Living well on a budget

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Feastful
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#1
Report Thread starter 4 weeks ago
#1
So earlier this year I really got into having Overnight Oats (
https://feelgoodfoodie.net/recipe/overnight-oats/ )
for breakfast, which is a habit that has stayed true since as they're really cheap to make, tasty, healthy, filling and fueling.

Do you have any recipes, foods or dishes that you'd like to share that are both affordable and good for you?
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tinyperson
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#2
Report 4 weeks ago
#2
Tip number one, doing weekly meal planning is key. Look for fun recipes online etc and make some brief summary notes. You can inquire at the local library for free easy cookbooks and also visit the high street book stores in town in order to get a few different cheap culinary magazines too. Good luck.
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Max1989
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#3
Report 4 weeks ago
#3
My main tip is bulk cooking, I find most ingredients are too much for one meal and rather share it across multiple meals, if you make 2 3 meals store them in good quality plastic containers in the fridge and then have a singular meal you can quite easily get main meals down to £1-2 a portion but still afford lots of nutrition.

Other advice is frozen is best, morssions has a decent frozen range I have found and is well priced although inflation has caused it to be borderline too much for my liking. Aldi, Lidl, and Tesco also have decent affordable frozen ranges although I find the variety not great and not consistent stocks between stores. Also, CANNNS, with frozen and cans you do not need to cut anything

I get by with just spending £20 or more often under a week on food although I take bulk making to the extreme with making a meal for 6 days with ingredients costing around £10 for all days. For instance this week I made a curry with sweet potato, peppers, chopped tomatoes, coconut milk, a mixture of species green lentils, chickpeas, canned potatoes, peas white and red onion, spinach and herbs, then just made rice for two days saving half for the next day and repeat until the meals are over, as it's nutritious and tasty I don’t mind having it every day, then I'll have something else the next week and probably not do the same for a month and rotate. As I said earlier the only thing that was not frozen, dry, or canned were the sweet potato in which I find fresh is better than frozen.

Meat wise frozen is also amazing, I do not eat a lot of meat but when I do it is frozen, mainly bacon or sausages from Lidl, for about £2 you can get a decent amount. Bacon and sausages are good as they have good visual gauges of when it is done if you are not a confident cook and worried about food poisoning, key thing is just made sure nothing raw contaminates anything (mainly just thawed out bacon and its juices as you can’t cooks it frozen, sausages can be though)

My thought process is thinking what cuisine I want, choose a carb then just buy things to bulk up until I reach the budget with variety being key as variety brings different nutrition and flavour, then also think of different ways you can cook an item as different things will introduce different textures and flavours. Then also stock up on spices, again Morrisons is amazing for this if you go to the international food aisle you will find common spices like coriander, cumin, turmeric etc under the name of Rajah, they are extremely excellent value compared to the jarred stuff. Aldi and Lidl also have increasing stocks of spices, a favourite of mine is smoked paprika which I will use in a lot of things as a smoky flavour is nice and paprika works well with sweet things like tomatoes.

I do not have recipes as don’t follow them, but the trick is to just experiment just because you are on a budget does not; mean you cannot try new things and flavour combinations. Also sticking to veggie meals means you do not have to worry about serious food poisoning.

Eggs are good too, also cheese, blocked cheese can last a lot of meals, never buy grated, another favourite of mine is quesadillas
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Feastful
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#4
Report Thread starter 4 weeks ago
#4
(Original post by Max1989)
My main tip is bulk cooking, I find most ingredients are too much for one meal and rather share it across multiple meals, if you make 2 3 meals store them in good quality plastic containers in the fridge and then have a singular meal you can quite easily get main meals down to £1-2 a portion but still afford lots of nutrition.

Other advice is frozen is best, morssions has a decent frozen range I have found and is well priced although inflation has caused it to be borderline too much for my liking. Aldi, Lidl, and Tesco also have decent affordable frozen ranges although I find the variety not great and not consistent stocks between stores. Also, CANNNS, with frozen and cans you do not need to cut anything

I get by with just spending £20 or more often under a week on food although I take bulk making to the extreme with making a meal for 6 days with ingredients costing around £10 for all days. For instance this week I made a curry with sweet potato, peppers, chopped tomatoes, coconut milk, a mixture of species green lentils, chickpeas, canned potatoes, peas white and red onion, spinach and herbs, then just made rice for two days saving half for the next day and repeat until the meals are over, as it's nutritious and tasty I don’t mind having it every day, then I'll have something else the next week and probably not do the same for a month and rotate. As I said earlier the only thing that was not frozen, dry, or canned were the sweet potato in which I find fresh is better than frozen.

Meat wise frozen is also amazing, I do not eat a lot of meat but when I do it is frozen, mainly bacon or sausages from Lidl, for about £2 you can get a decent amount. Bacon and sausages are good as they have good visual gauges of when it is done if you are not a confident cook and worried about food poisoning, key thing is just made sure nothing raw contaminates anything (mainly just thawed out bacon and its juices as you can’t cooks it frozen, sausages can be though)

My thought process is thinking what cuisine I want, choose a carb then just buy things to bulk up until I reach the budget with variety being key as variety brings different nutrition and flavour, then also think of different ways you can cook an item as different things will introduce different textures and flavours. Then also stock up on spices, again Morrisons is amazing for this if you go to the international food aisle you will find common spices like coriander, cumin, turmeric etc under the name of Rajah, they are extremely excellent value compared to the jarred stuff. Aldi and Lidl also have increasing stocks of spices, a favourite of mine is smoked paprika which I will use in a lot of things as a smoky flavour is nice and paprika works well with sweet things like tomatoes.

