If like me you like your food, it can be an expensive passion. I spend most days wondering about what i will eat that evening. I also do not skimp on ingredients, which is tough when i operate on a very tight budget in the rest of my life. But in recent times, I have had to adapt to the desire to eat what I want. And i discovered that I can eat super tasty meals without breaking the bank. Here are some of my favourite super cheap tasty meals.
There are no end of tasty, economical meals you can make involving pasta. From simple dishes to lasagne, which are bulked out with deals on mince and veg, with chap salad leave son the side, to more obvious pasta dishes. Pasta and a home-made sauce can be made for a few pounds max, and the more you make for, the lower the price for portion will be. For a classic cheap dish, it;s hard to beat carbonara, with just five ingredients. All you need is spaghetti, an egg, pepper, some lardons and parmesan. It is quick, easy and will not hit your wallet. Parmesan is the most expensive ingredient, but alternatives can be found for cheaper. I would advise against it though – a block of parmesan should go a long way.
Slow cookers have revolutionised how we can cook conveniently and on a budget. The beauty of them is that you can experiment and chuck what you have in your larder in there. All i would advise is that you brown off meats before placing them in the cooker. Look at online recipes for further guidance. A perfect dish for a slow cooker would be a beef casserole – throw in some browned braising steak, chopped up veg, beef stock, worcestershire sauce, seasoning and whatever takes your fancy and leave it for the day to cook ready for your evening meal! If you can push to a splash of red wine or two in there also, all the better.
Om a similar vein, one-pot dishes can be tremendously economical and low on effort. The choices are endless, but what immediately springs to mind for me is chicken, chorizo and rice all left to slowly cook on a hob. The rice pads out the meal meaning a big pot can feed a whole family and more. Jambalaya is my personal favourite, with added spring onions, peppers and onions. It is just as nice the next day.
Generally, the more you make, the better value it is. This is pertinent to me as by cooking in bulk and using the freezer to store excess portions, i waste much less food. What’s more, having spare cooked ready meals in the freezer made from scratch is a great way to stop my temptation to get a take away after a long day when you just want to sit on the couch. It saves me money in multiple ways.
These provide value for me personally because they are much less conservative on the amount of meat needed. Whether you put chicken, beef strips or anything else in, you do not need a great quantity. And this is also great as i try to reduce my weekly meat consumption, for many reasons. A bit of meet can be padded out with noodles, all manner of veg, and an asian sauce. Nowadays you can get a big pouch of a hoisin sauce or spring onion and plum sauce for 60p in any supermarket. Top it up with a bit of sesame oil and/or soy sauce to taste. you can prepare a stir fry for under £3 in total, cooked in 10 minutes, and packed with taste.
One baked potato can be purchased for well under 50p. Choose a topping and you have a full meal – make your own coleslaw for pennies, or perhaps pour some baked beans over a handful of grated cheese. Perhaps some left over chilli con carne fits the bill. Either way, this is a meal you can make for under £1.50. and it will keep you full.