What's your favourite frugal meal?

(47 Posts)
Clearlymisunderstood Tue 24-Sep-13 23:39:41

We try to eat as frugally as possible but am feeling despondent at the moment as we seem to be eating the same old boring dishes on repeat (pasta pesto anyone grin)
So was just wondering what your favourite frugal meals are (read: I am going to steal your ideas)

Vegetable risotto. Risotto rice (70g per person), stock cube, leek, onion, carrots, any other veggies of choice, garlic clove crushed, salt and pepper and a dash of mixed herbs if you have them. Cheap and easy and even the kids like it. smile

Clearlymisunderstood Tue 24-Sep-13 23:46:09

Ooh that sounds delish! Pretty sure I have some risotto rice lurking in the cupboard too smile

Mine's chicken pasta bake. I use leftover chicken from the sunday roast. Fry up onion, bit of garlic, mushrooms, basics cream of chicken soup, good sprinkle mixed herbs. Add leftover chicken (I tear it up small so it goes further), add pasta, grate cheese on top.

If I buy a large chicken, and use some careful ingredient shopping, I can feed the three of us for a week for under £25. Not on the whole chicken obviously. But it does help.

Mushrooms on toast is another one I seem to fall back on a lot.

Tomato soup. A few onions, some garlic, two or three tins of tomatoes depending on how many you're feeding, maybe a veg stock cube with a cup of water. Herbs - fresh or dried.
Whizz it after it's been simmering away for a while. I add some cream if I have any.
Kids totally love it and so do I.

Oh and homemade pizza is super cheap and goes far!

Dough: 400g plain flour, sachet of yeast, 1.5 cups warm water, 1.5 teaspoon sugar, pinch of salt, tablespoon vegetable oil.

Sauce: tin chopped tomatoes, clove of garlic, tablespoon of ketchup, sprinkling of chilli powder (optional)

Any toppings you choose (veggies being cheapest, we also use leftover mince/chicken/single slice of bacon chopped) mixture of cheddar, mozzarella, etc dependant on cost and taste.

Makes three massive pizzas (there are six of us) for much less than the cost of a tasty frozen one.

Eachandevery, that soup recipe sounds great. I'll be giving that a go this week. Will be very low cal for my diet too smile

polosareverynice Wed 25-Sep-13 00:21:30

Mines a variation of cottage pie butternut squash £1 3 white potatoes out of a bag costing £2.50 mixed medterrainian (sp) veg £1 mince costing £3 using about half the bag and saving the rest boil up the squash and taters fry up the mince and mixed med veg crumble in a beef stock cube (i've always got these in but cheapest are about 30p i think) layer mince and taters and sprinkle a little grated cheese (never pay more than £2 for a block) and since i grate cheese it goes further serve with any old veg if desired. This normally feeds four easily but in our house usually gone in the same evening! (its fab reheated as well)

Naoko Wed 25-Sep-13 00:26:28

Broccoli soup, especially as it's also really easy and lazy. Buy 900g bag of frozen broccoli (you can do it with fresh too but it's more expensive and once you've turned it into soup you can't tell the difference), 3 good size potatoes, 200ml double cream, some stock cubes (or fresh stock if you make it) and an onion. Chop the onion and gently soften it in some oil. Peel and chop the potatoes and add it to the onion, then tip in the entire bag of frozen broccoli and add about 1l of stock. Simmer the whole thing until the broccoli is very soft, then whizz it with a hand blender, add the double cream, and season it with whatever you prefer. I like smoked paprika and chilli powder for a bit of sweetness and kick, but you can just do salt, pepper and green herbs if that's more your thing.

This makes a MASSIVE vat of soup. I serve me and DP a big bowl each with a bake-off baguette from Aldi each (about 40p for 2) and it's plenty filling, the last time I made it in these quantities it fed us four nights like that. Not four nights in a row, I froze it, which works fine.

souperb Wed 25-Sep-13 21:09:41

I love the idea of making soup from frozen veg!

We love a mix of fried onion & garlic, tin of mixed pulses (or soaked dried ones), tin of kidney beans in chilli sauce, tin of toms. Add extra chilli/tabasco if desired. Simmer for 5-10 minutes. Serve with rice, or jacket spud, or on toast. I especially like that it is not only quick, but I can keep the tins in the back of secret cupboard to whisk out for emergency cba/chaotic day meal.

iklboo Wed 25-Sep-13 21:18:39

Scoopy out jacket spuds. Bake the potatoes, halve & scoop out the flesh. Mash & add cheese, onion, sweetcorn, maybe some ham or bacon if you've got any. Spoon back into shells & pop under the grill to heat back up. Serve with salady bits.

hannahem Thu 26-Sep-13 09:22:24

Macaroni cheese, the kids love it. It's pretty easy to make (boil up the macaroni, make a white sauce from butter, flour and milk, add cheese, mix together and pop in oven for 20mins). If you've got some, it's lovely with a rather of bacon or two.... These recipes all sound great,it's making me hungry!

BrownSauceSandwich Sat 28-Sep-13 11:22:44

Good ideas here! Thanks all.

For me, rice and peas www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/riceandpeas_81543 we do ours with a pile of chilli, and a bit of sweetcorn. And instead of buying tins of coconut milk, we get the blocks of creamed coconut, so you chisel off a bit and dissolve in hot water, and stick the rest back in the cupboard for next time.

