Christmas is an expensive time for most people. Presents, food and decorations...
We ask Facebook… for cheap meal ideas
Our Facebook pals have suggested some brilliant meal ideas that will have your taste buds popping without leaving you skint, or even if you are skint! Find out how to make some delicious meals that will help you use up the stuff in your cupboards.
Saving money on shopping could mean you’ll be able to get debt free that little bit sooner or just give you a bit more spending money. Either way, you don’t need to compromise on taste when you’re looking to spend less.
Spinach and chickpea curry
Popeye liked to guzzle his spinach down straight from the tin, but we’ve got a much better suggestion. Add it to a delicious curry instead and you’ll be strong to the finish. And it costs pennies to make!
You can watch a rather jolly American chap talk you through how to cook this dish here:
Risotto rice and leftovers
The average household in the UK throws away £480 a year of uneaten food. This cunning idea from Rebecca C helps cut this down. Chuck in whatever vegetables you need in with some risotto rice (or a cheaper long grain rice if you’re saving money) along with a stock cube and you’ve got a tasty treat and it’ll be different every time you make it.
Spaghetti, olive oil & bacon
This recipe isn’t going to stretch your culinary muscles too far but Luke F’s suggestion is quick, easy and has bacon in it – the three most important things I look for in a recipe.
By the way, remember that not all oils are the same. If you’ve not got olive oil, I’ve found that Castrol GTX isn’t a good substitute.
Baked bean chilli
Joanne recommended chilli with baked beans instead of kidney beans. You can make a big pot for less than a fiver and freeze the leftovers. This is another of those recipes where you can chuck in whatever veg you’ve got in the fridge and need to use up.
Don’t worry if you’re not sure how to make this as Mr Jeffro450 and his glamorous assistant can help! They’ve put together a nice straightforward recipe that will show you how to make this meal from scratch:
Cheesy pea pasta
Shona warned us that this one might sound a bit gross but she assures us that it’s delicious. Mix grated cheese, peas and cooked pasta together and tuck in!
Sorry Shona, but I’ve got to agree with you – it does sound a bit gross.
Chorizo, beans and tomatoes
Chop up the chorizo (or salami if you’re going for a cheaper option) and put it in a slow cooker along with beans and tomatoes in the morning and you’ll have a delicious thrifty meal waiting for you in the evening.
The only tricky things about Emma’s recipe is how to pronounce chorizo: – chor-it-zo, thor-eez-oh, chor-ee-tho. I find I sound silly no matter which way I say it.
Potato and leek soup
Homemade soup is cheap, healthy and pretty easy to make. Thanks to Charlotte for the suggestion, it’s one that I’ll be trying myself very soon.
This video will show you how to make this lovely hearty soup (though the background music is cheesier than the cheesy pea pasta recipe!)
Terry’s day job involves giving bankruptcy advice to our clients but it seems by night he’s also a pretty decent cook! His banoffee pie recipe costs about £2.20 to make and will feed all the family.
Smash up some digestive biscuits for the base, add a layer of single whipped cream, scatter chopped up bananas and pour toffee sauce over the top. I’m almost drooling on my keyboard as I type this.
Hopefully these suggestions will help to fill your belly without emptying your bank account. If you’ve got your own favourite cheap recipes then please add a comment to this post or, even better, pop over to Facebook, like our page and join in the conversation!