Five of the best budget meals!

May 21, 2012



Last night I stumbled in the door an out of the rain, bottle of wine in one hand, handbag, keys and BlackBerry in the other, crashed into the kitchen and ravenously opened the fridge.

That’s strange, last time I looked I definitely had a fridge full of tasty treats (or at LEAST a half eaten pack of chicken breasts and a few eggs).

It looked like I would have to do the unthinkable; the second worst thing (after paying council tax) about being an adult. I would have to go to the supermarket.

However with a mere week until pay day, funds are low so it will have to be something cheap.

So here are my top 5 budget meals for week- before- payday hunger emergencies, mmm mmm mmm!

Chicken, Leek and Ham Pasta Bake


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Dig out those leftover chicken breasts, this one is great for using up leftovers. All you need is one leek (around 50p- 60p), a packet of my old childhood favourite Chicken, Ham and Leek ‘Pasta n Sauce‘ (price varies, the best place to pick it up is at your local pound store for about 50p).

Chop up the leek and sautee it in some butter and make your Pasta n Sauce as the directions on the packet tell you. Grill the chicken and stick it in an ovenproof dish alongside your leeks, then stir in the cooked Pasta n Sauce before sprinkling with cheese.

If you’re feeling flush you can add a few strips of bacon. Pop it in the over for about 15- 20 minutes on 200 degrees, yum!

Homemade Cottage Pie

cottage pie

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This one lasts forever, you can eat it for days on end and one pack of mince will make a whole tray of delicious cottage pie.

So start with a pack of beef mince (about £3, lots of shops do ’2 for £5′ deals too), and brown in a pan with an onion and a few cloves of garlic (optional).

Pour in a some boiling water and a few tablespoons of Bisto gravy granules (usually less than £1- and it will last forever) throw in a handful of peas, then let it simmer away on a low heat! Next peel and boil your potatoes and when they’re ready mash them up.

Pour the mince mixture into an oven proof dish and distribute the fluffy mash on top, sprinkle some cheese on (optional) then pop it in the oven for about 20-25 minutes to let the top crisp up. A fantastic cheap meal that will feed the masses.

Spicy Marmalade Chicken


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Pah marmalade! Everyone has it in their cupboards, no one really likes it but it’s always there lurking around, making the shelves all sticky.

Well here’s a delicious recipe to put it to good use! Take a pack of chicken breasts (about £3 in your local supermarket) and cut off all the nasty bits, cut halfway down the middle (to create a butterfly shape), drizzle with olive oil and stick them on a griddle pan (if you don’t have one, a frying pan will do just nicely) and then add one chopped chili (25p- 35p) then add three large tablespoons of orange marmalade from your cupboards.

Stick in a few dashes of soy sauce (to your liking) and a clove of garlic. Let it cook away for about 15 minutes, turning it as you go. Add a little Dijon mustard if you have it and serve with some super cheap and tasty rice (less than £1) and voila!

A tasty meal in 15 minutes, and no more sticky shelves!

Sausage Casserole

sausage stew

Image via

The best way to make this tasty dish is in the oven.

Pick up a pack of sausages from your local supermarket, depending on where you buy them they can be super cheap, as little as £2.

Fry them slightly in a little olive oil to start them off, then throw in one chopped onion and a clove of garlic, fry until golden brown (but not cooked through) then transfer all of the contents into (you’ve guessed it) an oven proof dish.

Add a can of chopped tomatoes (40p for store brand), one red pepper (70p or so) and any dry green herbs you have kicking around (optional). Pop it in the over at 200 degrees for about 35- 45 minutes.

This dish is nice with some boiled potatoes or even rice if you prefer, and one pack of sausages should feed at least two people. Delish!

Creamy Veggie Pie

Creamy Pot Pie

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Thought I had better stick a veggie dish in here for good measure! Buying vegetables from the supermarket can be expensive, but local fruit and veg shops are much cheaper, you will get better quality vegetables and they will likely be bigger and keep for longer.

Grab a handful of your favourite veggies and chop them up into size-able chunks, drizzle with olive oil and place in a deep baking tray (or oven proof dish). For this recipe, I always go for a large sweet potato, a sweet red pepper, a red onion and a butternut squash.

Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes at 200 degrees. Open up a can of low fat mushroom condensed soup (about £1.50) and pour it over the vegetables, sprinkle with cheese and a handful of breadcrumbs (a pack of Panko breadcrumbs is about £2) and stick it back in the oven for ten minutes.

If you want to, you can turn it into a pie by sticking some puff pastry on top! Tasty food in under an hour!

Do you have any budget recipes to share? Don’t forget to let us know about them in the comments box below!




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