I do not have recipes as don’t follow them, but the trick is to just experiment just because you are on a budget does not; mean you cannot try new things and flavour combinations. Also sticking to veggie meals means you do not have to worry about serious food poisoning.

Eggs are good too, also cheese, blocked cheese can last a lot of meals, never buy grated, another favourite of mine is quesadillas
Thank you so much for all this advice!! I think I'll try frozen a bit more (although I am somewhat limited at the moment as the freezer at my current place is tiny). I like the sounds of the meals you are making, they do sound well-rounded and healthy!
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Feastful
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#5
Report Thread starter 4 weeks ago
#5
(Original post by tinyperson)
Tip number one, doing weekly meal planning is key. Look for fun recipes online etc and make some brief summary notes. You can inquire at the local library for free easy cookbooks and also visit the high street book stores in town in order to get a few different cheap culinary magazines too. Good luck.
Thank you, I'll check out my library for some inspiration!
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NJA
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#6
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#6
I went to ASDA to put air in my tyres, it used to be free, now it's 50p.
I complained, they said, that's inflation.
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vicvic38
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#7
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#7
(Original post by NJA)
I went to ASDA to put air in my tyres, it used to be free, now it's 50p.
I complained, they said, that's inflation.
Image

My favourite dish to make is blackbeans and rice. I don't necessarily make it as cheaply as possible, but I'll point out where savings can be made.
1 tin black beans, drained and rinsed (or other bean of your choice, chickpeas/kidney beans would also both work)
1 cup rice (You can add more to stretch the dish, lowering cost per portion.)
1 onion, diced
Selection of diced veg (I usually do 1 red pepper, 1 courgette, and some frozen greenbeans but you can add or take away as you want.)
1 packet taco seasoning (this can definitely be done cheaper by buying the individual spices)
1 vegetable stock cube (not necessary but I find it adds flavour)
And oil to prevent things from sticking

Making is simple: sweat down onions in pan, then add (nonfrozen) veg. Once thats sweated down, add the blackbeans, seasoning and stock cube. Cook for a bit, and then add the rice, stir, then add 2 cups water (you want about a 2:1 ratio water to rice, if you're doing your own amount.) Add frozen veg, cover and cook until rice is done, turn off the heat and leave to stand for 5-10 mins before serving. Usually makes 3 servings, but with more rice it can definitely go further, or if it's a side it will also go further.

I eat it on its own but it makes a brilliant side to anything (fish, steak, chicken). My main tip is that vegan food is genuinely quite cheap, and very tasty if you master seasoning.
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tinyperson
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#8
Report 4 weeks ago
#8
(Original post by vicvic38)
Image

My favourite dish to make is blackbeans and rice. I don't necessarily make it as cheaply as possible, but I'll point out where savings can be made.
1 tin black beans, drained and rinsed (or other bean of your choice, chickpeas/kidney beans would also both work)
1 cup rice (You can add more to stretch the dish, lowering cost per portion.)
1 onion, diced
Selection of diced veg (I usually do 1 red pepper, 1 courgette, and some frozen greenbeans but you can add or take away as you want.)
1 packet taco seasoning (this can definitely be done cheaper by buying the individual spices)
1 vegetable stock cube (not necessary but I find it adds flavour)
And oil to prevent things from sticking

Making is simple: sweat down onions in pan, then add (nonfrozen) veg. Once thats sweated down, add the blackbeans, seasoning and stock cube. Cook for a bit, and then add the rice, stir, then add 2 cups water (you want about a 2:1 ratio water to rice, if you're doing your own amount.) Add frozen veg, cover and cook until rice is done, turn off the heat and leave to stand for 5-10 mins before serving. Usually makes 3 servings, but with more rice it can definitely go further, or if it's a side it will also go further.

I eat it on its own but it makes a brilliant side to anything (fish, steak, chicken). My main tip is that vegan food is genuinely quite cheap, and very tasty if you master seasoning.
I’ll try that thanks
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Feastful
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#9
Report Thread starter 4 weeks ago
#9
(Original post by vicvic38)
Image

My favourite dish to make is blackbeans and rice. I don't necessarily make it as cheaply as possible, but I'll point out where savings can be made.
1 tin black beans, drained and rinsed (or other bean of your choice, chickpeas/kidney beans would also both work)
1 cup rice (You can add more to stretch the dish, lowering cost per portion.)
1 onion, diced
Selection of diced veg (I usually do 1 red pepper, 1 courgette, and some frozen greenbeans but you can add or take away as you want.)
1 packet taco seasoning (this can definitely be done cheaper by buying the individual spices)
1 vegetable stock cube (not necessary but I find it adds flavour)
And oil to prevent things from sticking

Making is simple: sweat down onions in pan, then add (nonfrozen) veg. Once thats sweated down, add the blackbeans, seasoning and stock cube. Cook for a bit, and then add the rice, stir, then add 2 cups water (you want about a 2:1 ratio water to rice, if you're doing your own amount.) Add frozen veg, cover and cook until rice is done, turn off the heat and leave to stand for 5-10 mins before serving. Usually makes 3 servings, but with more rice it can definitely go further, or if it's a side it will also go further.

I eat it on its own but it makes a brilliant side to anything (fish, steak, chicken). My main tip is that vegan food is genuinely quite cheap, and very tasty if you master seasoning.
This recipe sounds great, I'm going to give it a try, thanks!
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