Food and Drink / Food Challenges

Cooking on a Budget

For all the parents out there who claim they spend too much money on their weekly shop, as a mum of two I thought I would challenge myself to prepare a three-course meal for £10 or under. Having my husband and two male teenagers in the house I didn’t think this would be an easy task, due to the fact they eat loads. So after much thought and deliberation, I finally had a light blub moment! I would make a tradional Sunday Roast dinner with all the trimmings. After checking out what ingredients I had in my cupboard, I was very surprised that my supermarket trip came well under the target amount, with a total of £7.77

Starter

Yorkshire Puddings with gravy

Main Course

Roast Leg of Pork with roast potatoes, mash, carrots, broccoli, sprouts, cheese sauce, apple sauce and of course gravy

Pudding

Apple Crumble with custard

The Yorkshire Puddings were made from plain flour, 2 x large eggs, about three tbs of milk a little water, and lots of seasoning. I had most of the ingredients in the food cupboard, so I averaged the price at around £1.35.

The main course takes a little bit more time to prepare, but with all the fresh vegetables included in the meal I think it’s worth it. I bought a shoulder of Pork from Lidl, it was a good-sized joint priced at £3.69, bargain! I complimented it with roast potatoes, mash, carrots, broccoli, sprouts and stuffing along with two sauces, apple and a cheese sauce to go over the broccoli (and to hide the sprouts from the boys!). The total cost of the vegetables was around £1.27.

The stuffing was a Morrison’s own pack that you can just add water too, but it tastes great and at only 27p it’s worth it! I made both sauces from scratch, though I must admit the apples were a freebie from one of my mum’s friends, but I noticed that you could buy cooking apples from most supermarkets and it they aren’t a bank buster!

I made the cheese sauce by adding a small amount of butter, plain flour and milk to a hot saucepan then slowly add cheese until the mixture becomes a thick sauce. I would never compromise and use a packet mix instead, but this is just my choice if you wanted to, you can buy supermarkets own cheese sauce, which costs less than 50p.

For dessert, I made our family favourite apple crumble and custard. Again using more free apples, as well as flour, sugar and butter for the crumble topping (these were ingredients I had in my cupboard), I estimated the supermarket cost at around £1.25 (this also included the price of the custard). I decided not to make my own for ease opting to buy a tin from the supermarket, I found that the store brands of custard are of good enough quality and cheap enough to justify buying.

A good family meal enjoyed by all, well that’s what the boys tell me anyway!

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By Amanda Bayliss

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