budget cooking ideas needed urgently!!

(37 Posts)
Lisajane2810 Wed 03-Jan-18 15:03:59

hi am really skint after christmas and need to feed 2 adults 1 teen and 2 cats for 10 days as cheaply as possible! going to lidl on friday and am off saturday so can do some batch cooking if needed.
looking for cheapest meals and recipes anyone can think of please

OP’s posts: |
AdoraBell Wed 03-Jan-18 20:07:05

Veg, rice, lentils and pasta or potatoes.

What do you have in the cupboards, and are there any food restrictions or fussy eaters?

LegoCaltrops Wed 03-Jan-18 20:10:28

What kitchen equipment do you have? (Example - pressure cooker, slow cooker, massive saucepan like you'd use for making stew & jam). Anything normal items you don't have - e.g. I don't have an electric kettle or a microwave.

MrsMotherHen Wed 03-Jan-18 20:11:22

Pasta bake jars 75p in asda big bag of pasta 50p garlic bread 50p (value one)

Sweet n sour jars/curry jars £1
frozen chicken chunks £2
Rice £1
Make enough to have left overs with jacket spuds

Omelettes are nice and cheap

Solasum Wed 03-Jan-18 20:12:47

Cheese on toast with tomato soup
Jacket potatoes with beans

MrsMotherHen Wed 03-Jan-18 20:13:07

Do you have spices and herbs ect?
I made an amazing bean chilli this weekend it was very cheap to make to could easily go two days.

BrieAndChilli Wed 03-Jan-18 20:13:39

Jacket potatoes and beans
Pasta bake - can chuck anything in eg a couple of sauasages chopped up and put in goes much further than putting whole sausages on a plate iykwim?
Eggs on toast
Spagbol /chilli, bulk out with red lentils


LegoCaltrops Wed 03-Jan-18 20:15:10


The above site is definitely worth a look.

Keepcalmanddrinkcoffee Wed 03-Jan-18 22:55:38

Lidl still had some 20p veg potatoes and carrots get swede and onion or leek.
Make soup. I add lentils and yellow split peasant but have them in my store cupboard.
Chicken thigh portions are £1.79. Roast chicken take flesh off make chicken pasta bake or stew. I can make two family meals. Boil bones and skin. Use fat that came out of chicken in stock.
This gives you a stock for your soup. Freeze in portions.
Beans on toast.
Cheese and ham toasties.Cheap ham in Lidl.
Tinned spaghetti on toast sprinkle cheese on.
Beans on baked potatoes.
Tuna pasta bake.
Pasta with a cheap homemade tomatoe sauce sprinkle on cheese.
What leftovers do you have in freezer we could give you ideas?Dumplings are filling and cheap to go in a stew.
Homemade scones cheap and good for snacks.
If you have mince put in lots of veg and make a cobbler.
Savory rice. Fry an onion add any veg or meat and cooked rice.
Vegetable curry.
Egg on toast.
Omelettes. Use any leftovers in them too.

Keepcalmanddrinkcoffee Wed 03-Jan-18 22:56:26

Yellow split peas.

Lisajane2810 Thu 04-Jan-18 10:15:25

I have a slow cooker and we live pasta chicken etc but trying to do a bit veggy this month. Can't decide where to do our shop. Asda will have more choice as bigger but lidl and Aldi cheaper I'm told. Which is cheaper for your basic ingredients to cook with?

OP’s posts: |
Lisajane2810 Thu 04-Jan-18 10:17:46

Dd would be quite happy with noodles for a week but would rather be a bit more nutritious in her meals!

OP’s posts: |
picklemepopcorn Thu 04-Jan-18 10:28:41

I think Asda veg is cheaper st the moment.

The food isn't the problem I find, it's the snacks.

So pasta and homemade tomato sauce, soup etc is really cheap. Cake and biscuits, yogurt and snack cheese is really expensive.

What do you tend to spend a lot on? Drinks? Cheese?

BahHumbygge Thu 04-Jan-18 12:28:59


Baked beans


Tinned sardines/fish
Vegetable soup
Red lentil & tomato soup


Mince based
Bolognese - bulk out with red lentils, veg & mushrooms
Chilli - bulk out with beans
Mexican lasagne - layers of tortilla wraps, chilli & cheese on top
Shepherd’s pie - either add a can of baked beans to the bottom of the dish, or bulk out the mince with precooked green/brown lentils.

Cheap cuts
Lamb/ox heart. If you’re wary of offal, heart is fine - the heart is a muscle and has a different texture from liver/kidney. Makes a great bourguignon.
Pork cheeks - takes a long while to cook (unless you have a pressure cooker) but is delicious and meltingly tender. Do an apple/cider based recipe and add a touch of cream near the end.
Beef shin.

Try shopping in one of the main supermarkets around tea time for 10p bargains. Look in each of these sections - F&V, chiller, bread and meat. Many things can be frozen - check the label. You could also cook up your bargains in advance and freeze eg make soup with 10p leeks.

Aldi/Lidl for Super-6 fruit&veg offers. Plus cheap storecupboard stuff like tins of tomatoes.

Lisajane2810 Thu 04-Jan-18 12:33:42

Probably meat and fish I spend most on so will just have to go without them!

