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Low cost lunches

(15 Posts)
Turnedouttoes Wed 19-Feb-14 12:37:23

I meal plan meticulously for dinners but never organise anything for me to have for lunch. Looking for some healthy ideas as I tend to just pick during the afternoon.
Also anything which can be made quickly and cheaply would be great.

21mealspluscake Wed 19-Feb-14 13:59:26

I find it simplest to mostly make enough at night to have some left for lunch next day. Last night we had beef and mushroom cobbler with steamed veg, so lunch was (smaller) version reheated in the microwave. Tonight we're having potato and spinach frittata with a fennel and carrot slaw, easy cold tomorrow. I usually put the leftovers into tubs ready for next day so it's quick as well as easy.

Some days I buy a treat or have a standby supply of miso soup, amybe some fruit

TyneTeas Wed 19-Feb-14 18:36:40

I usually plan leftovers for a couple of lunches too (not always what we've had the night before, but will freeze small amounts of leftover chilli or bolognese to have with a baked potato) and then make soup for a couple of lunches.

Tomato is particularly low cost and will freeze tyne-teas.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/tomato-soup.html

and mushroom is quite good value too tyne-teas.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/mushroom-soup.html

(It's not to everyone's taste, but I also quite like curried parsnip tyne-teas.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/curried-parsnip-soup.html)

Spanish omelette?
Hoummus, pitta and carrot sticks?
Make a pan of soup on a Monday, to last for a few days?
Mushrooms or eggs or cheese on toast.

21mealspluscake Wed 19-Feb-14 19:25:27

Like the idea of freezing small portions TyneTeas - will try that too for a bit of variety. Love tomato soup

spilttheteaagain Thu 20-Feb-14 21:35:08

I'm quite partial to my version of refried beans, which is to splutter some cumin seeds in alittle oil, then add half a chopped onion and fry, and then crush in some garlic, tip in a handful or so of pinto beans (I batch cook and loose freeze dried ones) or half a tin of kidney beans if you prefer. Add some smoke paprika and chilli flakes/cayenne if you want heat and fry the mix til the beans go a bit crispy. I then tip it all into a toasted and buttered pitta and shove a little bit of salad in too, and maybe a small amount of grated cheddar and eat hot. Costs v little.

Lunaballoon Thu 20-Feb-14 22:35:30

That sounds really nice spilttheteaagain. Can I ask you how you loose freeze your beans? Do you soak, boil, cool then spread on a tray or something in the freezer?

spilttheteaagain Fri 21-Feb-14 08:51:27

Yes that's it. Soak overnight, cook until tender, drain and let them cool and then freeze on baking trays (I have silicone non stick mats that I line the trays with, but think you would be fine without, just bang the trays a bit to loosen the beans. Then decant into ice cream tubs or similar and use as frozen peas - ie just fling in handfuls as needed to whatever dish.

Lunaballoon Fri 21-Feb-14 11:26:06

Thanks, spilt! I'm a recent convert to dried beans and freezing is something I hadn't thought of.

spilttheteaagain Fri 21-Feb-14 12:25:47

It's the only way dried beans work for me - it seems such a faff otherwise to boil up the small amounts needed at a time, prob quite inefficient too!

If you like beans then you could make a bean and chunky veg soup/stew, spicy if you fancy.

The river cottage veg book has a lovely recipe for a leek and cannelini bean soup too.

forgetdieting Fri 21-Feb-14 13:09:58

What about pasta? My cheapest dish, and quick too, is pasta with tomato sauce.

Cook dried pasta, and while that's doing, make the sauce.

Crush some garlic (if you like that) and stir briefly in a frying pan containing a teaspoon of oil. Add 2 chopped tomatoes and stir then cook for around 5 mins. If you want spicy tomato sauce, add a few chilli flakes. When the pasta is cooked, drain and add to the frying pan.

pregnantpause Fri 21-Feb-14 14:35:04

I know it's not the season, but salad for lunch is my favourite. broad beans, bacon and rocket, or smoked salmon, spinach and watercress- lots of black pepper, leftover chicken salad, black pudding with baby leaves is lovely, bulgar or quinoa salads are quick and easy or if I want to cook, a pork and ginger stir fry or salmon and bean sprout stir fry with plenty of coriander and soy, a mixed pepper with chilli and garlic stir fry, cubed fried potatoes with chorizo topped with an egg, ham and cheese omelette, eggs or beans on toast, and of course, the ever favourite- soup, or sandwiches.

Cat98 Fri 21-Feb-14 20:41:53

Lunch for me is almost always sandwiches! Boring but tasty, and I vary the bread. (Rolls, baguettes, bagels..) my favourite fillings are: cheese and tomato, egg mayonnaise, chicken with spinach leaves - and always, always with lots of butter.

MoominMammasHandbag Fri 21-Feb-14 21:39:27

I often have leftovers for lunch. You only need a spoonful of chilli or curry bunged in a pitta or wrap with a bit of salad. If we are having pasta for dinner I always cook the whole bag and keep some aside for pasta salad for next day's lunches.

DomesticSlobbess Sat 22-Feb-14 14:12:12

Lunch for me is usually beans on toast, scrambled egg on toast, pasta with homemade sauce (super cheap - crushed clove of garlic, tin of tomatoes, half a crumbled veg stock cube, tablespoon tomato puree, tsp sugar, sprinkle of dried oregano or basil depending on what you fancy, bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 mins)

Other cheap lunches DS and I like are ham omelette, tuna pasta, jacket potato and beans.

I'm like you OP, I plan our evening meals to precision. But lunch is always quick and cheap or whatever is in the cupboard. I can't afford fancy-pants lunches everyday so cupboard stuff and the occasional bacon sandwich is perfect for us.

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