As the cost of living continues to increase, providing nutritious meals for a family, or bulk cooking for an individial, within a tight budget has become more challenging.
To help, we have pulled together a selection of affordable meals and by replacing some ingredients with more affordable options, could benefit your weekly food budget.
Although food prices are on the rise, carefully planning can help you stay within your budget. Try to be flexible and take advantage of good deals, especially when it comes to seasonal vegetables, which are often more reasonably priced.
• 1 tablespoon of olive oil
• 2 cloves of garlic (crushed, or 1 tsp garlic puree)
• 4 spring onions finely chopped (medium white onion)
• 100g smoked ham
• 1 green or red pepper, diced
• 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
• 2 tablespoons of tomato puree
• 400g tin of chickpeas
• Ground black pepper, to taste
• ½ teaspoon cumin
• ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
• 1 vegetable stock cube (gently crushed in the foil to sprinkle on)
• 4 eggs
• Bread of choice to serve with
Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add onions, garlic and gently cook for a minute. Add the ham and red/green pepper and after one minute, add the tinned tomatoes, tomato puree and chickpeas and stir. Add cumin, paprika, black pepper and stock.
Simmer for 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Crack one egg into a mug. Make a hollow well in the tomato mix that’s in the pan and gently pour the egg into it. Do the same with the other egg.
Cover with a lid or tinfoil for a few minutes until the egg is cooked and serve with choice of bread…yum!
•1 red pepper, de-seeded
•1 small onion, peeled
•1 teaspoon paprika
•1 teaspoon mild chilli powder
•1 small clove garlic, crushed
•1 teaspoon ground cumin
•2 teaspoon vegetable oil
•1 small chicken breast fillet
•1 medium tortilla wrap (1 portion)
De-seed the pepper and slice. Peel and slice the onion and dice the chicken.
Mix all the spices and the oil in a mixing bowl add the garlic and chicken in a bowl and cover.
On a medium heat, put the vegetables in a frying pan for 5 minutes until they are soft, add the chicken and cook for another 10 minutes (until the chicken is white all the way through).
Place half of the chicken and vegetable mix in centre of the tortilla, with a small spoonful of cheese and roll up tightly. Enjoy!
•2 tablespoons of olive oil
•400g Minced Beef
•1 onion, diced
•2 teaspoons of garlic puree
•1 carrot, grated
•2 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
•1 beef stock cube
•1 tablespoon of mixed herbs
•400g/14oz dried spaghetti
•Salt and pepper to taste
Cook the minced beef until it turns brown over a medium-high heat for 5-10 minutes. Add the onions and fry gently for 5-6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the grated carrot.
Add tomatoes to the pan and stir well. Crumble in the stock cube and add the mixed herbs and simmer until the sauce is thick and rich.
When the bolognaise is ready, cook the spaghetti, in a large saucepan of boiling water. Cook the spaghetti according to the packet instructions. Once the spaghetti is cooked through drain and serve.
•450g minced turkey
•2 tablespoons of bread crumbs
•1 small onion, very finely chopped
•1 carrot, grated
•2 teaspoons dried mixed herbs
•1 pinch of ground black pepper
•4 standard burger buns, cut in half
•2 handfuls of lettuce leaves
•8 tomato slices
Pre-heat the grill to a medium-high heat. Put the turkey meat, onion, carrot, sweetcorn, herbs and breadcrumbs into a large bowl. Season with some pepper and mix – you can do this with your hands if you like.
Form the turkey mixture into 3 – 4 burger shapes, grill the burgers for 12 to 15 minutes, turning them over once, until browned and cooked through. Remove from the grill and let rest for a couple of minutes.
While the cooked burgers are cooling, lightly toast the burger buns under the grill on the cut side only. Put some lettuce on the bottom halves and place the burgers on top. Add 2 slices of tomato onto each one and cover with the top half of the bun.
•2 x 410g tins of jackfruit (in water), drained and rinsed
•1 tablespoon of olive oil
•1 medium onion, finely diced
•3 cloves of garlic, crushed
•200ml smoky BBQ sauce
•1 tablespoon of oregano
Open the tins of jackfruit and gently break into shreds in a bowl, removing any seeds and tough pieces that don’t shred.
Heat a large, lidded frying pan over a medium-low heat. Add the oil and onion and cook for 5 minutes stirring frequently until browned. Add the garlic puree and cook for 2 more minutes. Stir in the jackfruit and cover and cook (without stirring) for 5 minutes.
Add BBQ sauce, oregano and 2 tablespoon of water, stirring to coat the jackfruit. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 mins, stirring every few mins to make sure it doesn’t stick. If it does start to stick, add a splash more water. The sauce should be reduced but not sticking to the sides.
•1 tablespoon of olive oil
•2 onions, sliced
•2 large garlic cloves, chopped
•2 courgettes, diced
•1 red and 1 yellow pepper, de-seeded and roughly sliced
•400g tin of chopped tomatoes
•2 tablespoon of tomato purée
•1 vegetable stock cube
•2 tablespoon of Italian mixed herbs
•1 large aubergine, sliced across length or width for maximum surface area
•6 lasagne sheets (105g)
•125g mozzarella, chopped
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan and fry 2 sliced onions and 2 chopped large garlic cloves for 5 mins. Tip in the diced courgettes, sliced red and yellow pepper, and 400g tinned chopped tomatoes with tomato purée, vegetable stock and 2 tablespoon of Italian mixed herbs. Stir well, cover and cook for 5 mins.
Lay half the slices of aubergine in the base of the slow cooker and top with sheets of lasagna. Add a third of the vegetable mixture, then the remaining aubergine slices, cover with lasagne sheets, then the remaining mixture. Cover and cook on high for 2½ - 3 hours until the pasta and vegetables are tender. Turn off the machine.
Scatter 125g copped mozzarella over the vegetables then cover and leave for 10 mins to settle and melt the cheese.
•1 tablespoon of olive oil
•1 large onion, chopped
•1 ½ tablespoon of plain flour
•650g chicken thigh or breast fillets
•3 garlic cloves, crushed or 3 tablespoons of garlic puree
•400g new potatoes, halved
•2 sticks celery, diced
•2 carrots, diced
•250g mushrooms, quartered
•500ml stock made with two very low salt chicken stock cubes
•2 teaspoons of dijon mustard, plus extra to serve
•2 tablespoon of mixed herbs
Put 1 ½ tablespoon of flour, salt and pepper in a bowl and toss the chicken thigh fillets in it. In a large frying pan add the olive oil, cook 1 chopped large onion for 8-10 mins until softened. Add 3 crushed garlic cloves and the chicken to the pan and cook for 4-5 mins more until the chicken is starting to brown.
Transfer to your slow cooker, along with 400g halved baby new potatoes, 2 diced celery sticks, 2 diced carrots, 250g quartered mushrooms, 500ml chicken stock, 2 teaspoons of dijon mustard and 2 tablespoons of mixed herbs, give it a good stir. Cook on low for 7 hours or high for 4 hours.
You can also find out more about your local food pantries that for a small cost, that allows you to benefit from food and store cupboard essentials. The link also takes you to information from the Government on how people who are 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under 4, can make the most of the Healthy Start Vouchers: