Apples – Try being versatile with popular food items. As well as making treats like apple crisps or apple crumble, you can also try adding grated apple to a curry instead of mango chutney.
Cornish Pasty – Pasties are great for using up any leftover meat or vegetables. Why not try my cheese and bacon pasty?
Dates – Packaging can be confusing with use by and best before dates, so here is my brief explanation. Best before: The product is safe to consume but may not be at its best quality. Use by: This refers to food safety so it should not be consumed after the date stated.
Eat before shopping – This is a no brainier! Don’t go food shopping on an empty stomach so you will won’t give in to temptation.
Freezer – I’m not sure how I would survive without my freezer! You can freeze leftovers, bread, fruit, vegetables, meat and you can even prepare meals in advance to freeze.
Gnocchi – A super cheap meal which can be made with a few simple ingredients. You can find the recipe here.
Homemade – Making meals from scratch saves me a lot of money plus I know exactly what goes into my food.
Indian Food – Not only is it delicious, it also contains a lot of staple foods. Such as, dried herbs, spices and pulses which are all in my recipe for Chicken korma.
Jacket potatoes – One of my children’s favourite meals is Leftover baked potato bar. Not only does it give them the option to choose their own toppings but it also uses up all the leftovers from your week of meals.
Kitchen cupboard staples – Probably the most important thing for eating on a budget is making sure you have your kitchen cupboard staples stocked up. Dried pasta, rice, noodles, herbs, spices, flour, tinned tomatoes, tinned potatoes etc.
Leftovers – Never throw your leftovers away, no matter how small! Leftover rice? Stir into pancake mix for some savoury pancakes. Leftover mashed potato? Make potato cakes! Or just simple put your leftovers in the freezer for another day.
Meal plan – Figure out exactly what you are going to have for your meals before you go shopping. Make a list, check your cupboards and you will be less likely to forget something.
Naan bread – These can be eaten with almost any meal to add extra substance. They contain 5 ingredients that I bet we all have in our cupboard/fridge. Find the recipe here.
Onions – You can find a bag of onions in the supermarket for around 80p but make sure you don’t waste them. Chop them all up when you get them and place in the freezer so you can just take what you need for each meal.
Pork – Meat is one of the most expensive components in a meal but pork is one of the cheapest. You can cut the skin off sausages and use them in meatballs or hamburgers.
Quinoa, oats, rice – aka Grains! Adding some grains to your dish doesn’t just add extra nutrients but they also bulk them out so they can go further.
Ramen noodles – I have been eating these since I first moved out at 19 because they are so cheap. Luckily my cooking skills have moved on a bit since then. Try them in my recipe for chicken taco ramen.
Soup – You can make almost all your leftovers or squishy vegetables into a soup. I’ve even make one with clean potato and carrot peelings!
Tins – Another kitchen cupboard staple. I regularly use tinned tomatoes, chickpeas, sweetcorn, peas and potatoes. They are great to add to a dish and are very cheap.
Ugly fruit and vegetables – aka Wonky veg boxes. These are a genius invention! For those who aren’t familiar with these, they are boxes of less than perfect vegetables sold at less than the perfect ones.
Vegetarian meals – As I said before, meat is expensive so we try and have a couple of meat free meals a week.
Waste not – Don’t be afraid to buy the yellow sticker reduced items at the supermarket. Just because it has a best before date, it doesn’t mean it isn’t okay to eat. I pick up a variety of fruit for my daughters packed lunches for as little as 1p!
Xmas Leftovers – (Finding one for X was difficult!) Christmas time is when we spend the most money on food and it is also the time we waste the most. Here are some examples of what to do with your leftovers. Meat: curry, pie, sandwiches. Vegtables: soup, frittata, bubble and squeak. The same goes for your Sunday roast too!
Yoghurt – Do you ever buy natural yoghurt for a meal but then it sits in the fridge until it starts growing other life forms? Blend together with some fruit (I use frozen berries), pop it in the fridge and enjoy as an alternative to ice cream. My kids love it and they don’t know it’s not actually a sugary treat!
Zucchini – (Can you tell I struggle with Z too?!) aka Courgette. They are cheap and versatile, I’ve made everything from courgette frittata to chocolate courgette cake.