Dinner ideas on a budget

Can anyone help me with ideas for dins that use simple cheap ingredients and that fill the gap. cheers asking for my 18 sis who is studying.

Chef_tetrinetsshimmy, Mar 16, 1:22 pm

I came across a website called A Girl Called Jack, last week. So far I've made 2 of her meals, one of which will become a regular dish.

Chef_jack_3, Mar 16, 1:40 pm

Eggs, baked beans, stir frys, wraps, tuna - good for protein - what does she like to eat?

Chef_asue, Mar 16, 2:11 pm

simple meals, I have chicken thighs which I cut into cubes (roughly), pan fry and add a small jar or half a jar of butter chicken or similar to, serve it with rice and I cook some vege in with the rice (ie peas, carrots and corn). You can reseal the jar of butter chicken but use it within 3 days.
Wraps, using the same chicken or beef and salad ingredients.
baked potato, remove some of the potato and fill with a mix of ingredients, my favourites include mexican beans, cheese and sour cream, or baked beans, or mash the removed potato and add an egg (hard boiled and chopped if prefer), cream cheese and pile back into the potato and heat through to cook egg.
Can use Kumara if preferred.
Pasta with a tomato pasta sauce, add mince to make bolognaise or meatballs.
salmon or tuna small tin drained, white sauce, rice cooked, hard boiled egg, saute some onion, mix altogether with a pinch of curry powder and salt and pepper to taste, pile into an oven proof dish and top with a little cheese or breadcrumbs, heat until top nicely brown.

Chef_cgvl, Mar 16, 2:24 pm

Is it just for herself (ie no kids)? If no kids to consider, I would probably just live off baked beans, eggs, tuna & rice, pasta etc.

Chef_hd07, Mar 16, 2:55 pm

Chicken pieces (I buy drumsticks on special or whatever I can get super cheap) a can of coconut cream ($1.50) a sliced leek and onion and carrot (or whatever veges you like) two oxo chicken stock cubes crumbled into the coconut cream and some paprika and bake until the chicken is done. Serve with rice or eat by itself. Easy to switch veges to seasonal. Always under $10 per meal and leftovers as well.

Chef_luvmykicks, Mar 16, 5:41 pm

Look up Sophie Gray recipes ie the Destitute Gourmet, I have 4 of her books and they are all based on cooking on a budget, very good. She is amazing at stretching things-------------------------
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Chef_village.green, Mar 16, 5:52 pm

I'd second the recommendation above for Sophie Gray (you could also probably get her books from the local library).

Chef_scarlettnz, Mar 16, 6:56 pm

. google is free.

Chef_awoftam, Mar 16, 7:27 pm

It's not the meal - it's where/how you buy or make the ingredients.
Buy when cheap and freeze, buy cheaper cuts - chicken thighs or drumsticks not breast.
Mince.
Stewing meat.
Buy fruit and veges at local vege shops not the supermarket.
Shop around. prices vary considerably - toilet paper, washing powder, soap not just food.

Chef_lythande1, Mar 17, 6:07 am

Alison holts have budget recipes books. Get her to join a fruit and veg co op.

Chef_dolphinlu, Mar 20, 12:27 am



I have found Sophie Gray's recipes great for families but not that suitable for one unless you want to eat the same thing several nights in a row. I gather from the O/P she is looking for recipes for one. There are several recipe books available which have meals for one or two. I had several but they went to the op-shop in the last declutter.

Chef_kay141, Mar 20, 1:02 pm

chickpeas. dried . soak and cook up yourself, can make hummus, falafels, curries, stews, soups

Chef_motorbo, Mar 20, 1:28 pm



You can't eat toilet paper, washing powder, or sooooap

Chef_rainrain1, Mar 20, 5:42 pm



I agree but the previous poster has said before that it is possible to get those things cheaply. For me, there are some things I will not economise on and toilet paper is one of them. I think it is false economy to buy the el cheapo stuff as you use more.

Chef_kay141, Mar 20, 5:47 pm



Oh the joys (not) of cheap 1 ply toilet paper LOL. Not to mention the stuff that 'disintegrates' just when you need it most. Not to be recommended!

Chef_sampa, Mar 20, 5:58 pm

Oh no, only the best loo paper here, whatever that is. Roly do you think?

Chef_rainrain1, Mar 20, 6:01 pm



Yep, that's even worse than dishwasher coffee. And that's really bad, in my opinion. I think the same goes for a lot of things like soap powder and dishwash. They may be cheap but you use a lot more.

