole family will love it.
View Recipe

Dinner 4

⭐️ If you’re only cooking one portion of this, you could omit the chicken or use a smaller amount of bacon (leftover from the cream cheese pasta) instead. OR freeze the rest of the leftover uncooked chicken.

Big pot filled with chicken fried rice.
5 from 49 votes

Chicken Fried Rice {Easy Fakeaway}

For those evenings when only Chicken Fried Rice will do but you don’t want to order a takeaway, try this delicious Egg Fried Rice with Chicken recipe.
View Recipe

Dinner 5

⭐️ Frozen or fresh broccoli works well here. Frozen may take a little extra time to cook.

⭐️ You can make smaller portions of this in a smaller dish but leftovers keep well for 3 days in the fridge and make a brilliant high protein lunch.

⭐️ If you’d like some extra carbs with this, I would suggest buying a pack of baking potatoes and having a jacket potato with it.

Slices of cooked crustless quiche.
4.56 from 47 votes

Crustless Quiche {Easy Vegetarian Recipe}

This an easy and delicious Crustless Quiche recipe. Quick, simple and healthy, this vegetarian recipe is also gluten free and low carb (if that's your thing). This recipe makes a brilliant dinner, packed lunch or brunch dish.
View Recipe

Quick reminder, the printable shopping list can be found here.

If you’ve found this useful, let’s be friends on Instagram @tamingtwins

new cookbook!

Featuring 100 delicious recipes that can be cooked in one pot, you can open any page in this book and find something that will give you not only a meal that the whole family will eat and enjoy, but also one that makes your life a little simpler in the process.

More Recipes

Sarah Rossi founder of and author of 'What's for Dinner?' books.


Hi, I'm Sarah. I help busy people decide 'What's for Dinner?' Find hundreds of recipes here, and also in my bestselling recipe book. Hope my recipes make your life easier ❤️

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Tried the sticky halloumi kebabs they were amazing and not really spicy, I’ve also don’t the sticky sausages which the kids loved and the chicken wrapped in pancetta with cream cheese, also really tasty. Thank you for the inspiration!

  2. Made the orzo. Never tried it before. Teens loved it. I didn’t have broccoli so used courgette instead 🤔 still tasted yum 😋