Monday, 28 November 2011

Cheap and easy meals...

I have now been on maternity leave for over 9 months so am now receiving no money at all so we are completely dependent on my husband's salary. Course this would be the month the tax office decide my husband has underpaid them by £300 but that's another story. Therefore we are now trying to live MEGA frugally whilst still having enough money to go out and enjoy ourselves a bit.

So this week, rather than going to the supermarket, rushing round in a state of panic throwing as many things into the trolley as quickly as possible (think supermarket sweep with kids) before someone (possibly me) starts screaming; today I PLANNED what I was going to buy. I wrote a list.

Here is my menu (for family of 4)

Day 1 - Sausage casserole
Pack of sausages (cheaper in butchers)
1 carrot
1 swede
1 parsnip
sweet potato chips.

Fry sausages in a pan until browned, chuck in rest of chopped ingredients, pour over boiling water, add stock cube, bring to boil then simmer for an hour.
20 mins before hour is up cut sweet potato into chip shapes, shove on baking tray and drizzle oil over top. Roast for 20 mins.

Day 2
Lentil and Squash thai curry
200g lentils
1/2 squash
1 red pepper
jar red thai curry sauce (make own if can be bothered)

Fry off squash chopped into cubes and pepper. simmer lentils for an hour
Pour sauce over squash and pepper and add in lentils. Boil rice.

Day 3 - Spag bol

1 onion
Buy cheapest pasta sauce, 39p in Asda. It makes it taste much better.
Small pack of beef mince
a grated carrot
4 mushrooms (chopped very very small so cannot be seen)
1 red pepper (as above)
courgette unless children have phobia of "green". (mine does).
baked beans (small tin own brand)
Smart price style pasta

Fry onion til soft then add mince on low heat. Then add all other chopped veg. Add sauce and beans, simmer for as long as poss min 1 hour. Serve with pasta.

Day 4 - Chicken dinner
Best done on Sunday but I do it any day I have time as I hate that Sunday feeling.
Chicken from butchers spend around £5.
2 carrots
milk about 500 mls.

Cook chicken for desire time. Roast potatoes with skins on takes about 40 mins. Boil carrots in mug in microwave. Boil cauliflower for about 10 mins on low heat. Make cheese sauce - fry knob of butter, add tablespoon of plain flower, slowly add milk on a low heat. Stir lots til goes thick. turn off heat then add lots of grated cheese. Drain cauliflower well, add cheese stick in oven. 
You could make proper gravy or do what I do and use bisto.

day 5 - Chicken leftovers.
Risotto rice
2 mushrooms
any leftover veg e.g. squash.
1 onion

Fry onion til very soft. Follow instructions on risotto packet. Add veg and simmer for 1/2 hour.
5 mins before end add shredded chicken.

Much cheaper than usual shop, any other ideas for cheap, easy, nutritious meals?


  1. I have no other ideas, sorry, but am very happy to steal yours! These look so easy too (which is good for someone like myself who is not a natural "Masterchef". Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. Menu planning and making your own is always cheaper than buying ready made in the supermarket, and better for you too! So if you have the time, keep doing this. I couldn't get by without a menu plan and shopping list, and go to the farm shop before I go to the supermarket so I know the meat and veg is already sorted and I buy less rubbish in the supermarket!

  3. Good idea, plus I bet the farm shop stuff has done less air miles and is fresher too. I tend to use our local market and butchers for meat and fish which I find cheaper and much better quality too. In fact one of my fav meals is fish pie using fish pie mix from the "fish-man" at the market; heat the fish in some milk for 5 mins, pop it into an oven dish, chuck on some leeks and 3 chopped up hard boiled eggs, spoon on some mash, top with cheese then bake in oven for 40 mins. Delish and my boys love it!

  4. Lovely ideas for cheaper meals, I always find spag bol I could cheap meal to knock up and everybody always likes it so it's a winner! Thanks for joining in.

    1. Thanks! We used to just chuck in chopped tomatoes and herbs instead of a jar but the jar just makes it that bit sweeter for kids. Prob full of additives etc, never mind.

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