Okay so to give this post some context you’re gonna need some background. I’m one of 10, I have 6 brothers and 3 sisters. Mad I know, believe me in my 22 years I’ve answered every question people have on the topic!
I’ve recently moved back home and my ‘house job’ is to do a lot of the cooking. I LOVE cooking, I find it very soothing and I love making new recipes and trying new flavours. HOWEVER in the Friis family there are currently 8 people. 4 of us are vegetarians, 1 on a low carb diet, 1 meat obsessed and 1 fussy little bastard, then my Mum who doesn’t care as long as she doesn’t have to cook it-the good egg. Between all this and working on a budget it can be bloody impossible.
The only way I can get through this is to plan. I do a weekly plan of what meals I’ll do each night and what ingredients I need. Now I’ve become slightly slack at this as I’ve been away on and off and I’ve begun to resent my tribe, but boy has a lack of planning made my life harder. So I really am qualified to say meal planning is 100% the way forward. It’s great for minimising waste, lowering the cost of your food bill and it’s ace to know what you’re having for tea that night! I’ve always had to find ways of re-using and re-working simple ingredients, they now call me Flo:Queen of the tinned tomato. Veg Stews, Lasagnes, Bean Chilli’s, Halloumi Bake’s, Pasta Bakes- just some of the teas I’ve based around tinned tomato. They’re all SO yum, simple and not too pricey at all.
So here’s some speedy examples;
Perhaps not the most Instagram worthy meal but a Veggie Chow Mein is great for feeding a crowd on a budget. Can also be made low-carb using some weird noodle things that I shan’t be trying!
Oh I bloody love a shepherds pie. Cheap as chips to make, so filling and so bloody healthy! Can be made Vegan just by substituting the dairy, low carb by using sweet potato and veggie by replacing meat with lentils and chickpeas. So LUSH. Something I use in any stew or conventionally meaty sauce, is add some beef gravy. Most are suitable for veggies but just adds that richness and deep flavour that you can sometimes crave.
Stuffed peppers is such a versatile meal, stuff them with cous cous, rice, chilli- really anything you fancy! Here I made a gorgeous filling bean chilli and topped with cheese. But if my Vegan family was around I would have used bread crumbs.
Hope I’ve inspired you with some ideas for cooking on a budget. Let me know what you think!