The price of food is rising so rapidly it's frightening, so we all need cheap meal ideas. One thing for instant impact on reducing costs is to go back to the stove and cook. Dig out those family recipes gathering dust on the book shelves. Forget the ready meals and fast food instead cook fresh, local, seasonal produce. More often not than not this food will be cheaper to buy, more nutritious and taste better.
With a little careful consideration it is still easy to eat well and save money.
What better way to fill up than with a bowl of nourishing soup. Soups are quick and easy to prepare and in these times of rising prices, usually cheap to make. Soups can be eaten as a starter dish, or with a heftier portion as a main course, especially if accompanied with crusty bread and butter.
Use seasonal vegetables keeps the costs down, out of season vegetables are usually imported and therefore more expensive.
10 Favourite Soup Recipes
Cold Soups for Spring and Summer
Use cheaper cuts of meat, they need longer, slower, cooking but the effort is worth it with hearty stews, casseroles and bakes here are some of my Favourite Casserole Recipes
Minced meat is cheap so how about a homemade burger, so quick to make and cheaper than a bought one. Or try two British favorites Shepherd's or Cottage Pie.
Or how about baking a pie? Always a winner for dinner are easy pie recipes.
Time to leave the phone on the hook and head to the kitchen instead. Take-away food is convenient but it is also expensive.
Chicken Tikka Massala is one of Britain's favorite curries and is so quick, easy and cheap to make. Forget the meat with these two vegetarian curries - Chickpea Curry or a delicious Vegetable Biryani . If curry whets your appetite have a look at all the wonderful, quick recipes of Curry Around the World.
There are hundreds of fast, easy Thai recipes from Darlene Schmidt , Chinese with Rhonda Parkinson , Japanese and Mexican.
You can't fail to be inspired.
Fish is healthy, is nutritious and an essential part of a healthy diet. If you are lucky enough to live near the coast finding fresh fish is easy and usually cheaper.
A good tip is to get to know what fish are in season and what fish is available where you live. A local fishmonger is your best guide. I ask my fishmonger for off-cuts which make a great Fish Pie.
Smoked fish can be picked up reasonably cheaply and is very nutritious. Here are 5 of my favourite recipes
Don't forget added value fish products of canned or smoked fish. What could be easier or cheaper than a delicious Salade Nicoise made with canned Tuna.
An easy way to save money would be to cut down on desserts and puddings. But why? We all need a bit of cheering up and a sweet comforting pudding is one of the easiest ways. Make the most of seasonal fruits for scrumptious puddings. Apples are cheap and plentiful especially autumn through winter. What could be more cheering than a warm Apple Pie or easier than an Apple Mousse. One of the cheapest puddings in the British kitchen is a classic Bread and Butter Pudding !
Rhubarb is another lovely, cheap fruit that is cheap and available almost year round. Rhubarb makes a comforting Crumble or a light Rhubarb Fool and becomes ultra-sophisticated as a Jelly .