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Cheap meal ideas(13 Posts)
Just that really, has anyone got and cheap go to meal ideas? Trying to make cut backs due to money being tight so I'm going to meal plan and I'm stuck on nice tasty cheap meals 😬
Are you able to batch cook?
We find that saves money on weeks that are tight. We will only have 3-4 meals to cook in a week and we alternate them for example:
Sat - Sausages
Sun - Chilli
Mon - Curry
Tue - Chilli
Wed - Pasta bake
Thu - Curry
Fri - Pasta bake
Have a look at Jack Monroe's website - lots of ideas on there
frankfurter sausages.jar of pasta sauce pasta
big pack of mince.split it.one for chilli one for spaghetti bolognase or shephard pie/hot pot.
stew.using tinned veg and potatos.
jacket and beans.
do a roast chicken and use it for two chicken meals
a lentil and sweet potato curry
make your own pizza bases with some basics flour and water.
buy one of those jus rol ready to roll pastry sheets and make a tart/pizza slice.add whatever topping you have or wants.random veggie bits.passta and cheese.pesto basil tomatos cheese etc etc
meatballs pasta.make your meatballs buy squuezzing out sausages and rolling.
any of these tickle your fancy?
some of these look really nice
All sounds good. The pastry with different toppings sounds nice! Il add that to my list th
You can do these for around £5 for a family of four, depending on where you shop:
Omlettes, chips, peas and carrots.
Sausage, mash, baked beans and peas
Spag bol (value spaghetti, mince, tinned tomatoes, an onion and a pepper, maybe some mushrooms)
Chilli con carne with rice (value rice, mince, tomatoes, kidney beans, onion, pepper, mushrooms.
Chicken drumsticks/thighs tray bake with sweet potato wedges and salad
Chicken risotto with peas and leeks
Veg curry and rice
homemade pizza using a pack of white bread mix, tomato paste, mozarella or cheddar, slices onion, pepper, sweetcorn, chopped pepperoni or shredded chicken.
Roast chicken, potatoes and veg
Fish fingers, chips, peas and carrots
Jack Monroe is your friend here like a pp said. Your library will probably have a couple of her cookbooks. I think Delia did a book called frugal food too
Do you have a freezer? If you find out when your local shops mark down their meat that's a really good money saver. My friend always has a freezer full of meat at 30-50% off.
Otherwise mainly veggies is a great cheap meal:
Macaroni, broccoli and cauliflower cheese
Lentil and veg bolognaise / curry / chilli
Iceland do 8 packs of Kiev's - add a jacket potato and frozen peas and sweet corn
Chicken thighs are great and cheap - tray baked or slow cook in a casserole - take skin off first and bulk out with suede, carrots, potatoes
Keep ALL leftover bits of cooked veg, baked beans, tinned Toms in a tub / bag in a freezer. When full, cook up some onions, Chuck the lot plus boiling water, a stock cube and some lentils and free soup!!
Soup is a great way of using up random vegetables and can be bulked up with a handful of red lentils.
Actually, handful of red lentils also works well in any mince recipes to make the meal go further.
Meat is very expensive so I try and use it less frequently when on a budget.
I find strict meal planning and shopping online really helpful. I waste much less when all the food I buy has a specific purpose, rather than when I pick up a random aubergine or whatever.
Making good use of the freezer is also useful. Freezing leftover portions of food rather than having them sit in the fridge for a few days and then chucking them is so much less wasteful. Great if I cba cooking and can pull something out for the kids.
Smart price beans with some spices added, dry fry until the sauce thickens, put in wrap, roll up and top with a little passata or leftover beans and some cheese, cook in the oven for 30 mins( you can make lasagne or pasta bake with this too, )
A slow cooker although initially an expense pays for itself very quickly. Slow cooked beef stew with cheap cuts of beef, or sausage casserole with frizen sausages.Also bolognase with cheap mince, make a massive batch and eek it out for a few meals in jacket potatoes, chilli, enchilladas.
Chicken risotto with smart price or aldi chicken soup, root veg and any leftover meat you have, again, freezes really well
Red Lentils 90p
Coconut milk 60p
Ghee or hard butter £1
Three tomatoes 50p
Freezer boxes 60p
Turmeric, curry powder, garam marsala, coriander, cumin, salt, pepper, parsley. Usually in the cupboard but 40p each in aldi.
Lentils, coconut milk, water and turmeric get boiled till soft. Rest is fried and added at to the lentil puree. Some people like to add a soft boiled potato for creaminess or to bulk it out a little.
As with most peasant food the more fat the more satisfying so I don't scrimp on that for calorie purposes (though I should).
Stuff mainly available from Home Bargains. Makes up to five plastic boxes full of Dahl. I usually have it with some shop bought Naan bread or rice.
The basis of the recipe came from Jamie Oliver's mate on the net and I make it vegan with a bucket of 'vegetable ghee' from amazon.
Other peasant food we do is a massive pan full of pasta sauce - MIL is a genuine Italian peasant. Use it for pizza; pasta and borlotti beans with soft boiled celery; spaghetti bolognese (with meat - oooh expensive and just for the men); everything in fact, just change the shape of the pasta.
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