Penny-pinching families will be looking to make the most of their weekly grocery spend while in lock down.

With wages and salaries under threat, and perhaps, more than one million Aussies out of work for up to six months, supermakrets are wheeling out the big guns of cooking to help feed your family.

Jamie Oliver and Curtis Stone are the famous cooks that for years graced our TV screens in advertisements for two of our supermarket giants: Woolworths and Coles.

Jamie, one of the new age British bad boys of cooking, has even enlisted the help of his celebrity fans like R&B singer, Craig David, child actress, Lindsay Lohan and British comedian, Greg Davis to offer some of their favourites.

While Curtis, the sweetheart of simple Australian cooking, has partnered with the Coles dieticians and created a menu of nutritious meals.

They give us simple and easy recipes to feed the family (mum and dad, as well as two kids). What we’ve done, is pick from their extensive repertoire, meals for four for under $10. This means, you could put together five meals for under $50.

But who stacks up the best in terms of value? Well, their prices are just a few cents apart. Here are the chefs going head to head. You be the judge:

Jamie Oliver

Known for his fast-paced cookery, Jamie’s site links directly to the Woolworth site so you can see exactly how much your entire meal will cost for the family. From roasts, to vegetarian meals, it’s not easy to find, but if you sift carefully, you’ll find a bounty of recipes that will come under budget.

Bubble and Squeak

A classic English dish, bubble & squeak is typically made with leftovers. But makes for a hearty meal coming in autumn. The first recorded recipes were written in the early 1800s and normally used leftover meat or vegetables from Sunday’s dinner. But this recipe calls for just good old hearty vegetables. This mixture mainly consists of potato, but you can chuck in about 600g of any kind of veggies you fancy, or whatever is knocking about in the fridge. Fried, crispy and hot, this is a fantastic dish to get the kids to eat more veggies. Click here for the recipe.

Total cost: $7.50

Involtini di manzo

Looking to show off in at your Zoom dinner party? This Italian dish is will wow your mates once the lockdown is over. The dish calls for thinly sliced topside of beef. Generally, you can get away with spending a lot less on meat if you’re using the cheaper cuts. And this is a fantastic way of using this underrated cut. Wrap herbs and nuts into parcels and cook them in a rich tomato sauce. This serves four people. Click here for the recipe.

Total cost: $9.39

Maple glazed pork

Comparative to beef and lamb, pork is a fantastic and affordable option if you’re looking to feed a family and have leftovers for the next day. Spareribs is actually the cut of meat between the shoulder and the neck. It’s the same size and shape as a meaty bone-in rib. Pork spareribs are generally a cheaper cut of meat. This tasty recipe will have you use ingredients knocking around in the pantry. All you need it the pork. Pork prices can drop as low as $8.99 per rack. Click here for the recipe.

Total cost: $9.10


Carbonara cake

This is a delightfully simple, luxurious, yet slightly trashy meal that is sure to wow everyone. It gives you classic carbonara flavours, but with a crisp exterior to contrast with that creamy interior. Total comfort heaven. Using some of your favourite ingredients like pasta, cheese, cream and eggs, how can you not love this recipe. Click here for the recipe.

Total cost: $8.03

Sweet potato and blue cheese frittata

This is another delightful vegetarian dish. And it means that you won’t break the bank. Using very few ingredients, and a lot of pantry staples, you could get six portions out of one large sweet potato and a few eggs. It’s rich, and hearty and will fill the belly. Click here for the recipe.

Total cost: $9.96

Final cost: $43.99

Curtis Stone

The legendary Aussie chef has been extremely successful in his overseas ventures. But he is still the face of Coles, the second of our supermarket giants feeding the nation. Since 2017, Curtis has created recipes to feed the family for under $10. Let’s see how it stacks up against Jamie.

Cottage Pie

A simple, but a classic. Curtis Stone’s granny’s recipe for Cottage Pie has been a standout winner. Using mince, as well as some basics like celery, gravy and potatoes, you can feed a family of four, with some leftovers to spare. The hearty meal is nothing fancy, but it is comforting and warm as we head into winter. Click here for the recipe.

Total cost: $9.80

Cheesy broccoli pasta bake

Another one for the vegetarians, this pasta bake is meat free, once again, driving down the cost of the meal. While the cost might at the register might be blown out by the cheese, you’ll be able to get a couple of meals out of this haul. Click here for the recipe.

Total cost: Roughly $8

Zucchini schnitzel melts

Crunchy, crispy, gooey and melty. Curtis’ zucchini schnitzel melts are easy to make, and also won’t blow your weekly dinner budget. The zucchini cooked in this way, has a great meaty texture so the kids wouldn’t even think it’s another vegetarian dish. Click here for the recipe.

Total cost: $7.82

Fettuccini Bolognese

The humble Bolognese is a family favourite and Curtis shows you how to do it for under $10. Provided you have pantry staples like oil, garlic, onions and perhaps some pasta, you’ll be able to knock up this recipe in no time. Click here for the recipe.

Total cost: $10

Pork Milanesa with orange chimichurri

Get some pork on your fork. Pork, an underrated meat, is lean and healthy. Pork loin chops are served with an orange chimichurri, a twist on a traditional Argentina condiment. You’ll be using some items from the pantry, but Curtis has found a way for you to not spend too much on one of his family favourites. Click here for recipe.

Total cost: $8.02

Final cost: $43.64

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