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Budget cooking / baking ideas

(8 Posts)
Home77 Sun 31-Mar-19 13:15:32

I'm planning on saving money and also doing some baking / cooking. We're veggie, family of 4, two teen boys, me and DH. Currently spending too much - online shopping deliveries etc. Going to try some of the following-

Freezing stuff batch cooked
Baking- e.g. banana bread and flapjacks to add to lunches / snacks
Possibly buying frozen standard things from somewhere like Iceland and veg from the stall in town.

Any ideas welcome, or going in if doing the same. I'm a novice cook (but quite like it) and have used the Ministry of Food Jamie Oliver cookbook so far, just adding some quorn instead of meat (not keen on JO tbh but book seems helpful...)

One of my DCs likes quiche, the Higgidy one, but it is expensive so maybe going to try baking one next...

OP’s posts: |
maxelly Mon 01-Apr-19 11:56:52

Ooh good call. As you are a veggie family I would try and get into the wonderful world of dried and canned beans, lentils and pulses. Great nutritious sources of protein, much cheaper than quorn or other meat substitutes, especially if you have the storage space and cashflow to buy in bulk. I would look up some simple recipes for things like:

-Root veg stew bulked out with lentils
-Bean burgers
-Chickpea curry
-Daal
-Three bean chilli
-Tuscan bean soup
-Minestrone
-Lentil bolognese
-Lentil shepherds pie

All easy-ish to cook, can be scaled up so you can make a big batch and then freeze extra portions which can then be used for a lazy dinner when you CBA to cook or for a lean week at the end of the month, or if you freeze individual portions it can be like a 'ready meal' which someone can have as a quick dinner if they are out for some reason when the rest of the family are eating or don't like whatever the family are having.

Otherwise, if you want to save money rigourous anal meal planning is your friend. I aim for zero waste of food both for environmental and money saving reasons, this means I plan pretty much every meal we have including breakfasts and lunches, and only buy the ingredients for those meals in our once a week shop - I try and avoid 'top ups' as this is a deadly time for the purchase of random 'bargains' or things we just fancy!

I also keep lists of what we have in the fridge, cupboards and freezer so we don't buy duplicates and am aware if something is about to go off so I can plan a meal which uses it up. It sounds like a lot of effort but isn't really once you have the system set up and maintain as you go along. The downside is less flexibility - the family do sometimes moan that they don't fancy X for dinner and want Y instead but I work around this by having a good stock of frozen meals available so someone can always opt out of family meal without having to go and buy emergency supplies - DH does sometimes annoy me by 'surprising' us with an off-plan meal he's decided to buy and prepare, usually something elaborate and involving esoteric/expensive ingredients, but again the system has enough flex that I can usually postpone whatever the plan was for that day to later in the week and if he's made or bought too much it can be frozen or we can have leftovers for lunch etc.

There's a meal planners thread that runs over on the Food and Recipes board that you might want to think about joining for inspiration - quite a few veggies on there?

Home77 Mon 01-Apr-19 16:11:04

Thanks maxelly- that all sounds great, good ideas...yes I get a bit used to quorn as is what they will eat (are quite fussy) I would really love for us all to be able to eat a meal for all of us, so must give some of these a try. Thanks again.

Today, went to the fruit and veg stall and it was nice to use little brown bags for apples instead of plastic.

OP’s posts: |
Raver84 Tue 02-Apr-19 07:05:09

Veggie cheap meals I make are chickpea curry, bean chilli, omelette, pasta with home made tomato and pepper sauce, savoury pancakes, stirfry with noodles. All of those are so cheap. I often use frozen veggies to make.

Baking wise I regularly make cheese scones, ordinary scones, banana cake, fruit muffins, flapjacks and often a big Victoria sponge. I wouldn't say baking works out much cheaper but you get a more filling snack. I get all my baking stuff in aldi as it's by far the cheapest. Sugar and flour are around 50p.

Home77 Tue 02-Apr-19 09:51:36

Homebred stuff is much nicer i thing. Good ideas, mince loves scones!

OP’s posts: |
Home77 Tue 02-Apr-19 09:52:19

A big pan of home made soup goes down well here. Kids like butternut squash in theirs.

OP’s posts: |
Home77 Tue 02-Apr-19 09:52:40

Home-baked i meant, sorry.

OP’s posts: |
ivykaty44 Sat 06-Apr-19 07:01:32

Onion flan, onions are cheap and the pastry is easy - or buy ready rolled frozen, www.deliaonline.com/recipes/collections/delia-online-cookery-school/thick-onion-tart

Serve with bake beans either or make your own which is really easy to make your own and I found bulky so possibly better with two teenagers

www.deliaonline.com/recipes/books/delias-vegetarian-collection/broccoli-souffle-with-three-cheeses

I just use one cheese in her original recipe and it works, it’s easy and it’s a bit different, good for using if broccoli is lurking in the fridge with cauliflower ( it’s fine to use either or both) again we have this with beans

I’d suggest a bread machine, great for pizza dough as well as fresh bread. Pizza night is not expensive when you make your own. Use tinned tomato reduced and add purée if you want. I use toppings from the freezer- Mediterranean frozen veg, frozen pepper, cherry tomato, jarred olives cheese garlic

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