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Frugal Food | Lots to choose from


For this stir fry, I cooked the chicken in sunflower oil until it became white, then added thinly sliced red onion and the cooked rice and cooked for a few minutes. Then add the peas, soya sauce and 5 spice. It was exotic, tasty and didn’t cost much! There are lots of other frugal meals using staple foods like rice, bread and potatoes.

Why not try making a cottage pie? Chop your cooked meat (traditionally lamb) into a foil container, pour over a little gravy then top with mashed potato. This pie can be frozen until needed and if you want to make it a meal in itself; add garden peas to the chopped meat.

Bread is staple food and you can take a large round loaf and slice it horizontally and toast the slices to make French bread pizza. One of the toppings would be cheese but you can top it with whatever you like. Toast is so useful, make croutons out of it to fill out soups and stews. Beans on toast is healthy and frugal too.

Instead of using your mashed potato for the cottage pie why not consider mixing it with left over white cabbage, fry it to make bubble and squeak; delicious with tomato ketchup! You can also make that old favourite, bangers and mash. Just add some mash potatoes to a couple of quality sausages and a portion of peas. There are lots of recipes for Spanish omelette on the internet so I won’t give you another, try making it with bits of bacon in it.

Egg and chips is a frugal favourite of mine. I get eggs 15 for £1.25 and so it makes for a great meal. As I write this I am making chicken stew with a couple of chicken legs and a stew pack from Aldi; cook the chicken legs remove the bones and add chopped veggies; a teaspoon of herbs d’Provence and seasoning and cook for a couple of hours. It smells delicious and the herbs and seasoning bring out the flavour.

I bought an iceberg lettuce from Aldi and that will make a few frugal salads; great if you’re trying to lose weight.  I’m not, so I throw a few chips on! Try making a salad with sardines in tomato sauce (38p in Aldi) or some pink salmon and prawns. The prawns are a little expensive but the salmon at 99p is OK. Don’t have the tuna flakes, they’re horrible! I did like frozen cod this week from Aldi, I forget the price, but that was nice. The Basa is like cat fish but tastes OK and is very frugal.

If you chop onions and fry them for about an hour in sunflower oil, add a Bovril cube and chicken stock and continue to cook for another ten minutes and you have delicious French onion soup. Eat it with toasted bread.


Potatoes are a staple food and so versatile. You can boil them for mash, fry them, boil them and fry them, make chips, make roast potatoes or pop them in the oven and bake them. Baked potatoes with sausages in the middle is yummy. You can also melt cheese over the top and eat with a portion of baked beans.

If you have children and they are still hungry after meals and ask for bigger portions. Give them a dessert that is filling. An old fashioned bread pudding with custard. Maybe, slice up a Swiss jam roll and serve that up with custard poured over. You could even make rice pudding, that is very filling.

I’ve just had a bowl of chicken stew and fully intend having another. That’s not a bad meal for 60 pence! I probably spend a few pounds a day on food and people who tell me a pub meal is cheap for a fiver must be well off and idle. I eat 28 meals a week and the odd meal at a fiver is OK, but I can’t pay a fiver for every meal and save money too. Some people even spend a fiver and cook the meal for themselves. I saw cook your own meals, £10 for 2 people on Valentines day. I can do a banquet for £10. I’ll start with a Icelandic prawn salad and have Chinese stir fry for the main course and finish with fruit and raspberry ice cream. I can buy chocolate liqueurs with the change! Eat frugally, eat well; all it takes is a little imagination. Don’t waste food, it’s the same as wasting money.

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10 responses

  1. You’re making me hungry with all of these great recipes, Mike. Thanks for sharing these!

    16, February 2012 at 3:22 am

  2. Hi Carolyn,

    The photos make me feel hungry; especially the egg ‘n’ chips one! many people have given up eating desserts or like me eat fruit but they are a good idea for children. I think the rice pudding we had as children had a lot of calcium and vitamins. They did taste awful though!

    16, February 2012 at 2:32 pm

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  4. Yimmo! I find it fascinating the differeces in foods from one country to another. You call cottage pie what I call sheperds pie. I also add peas to my gravy and meat mixture for another vegie. Always trying to sneak them in when I can.

    This is a wonderful blog topic. Please keep it.

    21, February 2012 at 10:16 am

    • Yes, it’s called Shepherd’s pie and cottage pie here! I like the egg and chips picture in this post, it tastes as yummy as it looks. I have chicken stew for lunch and that is a frugal and tasty meal. I have a busy day and it only needs heating.

      I must do more frugal food blogs!

      Thanks for the comment.

      21, February 2012 at 11:40 am

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