How to keep food costs as low as possible whilst its hot?

(24 Posts)
mmmmmchocolate Sat 20-Jul-13 10:19:44

I'm quite a decent cook, I can cook on a tight budget. Thinks like shepherds pie, braised meat with potatoes and veg. None of the things that you actually want to eat when it's 30 degrees outside.

So far this week I've cooked a roast chicken (£5 ish) with salad (£3ish) and homemade bread (60p ish)

Then we had chicken fajitas. Chicken (leftovers) peppers (1.60) onions (30p) spice mix (£1) salsa, guacamole and sour cream (£4ish- didn't use it all)

That's at least £15 for 2 meals, although I did have leftover fajita chicken last night there was only enough for me, the DC's had fish cakes and chopped veg with the leftover dips. I'm going to be bankrupt at this rate!

What are you cooking cheaply in the heat at the moment?

SavoyCabbage Sat 20-Jul-13 10:24:02

We have fish and rice a lot in the summer. And chicken wings, they are cheap.

We eat a lot of West Indian food in the summer too. That's cheap.

funnyossity Sat 20-Jul-13 10:29:05

Save on oven costs, don't cook.

Smoked mackerel, pork pie, hummous and the all important eggs, with of course salad ... my food is a lot duller than yours though!

I've just bought a salad spinner, it's far cheaper to buy a. Whole lettuce than a small bag.
Lots of flavoured rices, only around 39p a microwave packet from b& m etc
Frozen fish is cheap, we had lovely smoked haddock the other day £3 for four fillets

starfishmummy Sat 20-Jul-13 10:38:37

Unless you can use a lettuce up in one go, buy the crisper varieties- cos, romaine etc as they will keep better in the heat.

Tortilla (Spanish omelettes) goes well with salad. Leftover wedges will keep for another day - maybe for a lunchbox. Although not traditional you can add small pieces of any leftover meat.

mmmmmchocolate Sat 20-Jul-13 15:22:09

Thanks for that link savoy. Lots of yummy things there! I made my own hummous last week and it was far nicer than the claggy shop brought.

I never thought of a Spanish omelette, I'll give that a go this week! I think I'm going to have to try and hit the fish counter at closing time and see what is going cheap.

Mum2Fergus Sat 20-Jul-13 16:50:04

Been salads for us for nearly 2 weeks now...I bulk but salad stuff and make it up into portions in jars with tight lids with a sheet of kitchen roll at bottom to absorb moisture...keeps fresh for ages and is already in portions so makes mealtime super easy...

Lioninthesun Sat 20-Jul-13 16:56:04

Tomato and mozzarella salad and boiled eggs /and ham or egg sarnies seem to be what gets us through the heat. Fish and rice are good too (tinned mackerel is cheap and the one with tomato can be nice mixed into rice with some peas and onions etc),

confusedofengland Sat 20-Jul-13 16:58:53

Pasta is a good dish for hot weather - either carbonara style (cheese & bacon) or with tomatoes, or with meat (bolognese style).

specialsubject Sat 20-Jul-13 22:34:04

we are eating lots of stir-fries (Although we are growing some of it).

4kg bag of rice for £6 or less. cheap frozen white fish fillets, fish sauce, whatever veg to hand, lovely light meal. If you have an Aldi or B and M near by, their stirfry sauce sachets are around 30p.

LegoCaltrops Sat 20-Jul-13 22:51:21

Buy the ultra cheap value rice packs for about 29p, & add a sliver of stock cube, pinch of mixed herbs & handful of frozen peas if you like. Just as nice as the fancy packet rice, for much less money.

Tuna, Hummus & grated carrot sandwiches. Add a few cumin seeds & some alfalfa sprouts if you have them (I grow my own - very cheap & nutritious). Makes a little tin of tuna go a long way.

Smoked mackerel pate - cheap pack of cooked smoked mackerel, mix with some cream cheese, add lemon juice & black pepper to taste. Keeps a couple of days in the fridge with lid or cling film on. Good for sandwiches, on toast or crackers.

Leftover pasta or potatoes, make into salad (I cook extra on purpose).

Pre soak rice to reduce cooking time (& therefore fuel cost).

devonsmummy Sat 20-Jul-13 23:11:10

Jacket potatoes
Pasta salads
Toasted sandwich with salad

specialsubject Sun 21-Jul-13 10:13:14

make the most of it - it all ends tomorrow!

chocoshopoholic Tue 23-Jul-13 21:31:03

Following a tip from last summer I have lettuce growing in an ice cream tub on the window sill. Seeds were 69p in Wilkos and there are loads!

bettybyebye Thu 25-Jul-13 20:32:32

I've just made some yummy spicy turkey burgers for our tea. 500g turkey mince (£1.99 in aldi) mixed with red onion, garlic, curry powder and egg yolk made 6 burgers - lovely served in a bun with some mango chutney!