OP’s posts: |
Lisajane2810 Thu 04-Jan-18 12:35:19

Also packed lunch items but will buy a large size bag and divide into sandwich bags.

OP’s posts: |
picklemepopcorn Thu 04-Jan-18 16:19:15

Cheap packed lunch ideas:

Left overs- pasta bake is popular in my house, and is eaten cold if there isn't a beating up option.
Crackers instead of bags of crisps.
Home made pots of jelly/tinned fruit.
A little pot of frozen peas- really tasty when they have defrosted, and keep the lunch cool, too.
Carrot sticks (or any other cheap crunchy vegetable) in a tub with a blob of cream cheese or salad cream.

I haven't done lunches since before the days of the lunch box police, mind. We had Home made flapjacks and peanut butter sandwiches in our day!

AtleastitsnotMonday Thu 04-Jan-18 20:26:52

If you pop your own, popcorn is seriously cheap for lunch boxes
Make your own hummus, tinned or even cheaper, dried chickpeas, oil, garlic, lemon juice, cumin (tahini if you happen to have it) and blitz
Serve with grated carrot in a wrap,or sandwich or with carrot, cucumber and toasted pita strips.
Roasted chickpeas sprinkled with smoked paprika make tasty snack.
Home made flapjack is also really cheap.
Cream cheese and cucumber sandwiches.

Lisajane2810 Fri 05-Jan-18 17:35:04

mil gave us 6 jars of pate in our xmas hamper. last year no one touched it but amazingly dd loves it this time. thats s andwiches sorted smile

OP’s posts: |
ginorwine Fri 05-Jan-18 21:09:52

Jack monroe blog
Eg her 9p burgers are fab
It's one onion
One carrot
One tin value red kidney beans
She adds coriander - this is lovely , but added expense if fresh - they are fab - my meat eating son loves them .

ivykaty44 Fri 05-Jan-18 21:14:00

Shakshuka is one of my favourite comfort foods but seriously cheap at approximately £2 for each meal (once you have cumin and paprika)

LockedOutOfMN Fri 05-Jan-18 21:27:21

If you have any kind of blender, you can make an easy soup from onion, potatoes and carrots, plus a little olive oil, water, and seasoning (salt, at least). Chop and then gently fry to soften one or two onions in a tablespoon of olive oil. Wash, then roughly chop 2kg of carrots, put in a big pan, cover with water, bring to the boil then leave to simmer until the carrots have lost their hardness. You can add a stock cube to the carrot water if you have one / if you like (I hate the taste of stock cubes in salt so I leave them out). Wash, then peel and chop 500g of potatoes, cover with water, bring to the boil then leave to simmer until soft. Drain the cooked potatoes.

If you're using a stick blender, add the cooked potatoes and onion place in a deep sided container with the carrots (you can use the pan that the carrots were cooked in, if it's big enough). If you're using a food processor, pop all 3 veg in there along with the water the carrots were cooked in. Blend until you achieve the consistency you like. Taste the blended soup and then add salt to season (not necessary if you used a stock cube), then any other seasonings you like and have to hand, e.g. black pepper.

LockedOutOfMN Fri 05-Jan-18 21:32:55

Eggs are cheap, nutritious, filling and versatile.

As with BrieandChilli's pasta bake, 2 or even 1 rasher of bacon chopped up in an omelette, and a slice or cube of cheese seems to go further than if the bacon and cheese were served separately.

Grate cheese for things like cheese on toast or in jacket potatoes as you will use less (and not notice the difference).

Jelly is a cheap and cheerful dessert; you can also make blancmange if you have some cornflour.

Fruits like clementines and satsumas (as well as others) are inexpensive this time of year and taste lovely.

LockedOutOfMN Fri 05-Jan-18 21:35:20

As per picklemepopcorn's suggestion, "leftover" pasta with tomato sauce, any dried herbs you have in the cupboard, and some grated cheese or chopped ham, bacon or sausage, is often cheaper as a packed lunch than making sandwiches.

AdoraBell Fri 05-Jan-18 23:45:22

The meat and fish can be made to go further. Mince for spaghetti bolognaise padded out with grated carrot and chopped mushrooms. Makes half the amount of mince go further. Ditto chilli with extra veg and beans. Sausages can be sliced, bacon chopped small for pasta dishes/risotto. Chicken thighs chopped for curry/oven bake/ stir fry. If you buy chicken breast slice it once cooked and serve a base of carbs and veg. That way instead of say 4 breasts for 4 people you can use 3 breasts. Fish works the same.

Basically if you slice or chop the protein and increase the veg you can get away with much less of the expensive ingredients.

And flavour things with herbs or spices so it doesn’t feel like you are going without by eating bland food.

Also, while money is tight buy things like whole milk instead of skimmed, full fat yoghurt etc. If you have flour make pancakes for a weekend breakfast and eat them with whatever fruit you have and some honey/syrup/chocolate/yoghurt. I do a simple 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of milk and 1 egg. That makes fairly thick pancakes, or you can thin it down if you prefer. I add a small bit of melted butter, nicked that idea from Nigella, and it avoids having to oil/add more butter to cook each pancake.

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