Also veggie noodle broth: simmer good veggie stock with chilli, grated ginger and garlic, and a drizzle of sesame oil, then add egg noodles, and a handful of frozen sweetcorn and frozen soya beans, maybe some finely sliced carrots, then just bring back to he boil so the veggies stay crisp. The frozen soya beans might seem an extravagance, but a packet goes far, and it's cheap protein. If you had leftover cooked meat, you could shred that in too.

mrspolkadotty Sun 29-Sep-13 10:13:35

Spanish Omelette is a good one - Sliced potatoes, onions, peppers if you have any, eggs, dash of milk, salt and pepper. If we're having a meal using baby potatoes i will cook extra and slice up to make this the following night or a couple of tins of value potatoes (around 19p) are cheap and easy.

Slice the potatoes and fry them along with the onions and peppers (if using) until veg is soft and potatoes are golden. Add your egg & milk mixure and cook on the hob until the egg is setting , then sprinkle with grated cheese and finish off under the grill. Serve with salad or baked beans. I make a huge one using 8-10 eggs and it feeds 5 of us plus leftovers are taken in lunchboxes the next day.

Stew is cheap and filling - onions, potatoes, carrot, swede/turnip, a handful of pearl barley and whatever meat you fancy. I usually use leftover roast chicken plus the chicken stock. Serve with dumplings on the first night then the next day add a pastry top to leftover stew and serve with chips and peas.

Soup 'n' pudding nights are a favourite in our house - a big pan of hm soup and crusty bread followed by a hot pudding with custard. Favourite soups are potato & leek, pea and ham or carrot & coriander and puddings are either a crumble (apple & blackberry atm) or a suet sponge pudding, either jam or syrup.

hth

Ohhelpohnoitsa Sun 29-Sep-13 17:51:01

Please trust me on this.... morrisons curry sauce jar is 19p. 2 of these with fried courgettes and a tin of butter beans is delicious, or mushrooms and courgette or frozen brocolli & new potatoes (or any unused veg is good). Its nice, tasty not too hot but a bit punchy. for 19p you have to try it. It was 9p once!!

AdoraBell Sun 29-Sep-13 19:24:37

I like a Brown rice/lentil recipe from an Annebel Karmel book.

Fry onion and red pepper, or any veg you have in my casewink
Add mushrooms, lentils then rice, fry for a minute or Two then add stock
Once cooked add chopped spinach (if you have it) and chopped raw tomatoe. Season and serve. The Brown rice is a lot moré filling and takes longer to cook, roughly 35-40 mins.

Really you could make it with any veg or add chopped boiled egg if you don't have lentils.

NumptyNu Sun 29-Sep-13 22:26:10

Garlic spaghetti. Cook the spaghetti, briefly fry a couple of cloves of garlic (sliced). Combine and sprinkle salt and pepper.

Debs75 Sun 29-Sep-13 22:40:18

Macaroni Cheese is the kids favourite by a mile.

Mine is curried butternut squash soup. I used a big squash yesterday, cost about £1.75 with 2 small onions some garlic cloves salt and pepper. Roast for 45 mins then put in a pan with 2 pints of veg stock, boil and simmer for 20 mins. Cool and blitz. Toast some curry powder in a pan and sprinkle on top.
Total cost about £2.50 and I have made about 20 portions.
The best way is to make it thick as you can always add some water to it to make it go further. I have it thick for dinner but often put lodas of water to it to make it more like a cup a soup.

I serve it with a tiny bread roll I have made and weighed out so it is less Weightwatcher points

bsc Sun 29-Sep-13 22:42:31

Baked potatoes here- I love them with butter and cottage cheese.

ceeveebee Sun 29-Sep-13 22:46:59

Corn beef hash - potatoes, onions, Worcester sauce and of course corn beef. With a poached egg on top if feeling flash

scarlettsmummy2 Sun 29-Sep-13 22:48:20

Baked potatoes with beans and cheese and coleslaw. I make this even when I am not being particularly frugal!

dottygamekeeper Sun 29-Sep-13 23:02:34

lentil dhal (red lentils, turmeric, water, simmered and stirred till soft and porridgy, you can add fried onions on top at the end but I like it just as much without, similarly you can add other spices eg cumin, garlic, coriander etc) with rice, cucumber mint and yoghourt raita and a dab of chutney.

fakeblondie Thu 03-Oct-13 21:15:42

Ooh sorry marking place x

alabasterangel Thu 03-Oct-13 21:37:53

Undoubtedly this is one of our favourite meals ever. 400+ rave reviews can't be wrong! :

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1364/spicy-root-and-lentil-casserole

I have no clue why they call it a casserole; it's a curry! You can tinker with it too - read the reviews. I make my own fave version with potatoes, carrot and mushrooms, but you can do whatever you want. I've used leftover boiled pots, new pots, peppers, tinned mushrooms, quartered tomatoes, green beans, anything. You can also vary the curry paste. My best is verging on poky which is made with pataks madras, but I've done it with milder pastes for less of a kick.

I've also added at the end some chunks of leftover sunday chicken for the meat-eaters (so it makes a good meal where some are veggie and some aren't) although he says it's equally as good without.

Plain boiled rice and a wrap to wrap a big dollop in (like a roti) is beyond lovely. Re-heated the next day seems to bring out the flavour, and it freezes really well.....

BadSeedsAddict Thu 03-Oct-13 21:45:56

Marking place, these are great smile

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