These are Money Saving Recipes with good 'eye appeal'.
There are many, many good cookery books available in bookshops and libraries, but here we are concentrating on producing tasty meals that will save money, time and effort.
In other words, our ideas are not normally found in books, but are based on providing good meals easily.
Even a 'good idea' is often raised to the ranks of 'Money Saving Recipe'.
Also we concentrate on ingredients that you will have readily available.
We avoid recipes that list about 20 obscure items and that leave you with these vague ingredients sitting on the shelves unused for years.
Been there, done that!
Meal Plans Click here for free meal planning tips and fun recipes.
Best of all, your plan to economise will not show because these money saving recipes are all so tasty. So sit back and enjoy the compliments as well as the food.
If you are entertaining, when you serve any of these meals, present them well. Lay your table in an attractive manner. If you have white plates, so much the better. Any design on a plate detracts from the meal itself. Use a white paper serviette to complete the picture.
Follow these tips and your guests will not have a clue that you are about to serve a money saving recipe. They will be concentrating on the effort you are making for them, making your aim easier. Presentation, presentation, presentation.
Don’t say, ‘It’s only omelette tonight’– 'sell' your meal with - ‘ I am making lovely cheese and chive omelettes tonight with a new salad'. If you are using free range eggs - say so. You just need to arouse your guest's taste buds then they will be keener than ever to eat.
Another way to impress your guests is to serve your own home grown new potatoes. This is easily done if you grow them in sturdy plastic carrier bags as shown in
our Gardening Diary
If you can serve a very simple starter (a thick vegetable soup), your planned main course and a dessert (fruit) followed by coffee, they will be well pleased and your budget should remain intact.
MONEY SAVING RECIPES
These money saving recipes are easily adjustable to the size of your family as well as your taste and will surely save money.
Nothing is set in stone. You can choose ingredients according to what you have available. All these money saving recipes can be produced with a minimum of effort and fuss. All are suitable for entertaining either a small or large number of friends.
All are quick, easy and best of all, tasty and will save money. Don't hesitate to add your favourite seasoning or herbs such as garlic and thyme.
Perhaps the best money saving recipe of all is BUBBLE AND SQUEAK
Traditionally the way of using left-overs from the Sunday lunch this dish was served on Monday with some cold cuts of meat (more left-overs) and pickles - piccalilli was a great favourite.
This money saving recipe is so easy - just mash or rough chop the left-over cooked potatoes and cabbage together. Add a splash of olive oil to a frying pan. When hot add the chopped vegetables, Push into a large, flat pate shape. Cook until brown on one side, flip over and cook on the other side.
This is great served in many ways - with fried eggs, bacon, tomatoes, in fact whatever takes your fancy or that you have to hand that needs using up. Best of all it is not a one of the fancy recipes - just an old fashioned English cooking money saving recipe.
For both beginners and good cooks, we publish The Royal Society of Chemistry's YORKSHIRE PUDDING RECIPE (with acknowledgment and thanks).
Tablespoon and a half of plain flour,
1 half milk, half water to make a thin batter,
Half a teaspoon of salt.
Put flour in a bowl, make a well in the middle, add the egg, stir until the two are combined then start gradually adding the milk and water, combining as you go.
Add the liquid until the matter is a smooth and thin consistency.
Stir in half teaspoon of salt and leave to stand for 10 minutes. (Writer's note - I gauge the consistency when it just coats the back of a wooden spoon, also I do not add quite so much salt - just a pinch will suffice.)
Put beef dripping into Yorkshire pudding tins or into one large tin but do not use too much fat.
Put into a hot oven until the fat starts of smoke.
Give the batter a final stir and pour into the tin(s).
Place in hot oven until well risen - 10-15 minutes.
The scientists reckon the pudding should rise by a height of 4". (A man measurement?) Yorkshire Puddings are one of the recipes that have stood the test of time and probably will for years to come.
For a quick and tasty meal for the family try our money saving recipe for PASTA WITH TUNA
First of all, cook a 1 lb. (500g) packet of wholemeal fusilli pasta following the instructions on the packet. (Tesco sell a good one).
Now, while the pasta is cooking, lightly fry two medium sized chopped onions (red skinned ones are good) in a wok in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil When softened but not brown add one tablespoon tomato puree and two tins of chopped tomatoes. If you have any available, a small glass of wine added with the chopped tomatoes gives this dish a lovely ‘lift’. Cook for a few minutes. (The dish is still very tasty without the wine, so don't panic.)
When the pasta is cooked, drain and add to the tomato mixture in the wok.
Then add two tins 185g size of Tuna, drained and flaked with a fork – use the type in sunflower oil, not the brine – too much salt is not good for you. Serve hot with a bowl of grated Parmesan cheese with perhaps a mixed salad. To save money here, you could use a tasty, mature Cheddar cheese.
Another serving suggestion is when the pasta is on the plate, make a hollow in the middle of the pasta with a spoon and fill with cooked garden peas. Very pleasing on the eye - and a complete, tasty meal.
