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Cheap family meals(30 Posts)
Hi I have been on the sick for two weeks so money is really tite!! I was wondering if any one can help with cheap meals for myself and a 9 year old...I'm on a really tite budget thanks
Shepard's pie bulked out with tons of carrots and lentils. I made almost 20 servings yesterday with 1kg of reduced lamb mince probably spent under £10 in total on the batch
beans on toast
Any reduced/wonky veg made into a soup or stew or veg curry
French onion soup: sliced up onions fried off until brown at the edges, add tbs flour, top up with stock and heat until thickened a bit and stock is smooth. Serve with bread and cheese/cheese on toast/fancy crouton etc
batter puddings (with ham, bacon or sausage if you want but not essential) with veg and gravy. There's enough protein in the eggs.
What have you already got in the cupboard? Perhaps we could help you make some meals out of what you already have?
Ham and pea frittata www.asdagoodliving.co.uk/food/recipes/ham-pea-frittata The leftovers are good for lunch the next day.
Fried rice recipes.sainsburys.co.uk/recipes/20-minute-recipes/simple-fried-rice
Tuna and sweet corn burgers www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/5863/tuna-sweetcorn-burgers
Tuna pasta bake made with tomato soup www.campbellsoup.co.uk/recipes/crunchy-tuna-pasta-bake
Spicy beef pasta bake recipes.asda.com/Recipes/spicy-beef-pasta-bake
Macaroni cheese? You can cheat and get a packet mix of cheese sauce. Cheap and comforting!
Baked potato with beans and cheese
Egg or beans on toast
Chicken legs and thighs are quite cheap- roast or deep fry, serve with homemade chips
Cheese and potato pie
Aldi is the best place to get food on a budget
Thank you so much!! I do plan on going to aldi!! I have the basics in my cupboard right now!! Like beans tuna, pasta, curry, noodles, tomatoes in my freezer I have chips, meatballs,mince, pork, diced beef, chicken!! I have some food just not enough to last six weeks thanks
Buy a large chicken.
Drumstick + thigh = 1 roast dinner bulked out with veg (so could be 2 roast dinners).
Then take a breast for something like curry or casserole and another breast for something like chicken pie. Depending how much you bulk them out you could make each of them stretch to 2 meals.
Chicken wings have quite a bit of meat on and can be turned into risotto or stir fry.
Then if you boil the carcass and make stock you can get more meat off and make a hearty chicken soup using leftover veg from roast.
If you use similar ingredients across all meals you'll keep your costs down.
Cheese toasties with soup
Pasta with yogurt sauce, pretty sure the original recipe used chicken and mushrooms, but you can bulk it up with whatever you fancy.
We used garlic, basil and sage I think.
Tuna risotto if you have tuna in.
Dice and fry an onion.
Put in roughly a handful of rice per serving and fry off for a min.
Add hot stock about a pint (made from a chicken or veg cube is fine) and stir every few mins or so (yes you are supposed to stir continuously adding the stock a bit at a time but I don't bother).
Then after about 10 mins add in a tin of chopped tomatoes then a tin of tuna.
Cook another 5 mins and check the rice is cooked.
Season with salt/pepper and you can chuck in some basil or oregano if you have it in but it's fine without.
Or very similar a tuna pasta bake.
Onions, tuna, tined tomatoes mixed with cooked pasta. Sprinkle cheese on top and bake.
You want to think about how you use your meat.
In soups/stews/sauces etc it goes a lot further than using it by itself.
Definitely bulk out mince with red lentils and finely chopped veg.
Think about making dumplings to go with a stew (atora/flour/water and herbs if you have them) with your diced beef and pack in loads of veg. You can make a relatively small amount of meat go a long way using a stock cube and adding lots of veg and dumplings cooked in stew are yummy and filling.
What do you have in your cupboards.
What type of food/meals do you eat.
Perhaps we can then work out some meals for you.
Meat is expensive so I do fried rice (Brown if I'm trying to make it more nutritious) with a dollop of curry paste or powder, a load of frozen peas (and other veg if I have it or a tin of chickpeas) and crushed cashew nuts (or more budge friendly salted peanuts) on top.
