Tuesday, 7 December 2010

A Week of Eating Frugally

With Christmas coming and the potential to buy food and drink, beyond your normal means, it is good to have a week or two of living frugally so you go easy on your purse. 

Here are some really cheap and easy recipe suggestions for some simple living.It's all great comfort food for these cold evenings too!

I use cheese a lot, usually a mature cheddar. There is nearly always 2 for 1 offers in supermarkets meaning you can get 800g mature cheese at around £4 - excellent value!

1. Pasta and Pesto


 75g-100g Pasta of your choice, per person (around 60p total).

Jar of Pesto sauce. (£1-£2 per jar - serves 4)

Optional - Olives, grated cheese, salad, coleslaw

Boil pasta in plenty of water for 10-15 minutes depending on the texture you like.  Pesto can be spooned in directly to the pasta.

Serve as it is, or add grated cheese, olives. Serve with salad or coleslaw if desired.

2. Baked Potatoes

One large potato per person (80p total for 4).

Choose from Baked Beans, grated cheese, coleslaw, sweetcorn, tuna.

Bake in the oven for 90 minutes or until soft in the centre. Serve with a knob of butter and your favourite filling (or two)

3. Cheese Potato

For 4 people

750g potatoes.

150g cheese


Peel potatoes and chop. Boil in plenty of water. When soft drain. Add splash of milk and knob of butter. Mash with a masher adding more milk if too dry. Stir in cheese reserving about 25g. Put mixture in casserole and bake and sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Bake in oven at 180 degrees for about 25 minutes.

Serve with a vegetable, frozen peas or sweetcorn.

4. Pasta with Peas and Cheese

75g-100g Pasta shapes per person

1/2 cup frozen peas per person

25g grated cheese per person

Black Pepper

Boil the pasta for 5 minutes until soft. Add the peas to the pan and bring back to the boil. Boil for a further 10 minutes. Drain. Stir in the cheese. Sprinkle with black pepper.

5. Pizza with extras

Basics Cheese and Tomato Pizza £1

Basics Pineapple Pieces (13p)

Green chilli (optional)

Herbs and black pepper

This is about buying a basic pizza and adding toppings of your choice. Most supermarkets do a basic pizza, or even just a pizza base to start from scratch.

Cheese, pineapple and chilli is a favourite in our household but clearly you can add what you wish. Could be ham, Pepperoni, onion, sweetcorn.

Do let me know what variations you come up with! 

6. Bean Stew

Serves 4


1 onion, chopped      18p

1 tomato                    10p 

I garlic clove

400g tin cannellini beans   50p

400g tin haricot beans       50p

400g black eye beans       50p

500ml vegetable stock

Mixed herbs

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp coriander

Chilli powder (optional)

Fry the onion in olive oil until soft and then add the garlic and tomato. Drain the beans and add to the pan with the stock. Add the herbs and spices, adjusting to taste.

Serve with crusty bread.

7. Cauliflower Cheese

Serves 4

Cauliflowers are plentiful in the winter - and cheap. If you can, go to your local green grocers or farmers market. Cheese sauce is easy to make using Delia Smiths all in one approach.

1 large cauliflower      80p

100g mature cheddar  50p

700ml milk

50g flour

50g butter

Cut the cauliflower into florets and boil or steam until just soft. Place in a large casserole dish.

To make the cheese sauce, place the cheese, milk, flour and butter in a saucepan and gently heat to boiling stirring all the time with a balloon whisk. Cook for a minute once boiling.

Pour over the cauliflower and add a little more grated cheese on top.

Bake in the oven at 180 degrees fro about 30 minutes. I enjoy this best with boiled peas.


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