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Budget meals.

(23 Posts)
Pollyputthekettleon45 Sun 03-May-15 12:14:54

I'm stuck in a rut with my meal plan sad

I cook the same things, cottage pie, chilli, lasagna, spa bol, sausage casserole, roast dinner... etc..all the usual suspects.

I'm in desperate need of something new. There is myself, DH and 2 DDs.
I'm easily pleased and will eat most things, as will DD2. The other 2 are awkward!
I'd love some tips on how to make meals stretch as well.

I have a slow cooker but everything I make in it tastes bland sad I'm in a cooking rut and need your help.

TropicalHorse Sun 03-May-15 12:36:57

I recently discovered tagines, Moroccan spicy stews. I slow cook cheap cuts in Harissa or Ras el Hanout spice mixes with stock and citrus peel, then make up a syrup with dried fruit, honey, and citrus juice, then bung the two together just before serving. I serve it with crusty bread, cous cous, a sprinkle of fresh parsley and a fresh salad with chickpeas. It's really as simple as a curry or stew but so delicious! Look up a few recipes and once you get the technique you can experiment. I like pork and dried apricot with orange or beef and dates with lemon.

JiltedJohnsJulie Sun 03-May-15 12:41:12

How about carbonara? I make mine with a couple of rashers of bacon, 2 or 3 eggs, an onion, a handful of peas, some hard cheeseand the pasta of course. Cheap, quick and tasty.

Omelette and salad is filling and fairly cheap too, especially if you can get the DDs to grow the salad smile

Toad in the hole with veg is also fairly cheap and filling.

JiltedJohnsJulie Sun 03-May-15 12:43:22

Forgot about the meal stretching. How about having chilli and rice and then having leftover chilli with jacket potatoes a couple of days later. You can even cook the jacket potatoes in the slow cooker smile

DownWithThisTypeOfThing Sun 03-May-15 12:51:28

Vegetable curry maDe using chick peas. Can add plain yoghurt when serving to make it milder.

Mussels in a garlic and tomato sauce (my kids love the "activity" bit of scooping out the mussels from the shell - you can get a massive bag for about £3 in Tesco & stupidly easy to cook.

Stir fry.

Make a large casserole. Second day it will be thicker or you can thicken yourself. Add a pastry lid.

Frittata with various fillings (haddock, pepper, red onion, broccoli - whatever you've got) & New potatoes.

JiltedJohnsJulie Sun 03-May-15 13:01:22

Think I might be adding this recipe onto my meal plan for this week smile

TwartFaceBeetj Sun 03-May-15 13:01:48

Tuna pasta?
Dh Made it at uni like this.......

Boil pasta
Add sweetcorn
Drain
Add 1 or 2 tins of tuna
Add lots of soft cheese philadelphia or dairylea (or cheap alternatives)

Eat as it is or bake with grated cheese on top, or make a white cheese sauce in stead of soft cheese

If you add mayonnaise once cooled you can have it for lunch the next day.

TwartFaceBeetj Sun 03-May-15 13:14:29

Home made Pizza
www.melskitchencafe.com/quick-and-easy-pizza-dough/

^That,
then Spread with tomato puree, fresh mozzarella ball (40p for own brand) grated cheese also, then any topping you want, or have

Put in the oven on about 180 until done

TwartFaceBeetj Sun 03-May-15 13:28:05

Sweet chilli beef noodles

3 Own brand instant noodles (near the pot noodles about 20p)
Frying steak cut into strips
Spring onions
Thin cut strips of carrot
Mushrooms
Soy sauce
Sweetchilli dipping sauce

Fry the strips of beef with a little soy sauce,
Add spring onions, carrot and half a bottle of sweet chilli dipping cook until nicely bubbling

At same time boil noodles without the flavour sashes. Drain noodles, serve in dishes with beef and sauce on top.

You can buy some prawn crackers to go with it too

KatharineClifton Sun 03-May-15 13:40:22

Baked potatoes in the slow cooker are just wrong. I tried it once and couldn't even put one on my plate - the kids said they tasted fine though grin

For slow cooker meals you could add a spice mix like garam masala, or italian herb mix to avoid the blandness.

