What food to buy that is easy to cook for £50

(21 Posts)
TheWelshDragon Fri 29-Dec-17 14:51:21

My budget is £50 per week for grocery shopping for 3 people, one is vegetarian. My health isn't great so I mostly cook things I can heat in the oven or microwave tbh.

Can someone help me with easy cheap meals but no pasta or spicy food as 2 of us struggle a bit with mild intolerances?

I cook jacket potatoes once a week, often a cottage pie, chicken goujons with rice and sauce, frozen fish with wedges ... then I run out of ideas. Dd veggie tends to make her own stuff, often pizza or quorn burgers/sausages.


OP’s posts: |
HotelEuphoria Fri 29-Dec-17 14:57:15

When I am in need of inspiration I just look on the BBC food website.

Stick something cheap in the Search function as a main ingredient like lentils, minced pork or turkey and you get dozens of recipe ideas to scroll through, all beautifully illustrated.

SuperLoudPoppingAction Fri 29-Dec-17 14:58:44

tin of chickpeas with a bit of tomato puree and garlic is nice - lemon juice maybe. with rice.

farmfoods seems to have cheap offers on veggie stuff quite often.

do you live close enough to a supermarket to send your dd to see if they have ready meals reduced at a certain time?

TheWelshDragon Fri 29-Dec-17 18:50:59

Sorry i should have said dp doesn't eat pulses.

We live near a Tesco express but they seem to reduce at different times. Usually only veg.

OP’s posts: |
Rainybohoho Fri 29-Dec-17 18:53:39

Can you eat cheese? I like to cook puff pastry tarts which are just a square of shop bought puff, topped with cheese and tomato or cheese and mushroom. You can use feta and spinach too. Also means you could add bits of ham or bacon for the non veggies.

AdaColeman Fri 29-Dec-17 18:57:27

Risotto is easy and cheap, made with mushrooms, or leeks and peas.
Have you tried cous-cous? That's quick and easy too, the meat eaters could have it with chicken and the vegetarian could have aubergine and cheese.

TheWelshDragon Fri 29-Dec-17 20:33:35

Risotto and pastry puffs sound nice.

OP’s posts: |


youngnomore Fri 29-Dec-17 20:37:51

Cauliflower cheese.

SingingGoldfinch Fri 29-Dec-17 20:44:34

Ratatouille - fry off a chopped onion and some crushed garlic then add chopped peppers and courgettes and a tin of chopped tomatoes plus some dried basil and salt and pepper. Simmer till veg is nice and soft. Serve with rice a baked potato or crusty bread. You can sprinkle with grated cheese too. Yummy! It's one of our go to cheap and cheerful veggie teas.

TheWelshDragon Sat 30-Dec-17 00:51:56

I love cauli cheese although dp doesn't and ratatouille is lovely too, but I don't make it because of the preparation. If I could I'd live off ready meals or jacket potatoes because they're easy but unfortunately ready meals aren't healthy and are expensive and dp is fed up of jacket potatoes ...

OP’s posts: |
AdaColeman Sat 30-Dec-17 00:58:52

You could make ratatouille using a bag of ready chopped frozen Mediterranean vegetables and a jar of Passatta, frozen veg often works out to be cheaper than buying fresh.

WaxOnFeckOff Sat 30-Dec-17 01:01:47

How about potato wedges as a change from baked potatoes? Just toss halved small potatoes or larger ones cut into wedges in a little oil and salt and bake in a bit oven. I use spices but you said that doesn't suit. They are good served with a bit of cold meat and salad and I like to melt a bit of cheese on them. Chicken thighs are tasty and inexpensive. Pilaf goes well with them.

WobblingWilma Sat 30-Dec-17 01:16:09


I’m in a similar situation health wise - mostly rely on things I can chuck in the oven or microwave

It depends on your situation and what you can manage but the BBC website does have some really good one pot meals. I struggle with chopping but if that’s also an issue for you, you can buy veggies pre-chopped - fresh is expensive, frozen much much cheaper, Asda does a massive range of frozen pre-chopped veggies for a pound a big bag.

So when I am well enough I use those frozen veggies and do a one pot meal with minimal prep.

In truth I often don’t have the energy so when I do I make a big vat of whatever it is and stick most of it in the freezer in individual portions which I can then pull out of the less good health days

ScreamingValenta Sat 30-Dec-17 01:25:09

Do you have a slow cooker (or could you budget to buy an inexpensive one - about £12 for an Argos one)? They are great for the sort of making and freezing Wilma mentioned, above. For your non-vegetarian meals, it would enable you to buy much cheaper stewing meat, which tastes better once slow-cooked than more expensive cuts.

cantthinkofabloodyname Sat 30-Dec-17 01:31:10

I love looking on here for cheap food inspiration. https://cookingonabootstrap.com

TheWelshDragon Sat 30-Dec-17 02:44:18

Thanks. Wobbling Any particular recipes you'd recommend?

I do have a slow cooker, just never sure what to put in it. We don't like stewing meat much, mince would be ok tho.

Thanks for the link cantthink.

OP’s posts: |
ivykaty44 Sat 30-Dec-17 03:38:56

Shackshuka is a favourite comfort food here, adjust herbs etc to suit your taste - really easy to make and vegetarian

Tortilla is an easy meal, cheap and again vegetarian www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/spanish-tortilla

Kursk Sat 30-Dec-17 03:44:31

My go to easy food is a kinda resotto. Boil rice, add a can of kidney beans, handfull of peas and maybe a egg. Or a vegetable cuppa soup. Very cheap and easy

MrsDilber Sat 30-Dec-17 04:10:11

Stew with onions, leeks, courgettes, carrots, parsnips a potato and vegetable stock, season to taste. A big one will last 2 days, you could always add meat for the carnivores. Part baked baguettes 50p for two. Chicken thighs £3 for 8 at Tesco, shove them in the oven whilst the stew stews. Delish!

MrsDilber Sat 30-Dec-17 04:12:40

Curry. Again, no meat for vegetarian, rice and nann.

Carbonara without the ham for veggie, a couple of garlic breads.

WobblingWilma Sat 30-Dec-17 12:51:18

Unfortunately most of the recipes I like involve pulses so I think wouldn't be great for you

This is really filling and could be made without butter beans, but it is meaty:


There's a 3 bean chilli on the good food site which is great, but I'm guessing no good.

I think on the BBC Good Food site you can search for one pot meals. I also use CookingOnaBootstrap... there's a lovely chickpea curry recipe, but I'm guessing that's a no too.

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