Getting right away from the usual salads, try this unusual PICK 'N MIX SALAD
Probably not even joining the ranks of a money saving recipe as such - Just select whatever ingredients you have to hand, or which are cheapest and in season.
In a bowl mix together, chopped celery, finely sliced carrot(do this with the aid of the potato peeler, quickly taking thin, round slices from the top of the carrot), flaked almonds, sultanas, watercress, chopped pepper, halved seedless grapes, halved cherry tomatoes. Drizzle some olive oil over the top of these ingredients, mix in, serve and enjoy.
This salad will keep for up to three days in the fridge and seems to improve on keeping (if it's not eaten before!). Tip - if you can make this salad an hour or two before serving, it improves after allowing the oil to soak in to the ingredients.
For a tasty, hot meal try this money saving recipe for TUNA BAKE
In a large, lightly oiled oven-proof dish about 2½” deep, arrange a layer each of sliced potatoes, carrots and onions. If you have a food processor use the slicing disk for the root vegetables.
The potatoes must be the first layer to form a base for the rest of the dish, followed by the onions and carrots.
Then add a thick layer of drained and flaked tinned tuna – 2 cans (185g size) or more depending on the size of your dish and family. Spread evenly over the vegetables.
Add another layer of onions and carrots. Then add a can of Campbell’s concentrated celery soup, diluted with no more than 1/2 a can of water. Top the dish with a layer of sliced potato neatly arranged in rows. There is no need to add additional salt - there is enough in the canned soup. Cover with oiled tin foil and cook for 1½ hours in a medium oven, 200°C. or until vegetables are tender. Serve with a green vegetable or green salad.
This meal is filling and a great way to save money.
SAVOURY OMELETTES can form the basis of quick supper meal. They are also a great way of using up leftovers. Create your own individual money saving recipe!
For one person, whip two eggs together with salt and pepper. Put a small amount of olive oil into an omelette pan. Heat until almost smoky hot, pour in the egg mix and stir around until starting to set, then add your chosen filling. Flop half of the omelette over the other and allow to brown. Serve with a portion of the Pick N Mix Salad and some crusty bread, a green salad or jacket potato.
Ring the changes with the following fillings:
1. Cheese and chives added to the egg mixture with agrated cheese filling
2. Cheese and parsley ditto.
3. Spanish mix. Chopped onion, skinned, chopped tomatoes and garlic. Par cook this mix in the pan before adding the egg mix.
4. Chopped onion with garlic, cooked in the pan with very little olive oil before adding the egg mix can form the basis of an interesting omelette.
5. Any left over meat. Cold sausage finely sliced, small pieces of chicken etc. chopped cooked bacon. can be added after the egg mixture has started to set. With the following variations:
6. Small portion of left over risotto.
7. Almost anything you need to use up – chopped spring onions, sweet corn, prawns, chopped courgettes and peppers (cook in the pan first). Tinned or fresh crabmeat, sardines, chopped, cooked potatoes.
Serve with a selection of vegetables or the Pick N Mix Salad.
Why not make your own POTATO WEDGESand save the expense of buying them? This is just a good idea sneaked in amongst the money saving recipes! So easy to do.
Take some Desiree potatoes, about three inches long, wash and quarter them length-wise. No need to peel. Dry on paper towelling. Put 2 tablespoons olive oil and a sprinkling of salt into a plastic bag. Add the potatoes, close the top of the bag firmly in your grip and shake until the potatoes are coated in oil. Tip into a shallow baking tray and bake in a hot oven until golden brown and cooked. These wedges would sit well with the omlettes above.
(For anyone in a hurry!)
In a saucepan cook 10ozs. Long grain brown rice as per the instructions on the packet. To save money - Tesco do a very reasonably priced brown rice. For extra flavour cook the rice in vegetable stock made with a cube or add a teaspoon of Vegemite or Marmite to the cooking water.
Now, while the rice is cooking, in a wok heat 2 tablespoons olive oil, add one red, chopped onion, 1 or 2 cloves garlic, crushed. Cook until the onion looks transparent but is not browned.
Add any of the following: Chopped celery, chopped courgette, chopped pepper, finely sliced finger thick new carrots, tinned sweet corn, frozen peas. Add the raw vegetables first. They will take a few minutes to cook, then add peas and sweet corn. By this time the rice should be cooked. Strain and add to the wok. Mix in well. Your Cheat’s Risotto is done. This recipe freezes very well if you have enough left over for another day.
To get the children to eat Cheat’s Risotto, use just red sweet pepper, yellow sweet corn and green peas. Call it Traffic Light Rice and they should tuck in.
Just make your selection from our money saving recipes and enjoy the fact that there is very little work involved.
As you sit and enjoy thesemoney saving recipes and the tips, whether alone with the radio, TV or a good book, with the family or in company of good friends - allow yourself an inner smile.
Not only for the good meal, but the fact that you have learned not only how to save money, time and effort but have not sacrificed taste and quality.
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