DesperatelySeekingSanity Sun 03-May-15 13:45:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LadyDeadpool Sun 03-May-15 13:50:11

Jambalaya it's really good but do double the chorizo and use about 200ml more water than it says.

JamNan Sun 03-May-15 17:17:37

There are lots of lovely cheap and fast recipes on this American blog Food 52

I cooked the Tuscan Ribollita on page 2 and it was delicious although I would forgo the red pepper flakes.

Tonight we have beef stroganoff but with very little beef - it's padded out with mushrooms, onions and sour cream and pasta. I will add kale on the side too (on the WW diet).

What about something Spanish style like patatas bravas with chorizo

Unpeel some sausage and mix the meat with herbs to make little Italian meatballs and serve with tomato sauce and linguine

Potato dauphinoise is cheap and filling.

Mediterranean roasted veg with cous cous or bulgur wheat.

Savory pancakes?

Mexican wraps with salsa grated and refried beans.

Magmatic80 Sun 03-May-15 17:32:33

m.goodfoodchannel.co.uk/recipe/653540/hairy-bikers-chicken-bake-recipe/

Sorry, can't link on my phone, but I've got this in the oven right now. Had it last week and it's lush. I'd say you could take out the chorizo and slosh in a tbs of oil instead to make it cheaper. I use any old potatoes rather than new and only 2 tomatoes. It's hairy dieters Spanish chicken bake. Loads of links to recipe if you google.

Magmatic80 Sun 03-May-15 17:32:58

Ooh the link worked!!

Pollyputthekettleon45 Wed 06-May-15 11:51:28

Thank you for all the lovely replies and recipes grin

We have Chilli, Lasagna, Spag bol over 2 nights. If we have a roast chicken in use left overs for a risotto or pasta bake.

I love the sound of the Tagine so will be looking at making one of those. My DD who is 5 has started to like Tuna. I'm going to try to make some fish cakes.

There is chicken and chorizo stew I've been seeing a lot on one of the slow cooker Facebook pages I have so I'm going to try that.

Thank you all so much again smile

Pollyputthekettleon45 Wed 06-May-15 11:54:06

We have planted a lot of seeds including lettice, carrots, cabbage, leeks, spring onions, courgettes, tomatoes etc and both DDs are very excited to see them growing so that has helped. Just hope the bloody eat them now! grin

riverboat1 Wed 06-May-15 19:39:12

You should get Jack Monroe's cookbook, or see her blog agirlcalledjack.com, there are some great ideas for very low-budget meals there.

In terms of family friendly stuff, I'd definitely recommend her recipes for bologneses and chillis using really cheap ingredients and no or very little meat, and her soups and pasta dishes.

lastqueenofscotland Sat 09-May-15 14:10:25

falafel are super easy!! jut need some chickpeas, flour and some spices/seasoning!

cdtaylornats Sat 09-May-15 14:57:20

If you have leftover chicken try Spanish Chicken Pie

www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/9974/spanish-chicken-pie

Wolfcub Sat 09-May-15 19:29:13

Bulk any mince dish out with red lentils. Check weezls weblog for budget recipes. The Apple butter, red lentil pate and pasta amatriciana are good as are lots of the.other recipes and the nutrition is balanced. Corn beef hash is cheap and cheerful and a poached or fried egg cheers it up no end. Frozen veg, some herbs, garlic and ginger are great for balancing and pepping up meals without creating costly waste if you're not the kind of person who will use a whole pack.of peppers or bunch of parsley before they go manky

Swaledale Sat 09-May-15 20:39:45

I've recently added a few things into my meal plans, trying to eat a bit better. This curry is quick and easy to make, tasty too, tasted better the day after. We had it with naan bread, but would be just as nice with rice or cous cous...

www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/coconut-squash-dhansak

chocolatelife Sun 10-May-15 09:20:59

I cook Moroccan stew/soup, Harira, plenty of recipes on the web.
I use 350 gm of diced beef, or so
but you can vary it.
delicious, lasts two days

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