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Please share your best cheap recipes(18 Posts)
DH has just been made redundant and our income has more than halved overnight, I really need to reduce what we spend on food, so I'm going to meal plan.
I'm veggie but DH and DS (9) eat everything, so could do with a mixture of recipes, they can eat veggie with me some nights.
I've made a lovely tarka daal recently, so that's a good cheap one. I guess I need to look at chickpeas, beans, jacket potatoes etc for cheap but filling.
Lunch ideas would be good too. DH is also trying to lose weight.
As a family we have lost approx £12,000 in income since the start of the pandemic so belt tightening has been severe here!
I invented a sort of Spanish soup which the whole family really like. It is basically chorizo (omit from your pan obvs) white onion, garlic, celery, red lentils, paprika, tinned tomatoes and chicken or veg stock, seasoning. So you could make 2 pans of this side by side. I might also stir in a handful of shredded spinach for the last few minutes if I've got any but it's equally nice without.
Corned beef hash
I make a stew out of root veg and hot dogs - kids love it.
Noodles with fresh veg
Use manky veg to make hearty soups
Make your own sweet treats - cake, biscuits etc. Easy and cheaper than buying. Flapjacks are cheap to make.
Whatever you make, make double quantities and freeze half. It's cheaper to cook in bulk.
Tuna burgers www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/tuna-sweetcorn-burgers
Spanish omelette www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/real-spanish-omelette
Egg fried rice recipes.sainsburys.co.uk/recipes/main-courses/egg-fried-rice
Lentil loaf with mash www.greatbritishchefs.com/recipes/red-lentil-loaf-recipe
Chilli bean pie realfood.tesco.com/step-by-step/3-ingredient-chilli-bean-and-squash-pot-pies.html
Tuscan bean stew www.olivemagazine.com/recipes/vegan/tuscan-bean-and-barley-stew/
I recently discovered black beans!
Onion, green pepper, tinned toms, black beans and some chilli/paprika.
Lightly oil a Pyrex bow and drop in a tortilla and press it down - bake in hot oven for about ten mins to make a ‘bowl’
Big salad, grated cheese, black beans - Into your ‘bowl’ and it’s yummy and quite cheap. Veggie chilli is good too (with bulgar wheat).
Always keep your leftovers and be creative! Make things up. If you can find a good ‘student cookbook’ that will help.
Bulk buy pasta, grains etc (if you know someone with a Costco card that will be useful).
Porridge for breakfast (can add honey or berries/nuts) and that’s filling.
Jack Monroe always gets mentioned on threads like this, but that's because her recipes are cheap and delicious!
I love her chickpea and peach curry, although I add double the amount of spices and coriander as that suits my taste. I've made a variation of it with black beans too, which was lovely.
Jackets with whatever toppings is a great easy meal.
I also love ratatouille with ricotta. So yummy and cheap. You can add couscous to bulk it out. Freeze all leftovers. And plan to reduce food waste. Eg. I'm having ratatouille and will have 1courgette left so I plan courgette fritters for the next day.
Also if your kid is having school dinners they don't necessarily need a hot dinner at home. A sandwich or similar is fine.
Don't buy brands. I recently found out that tinned pineapple from Sainsbury's is the same pineapple from the same factory as the branded one. Different label, different price.
Also you can buy store cupboard staples super cheap at b&m or similar. Even cheaper than Aldi.
I make a potato bake that's filling and delicious, and veggie in its barest form.
Chop and fry an onion in a little oil till soft, pour over a tin of chopped tomatoes and add about 2/3 a can of water and a teaspoon of marmite. Simmer for a little while then season to taste.
Peel and slice floury potatoes (about the thickness of a pound coin) and layer up in an oiled lasagne dish. Pour over the sauce then shove in an oven (180 degrees or so) for about an hour and a half.
That's it. We add corned beef to it sometimes (under a top layer of potato slices) to make a whole meal, but it's lovely without it too, either on it's own or as a side for sausages or whatever.
One of the best things I’ve done for coming up with using up leftovers and/or store cupboards/ clearing out fridge and freezer is getting the Anylist app. It is a godsend once you’ve built up a library of recipes.
Also shop at Aldi - base your menu around their super six.
My go to meals which are incredibly cheap include:
Pasta puttanesca - I used Nigella’s recipe
Fried rice with lots of vegetables
Lentil and egg curry - Delia online
Cheesy leek and bacon pasta - BBC good food online
Beef and lentil cottage pie with cauliflower and potato topping - BBC Good food online
Bubble and squeak
Chicken and sweetcorn soup - BBC good food online (brilliant for using up a whole chicken carcass)
I think risottos are really cheap. Butter, onions, garlic, rice or pearl barley, stock and then add what you like:
Tomatoes and herbs (mozzeralla?)
Butternut squash (roast half and puree the other half)
Smoked paprika/cajun seasoning, peppers, chicken and chorizo
Bacon and peas
Courgette and lemon
Make double and make into arancini the next day just by rolling in a ball, dipping in flour, egg and breadcrumbs and frying. If you can add some mozerella to the middle even better!
Garden pasta salad - eatingwell.com
Leek and butter bean soup - BBC good food online
Mexican lasagne - Nigella website
Nutroast- BBC good food online
Red lentil, chickpea and chili soup - BBC good food online
Red lentil, sweet potato and coconut soup - Jamie Oliver website
Slow cooked root vegetable soup - Delia online
Super smokey bacon and tomato spaghetti - BBC good food online
Sweet potato and sprout hash with poached eggs - BBC good food online
All in one cabbage with beans and carrots - BBC good food online
Cauliflower olive and lentil tagine - BBC good food online
Cinnamon oatmeal Pancakes - twopeasintheirpod.com
Leek, mushroom and pepper stroganoff - circusgardener.com
Loaded mashed potato cakes - sprndwithpennies.com
Mediterranean baked penne - eatingwell.com
Portuguese baked eggs - bonappetit.com
Storecupboard corn pancakes - BBC good food online
Home made, baked falafel (I like ones with added veg like BNS) are cheap, healthy and can be batch cooked and frozen.
Veg and bean chilli, good to make loads, serve one day with rice and another over jacket potatoes.
Fritata with Mediterranean veg
Root veg crumble
Pepper, mushroom, onion and kidney bean pasta bake
Wow all these recipes sound fab, quite excited about my new menus now!
Thanks so much for sharing them, I'll get started on my planning tonight.
Shakshuka using Aldi's cheap bag of peppers and tinned tomatoes. I prefer the eggs poached separately. Make lots and freeze some if you have a freezer, as it re-heats well and is a tasty easy meal. Make your own bread to go with it if you can because it's cheaper and it seems like a treat.
I just made a vat of chilli (quick and dirty dinner as I got home late) - onion, carrot, green pepper, sweet corn, and jar of salsa I found in the back of the cupboard - shredded lettuce and grated cheese and some tortilla wraps baked into bowls. Very nice and leftovers for later!
Stirfry from basic veg is my go to cheap meal. Shred cabbage, carrot, onion and fry with chilli and garlic paste. Serve with rice or noodles. Fried egg on top or add some stock for a "ramen" if anyone fancies it. Or mushroom sauce made from half a bag of tesco frozen mushooms, a stock cube and half a pot of sour cream served on top of pasta.
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