BiddyPop Fri 26-Jul-13 13:18:30

It would mean having it 2 nights in a row, but use a half tin of clams with some pasta, olive oil that you saute garlic in, toss in handful cherry tomatoes (or regular tomatoes diced small) and your clams, perhaps a squeeze of lemon juice - delish and light. So worth the seeming expense of a tin of clams. (Someone else may well have another idea for the spare clams instead).

Or a tin of crab meat to mix with mashed potato, couple of sliced spring onions (or small regular onion) and half a small tin of sweetcorn, form into patties and do the flour, egg, breadcrumbs trick with. Fry and serve with salad (and sweet chilli sauce if you have any - but fine without - I've used garlic mayo at times too).

The other half of the sweetcorn, you could make a nasi goreng. Drain the oil from a tin of tuna in oil into a pan and fry onion, add garlic, then add mix of whatever other veg you have (mushrooms, courgette, peppers, frozen peas, mange tout, french beans, broad beans, etc all good) and the corn, add the tuna, add a couple of tablespoons of mild curry powder and stir through. Then add pre-cooked rice, stir through again and allow to cook until rice is properly hot. Absolute favourite here.

Homemade pizza where crust is not too thick and not overloaded with toppings. (There are lots of different bases available now - but if you are a bread maker that should be an option for you?).

Tuna melts?

We'er just doing a lot of salads, some BBQs (which are a lot less meat and a lot more veggies on skewers than normal), some lighter pasta dishes (some of which I'm doing BIG pots of, freezing spare and then making it into a pasta bake the following week with some added breadcrumbs and cheese on top) and trying to empty the freezer. I am going to do crab cakes next week one night (it's a regular favourite when we have spare mash).

BiddyPop Fri 26-Jul-13 16:23:59

Another thing we are eating a fair amount recently is puff pastry rolled out, some sundried tomatoes (I make oven-dried ones in summer when I find proper tasty toms) or a jar of bruschetta mix, with a ball of mozarella (69c) torn over the top and baked for 20-30 mins. Serve with salad leaves (I like rocket for this, and will use the rest of a bag in salads, rocket is one of the easiest and fastest to grow salads for a windowbox).

Showtime Sun 28-Jul-13 23:43:16

Favourite hot-weather meal is based on plain cottage cheese (good protein, easily digestible,) with any fruits and veges available, think plates of horsd'oevres/left-overs, surprisingly good.

moomoo1967 Thu 08-Aug-13 14:57:57

Baked potatoes - fillings can be anything left over -
coleslaw
cottage cheese
tuna mayonnaise
bolognaise
chilli
sour cream and chives
prawn mayonnaise
or any other cold filling
It won't let me copy the line but go onto www.goodtoknow.co.uk and put in the search field "baked potato fillings" and there are ideas

Octopus37 Sat 17-Aug-13 16:11:35

The other day I went to Iceland and bought a load of ready meals. Spent £21.25 (obviously will need a few more bits for over the week), shop was as follows:
Chilli Coleslaw
Garlic bread slices
Burger Buns
Burgen bread
1 BBQ Chicken pizza pie
1 pack of two cheese & tomato baguette pizza
1 Chicken fajita pizza
1 Chilli beef pizza
2 Toad in the hole ready meals
2 Spaghetti and meat ball ready meals
1 Chicken tikka lasagne
2 Spag bol
2 Piri piri chicken ready meals
1 Chinese takeaway chicken with black bean sauce
1 Chinese takeaway singapore rice
2 King size twix bars

Everything we have eaten so far has been nice. Think I may be doing a lot of this in the run up to Christmas to save some money.

OverTheFieldsAndFarAway Sat 17-Aug-13 16:18:05

Octopus, by the time you factor in manufacturing, transportation and packaging costs what you are eating is worth less than 10p.....what kind of meal is it for 10p.

OP, have you tried homemade pizza, it's cheap,easy to make, tastes much better than store bought and is far healthier.

Octopus37 Sat 17-Aug-13 17:12:51

Tasty tbh. I can cook and quite enjoy it and I have made homemade pizza in the past but cannot stand labouring over a meal and then my DS's refusing to eat it. Also don't find cooking from scratch that cost effective, if I did I would do a lot more. Sorry not looking to start a bun giths just thought that other posters might be inspired by how much you can get for your money.

TheSecondComing Sat 17-Aug-13 17:23:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Octopus37 Sat 17-Aug-13 19:47:25

Obviously with a bit of fruit and veg thrown in. We also eat lots of humus and multi grain bread for lunches

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