It’s a time of year when money can be tight.
Christmas is around the corner and you may be running out of funds with a week to go until pay day. So how do you pinch the pennies and still have enough money to buy your food?
You can check price comparison websites for the best supermarket deals to keep on top of your budget. Shopping lists help stop you straying from your costed-out plan. Batch cooking large meals which you can reheat also keeps things cheap.
A Liverpool Echo reporter decided to come up with a meal plan based on a £1-a-day spend for a week. Could you survive on this?
ChronicleLive does not support a strategy of living on unhealthy, non-fresh and heavily processed foods even on the meagre budget many families must exist on.
Set out below is one idea of a shopping list and a series of meals and snacks based on this principle, which you can choose to use if you wish.
There are also loads of other great budget recipe ideas on the internet which will naturally use a different set of ingredients – but hopefully this is useful as a base.
Tesco: Porridge Oats 1kg (75p), Pork Luncheon Meat 20 Slices (60p), 10 Beef Stock Cubes (30p), Cooking Bacon 500g (60p), Value Lard 250g (39p). Total – £2.64
Aldi: Carrots 1kg (39p), Durumwheat Spaghetti 500g (20p), Onion 1kg (55p), Semi-Skimmed Milk One Pint (45p), Strawberry Jam 454g (28p), Baked Beans Can 410g (23p), Chopped Tomatoes Can 400g (29p), Potatoes – Charlotte 1kg (79p), Wholewheat Bread Loaf 800g (36p), 10 Large Eggs (79p). Total – £4.33
Overall cost: £6.97
Bacon and potato casserole (two portions)
Ingredients: 135g bacon, one diced onion, three chopped carrots, seven potatoes and one pint of beef stock using one cube
Method: Fry the bacon, onion and carrots together in a pan until the vegetables are soft.
Peel and chop the potatoes and put them on to boil in the pint of stock.
Drain the potatoes and combine both pans together in a casserole-type dish but make sure to leave out several chunks of potato.
Using the spare potato, mash it and spread it thinly over the top of the casserole and put that under the grill at 180C for 12 minutes or until brown and crispy.
Pancakes and bacon (a few depending on thickness)
Ingredients: One egg, 50g of oats and 150ml of milk for the pancakes, 70g of bacon and a bit of lard to fry it all in.
Method: Because there is no access to flour on this budget, you can blend down the oats to make oat flour. If you don’t have a blender, a bowl and repeated grinding should do the trick but will require some elbow grease.
Put a pan onto a medium heat with a little bit of lard to stop the mixture from sticking. Get a whisk or fork and combine the egg, oat flour and milk in a bowl and pour that into the pan until the surface is covered.
You’ll have to be a little patient with these in the pan to give them time to form together and cook through before flipping them over and frying the other side.
Meanwhile, in a separate pan, fry off the bacon and scatter that over the top of the pancakes.
Pork, egg and chips
Ingredients: Five slices of pork luncheon meat, one egg, remaining potatoes from previously made meal and lard
Method: Preheat the oven to 180C. Cut up the potatoes into wedges, how many come from each potato will depend on their size.
Grease the raw potato with some lard, it’ll make the outside a bit crispier in the oven, put them onto a baking sheet/tray and put in the oven for about 25 minutes.
Fry the egg in a pan and try and keep the yolk dippy so you have a bit of sauce for the wedges. Serve that with the pork.
Omelette, tomato and bacon
Ingredients: Three eggs, half a can of chopped tomatoes and approximately 35g of bacon
Method: Fry the bacon in a pan then add the tomatoes and keep that mixture over low heat.
Crack three eggs into a bowl and whisk together. Put another pan, greased with some lard, over a medium heat and add the egg mixture to that.
When the eggs are beginning to form together add in the tomato and bacon mixture and cook to your liking.
Bacon and spaghetti soup (two portions)
Ingredients: 100g chopped onions, 100g chopped carrots, 50g spaghetti, 40g bacon and one pint of beef stock using one cube
Method: Melt some lard in a pot, add in the bacon to seal it before putting in the onions and carrots to fry them.
Put in the pint of stock and break up the spaghetti, using your hands, into small pieces and drop that in. Simmer it all for about 20 minutes.
Pasta, bacon and beans (two portions)
Ingredients: 70g bacon, 150g spaghetti, can of beans
Method: Fry the bacon in a pan. Boil 75g of spaghetti in a pot. Drain the spaghetti and add the beans and bacon to the pot, return to the heat and warm everything through.
Split into two portions.
Porridge and jam (as many portions as is left in the bag!)
Ingredients: Oats and jam
Method: You can use as many oats as you like depending on how hungry you are but, on average, 50g of oats in a bowl with approximately 350ml of water should be about right.
Put that in a pan over a medium heat and reduce to a consistency you like. Dollop some jam on top and you’re done.
Pork sandwiches and bacon sandwiches
Ingredients: 15 slices of pork luncheon meat, 150g bacon, bread and lard for both spreading
Method: Count how many slices of bread you have and split that up evenly over the week when you have planned for a sandwich or toast and jam (see below). A thin layer of lard will moisten up the sandwich and, again, split the pork and bacon, which you should fry in a pan, between the bread.
Scones and jam (between eight and 10)
Ingredients: 260g of oats, 60g lard and 100ml water
Method: Use the same trick for oat flour as outlined in the pancakes recipe.
Melt down the lard, it should make approximately 100ml of liquid, and add that to the oat flour and mix in the water using your hands.
Then break off pieces of the mixture, which should combine very quickly, into about eight to 10 similar-sized chunks and shape them into scones.
Place them on a baking tray and pop in a preheated oven at 220C for 15 minutes.