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Meals you can make for under £3 per person

However, we’re here to show you that you can make great tasting meals for cheap, with a maximum of £3 per person. We should mention that we are assuming that you have a couple of kitchen staples available already, such as seasoning, cooking oils and basic ingredients like butter. If you do not have any of these ingredients, their addition still shouldn’t bring any of these meals over £3 per person.

These meals are ideal for people living in a house share in Leeds, or anywhere for that matter, as they make multiple servings. But if you have less people to feed, you can always save some for the next couple of days.

We’re going to show you two very simple dishes and one showstopper of a dish that you can whip out whenever you need to impress.

All prices are taken from Asda’s online store, and are correct as of May 2018.

Pasta with basic white sauce and roasted cherry tomatoes (serves 4)

fettucine pasta

This sauce is so simple that it’s been around for generations in Northern Italy. It’s perfect when you need to feed a lot of people fast. We’ve also added some cherry tomatoes, which add a touch of sweetness.

Kitchen Staples:

  • Butter
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Ingredients to Buy:

  • Parmesan – £2.38 for 170g
  • Fresh egg pasta – £1.60 for 500g
  • Cherry tomatoes – 75p for 375g

Approximate total cost – £4.73

Approximate cost per person – £1.18


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Grate all of your parmesan and chop 60g of butter into cubes. Put around 50g of grated parmesan to one side.
  3. When the oven is pre-heated, put all your cherry tomatoes on a baking tray and coat with a splash of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Cook in the middle of the oven for roughly 10 minutes.
  4. While that’s cooking, boil some water in a pot with salt. Add all your pasta to boiling water and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  5. Drain and quickly put the pasta back in the pot. Begin adding your butter and cheese (not including the portion you have put aside) a little at a time, adding more at regular intervals until all is melted and mixed in the pot.
  6. Serve in a bowl, add your remaining parmesan, dish out cherry tomatoes from the oven, adding on top or to the side of the dish.

Lamb burgers with mixed roast veggies (serves 6)

Lamb and feta burgers with salad greens

This is a straightforward burger dish brought to life with a deliciously simple sauce, which gives it an Eastern twist and pairs surprisingly well with some classic British roast veggies.

Kitchen Staples:

  • Olive oil
  • Salt, pepper and other basic spices
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Ingredients to Buy:

  • Lamb mince – £3.39 for 500g
  • White bread rolls – 65p for 6
  • Natural yogurt – 80p for 500g
  • Harissa paste – £2 for 90g
  • Lemon – 30p for 1
  • Carrots and parsnips – 95p for 1kg
  • Mint – 60p for 25g

Approximate total cost – £8.79

Approximate total cost per person – £1.46


  1. Preheat your oven to 200C.
  2. Chop all your vegetables and put them on a baking tray, add a splash of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Create a spice mix using salt, pepper and any other spices in your cupboard that you think will work together. This is your time to get creative. A good starting point is between half a teaspoon and a teaspoon of salt, depending on your tastes, with similar quantities for other spices and seasonings. Good examples of spices that go well with this dish are Cajun seasoning and paprika. Stir your seasonings together in a bowl until well mixed.
  4. Put your vegetables in the pre-heated oven. These should take around 25 minutes to cook. Make sure to turn them halfway through.
  5. Mould six burgers out of your 500g of mince, rubbing them through with your spice mix.
  6. Add a tablespoon of cooking oil to the pan and add your burgers. These should take about 6 minutes per side. If you can, use a meat thermometer to be safe or cut them in half before serving to ensure they are cooked through.
  7. While these are cooking, make a sauce by mixing 6 tablespoons of natural yogurt with a tablespoon of harissa paste, a dash of salt, a squeeze of lemon juice and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
  8. Serve your vegetables and dish your burgers out on your buns. Top with the sauce and some fresh mint.

Bolognese meat sauce (serves 6)

Italian Fusilli Bolognese

An adaption from a classic Marcella Hazan recipe, this is a perfect house share feast that will seriously impress. The main differences here between the original Bolognese recipe is we’re using standard tinned plum tomatoes and any old salt, pepper and cheese.

Kitchen Staples:

  • Vegetable oil
  • Milk (preferably full fat)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Butter (preferably unsalted)

Ingredients to Buy:

  • Celery sticks – 55p
  • Carrots – 30p for 500g
  • Onions – 3 for 50p
  • Beef mince – £2.30 for 500g
  • Nutmeg – 80p for 42g
  • White wine – £3 for 2 18.7 cl of Pinot Grigio as an example
  • Plum tomatoes – £2 for 800g tinned
  • Cheese – £1.90 for cheddar, as an example

Approximate Total cost – £11.55

Approximate Total cost per person – £1.92


  1. Chop 3 celery sticks, 4 carrots and 1 medium onion as small as you like them.
  2. Put a tablespoon of oil, 4 tablespoons of butter (60g) and the onion in a heavy bottomed pot. Turn to a medium heat until the onion turns translucent. Add celery and carrots and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Add 350gr of ground beef, season and cook until the meat is browned throughout. It’s important to get high fat ground beef for Bolognese, as this will give the dish its sweet flavour. 15% and above should do it.
  4. Add a cup of milk and simmer until it has evaporated. This will take roughly 30 minutes to an hour. Add a scraping of nutmeg.
  5. Add a cup of wine and simmer until it has evaporated, which will take roughly 45 minutes. Add 800g of tomatoes and cook for three hours at a low simmer. When needed, add a splash of water.
  6. Serve the Bolognese meat sauce and grate some cheese over the top.

This can be served with pasta, crepes, jacket potato or as part of a risotto.

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