Your Cheapest Recipe (share please!)(96 Posts)
I have been reading threads on here and on Money Saving Expert with how people feed their families on small amounts of money per week. I have a family of 2 adults and 1 toddler and cannot get my grocery bill (including cleaning products - no toiletries) to less than £80 per week. I have a few must haves, organic milk, cheese and yoghurts, free range eggs and chicken and good quality British other meat. I still think I should be able to get my food bill down though as I have read other posters who manage to spend a lot less than I do. I am thinking the problem could be the lack of low cost recipes I have access to, and thought it would be nice to do a thread where we each share our one lowest cost recipe that we can make. It doesn't have to be anything fancy, it doesn't have to be cooked from scratch, it doesn't even have to be healthy, anything goes.....
I will start us off with pesto pasta and salad
Teaspoon of pesto per person
50g pasta per person
Small side salad of lettuce, tomato and cucumber
Cook the pasta, stir in the pesto and done! (Serve with side salad to get one of your 5 a day)
I feel I have cheated slightly by doing such an easy recipe using shop bought pesto but as I said anything goes......
Roast tomato & pepper with Gnocchi.
Chop some tomatoes with a red pepper and bake with some garlic cloves in a bit of oil. Blitz in a processor when blackened slightly and serve with gnocchi or pasta and some grated cheese.
Or even cheaper do this with a couple of chicken thighs.
Lamb ribs stew (About £1.50 in Morrisons would feed 3 if bulked out easily)
Ribs, carrots/veg of any kind/potatos , herbs/garlic/salt/pepper anything else you want
Cook for 3 hours , serve with bread and butter
Chick pea curry. Tin of chick peas, onion, leftover veg, 1/4 of coconut block ( cheaper than a tin and can freeze the rest), table spoon of curry powder, tin of toms.
Pretty cheap, and makes so much.
So many great ideas here scribbles them down furiously before remembering I can print them off
200g of the cheap deli meat in Morrisons (the ends of slicing joints etc £1.18 for 200g) thrown in the slow cooker with any veg (root veg, lightly fried onion, frozen peas, frozen peppers, mushrooms etc.) and some stock. Canned lentils and beans work too. Cook for a couple of hours. Throw in some handfuls of pasta an hour before you want to eat it and add more stock if needed. I make a loaf of bread and serve it with that but you could use cheap part baked loaves.
It also works with the ends of roasts. A little meat goes a long way and it's very tasty. Sainsburys sell 100g packs of cooked ham hock at 2 for £2.50 which works as well.
Fried rice, I always do it with leftover rice from the previous day. Add whatever you like - frozen peas/sweetcorn, egg, shredded meat, a cheapo bag of stirfry veg. Add some seasoning like soy sauce, chilli, etc. Takes 5 mins, nutritious, filling and is really really nice... I can verify that my small fussy children love it too.
A pan of scouse - potatoes, swede, carrot, onion, meat and one too many oxo cubes! Serve with pickled red cabbage/beetroot and a crusty cob! I lob a few dumplings into mine which is not traditional but I love a good dumpling.
Corned beef hash - corned beef, cooked potato and onion roughly chopped and fried all together. Serve with a fried egg on top and brown sauce.
Tescos after 8pm is a winner for us. Lots of reductions.
best to buy a whole ham on offer and cook it them slice thinly for sandwiches. Can be frozen and taken out when needed.
I would suggest looking at your cuts of meat - chicken breasts are absurdly expensive, you'd be better using thighs, you can get them boned/skinned now, or alternatively use drumsticks etc with bone in, with something like honey & mustard and roasted. Also you can get some lovely cheap beef cuts - I really like shin of beef for stews, its much cheaper (I can even afford it in Waitrose, and don't get any other meat from there, ever), and so nice.
Have you tried going to supermarket 20 mins before closing? They often reduce a lot of stuff, especially bread thats been baked in store. Make sure you've a bit of space in your freezer, then you can just squirrel it away. I think most things in my freezer are either home made or have a yellow sticker
Can I ask a question? I've just made scones as a cheap alternative for dds packed lunch. How long will they stay fresh.
I have another cheapy recipe that I made the other night. it's much liked in here.