Soup made with any veg (usually onion, celery and carrot), stock powder and water. Homemade Brown bread: 1lb coarse Brown flour, 2 teasp bicarbonate of soda, pinch of salt, handful of sunflower seeds 1 beaten egg and about 250/300ml buttermilk added til the mix if sloppy but not wet. Baked in a lined loaf tin at 170° for an hour. Very filling and delicious.
You can google cheap meals This is Jack's website and she was really strapped
Chicken wings have quite a bit of meat on and can be turned into risotto or stir fry.
Of all the crazy things I’ve read on MN food threads, this has to be the craziest. A chicken has two wings. You’d get no more than 4 or 5 tbsp of flesh from two roasted chicken wings, even if the chicken is large, and that’s if you’re really, really careful. Turning that into a risotto or stir fry for 2 people (one chicken wing each, that is) is totally inefficient.
Cooking in a budget is about getting max calories and nutrition from as little money as possible. So less but enough high fat, high fibre, high carb food, coupled with cheaper but nutritious vegetables.
I’d do a slow cooked stew: cheap cuts of mutton or beef, trimmed but not entirely so. Stock cube and water. Lots of carrots, celery, onion, seasoning. Add lentils and potatoes. If you can stretch to it, sprinkle grated cheese on top and eat with a slice of bread.
Brown rice with chick pea curry and plain yogurt. All inexpensive base ingredients.
If you’re going to roast a chicken, leave the skin on and smear some butter between the skin and flesh. Eat less of it (because high calorie) and plenty of vegetables and boiled potatoes. Use the rest of the chicken to make chicken soup or pie, chicken salad with jacket potatoes, cold cut platter with bread and butter and tomatoes/cucumber, chop into pasta sauce etc.
Don’t be afraid of cheaper desserts like pre made custard or ice cream on top of sliced oranges. If it’s just for a few weeks neither of you will be nutritionally harmed by it.
Sorry another idea re: sausages.
If you buy a pack of sausages you generally get 2/3meals from it (assuming 2 or 3 a portion from a pack of six).
However if you unskin the sausages and form the meat into mini meatballs, fry them off and then cook with a basic tomato sauce (I cook onions and celery with tinned tomatoes and dried oregano then blitz it smooth with my hand blender but you could just finely dice) add to pasta and you can make 2 sausages into a meal to feed 4 or out of a pack of 6 enough for 12 portions.
Rifle through your cupboards, fridge and freezer to see what you have and get creative.
Leftover veg and a couple of stock cubes to make soup.
Baked potato and beans.
Make cheese omelette and home made oven chips.
Boil up some rice in water/veg stock and throw in some meat/veg scraps to make a savoury rice.
Boil rice then fry in a wok with a tbsp oil and random veg/meat scraps, make a well to chuck in an egg and a tbsp of soy sauce let it start to scramble then stir it through to make Chinese fried rice.
Tinned Heinz soup is often 4 tins for £2 and with bread is quick and easy for after school. Also large packs of crumpets and muffins with butter and honey for breakfast or tea. Extra large packs of Kellogg’s cereals are £2.00 in my Co op and milk is very nutritious. I know these are not “proper” meals but sometimes you just want something quick for after school. I would also get a large sugar free Ribena for hot drinks for your son.
Risotto for 2 people made with 2 chicken wings? Sausage meatballs for 12 from 6 sausages? Are these toddler sized portions? This is madness,
Eat whatever you’ve got in the freezer / cupboards first rather than buy new things.
I would try and get a food bank voucher if your income has been reduced. It's these type of situations they are there for.
Beans on toast and omelettes are cheap
Thank you all so much your ideas have really helped!! I plan on using whatever I have in before buying anymore!! I just know these next few weeks are going to be really tite as I need to prioritize my rent!! These ideas are just great!! Goes to show you can still eat healthy with little income!! Luckily I dont become ill very often
I make bean casserole with carrots, onions, celery, chopped tomatoes, mixed beans, herb de Provence, garlic and paprika - one batch costs about £5 and does 2 full meals plus leftovers. Serve with bread, or baked potatoes or rice
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