5 weekday meals for £20
If you're still feeling the New Year pinch financially, and you can pinch more than an inch that you would like to lose, then a simple but extremely effective practical cooking tip is to plan your meals, buy what you need and stay within your budget.
Here's a menu for 5 easy recipes which will cost you a mere £20! All these recipes are on the website, just click on the links below. Look out for my practical cooking tips to help make the most of each meal.
I cannot stress how important planning is when it comes to meals. It takes just a few minutes over a cup of tea to work out who is where in the week, and to plan suitable meals around the activities. Don't think it's restricting - it's actually liberating and allows you to make the most of your free time knowing that meals for the week are sorted. You can shop according to what you need and stay within your budget for that week. Everyone's a winner!
Monday - Cottage Pie
Warming start to the week! My easy recipe for cottage pie has a few tweaks to the traditional recipe, including a topping of potato, swede and potato, makes it a hit with the fussiest of kids. It's also got plenty of hidden vegetables so healthy too!
Cooking Tip: If you have time then make double and freeze it for evenings when you only have time to reheat something.
Tuesday - Butternut Squash Soup & Crusty Bread
This is the easiest and healthiest recipe for butternut squash soup in the world! No chopping or peeling required of this tasty but awkward-to-prepare vegetable for this delicious, flavoursome soup.
Top with some fresh sage and dollops of creme fraise to make it a bit special - if you're in the mood! Then add a 60p French Baguette and voila - dinner is served!
Cooking Tip: Bake your squash the night before so you can just throw all the ingredients together, heat blend and serve.
Wednesday - Spaghetti with Pancetta, Tomato & Parmesan
You won’t believe how just six simple ingredients can make this delicious, quick and very inexpensive traditional Roman pasta dish! Not only is this dish tasty and delicious, it's also ready from scratch in just 15 minutes.
Cooking Tip:As this recipe is so quick to make, save it for a day when you are especially busy. Any pasta is fine to use if you're not keen on spaghetti, and bacon makes a good substitute for pancetta if you prefer.
I describe this dish as simply amazing because it is simple, and it really is amazing! A really easy recipe too, just chuck everything in the dish the night before and bake in the oven the following day. Lamb chops work a treat with these flavours if you fancy a change from chicken.
Cooking Tip: This dish is great for mid-week entertaining as minimum preparation is required. If you prepare it the night before it will always taste better, and while it is baking you will have time to quickly put away the toys, make the cous-cous and open some wine!
Friday - Mexican Bean Quesadillas
An easy and tasty end of week healthy treat that the whole family will enjoy!
Serve with a big yummy green salad with feta! Here's how I do it...
You will need a large Romaine lettuce, 300g cherry tomatoes, 100g feta cheese, half a red onion, 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar. Shred the lettuce, halve the tomatoes, dice the feta and thinly slice the onion. Combine well, drizzle over the oil & vinegar and serve immediately!
Cooking Tip:Perfect with a Friday night family movie! Quesadillas are definitely a healthy, tasty and cheaper alternative to a frozen pizza!
So, how much have you spent....?
Five delicious, healthy, easy and tasty meals for an incredible £20! You wouldn't be able to live on ready meals for that! Also, don't forget to print the shopping list to help you get all the correct items.
Give it a go and please let me know how you get on. If you have any tips on how you plan your own weekly meals, please comment below!
*Based on a 100g serving of crusty French bread without butter = 15p / 240 cals per serving
**Based on 1/4 of the total ingredients of the Feta Salad above = 75p / 360 cals per serving