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Make It Snappy: Best Fast And Cheap Dinner Recipes

December 14, 2023 - 4 min read 

Cost of living crisis got you looking to save dollars on those midweek meals? Need to dish up cheap and easy eats on demand? We’ve got you covered with must-have cooking appliances and must-make recipes. To keep things thrifty on the fly, we’ve rounded up the best fast and cheap dinner ideas to keep the whole family happy. There’s a crowd-pleasing meatloaf recipe that’s even better than the one your mum makes (big call, we know!) and the best ovens and cooktops you need to deliver culinary crowd-pleasers in a flash. Bon appétit!

Two bowls of creamy vegetable soup sitting on blue gingham napkins on top of a timber cutting board and timber table.

Assemble Your Dream Team Appliances

To make our cheap and easy dinner ideas, you need the right tools for the job. “The best kitchen appliances make feeding the family a pleasure, not a chore,” says Tania Grillinzoni, The Good Guys Buyer – Cooking and Dishwashers. “Look for bumper-sized slow cookers that let you batch cook in advance, as well as energy efficient induction cooktops and air fryers that use less power to cook, which means less stress come bill-time.”
Looking for more ways to save money? Cut corners on the weekly shop by snapping up cheaper cuts of meat that are perfect for slow cookers, and pad out your meals with veggies for cheap, nutritious meals that keep you and your bank balance looking healthy. We’ve rounded up a week’s worth of nifty, thrifty recipes to satisfy the squad on a shoestring!

“The best kitchen appliances make feeding the family a pleasure, not a chore. Look for bumper-sized slow cookers that let you batch cook in advance, as well as energy efficient induction cooktops and air fryers that use less power to cook, which means less stress come bill-time.”

Easy Bolognese

Bolognese in the air fryer? No problem! Pop onion, garlic, tomato paste and mince into your air fryer for 10 minutes until browned, then add your tomato sauce for 15 minutes. Voila! A cheap and easy dinner idea that’ll have them begging for more.

Shop Air Fryers

Philips Essential Digital Airfryer XL White
Russell Hobbs 8 Litre Satisfry Extra Large Air Fryer

A young boy holds his fork above a bowl of homemade spaghetti in a red bowl.

Veggie Pasta Frittata

Combine budget-friendly pasta with healthy veggies for a deliciously easy dinner recipe. Throw cooked pasta and softened veggies such as zucchini, onion and capsicum into a microwavable dish. Cover with whisked eggs and milk, plus a generous serve of mozzarella, then cook in the microwave. Too easy!

Shop Microwaves

Samsung 23L 800W Microwave Stainless Steel
Westinghouse 23L 800W Microwave – White
Solt 20L 700W Microwave Black

product image of the Solt 20L 700W Microwave Black

Slow-Cooked Meatballs

Who doesn’t love meatballs? Either make your own or save even more time by using pre-bought. Throw them in your slow cooker (or your oven, on low and slow) with a jar of pasta sauce and simmer slowly for a quick dinner that hits the spot.

Shop Slow Cookers

Russell Hobbs 7L Matte Black Slow Cooker

Philips All-In-One Cooker

Crock Pot Crock-Pot Express Crock Multi-Cooker

Roast Veggie Soup

For the ultimate cheap and easy dinner recipe, let them eat soup! Bake a tray or two of seasonal veggies and herbs. Add to a pan of warm stock, then place in your blender and whizz up for the perfect cool-weather warmer. Serve with crusty bread and a dollop of Greek yoghurt for extra-creamy deliciousness. 

Shop Blenders 

NUTRIBULLET Mega Pack 900 Watt

KitchenAid Hibiscus Blender

Ninja Intelli-Sense Kitchen System

product image of the Ninja Intelli-Sense Kitchen System

Homemade Pizza

Thought making your own dough was a culinary marathon, not a sprint? Think again! Quickly and cheaply make fresh pizza dough by combining
1 cup of Greek yoghurt with 1 3/4 cups of self-raising flour, mix then knead. Add your toppings of choice then pop it in the pizza oven (or an oven with a pizza setting) for a midweek winner quicker than you can say,  “Mamma mia!”.

Shop Pasta Ovens 

Breville the Smart Oven Pizzaiolo

Solt Portable Pizza Oven

Welsh Rarebit

If anyone tries to tell you this is just cheese on toast, tell them they’re wrong! This classic savoury dish guarantees happy diners and empty plates. Whisk together cheese, egg, milk, mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Add to toasted bread slices, then grill until the cheese is golden for the ultimate comfort meal.

Easy Meatloaf Recipe That’s Even Better Than Your Mum’s!

If you’re looking to make an easy crowd-pleaser that’ll get them to the dinner table, you can’t go wrong with meatloaf! Quickly feed the whole family, thanks to this super-easy meatloaf recipe from Westinghouse.

Meatloaf wrapped in bacon on a timber board, a delicious slice in the foreground, and roasted potatoes on the side.

Prep time: 20 mins

Cook time: 60 mins

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 100g prosciutto (or streaky bacon)
  • 500g lean beef mince
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh multigrain breadcrumbs
  • 1 brown onion, grated
  • 150g (6 medium) mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs such as oregano, parsley or basil
  • 400g can cooked brown lentils, rinsed, well drained
  • 2 tbsp BBQ sauce
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp tomato sauce
  • 1 egg

Method

1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Lightly grease a 9 x 19cm loaf tin (approximately 7cm deep).

2. Use the prosciutto or bacon to line the base and sides of the tin.

3. Combine rest of ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well. This is best done by hand (if you have kids, they’ll love helping with this bit). Spoon into tin and press down with the back of a spoon.

4. Fold the prosciutto or bacon over the meatloaf to cover the top. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until golden and cooked through.

5. Allow to stand for 10 minutes before removing from the tin and cutting into thick slices. Serve with salad or roasted vegetables.

 

Can’t wait to whip up some quick and cheap dinners? Make it happen with The Good Guys!  Head online or in-store to find the best kitchen appliances that make cooking a breeze.

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