Chop 2lbs of onions and set o fry in a mix of butter and oil over a medium heat. After about 20mins, season with salt, pepper, a sprinkle of sugar and 1tspn of cumin. Cook in for a couple of minutes. Sprinkle over 1tblspn flour and 1tblspn mild curry powder, stir in and cook for a couple of minutes. Gradually add 1 pint of milk, stirring all the time. Gradually bring to the boil, stirring all the time, then reduce heat and simmer for about 25-30mins until it is a kind of creamy sauce. Meanwhile cook 2 cups of rice in 4 cups of water, add 6 eggs for the last 10 minutes. When the rice is done. remove the eggs, stir the rice, cover and set aside. Run the eggs under the cold tap until they are cool enough to handle. Peel the eggs and chop into quarters. Serve the rice onto plates, top with the egg quarters and spoon over the sauce. If you have it, you can sprinkle some chopped coriander or parsley over the top for a bit of colour. Serves 4, costs between 60p and 70p per head.
You could try letting your dinner menu for the week be dictated by what is on offer & what's reduced rather than buying the same thing every week. At my DSs uni they only have a Morrisons and they say whatever is on offer there is what most students will be eating that week - how true it is I don't know but DS lives on pasta, chicken, sausages and has had to become very inventive - cooking up casseroles and other meals without spending very much.
Personally I'm a supermarket whore and go wherever the best prices are but I do have the luxury of time to do this and have the choice of several supermarkets on the doorstep.
Pasta bake with lentils and mushrooms
Ingredients: a few mushrooms, 3 oz red lentils, an onion, tin of tomatoes + dribble of puree, dried herbs. 2-3oz of penne pasta per person. Grated cheese ( optional)
Boil lentils in water until soft. Cook pasta.
Make a tomato sauce with onions, tinned tomato and puree, add the mushrooms and herbs. Make the sauce quite runny as the lentils will still soak up some fluid. Mix together and then bake in over for 20-30 minutes with cheese on top if using. Very filling and comforting.
This recipe is much tastier than it sounds - I got it from an Italian cook book -
Boil spaghetti as normal (approx 8 mins) - however much you normally eat.
Cut up a broccoli head into small florets and add to water for four mins.
Drain and add garlic infused olive oil - not a lot and then serve grating parmesan and black pepper over the top
You can use cauliflower or a mixture of the two
I don't really like bread, so it would be lost on me. But selling them is a good idea. Or taking them back to my mum, she'd be impressed!
If you can find time to fit it in, making bread/rolls/pizza bases would be worthwhile, particularly if selling them casually to friends/party-throwers.
Im a lone student next year, this year i have been living with parents all meals sorted.
I have budgeted £25.00 per week for myself. Just for food.
This is what i think i am going to do:
Farmfoods frozen chicken (I think a bag was around £5.00's) I'd have to buy fresh and freeze it for myself anyway.
Frozen veg - same as chicken, it'd go off
Pound shop have some great sauce's 2 for £1.00 couscous same great for taking in a packed lunch. 6 WW points per portion, but cheap and yummy.
I'm not too fond of bread or milk, so have no problems buying own brand of either.
& I will probably buy packet Rizotto, which is expensive but i love it. & quicker than cooking.
Any other hints ladies? Great thread!
I had my first "Aldi" experience last week. I spent £41 for 2 adults 1 DS. That included pack up stuff but no toileteries/laundary stuff.
Im hooked!! I worked it out that this would of cost around £70 or so in other supermarkets.
I have always turned my nose up at Aldi but I tell you one thing its brilliant, good quality food and I quite enjoyed th fact it was small and I was in and out within 20 mins - normally takes well over an hour
I love those flan bases and always have. I usually do mine with veggie jelly and strawberries or peaches. This banoffee flan sounds great, especially for when we have loads of guests.
Cheap but impressive banoffee flan for pud.
You need one large sponge flan case (Morrison's are cheapest I've found), spread with one tin of Carnation caramel stuff (it's amazing and you don't have to boil the tin for hours!), top with 2 sliced bananas and a small pot of whipped cream. Feeds 8 easily.
We had the lentil and tomato soup last night with a swirl of pesto and brown bread, it was really nice, even my fussy DS proclaimed how good it was.
Well done on cutting your costs so much. I can't add to the very good ideas already given, but could you lower the expectations of your weekend guests? The Shepherd's pie is a good idea, maybe the next week a pasta bake and basic fruit salad or yoghurts, then jacket spuds with baked beans. Obviously I don't know why you feed everyone every weekend, but if it's draining your resources then adjust and give them normal food rather than a full on 3 course meal.
Meat!! The only meat I bought this week were 2 packs of RSPCA Freedom Food ham. Next week I will try and make some more changes on other items.
Well done, what did you economise on? <gets notebook out>
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