Meals to stretch the budget

Over this extended time at home meal planning has been a battle of budget over ideas to keep the dinner table interesting for everyone. Once a week we push the boat out but more often than not we, like lots of you, are looking for tasty nosh that doesn’t cost the earth. Here are a few ideas that are finger licking good but can come in at as little as £1 a portion.

Sunday lunch – For Rumagers everywhere this is a good time to indulge with a larger cut of meat so you have left overs for Mondays (and sometimes beyond). Monday is always a difficult day in my house, back to the endless Zoom meetings and home-schooling means by the end of the day we’ve all had enough. So, for us, now more than ever the Sunday Roast is a focal point of the week, with meat leftover for the next day.  

Sometimes it’s just cold meats and a salad or jacket potatoes (and given that we are in summer – that’s ideal) and other times it’s made into a pie or a stew. The chicken can have the legs and wings removed for Monday for finger food you can get involved with.

For those who have a mind blank, we like this collection

We often have more veg than meat and then save a breast and add to a stir fry  with some rice or noodles. Or if you have a few more to feed a Chicken Pie  is perfect, you can add other vegetables to bulk it out. If you have a larger family, then why not use the oven once and cook 2? Chicken is so versatile and can be used for wraps, fajitas, curry – just about anything really.

If you really do want to switch off and let someone else decide for you then have a look at this. It plans a weekly menu and even gives you the shopping list! A good value book which is nearly always available second hand here too. 

Living where we do Lamb is often on offer and the leftover meat is perfect for a slow cooked. We loved Delicious Magazine’s Shepherds Pie. Just add frozen peas and job done! You can find more yummy ideas at Delicious Magazine

If you can’t be bothered to BBQ the bangers then a Delicious Magazine Sausage Casserole can be good value and there is always a Pasta Bake from BBC Good Food to make the pounds go further.

Lots of meals can be made with what you already have and the The BBC Goodfood site is packed with ideas – here are some Store Cupboard Recipes on their site that we use over and over.

Keeping an eye on budgets doesn’t mean you have to have less taste. Meals are a time to come together – from preparing them to eating them – make it an occasion.

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