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Cheap meal ideas please. I need to get through the next three weeks on very little money!

(33 Posts)
Howlongtillbedtime Mon 01-Jan-18 20:20:57

I am sure I am not alone but we are officially struggling and need to cut back especially with food costs.

We have got into the habit of waring meat most days so that needs to change.
And we eat a lot of salad and sweet potatoes which I don't think are great value for money.

Does anyone know of a good website or just have some good recipes ?

I am a pretty capable Cook and don't mind a bit of faff .

OP’s posts: |
MrsMotherHen Mon 01-Jan-18 20:24:53

Lentil bacon soup

Chicken stew


Jacket potatos and beans

These are my go to cheap meals.

Callamia Mon 01-Jan-18 20:27:11

Value bread flour, value tins of tomatoes, value mozzarella (honestly - Sainsbury’s), and some yeast. It’s super cheap, and you’ve probably got some other stuff hanging about for topping.

Also, dhal and rice. We basically live on this, but there are so many different flavours you can add; paneer, kale, chicken, coriander - whatever you like, and you can make a vat of it.

I’ve also got a good chinese stew recipe that you usually make with beef, but would work fine with lots of crunchy veg - peppers, onions etc. Happy to send it over if you want.

Howlongtillbedtime Mon 01-Jan-18 20:33:17

Thank you both and yes please to the Chinese recipe too callamia

Omelette is a go to for us And that lentril soup looks good thank you motherhen

OP’s posts: |
Cabininthewoods69 Mon 01-Jan-18 20:38:41

Pasta salad is cheap and filling. I make a pasta bake then the leftovers are a pasta salad. How lazy do I sound. Garlic bread with it.

Thierryhenryneedisaymore Mon 01-Jan-18 20:46:58

Baked potatoes

Pasta with homemade tomato sauce (tinned tomatoes or passata, tomato puree, any veg eg onion (preferably red) courgette, pepper, garlic and dried herbs to taste, vegetable stock too sometimes. Simmer for ages. Whizz up in food processor to smooth. Freezes well. Good with some smoked bacon. If i have time i roadt the veg beforehand and its even nicer. Have even added handful of spinach. I make loads in portions. Will never use a jar as i find this so quick and easy and i know whats in it.

Sausage and mash

Soup with lentils / carrot/sweet potato blended with part baked baguettes heated in oven

French toast or eggy bread

Macaroni cheese - make the cheese sauce and use mature cheddar for taste

Thierryhenryneedisaymore Mon 01-Jan-18 20:48:15

I didnt mean blend the soup with the bread lol, just blend the soup in food processor and serve with bread

HermioneWeasley Mon 01-Jan-18 20:51:56

Nigella’s veggi chilli

JackietheBackie Mon 01-Jan-18 20:56:45

Dirty rice - onion, celery carrots, chopped up small, chili and ginger all sautéed, add a couple of cups of long grain rice, a tin of kidney beans (or any other beans), a veggie stock cube and water and cook for about 12 minutes. Yummy! Soups are filling and cheap - red lentil and squash are tasty and can be spiced up. Macaroni cheese or pasta with tuna in a white sauce with caraway seeds. Fritatta's. Egg fried rice - works well with any frozen veggies you might have knocking round.

ATeardropExplodes Mon 01-Jan-18 20:57:41

you need Cooking on a bootstrap - follow Jack Monroe on twitter.

shakeyourcaboose Mon 01-Jan-18 20:59:15

@callamia can I have the chinese recipe too please?

Ashamedandblamed Mon 01-Jan-18 21:01:28

Someone just posted how impressed they were with Iceland frozen mince. You could make chilli or lasagane etc. sheets are like 50p and you can get sauces on offer at most places.

DuchessofManchester Mon 01-Jan-18 21:07:24

What have you already got lurking in the cupboard and freezer?

Thisnamechanger Mon 01-Jan-18 21:12:15

Watching with interest!

Slow cookers are you meat can be totally transformed with long cooking time.

Howlongtillbedtime Mon 01-Jan-18 21:15:40

Thank you everyone some great ideas. I think I am going to start tomorrow by making a vat of tomato sauce and freeze portions. Then I can defrost and add veg or mince etc when needed.

I am also going to do a lentil soup.

I have just got into a rut of buying and cooking similar meals. We eat meat or fish with every meal even if its just bacon in an omelette which bumps costs up.

My cupboards have the usual rice, pasta,flour garlic, herbs tinned toms.

What is that site that let's you put in the ingredients you have and it gives you a recipe?

OP’s posts: |
BerkInBag Mon 01-Jan-18 21:21:02

This is lovely. Tasty, filling, healthy and affordable. It feeds 3 of us with cous cous with enough left over for a hearty lunch for one the day after

PavlovaPlease Mon 01-Jan-18 21:24:10

Marking - going to try some of these out

RobertPostschild Mon 01-Jan-18 21:26:43

Make a meal plan each week. I have a list of cheapish meals as ideas and so can ring the changes each week.

We have the usual such as
Spag bol
Cottage pie
homemade beefburgers with homemade coleslaw
sausage plait and veg
eggs chips and beans
fishfingers boiled potatoes and peas etc...

But we also do an exotic line in
Thai chicken curry
vegetable stirfry
pea and potato curry
Lentil daal
All sorts of soups with nice crusty homemade bread
veggie chilli and rice etc....

I've also started buying a lot fo frozen veg as I was chucking a lot away as it was going off in the frisge before it could be used.

Good luck, you can do it!

PurpleDaisies Mon 01-Jan-18 21:30:25

The world foods aisle in most supermarkets is really cheap for pulses etc.

Curry made with frozen spinach and chickpeas and a boiled egg is really filling and tasty.

MrsPestilence Mon 01-Jan-18 21:36:54

Soup dumplings, bulk up soup and use up slightly stale bread.

3oz bread, whizz in processor to make crumbs. Stir in an egg and maybe a little water to make a mouldable dough. Make into walnut size balls. Poach in bubbling soup for 3 mins and serve. Add herbs if you want but no salt as bread is already quite salty.

mollyfolk Mon 01-Jan-18 22:31:15

Buy a chicken - roast it and make a few meals out of it - meals that are bulked out with veg and carbs - chicken fried rice, chicken curry, chicken pie, curry. Do same with a ham - ham, pasta and peas in a creamy garlic sauce, ham in omelette etc... so much cheaper than using chicken breasts or slices of ham or bacon.

Eggs - lots of ways- I've done this for dinner;

Shepherds pie - cut down meat by adding lentils, chilli con carne - bulk out with chickpeas.

Tinned fish: Tuna pasta bake. Tinned Salmon and potato cakes.

Howlongtillbedtime Tue 02-Jan-18 08:12:14

Thanks everyone , i am going to do a meal plan for the week and go shopping today and get the tomato sauce done and a soup.

I think preparation is the key rather than just grabbing meat and fish and that being the main bit of the meal I need to look at the veg rice pasta and lentils more.

I am actually looking forward to getting started.

OP’s posts: |
Howlongtillbedtime Tue 02-Jan-18 08:15:09

callamia If you are still around I would love your basic Dahl recipe please.

OP’s posts: |
Callamia Tue 02-Jan-18 08:56:32

howlong I’ll PM you later on (today is chaotic already).

Howlongtillbedtime Tue 02-Jan-18 09:14:35

Thank you I appreciate it.

OP’s posts: |

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