It may be January and the budget is tight in the wake of Christmas, but you’ve still got to eat. It’s a challenge faced by families up and down the country in the new year, but there are meals out there that will not only fill you all up on a budget, but taste delicious too.
Add these to the list of family favourites this month:
Casseroles are a great way to make more expensive ingredients, such as meat go further, as they are packed with cheaper items like veg. You can use up items that are in the fridge and need a new lease of life, instead of throwing them out. Our multicookers, on slow cook setting, will transform this into a hearty meal for the whole family that will leave everyone full and happy. If you don’t know where to start with a casserole, then follow this recipe from Utterly Scrummy.
Salmon isn’t exactly the first ingredient that comes to mind when you’re thinking about budget meals, but Cooking on a Bootstrap shows you how it can be done. She claims her creamy salmon pasta works out at 34 pence per portion and if you’re wondering what the secret ingredient is, it’s salmon paste. And if you think about it, this is ingenious, as it gives that all important flavour to your sauce without having to splash out on fresh or smoked salmon.
Turning to pasta for a cheap meal is a no-brainer, but can get a bit samey. Now, there are alternative food products that can be used in similar ways and fit into the same price bracket readily available in supermarkets. Gnocchi is one such item and these potato dumplings make the perfect basis of a gratin – think pastaless pasta bake. All That I’m Eating adds frozen spinach and broccoli to ramp up the veg value.
Eggs must be the ultimate budget food, as they’re healthy and filling, as well as being cheap and versatile. The Diary of a Frugal Family has a great way of combining them with other leftovers. Despite giving it the, *cough cough*, unusual name of fridge bottom frittata, this heftier version of an omelette is likely to become a favourite in your house and you can easily adapt it for whatever you’ve got to hand.
Chocolate bread pudding
Eating on a budget doesn’t mean that you have to skip dessert and you can actually make a pretty good pud with things you’ve already got in your cupboards. For example, Hungry Healthy Happy reinvents the classic bread and butter pudding with a chocolately twist that your kids won’t be able to resist. Just don’t tell them it’s got brown bread in it!
Make the most of leftovers
Too many of us throw leftovers in the bin or let them linger at the back of the fridge. Eating these up the next day is an effective way to save cash and cut down on dreaded food waste. Make it as easy as possible for yourself by investing in food storage containers that can go straight in the oven or microwave as soon as you remove the lid. If you don’t fancy eating the same meal twice in a week, pop it in the freezer for a homemade ready meal a few weeks down the line.