Chef_kay141, Mar 20, 6:02 pm



A pasta bake with a protein like smoked chicken breast and added veggies in a cheese sauce or similar cooked with a cheese topping is good. Easy to make and lots of leftovers to freeze and nuke for someone pouring over the books. An easy meal to eat with just a fork too, an advantage when study is more important than how the food is going to get from plate to mouth.

PS - I realise that smoked chicken is not cheap but a little really does go a long way. Cubed ham steaks (or even just diced ham) could provide an alternative option.

Chef_sampa, Mar 20, 6:06 pm



Quite often, you can get a whole smoked chicken on special for about $10. I can get about 5-6 meals for one out of that.

Chef_kay141, Mar 20, 6:10 pm



Paseo. :) Too much info now on that 'unmentionable' topic LOL.

Chef_sampa, Mar 20, 6:10 pm



lol

Chef_rainrain1, Mar 20, 6:17 pm

there is a fundraiser where people eat from a budget of $2.25 per day.

It is called "live before the line" (poverty line)
You can google their cook book

Chef_duckmoon, Mar 20, 7:03 pm

Re smoked chicken, ham, etc. Sometimes you can buy "bacon ends" at the supermarket. I find that they are seldom bacon, almost always ham. Great for adding to omelets, quiches, veg and rice, etc., etc.
Does your sister have access to a freezer? If so, cooking more than one serving is not an issue, the food will usually freeze well, and just needs to be reheated. How confident a cook is she? What equipment? Lots of questions, I know, but, for instance, you can't make lasagne without some sort of a baking dish and an oven. Or soup (another destitute gourmet standby) without a saucepan and element or a slow cooker.
Lots of equipment can be found in op shops and second hand stores, so she doesn't need to spend heaps to get serviceable kitchen gear.
Tinned tomatoes are often on special. Eggs and cheese are good value protein. She should be aware of what's in season - but frozen veg are often good value through the winter, and nutritious too - they are frozen within a matter of hours of being harvested. If she has a bag of flour in the pantry and can make scones in all their variations, she needn't ever be actually hungry. If she has good soup as well, it is a feast!
Alison Holst had an early cookbook "Dollars and Sense". It's full of good ideas, and there is one for sale on here.
http://www.trademe.co.nz/books/nonfiction/cooking/celebrity-chefs/auction-859576609.htm
. And her vegetarian cookbook is a good one, as well. Lots of tasty recipes.
Sorry -all a bit random. but you get the drift.

Chef_punkinthefirst, Mar 22, 10:26 pm

If it's just her - a small slow cooker is amazing. You can put in jacket potatoes and they'll be ready at the end of the day.

Cheesy veg bake is another good one in a slow cooker. Use Kumara, potatoes, carrots, onions - more robust veges rather than ones that will turn to mush.

Sausage casserole is another great all in one- and you can cheat and throw in a tin of baked beans, some roughly chopped onions and potatoes and carrots, if you haven't got time to add anything else.

Remember jacket potatoes are the students friend. Cheese, beans, coleslaw, ham, cottage cheese, bacon, tuna and sweet corn. And they're cheap!

Chef_gaspodetwd, Mar 23, 12:03 pm

Sausages in a casserole (curried, devilled etc) can be quite cheap if you buy on special and slice the sausages into chunks, you can get away with using less meat than if you served the sausages whole. Served with veges and/or mash makes a filling but economical meal.

Also, a whole chook on special can go a few meals - roast one night, then turn the leftovers into a pasta bake/salad/chicken fried rice/pie/sandwich/stirfry.

Chef_bigjjman, Mar 25, 3:56 pm

Go cheaper and just buy sausage meat. All sorts of possibilities . scotch eggs, sausage pie, meatballs of all sorts of flavours . add pasta or rice or potatoes and some veges. Sausage meat cooks so fast you'll have a good meal in no time!
Also learn to make your own pastry, just as fast, but nicer :-)

Chef_bisloy, Mar 25, 9:22 pm

A healthy, cheap main is corn fritters. I use a can of Wattie's creamed corn(buy a few when on special,)add 2 eggs, a small cup of rolled-oats, couple of tbsps flour and a tsp baking powder. Season, can add herbs or bacon bits, whatever. Drop spoonfuls into a hot oiled pan.( After adding the rolled oats and eggs, leave to sit for half an hour. Then after mixing in the rest you can better-judge consistency.)

Chef_schnauzer11, Nov 26, 10:20 pm

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