Friday, 13 February 2015

When the cupboard is bare

I know it's only half way through February, but already I'm thinking of stretching the budget! Is that a bad sign, I wonder? .........

What do you make, when it's near the end of the month, the budget is nearing an end and there's very little left in the fridge? You still have mouths to feed and they want proper food!

Photo from google images.

My 'go-to' budget recipes are :-

 * Soup - served with home made bread. Any kind, but especially curried vegetable - using up any remnants of root veg, softening in vegetable stock and adding some curry powder before blitzing in the liquidiser.  I also make a version of Cranks tomato and lentil soup - Soften an onion and some garlic with a pinch of dried herbs. Add a tin of tomatoes, some tomato puree and vegetable stock with a 1tsp of marmite, then add red lentils and simmer until the lentils are soft. Lovely served with grated cheese on top!
* Beans - I make bean casseroles with tinned beans of any shape, onion/garlic/herbs/spices and any fresh veg I have left over - peppers, frozen peas, beans or sweetcorn, diced carrot etc. This is good served over a jacket potato or indeed with grated cheese on top. If I have ever been unwell, this is what I crave - hot, in a bowl, curled up on the settee......
 * Risotto - I always have risotto rice in the cupboard. It makes an excellent quick meal for all six of us. Sometimes I add puree frozen peas, sometimes tomato and basil, sometimes diced mixed vegetables, sometimes just white wine and herbs. In the past, I would have added grated cheese, now I use nutritional yeast instead.
 * Pakoras - mix one cup of gram (chickpea) flour with ground cumin and coriander and water to make a runny batter, the consistency of single cream. Stir in frozen peas, sweetcorn or small florets of cauliflower or broccoli. Fry in spoonfuls in a drizzle of hot oil to make pakoras. This amount makes about 20 small pakoras. I serve mine with raita, red onion relish and mango chutney, but they are basically street food so can just be eaten as they are! I reckon they'd also be nice wrapped in a crisp lettuce leaf, but have yet to try this. They can also be frozen.

What cheap, store cupboard meals do you use, to make the most of any leftovers, when the money is tight at the end of the month?


  1. I also tend to have soup as one of my go to meals. We nearly always have enough to make a salad of some sort. My husband likes jacket potatoes so he often gets those towards the end of the month.

    1. Yes I like a jacket potato too - such a simple meal and yet so healthy and tasty. I hoping to grow a lot if my win salad leaves in the summer if I can stop my chickens eating them all first!