A while ago, following a discussion about budgeting, Tall challenged me to cooking one meal a week that cost $10 or less for four portions.
During the summer, it was easy. I tended to buy sausages (usually around $7 for a pack of eight gourmet flavours), and the rest of the meal came from our garden (and sometimes, my dad’s). Lettuce, cherry tomatoes, assorted herbs, spring onions and radishes for a salad, or cabbage and carrots for a coleslaw, and freshly-dug new potatoes from dad. It’s amazing how cheaply you can eat when you have a little space to grow your own vegetables.
As the barbecue season drew to a close, I had to get more creative with my cheap meals. It became too easy to fall back on a basic pasta-tuna-tomato sauce combo (which is delicious, but boring), and it wasn’t much of a challenge if I did the same thing over and over again.
So I’ve dressed up humble beef mince as spaghetti bolognese, meatloaf, lasagna and hamburgers. There’s been macaroni cheese, stir-fries bulked out with in-season (and leftover) vegetables and noodles or rice, and soup with bread.
I’m still working out ways to spend less on our weekly groceries, but I do struggle when it comes to buying food: we like variety, we like fresh, and we like to eat well. However, in ten years time when we are feeding two hungry, pre-teen boys, I think I may be wishing I’d started budget-shopping earlier!!
Fun with Food
Fun with Food is a way for you to share your foodie (mis)adventures with other people. You don’t have to be a superb cook, or produce Masterchef-quality plates of food; this will be a place to share new and favourite recipes, meal plans, cooking on a budget, lunchbox ideas, new products, kitchen successes and disasters (because we all have those!) and maybe some handy tips for getting fussy kids to eat their dinner!
The linky will open on a Tuesday and stay open for a week, so I hope you’ll share your kitchen adventures, and be inspired by what other people are doing in the heart of their homes.
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